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10 Essential Mac Shortcuts

Written by iHospital. Posted in How To, iHospital iV

We all love shortcuts, especially when it comes to our beloved Mac computers.  Whether you’re doing a repetitive task that’s sucking up too much of your time or it’s a one-off job that seems more complicated than it should be – it’s wasting your time and we’re here to help you get it back!  iHospital is going to show you 10 extraordinary ways to make life easier with your Mac.  You can thank us later!

1.  Spotlight tricks.  

We all love the spotlight. It’s the best tool around for finding things on your Mac, but sometimes it gives us way too many results.  You can remove files your’e probably never going to want in search results in your Spotlight Pane in System Preferences.  You can also re-order categories to have your favorites appear at the top.  You can also launch applications lightning fast by simply typing its name in Spotlight and hitting enter.  Finally, you can ask Spotlight simple mathematical equations. Pretty cool right?

2.  Spellcheck shortcuts.

You can save time by getting OS X to check as you type using Apples’ built in dictionary. Go to Edit > Spelling menu in most apps.  Did you know you can also bring up the spell checker by pressing Cmd + ;? Make sure you set the dictionary to British English rather than the standard English.

3.  Use file shortcuts.

Drag files, folders and servers to the Dock provides quicker access to their contents, especially in the list view.  Adding too many items to the dock and it will look cluttered so be careful.  Finder windows are also an option.  Add any item to the Finder sidebar by dragging and dropping it, and once that starts to fill up, drag items to the toolbar.

4.  Faster camera access.

Most of us use iPhoto to store pictures but did you know Image Capture lets you automatically start the import process and gives you several ‘pro’ options. You’ll find Image Capture in the Applications folder.  After you plug in your camera, it can automatically sort pictures into the Pictures folder and movies into the movies folder.

5. Improve Mail.

Mail is pretty nifty as it gives you an idea of how many new messages you have but more often than not you don’t notice it changing.  Growl provides a notification system that gives you a message preview.  It’s also very customisable, so you can set delays for previews, or decide whether they should stay on your screen.

6. Making Aliases.  

Aliases are helpful files that direct files somewhere on your Mac.  Some applications require files to be in a particular plac but if you don’t want them there you can always move them and create aliases to connect them.  Hold down Cmd + Option to create an alias and drag the item to a new location.  You can also use that keyboard combination to drag an item onto a dock app icon to force the item to open in that application (even if it’s not ususally allowed).

7. Expose Tips.

You can easily activate Expose & Spaces pane in Systems Preferences.  It’s a great, efficient way to switch between windows in any of the applications you’re running. Exposes can be triggered by using the screen corners, hot keys are the Expose application.  Expose is also a great way to get straight to your Desktop without minimizing all the windows its hidden under.

8. Proxy icon shortcuts.  

Proxy’s are the icons at the top of every window and they perform bucket loads of functions.  An example is if you clikc on it then drag and drop to another window, it’ll be as though you’re dragging and dropping the files.  You can also hold down Option while you’re doing it to copy the item, or hold down Cmd as you click on the icon to get a list of all folders enclosing the current item.

9. Finder copy and paste.

Dragging a file from one window in Finder to another can be fiddly, even with the help of Expose – it’s easy to make a mistake and click off your selection.  A better option is to Copy and Past a Finder item.  Here’s how.  Select the item, or items, you want and select Copy from the Edit menu.  Pick your destination and click paste.  Copy and Paste are also available from the contextual menus or the cog in Finder’s toolbars.

10. Helpful Keyboard Shortcuts

Apple Menu

Command-Option-D – Toggle Dock Hiding On/Off
Command-Shift-Q – Logout

Finder Menu

Command-Shift-Delete – Empty Trash
Command-H – Hide Finder

File Menu

Command-N – New Finder Window
Command-Shift-N – New Folder
Command-O – Open
Command-W – Close Window
Command-I – Show Info
Command-D – Duplicate
Command-L – Make Alias
Command-R – Show Original Item
Command-T – Add to Favorites
Command-Delete – Move Highlighted Item to Trash
Command-E – Eject
Command-F – Find (Invokes Sherlock)

Edit Menu

Command-Z – Undo
Command-X – Cut
Command-C – Copy
Command-V – Paste
Command-A – Select All

View Menu

Command-1 – as Icons
Command-2 – as List
Command-3 – as Columns
Command-B – Minimize Finder Toolbar
Command-J – View Options

Go Menu

Command-[ - Back
Command-] – Forward
Command-Shift-C – Go to Computer Directory
Command-Shift-H – Go to Home Directory
Command-Shift-I – Go to your iDisk
Command-Shift-F – Go to your Favorites Directory
Command-Shift-A – Go to Applications Directory
Command-Shift-G – Go to Folder
Command-K – Connect to Server


Command-M – Minimize Window


Command-? – Mac Help

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