Five overlooked OS X system tweaks

“If you like to find new ways to tweak OS X, you sometimes need to look in unexpected places,” Kirk McElhearn writes for Macworld.

“For example, the Accessibility pane of System Preferences, which houses a number of features to help users who have limited seeing, hearing, and mobility, contains some nifty features that all users should know about,” McElhearn writes.

Here are five system tweaks that you might want to try on your Mac:
1. Change the cursor size
2. Zoom everything, easily
3. Get silent, visual alerts
4. Make modifier keys sticky
5. Mouse with your number pad

Read more in the full article here.


  1. #4 has been around since System 3.0 (and maybe earlier). Back then it was known simply as “Sticky Keys” — and you turned it on and off by pressing a certain key multiple times in a row. This is not new with OS X.

  2. I have a problem reading white text on a black background, which actually makes my eyes hurt. I’ve read web design style guides that deprecate it, but there are still a few retro-90s web sites that use it and iTunes uses it to excess.

    The fix is in System Preferences | Keyboard | Accessibility; make sure that Invert Colors is checked.

    Then you can press Control+Option+Command+8 to invert the colors to change the text to black on white and press it again when you are done reading.

  3. Not really a ‘tweak’, but here’s something that not many people know you can do in OS X that I find infinitely useful since I learned it.

    If you find that when using the volume buttons on the keyboard that the leaps between different volume levels are too big, you can hold down Alt+Shift while pressing them to get smaller increments.

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