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What Are the Best MacBook Tips and Tricks?

In 2021, Mac shipments outpaced the overall PC market in growth by almost two to one. Many users have embraced the MacBook with gusto, including some who chose to swap away from their PCs.

New users and converts alike lack knowledge of some of the benefits of MacBooks. These tips can make it easier to use a computer or more fun.

Have you ever needed to perform quick unit conversions for a recipe? How about taking quick notes while otherwise occupied? Despite its minimalist design, Macbook software offers powerful tools to make life easier.

Don’t believe us? Let’s get started. We’ll walk you through some MacBook tips and tricks for users of any skill level.

MacBook Tips and Tricks for Spotlight

While Spotlight started life as the search tool for files on Mac computers, it’s gained several new features. People who haven’t used Macs in a while should give Spotlight a look.

Spotlight can convert measurements and currencies for you. Whether you need to know the number of cups in a gallon or hope to score a deal on anime figurines by buying them while the yen is weak, Spotlight has you covered.

You can also use Spotlight to fetch definitions of words. Just hit ⌘+L after typing a word to find a definition.

Enter Recovery Mode to Reset Passwords

Struggling to get back into your computer? Enter Recovery Mode, and you can get back in. This works on all types of MacBooks.

While booting up your computer, hold ⌘+R. Eventually, a progress bar will come up. This indicates you’re moving into Recovery Mode.

In Recovery Mode, click Utilities and then Terminal. Type “resetpassword” and hit Enter. Do not type quotation marks, and do not add a space.

When you next close the terminal, you’ll be greeted with the Password Reset tool. You can now reset the passwords for all of the accounts on your machine.

Quick Note

Quick Note, found in the bottom right corner of your screen, allows you to pop out a small notepad for jotting things down. Clicking that corner will bring up the notepad whenever you’re using a MacBook.

If you don’t like this functionality and want the corner for some other purpose, you can turn it off. Go to System Preferences, then click Mission Control and then go to Hot Corners. After turning it off, you can click freely without fear of accidentally opening Quick Note.

Finder Settings

If you notice your external HD not showing up on your MacBook, you may need to change your settings in Finder. By opening the Finder menu, you can choose which items show up on your desktop. Hard disks, external disks, servers, media discs, and media devices should all show up on your desktop by default, but if some of them aren’t, you can toggle them here.

You can also use the sidebar tab to choose which of these show up in the Finder sidebar while you’re using a MacBook. This gives you faster access to the data you need the most.

Preview Signatures

The Preview app can help you sign documents faster by storing a copy of your signature. Under Tools, then Annotate, then Signature, then Manage Signatures, you can add new signature images that can be put in a previewed document.

If you need to print and sign lots of copies of a document, this can save you several steps in the long run. Give your poor hand a rest.

Quick Quit

Annoyed at having to hunt down the close button? ⌘+Q will close a program out in an instant.

Clean Paste

Some programs include the formatting of the text you try to copy and paste when you paste it in. If you’re pasting from websites or some types of apps, this can lead to illegible text or undesired formatting. An alternate keyboard shortcut for pasting can fix this.

Instead of hitting ⌘+V, hit ⌘+Shift+V. Adding the Shift key will strip out formatting, leaving you with the plain text you wanted to paste.

Indulge Your Emoji Addiction

Do you prefer phones to computers? If you’re looking at this MacBook tutorial because you want to type things in the way you would on a phone, you may be looking for the option to quickly add emojis.

⌘+Control+Space will open the emoji keyboard. Through the emoji keyboard, you can add any emoji supported by Mac devices without any fuss.

Find the Path

If you’re migrating from a PC, you might find yourself missing the address bar from Windows Explorer while using Finder. You don’t have to give up the bar if you don’t want to, though.

Under the View menu, the Show Path Bar option will restore the familiar file path display. ⌘+Option+P can do the same thing if you’d rather toggle it from your keyboard.

Cut and Paste Files

Unlike Windows computers, which separate Cut and Copy but use the same Paste command for both, Mac computers use the same Copy command but different Paste commands. One will leave a copy of the file in the original location, while the other moves it to the new location alone.

⌘+C will prepare to copy or move a file. If you want the second copy, ⌘+V will suffice. If you want to clean up after yourself, though, ⌘+Option+V has you covered.

Your First Bite of the Apple

Having some key MacBook tips and tricks under your belt can speed up the process of getting used to your new computer. Knowing how to find what you’re looking for and access familiar tools goes a long way in improving overall comfort.

Looking for more information on the benefits of MacBooks? Try taking a look at our technology section.