10 Mac Features You Didn’t Know Existed

Published on July 23, 2014

No matter how long you've been using your Mac, we're guessing you probably don't know all the cool features it has to offer. Check out this list of tips and tricks Business Insider put together to take advantage of some useful parts of your Mac you didn't know existed.

1. Take a trimmed screenshot.

You may know how to take a screenshot of your entire screen (Command+Shift+3). But did you know you can take a screenshot of a specific area?

Hold down Command + Shift + 4. This will turn your cursor into a crosshare. Click and drag what you would like to capture, hit the spacebar, and you've got yourself a nice cropped screenshot.

2. Hide your dock instantly.

If your dock is getting in the way while you're working, hold Command + Option + D and it will tuck your dock away instantly. If you want to bring it back, repeat the process.

3. Invert your screen colors.

If you're running Mac OSX Lion (or an earlier version), invert/revert your screen colors with Command + Option + Control + 8. This is an option that is designed to help those who are visually impaired.

4. Instant tab management.

If you're running a lot of applications and want to close them out quickly, hold town command and press your tab key to cycle through your applications. Tap "Q" to quit the one you're highlighting, or "H" to minimize.  (This is Chief Geek Jason's new favorite!)

5. Enable tabbing for all online forms and dropdown menus.

When you're filling out an order form online, you can "tab" to the next line once you're done with a box. However, your Mac will automatically tab past dropdown menus (like "month" or "year") and skips instead to the next text entry box. To ensure your computer will never skip a dropdown menu again, click System Preferences > Keyboard. There, set "Full Keyboard Access" to "All Controls."

6. Use "Spotlight" as a calculator.

Need to do some simple math quickly without opening up a app? Use your Spotlight search. Click Command + Spacebar to bring it up. You can search for docs or music here, sure, but you can also enter in some simple math right in the search bar for a quick answer!

7. Group files into a folder in a flash.

If your desktop is looking a little cluttered, consolidate files into a single folder by highlighting/clicking on the files you'd like to group (while holding control), right click, and select "New Folder With Selection."

8. "Expose" in slow motion.

If you're using Mac OSX with version 10.6 or earlier, you can use Expose (the easy app selection tool) to work in slow motion. Hold "Shift" while then pressing your Expose key (traditionally F9, F10, or F11 depending on your personal settings). Your window-switching method will now be less abrupt.

9. Use icons in plain sight.

When you're in Word, Pages, Powerpoint, or (most) other documents, you'll notice a little icon next to your document name (up in the toolbar). You may be surpised to find that that little image will act as a normal file icon: you can drag it to anywhere you'd like the file to go.

10. Type an apple icon.

Pop an apple up whenever you'd like. Like, now  for example. Just hold Option + Shift + K to show your Apple pride.

Have any tricks you want to share? Drop a comment!