20 useful Mac OS X tips

“Because we are all different, operating system developers always put more than one way of doing things in their systems. One example is there’s often keyboard shortcuts, menus and toolbars in applications for doing the same thing. Consequently, it’s very easy to get into the habit of doing things a particular way without ever learning other ways,” Chris Howard writes for AppleMatters.

Howard writes, Hopefully for the average user there might be at least one tip here that you weren’t aware of and that will be useful to you. Otherwise, I officially re-title this article: “20 Useful OS X Tips for Beginners and Switchers.”

Howard’s top 20 Mac OS X tips, with many more in the comments below his article (se also our related articles below), here.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
New in Mac OS X 10.4.8: ‘Zoom using scroll wheel’ – September 30, 2006
Mac OS X lets you zoom in and out on your screen with ease – August 15, 2006
Mac tips for former Windows users – December 28, 2005
Secrets to using Mac OS X Tiger’s built-in Dictionary with Safari – August 10, 2005
Apple posts ‘Pro’ tips for Mac OS X Desktop Printer and Finder Sidebar Printing – March 31, 2005


  1. I thought I had learned all the little useful cmd and option tricks that I needed in OS X but there were a few on here that I had no idea of and I’ve already found a couple uses for them that will make a some of my tasks much easier.

    Experienced users probably know most of these but there could still be one that is new to you and really useful.

  2. One thing I just recently found out is holding down shift while using Exposé makes it go in slow-motion. Also, if you hold down shift while minimizing it also goes in slow motion.

    And for cmd+tab, while holding down cmd and pressing tab lets you cycle through the apps from left to right, cmd+shift+tab lets you go from right to left.

  3. Damn you “stupid short cuts”!

    Sorry, dude. These short cuts are not “stupid”. You may mean it is stupid that you have to remember them. You may mean you are stupid. I will go with the latter because some of these are not amenable to right-click or would be slower using a right-click contextual menu.

  4. I had a call a few weeks ago from someone who’s kid had been playing a game and accidentally inverted the screen. she was besides herself, even thought there might be a virus!

    A little research turned up this cool little toggle:

    ctrl +alt + Cmd + 8

    Not often you’ll use it, but can be used to scare the shit out of another user while away from their desk!

  5. One I didn’t see mentioned that I use all the time…

    Command-Option click on an app in the dock

    This will Hide all other apps except the one you click on. This is especially nice you want to clear everything away and get to your desktop.

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