How to restart or send your Mac to sleep from Spotlight



Pulling up apps and finding files is super easy on OS X Yosemite thanks to the new Spotlight feature, and thanks to GitHub user slong1987, you can now use Spotlight shortcuts to shutdown, restart, logout and put your Mac to sleep.

The clever workaround uses four small apps that you can download from GitHub and then add to your Applications folder. Once installed, all you have to do is pull up Spotlight (CMD+SPACE) type in Restart, hit Enter and you Mac will reboot.

I’ve found the Sleep shortcut especially useful at coffee shops when you have to step away for quick second. Slong1987 says shortcuts for Empty Trash and Securely Empty Trash are also in the works.


How to use OS X Yosemite to send texts from your Mac



In the past, using the Messages app on a Mac could be an irritating experience. And what if a friend dared to send a green-bubble text from an Android phone? When texting from your Mac, messaging those friends wasn’t possible until now.

In today’s Cult of Mac video, find out how to enable Text Message Forwarding between your iPhone and Mac. With iOS 8.1 and Yosemite installed, enjoying this seamless feature is just a few short taps and clicks away. Find out how to do it all in this speedy tutorial.

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How To Add To, Hide And Reorder Those Pesky Sidebar Items [OS X Tips]



The OS X sidebar, introduced in Mac OS X Panther (10.3), has gotten an increased set of features over the years, including the most recent changes in Mountain Lion, which let you Hide and change the order of your Sidebar items.

These changes carried over to Mavericks, and it’s possible some of us forgot that we could do these things, if we even knew it in the first place.

In the spirit of showing you how to do do stuff you may have missed, here’s how to add things to your Sidebar, hide them when you don’t want to see them, and then move them into a different order over there on the left-hand side of your Finder window.

How To Enable And Customize Video Subtitles [OS X Tips]


photo Rob LeFebvre, Cult of Mac
photo Rob LeFebvre, Cult of Mac

Many videos that you purchase these days via iTunes or other sources have subtitles, those little words beneath the screen that were created to help caption videos.

These can be useful for someone with a hearing impairment, or who reads a different language than the one being spoken in the video, to watch these during a movie.

In OS X Mavericks, you can easily get subtitles going in any supported video, and you can customize the way they look, as well. Here’s how to find out if your video supports subtitles, how to turn them on and how to change their look and feel.

Better Security On That Macbook: Turn Off File Sharing, Enable AirDrop [OS X Tips]


Airdrop Top

When you travel with a Mac laptop, whether a Macbook Pro or Air, you may be leaving it open to malicious users to get into your machine.

One of the things you can do to keep them out of your precious files is to turn off File Sharing completely. Then, if you still want to share files with other Mac users, you can use AirDrop, which is more of a temporary opening of the security gates than File Sharing is.

Note that you can indeed improve security while using File Sharing on and setting up your Firewall with specific ports, but that’s the subject of a different tip.