How to give your Finder window superpowers

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finder
No wonder this little chap is so happy...
Photo: Cult of Mac

The Finder has been with the Mac since day one, way back in 1984. But just because it’s old, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have some new tricks. Did you know, for instance, that you can add a path bar to the bottom of the window to show the path of the current folder on your Mac? Or that you can add a status bar in the same spot so you always know how full your drive is? Or that you can add a permanent preview pane over on the right side of a Finder window, even in icon and list views?

Let’s take a look, and see what else you can do.

How and why to redirect email instead of forwarding it

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redirect email
This photo is not email, nor is it even regular mail, but it has to do with directions.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

We all know about forwarding email. It’s the electronic equivalent of putting a received letter in a new envelope and sending it on to someone else. But did you know that you can also redirect emails so that it seems like they arrived from the original sender? You could, for instance:

  • Redirect instructions from your boss to a co-worker.
  • Pass an email to someone else without getting caught in an inevitable and endless Reply All mess.
  • Send a customer enquiry to the correct person, with their reply going direct to the customer.

Unless the final recipient is really brain-dead, then this will never work as a scam to trick them into doing all the work your boss assigned to you, but it’s a very practical alternative to just forwarding emails.

Pro Tip: How to use Safari’s super-quick pop-up tab history shortcut

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Safari pop-up tab history
Here's Safari's pop-up tab history
Photo: Cult of Mac

Pro Tip Cult of Mac bug When you want to get back to a previously viewed page in Safari on your iPhone, what do you do? Do you keep tapping the back button until you find the page you want?

If so, you can forget that nonsense right now, because there’s a super-quick way to see a list of all the web pages you’ve recently viewed in a Safari browser tab.

Pro Tip: See full-screen Quick Look slideshows in macOS Finder

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projector Quick Look slideshows
You don't need a projector to do a slideshow.
Photo: Kali Motxo/Flickr CC

Pro Tip Cult of Mac bugQuick Look is one of the Finder’s best features. Whenever you have a file selected in the Finder, just hit the space bar and you’ll see a preview of that file. It’s a great way to quickly view photos, or read the contents of a document, without opening it in an app.

But did you know you can pull up full-screen Quick Look slideshows just as easily?

Fine-tune your music with Visual EQ in GarageBand for iPad

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the equalizer
Nothing says '1980s' like a stereo with a giant graphic EQ.
Photo: Pete/Flickr public domain

One great recent addition to GarageBand for iOS is the Visual EQ, an equalizer that is about as far away from the 1980s-style bank of sliders as it’s possible to get. The Visual EQ also shows you a waveform of the actual sound you’re adjusting, so you can see as well as hear the effects immediately. This visual element, combined with a clever three-“band” EQ, makes this a very powerful tool for shaping your music.

How to make the Mac’s Launchpad useful again

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mac Launchpad
Launchpad is totally worth a second look.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Try this: If you’re reading on a Mac, go ahead and pinch in on your trackpad with all five fingers. If it’s enabled, then you’ll see a grid of apps. lots of apps. That’s Launchpad, which is kind of like an iOS home screen for your Mac.

The problem is, it shows all your apps, in seemingly random order. There’s a search bar to narrow things down, but by the time you’ve got that far, you may as well have used Spotlight to launch your app. Happily, the Launchpad is quite customizable. You can make iOS-style folders, and organize the apps into any order you like. Here’s how.

9 ways to strengthen your Apple products

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Step up your iPhone and Mac security with these tips.
Step up your iPhone and Mac security with these tips.
Photo: Free Photos/Pixabay CC

How to speed up your iPhone if the Spectre patch slows it down

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ghosts
Ghosts are a bit like spectres.
Photo: Sean MacEntee/Flickr CC

Spectre is the worst kind of security flaw. Not only do the partial fixes not even protect against attacks, but they also slow down your iPhone, or other device. But things aren’t quite as bad as they seem. You can take steps to speed up your iPhone once again, and one of the fixes not only makes the web faster, but also fixes Spectre’s biggest attack vector.

How to get the best battery life from your MacBook

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MacBook battery
Looking after you MacBook battery is really easy.
Photo: FruitJuice

Did you know that leaving your MacBook plugged in all the time is a sure way to ruin its battery? That instead you should use your notebook computer on battery power for an hour or two each day? That’s the advice from battery health app FruitJuice, which will help you to keep your battery in tip-top condition.

How to find and use the custom spelling dictionary on your Mac

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Edit your Mac custom dictionary.
A dictionary definition of "dictionary," to illustrate an article about dictionaries.
Photo: Caleb Roenigk/Flickr CC

Your Mac has a built-in dictionary and spell-checker. You knew that. You also know that you can add and remove words from that dictionary as you go, teaching the dictionary on the fly.

But did you know that there’s also a text document on your Mac that contains your entire personal custom spelling dictionary? And that you can use this to move your spelling preferences between computers?

You can!