All items tagged with "Tips & Tricks"

10 essential Finder tricks every Mac user should know

Photo: Yeray Hdez Guerra/FlickrCC

Master your Mac with these 10 Finder tips. Photo: Yeray Hdez Guerra/Flickr CC

In Mac OS X, you’ll spend much of your time in the Finder, the part of your operating system that manages files and such. While you might think you know all there is to know about it, the Finder is a complex and wonderful app — with its own special tricks to master.

Here are 10 essential Finder tips that will help you get the most out of your time working or playing on your Mac.

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How to create entirely separate photo libraries in Photos

Maybe you just want to have a library full of food pictures, you know? Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Maybe you just want to have a library full of food pictures, you know? Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

One of the cooler hidden features of Photos (and iPhoto before it) is the ability to create more than one photo library. You can make one for your home photos, work photos, photos from a different camera, or those racy photos you don’t want the kids tripping over.

It’s pretty simple, but not totally intuitive – there’s no menu item to select to create a new library.

Follow our recipe to create as many different libraries as you like for separate but equal Photos access.

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Shield your iPhone fitness data from other apps’ prying eyes

Keep your activity data private. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Keep your activity data private. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

With the advent of Apple’s motion coprocessor chip (the M8 in recent iOS devices), any apps that you download and grant permission to can use this data to enhance their offerings.

This lets apps like RunKeeper, Carrot Fitness and others both gather fitness data from your iPhone as well as send it to the Health app.

This could raise privacy concerns for some, so being able to decide which apps we allow to access our fitness-tracking data — or whether the iPhone tracks these activities at all — can be a helpful.

Here’s our recipe for getting finer-grained control over your fitness-tracking data.

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How to use your MacBook in closed-clamshell mode

Save yourself some desk space with this closed MacBook mode. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

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.

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Even more essential Mac keyboard shortcuts

So many shortcuts, save a little time. Photo: DeclanTM/Flickr CC

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.

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Become a Safari search master with quick iOS tip

Searching within Safari pages is pretty easy, but well-hidden. Photo: Rob LeFebvre

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.

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Top 10 keyboard shortcuts every Mac user should know

Using these simple keyboard tricks will make your life so much better. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Using these simple keyboard tricks will make your life so much better. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Mastering a few crucial Mac keyboard shortcuts will make using your Apple computer easier and much more efficient. Cutting your reliance on your mouse will help you work more quickly, and you’ll undoubtedly impress your family, friends and co-workers to no end. You might end up becoming the go-to Mac person in your office, and we all know how wonderful that will be.

Here are the top 10 Mac keyboard shortcut tricks you really need to memorize right now, whether you’re a Mac newbie or a veteran user who still uses the mouse for everything out of habit.

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How to avoid going full screen in OS X Yosemite

You're no longer a slave to this full screen window behavior. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

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.

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Quick tip will speed Mac data recovery and save you from heartache

Passwords can lock you out, too. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

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.

Here’s how.

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How to use a PS4 controller with your Mac

Get your game on -- wirelessly -- with a PS4 controller and your Mac. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Get your game on — wirelessly — with a PS4 controller and your Mac. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Now just might be the best time ever to be a Mac gamer, as a ton of big titles for PC and console are also available for Apple computers via the Mac App Store, Steam or GoG.com. It’s a golden era of cross-platform goodness, and it’s easier than ever to find a game you’ll love on the Mac.

Some of today’s hot titles demand a good controller, though. One of the best is Sony’s DualShock 4 controller (the same one that comes with the PlayStation 4). If you’ve got one, you’ve got easy access to a fantastic, ergonomic and just plain great gaming controller that will work with your Mac, requiring very little setup to make it happen.

Here’s our recipe for great wireless Mac gaming.

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