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So good at making you productive, we’re already saving you time

Here are some handy tips and shortcuts from our friendly non-condescending Macinhome Apple-certified expert consultants.

If you have a request for a tip or you want help optimizing your Mac, request a callback or call 1-877-707-6227 today.

Filling out online forms faster

When you’re filling out a form online, to move forwards or backwards in text fields press Tab or Shift-Tab. For drop-down menus, Tab to select it then press Spacebar to expand it. Use the up and down arrow keys or type the first few letters of the item you want to select, then press Spacebar again to select that item in the drop-down.

Opening browser tabs or windows

In Safari, Chrome, or Firefox, to open a new Tab press command-T. To open a link in a new Tab and keep the current page at the forefront, hold command when you click the link.

Show or hide the Dock to get more screen space

To show or hide the Dock, hold command-option and press D.

Selecting icons with your keyboard

To quickly select an icon in a Finder window, just start typing the first few letters of its name. Make sure you type quickly if you want to be specific.

Moving pages from one PDF to another

To move pages from one PDF to another, open both PDFs in Preview, go to the View menu and enable “Thumbnails”, then drag the page thumbnails from the Sidebar of one PDF to the Sidebar of the other.

Saving as a PDF

To create a PDF from a document, go to File > Print, then pull down the PDF menu in the bottom left and choose “Save as PDF…”

Default button shortcuts

In any dialog box or error message, pressing Return will select the blue (default) button. Pressing Escape is the same as pressing the Cancel button. In many applications pressing the command key and the corresponding key for the first letter of the name on the button is the same as clicking that button. For example, if your button choices are Save and Dismiss, pressing command-D would work the same as clicking the Dismiss button. This doesn’t work in all programs.

Quickly hiding the frontmost application

To hide the front-most application, press command-H. To show all the hidden applications again, go to the Application menu (just right of the Apple menu) and select Show All.

Switch between open applications with the keyboard

To switch between all your open applications, hold command then press Tab repeatedly without letting go of command. To quit one of those open applications, press Q when that icon is selected (without letting go of command).

Taking a quick look at a file

To activate Quicklook in the Finder, highlight a picture, document, or video and press Spacebar. To get out of Quicklook press Spacebar again or click the little grey X in the top left corner of the Quicklook window.

How to zip compress a folder

To Zip compress a folder full of items, right click it and select “Compress (item)” from the Contextual Menu. If you highlight a group of items in the Finder, you can right-click (ie. control-click or two-finger-click) one of them to compress them all.

How to access “right click” on a Mac

To bring up the Contextual Menu (right click), hold control and click. On a laptop that supports multi-touch you can enable the “Secondary click – Click with two fingers” option within System Preferences > Trackpad > Point & Click.

Dealing with the rainbow Beach Ball of Sadness

If a program is unresponsive or the spinning beach ball of death isn’t going away, wait for a while (your Mac sometimes just needs a bit of time to think). If it is still spinning after several minutes, you can Force Quit applications by going to the Apple menu and selecting Force Quit… or by pressing option-command-esc. Use this with caution, as it can cause data loss and file corruption!

The secret to recovering a password

If you forgot a password that your computer had stored for you previously, go to Applications > Utilities > Keychain Access. From there, look down the list of items until you find the one you’re looking for, double click it, then click the Show Password checkbox. You will be asked for your computer’s Administrator password to see that saved password entry.

Getting to the right Wifi network

To make sure you are connected to the right wireless network, look under the Airport menu in the top right of your screen to ensure there is a checkbox next to your network. The Airport menu is the one that looks like a fan: . If your network is not showing up on the list, you may want to power cycle your router.

Adding an application to the Dock

To add an Application to the dock, go into the Applications folder and drag it down onto the Dock. You can move it to any location you like on the Dock; you’ll see the other icons shift and move to make room. If the Application is only showing up on the Dock when you open it, right click (ie. control-click or two-finger-click) the icon for that application, then select Options > Keep in Dock. Once it’s in the Dock you can move the icon to another location that you prefer. To remove an item, drag it away from the Dock and drop it (so it goes poof). To add a document or folder to the Dock, drag it to the right of the divider near the Trash.

Selecting multiple list items

To select multiple items in a list, highlight the first item then shift-click the last item. Command-click to select or deselect individual items, and to add or remove items from your existing selection.

How to take a screenshot

To take a screenshot, press command-shift-3 to capture the full screen area. To capture a smaller area you define, press command-shift-4 then release all three keys and drag a box around what you want to capture. The image will appear on your Desktop as a PNG file. Pro tip: If you want to capture all the contents of a window without having to drag a box around it, press command-shift-4, release those keys, press spacebar once, then click on the window you want to capture.