Save yourself some desk space with this closed MacBook mode. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
I was setting up my MacBook Pro with Retina display to work with a new external monitor today, thinking that when I connected to the monitor via HDMI and closed the lid, I’d see the display up on the new monitor.
I was disappointed when I saw absolutely nothing up on my new monitor, so I went searching to find out how to make it work. Is it a special setting in the System Preferences? I haven’t had an external monitor for a while, now; maybe things are more complex.
Luckily for me (and you!), it turned out to be much simpler to make happen. Here’s the recipe.
So many shortcuts, save a little time. Photo: DeclanTM/Flickr CC
There are a ton of Mac keyboard shortcuts to make your digital life easier and more productive. Last week, we showed you 10 of the best shortcuts to keep in mind when using your Mac, and you responded with even more.
Here are Cult of Mac readers’ suggestions for even more fantastic Mac keyboard shortcuts.
Searching within Safari pages is pretty easy, but well-hidden. Photo: Rob LeFebvre
On the Mac, it’s super-easy to search for a word or phrase within the currently loaded page. You simply hit Command-F on your keyboard and Safari, Chrome or any other web browser will open up a little field to type your search terms into.
But what about when you’re using mobile Safari on your iPhone or iPad? How do you find a specific word or phrase there?
It’s pretty simple, but not super-intuitive. Here’s our recipe for finding search terms on your iPhone’s version of Safari.
You’re no longer a slave to this full screen window behavior. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
As of OS X Yosemite, the little green button in the upper left-hand corner of all your apps and windows has recently undergone a change in function. Instead of maximizing or re-sizing the windows, as in all previous versions of OS X, now the green button will take your window or app full screen.
If you’re tired of going full screen every time you click the green button, here’s how to avoid the screen take over.
Passwords can lock you out, too. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
Let me save you a huge headache — don’t set an EFI password on your Mac unless you have the original receipt for that machine.
If you buy your Mac off Craigslist, like I did, and your daughter writes half a novel for her high school class but never backs it up elsewhere (note – always back up your stuff!), and then her MacBook Air suddenly won’t boot up, the EFI password the previous owner put on the laptop will prevent you or Apple from accessing the hard drive or ever using the computer again.
Hypothetically, of course.
If you don’t want to have to tell your daughter she loses her computer and will need to wait a week while you find a way to connect her SSD to another Mac and find her files, disable that EFI password now.
Make your iPhone even more secure with special characters. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Sure, you’ve got Touch ID set up on your iPhone 6, but you’ll still need a passcode to keep your iPhone secure. If you have an older iPhone without Touch ID, or your fingerprint isn’t recognized for any reason, you’ll need to fall back on a passcode.
If you want to make your passcode even more secure, try using our recipe for a code with special characters instead of a simple number-based solution.
All you need to make some sick beats. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
If you dig creating fresh beats and smooth grooves on your Mac, you’ll likely love GarageBand. It’s a fantastic bit of musical creation kit for anyone, regardless of native ability or experience. You can use loops to make new songs, play your own music with MIDI keyboards–even make your own ringtones for your iPhone. It’s quite versatile.
When you download GarageBand from the Mac App Store, you’ll immediately get 50 sounds, 500 loops, 1 drummer, and 2 basic lessons for guitar and piano. Likely, though, you want the full package, which is available as a free download that expands the content to 200 sounds, 2,000 loops, 15 drummers, and 40 basic lessons for guitar and piano.
QuickType just might be cramping your style. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Got an iPhone 6 or smaller? You might be feeling a little cramped for space on your screen due to iOS 8’s new word-prediction system.
That little gray bar that sits just above your iOS keyboard is called the QuickType bar, and it’s where all the auto-correct and typing suggestions appear when you’re sending an email, typing a note or iMessaging with someone. The suggestions are based on your past conversations, which lets QuickType take your writing style into account. It even keeps track of who you’re writing to, since your word choice is typically tied to your conversation partner.
If you want to hide it because you need more space on your screen, you can do so in any of three ways. You can also bring it back if you’ve inadvertently hidden it and don’t know where it went.