There are times when you just need to clear off the icons on your Desktop, like when you’re giving an important presentation at work. No one wants to see all the images you’ve saved from the internet, right?
I used to solve this problem with a Sort Me folder on the Desktop, just select all in a Finder window focused on the Desktop, and drag it all to the Sort Me folder.
There’s an even faster and easier way to hide all the icons on your Desktop, though, using the Terminal.
Have you lost your Mac password? Are you unable to get into your computer because of it? Apple lets you restore your password if you have the system disks that came with the computer, or–if you have a newer non-optical disk machine like a Macbook–with the built-in system recovery mode.
If you aren’t able to access your system disks or the recovery mode, there’s a couple of tricky ways to reset your password. Both methods are explained in a video by Quinn Nelson on his YouTube channel, and they’re pretty great ways to reset a lost password.
A word of warning, though: this is also a way a malicious person can gain access to your Mac. If you have sensitive documents on your Mac, you owe it to yourself to use FileVault or a third-party encryption tool to add another layer of protection that doesn’t require your admin password.
Every once in a while, you might want to password protect a PDF file with encryption. While there are several nice third-party apps that will do the trick, the simplest way to do this is with the built-in image and PDF viewer, Preview.
If you’ve spent enough time messing around in Terminal, you’ll know one thing for sure: re-typing the stuff you’ve laboriously typed in with only minor differences is tedious. And it happens more often than we’d like.
The Terminal does, however, keep a history of all the commands you’ve typed into it. To see this in action, you can cycle through the last few commands you’ve typed in, simply hit the arrow keys up or down when in Terminal.
There are a few more less intuitive commands to make the best use of your Terminal history, however.
If you’ve been using OS X for any length of time now, you know the special joy of desktop “spaces,” what Apple calls its virtual desktop system. You can switch between them by hitting Command-Arrow (right or left) on your keyboard, or you can activate Spaces with the F3 key on most modern Macs. You can also reorder these Spaces around fairly easily.
But did you know you could add more Spaces? Delete the ones you have?
Back in the day, I used to care for a couple of labs full of Macs. Invariably, at the end of the day, I’d find myself in the lab, shutting them all down for the night. I’d run up and down the rows of eMacs or whatever they were at the time, and hit the power button, then click on the Shut Down button. Or, if I was feeling frisky, I’d just hold down the power button until they shut off.
This took some time, needless to say. I wish I’d known of these useful keyboard commands to shut down or sleep the Macs, saving myself several minutes each day.
Have you ever wanted to create a quick video of yourself doing something interesting on your Mac? Need to show someone in another department how you manage your files, or the tagging system you employ using Mavericks?
You can create a screencast with many third-party tools, some of them quite robust and expensive, but there’s a new one that’s both free and easy to use.
It’s called Recordit, and the developers sent along a version for us to try out here at Cult of Mac Tips HQ, and we’re pretty impressed. Recordit allows anyone to create a quick recording (up to five minutes) of any portion of their screen and share it via a URL.
One of the lesser known functions of the Keychain on OS X is its ability to add Secure Notes, notes that require you to enter your Keychain login password to view them.
There are a ton of third-party apps out there that allow you to password protect your notes, but Keychain is built right in to Mac OS X, and has been for a while; it’s a pretty nifty thing to have when you need it.
Better yet? The current version of Keychain will let you put images and video into your notes, making it a snap to secure your media files to your password.