Tips and Tricks for New Mac Users: Make Your Life Easier with OS X

Most people are aware that the software and apps used on a daily basis, come equipped with shortcuts to make your life easier. The only downfall to that is it usually comes with research, studying up on tutorials, or even reading the directions. If you’re like the majority of technology users, you don’t have the time to sit and search through every shortcut that your operating system has.

os-x-softwareIf you’re a first-time Mac user, switching from the Windows environment can be a huge, and sometimes uncomfortable change. Learning how to run your new computer can take up quite a bit of your time, but we’ve gathered a list to make the transition easier for you. These tips and tricks are going to help you speed up your working process, and make you an expert in no time.

Toggle Between Applications

Minimizing window after window to find what you’re looking for can be both time consuming, and distracting. When using a Mac, you can hold down the command key while using tab to navigate through the row of applications on your dock. When you release the keys, whichever app you have highlighted is going to open. You can also use the “~” key to move left across the dock.

Keep in mind that this trick is only going to work if your windows aren’t minimized, and you can press the “Q” key to quit the application.


Mac has some fantastic advantages when it comes to utilizing the embedded screenshot tool, and it eliminates your need for features such as the print screen, or software such as SnagIt. While Windows does have its snipping tool, there isn’t much that compares to the ease of using your Mac to screenshot.

  • Entire Screen Snapshot: Hold down the “command,” “shift,” and “3” keys simultaneously to snap a shot of your whole screen. It is automatically going to be saved to the desktop, so you don’t have to search it out.
  • Selected Area Snapshot: By following the same command as above and pressing the four key instead of the three, your mouse cursor turns into a target symbol that allows you to select what you want to screenshot. You just drag it over the area of the screen to select and capture the image.

Embedded Dictionary

There are going to be plenty of times where you’re working on a project or merely browsing the internet, and you come across a word you don’t know. In instances such as this, you don’t need to go to or pull one out from your shelf. When you highlight the word in question and hold “command,” “control,” and the “D” key, a dictionary definition is going to populate.

Navigating Your Mission

Mission Control is the main hub of your Mac which lets you see everything that you have open, and it enables you to do it at once. If you’re using the default setting on your trackpad, you can swipe up with four fingers, or press the “F3” key to bring a window to the front. You can also see everything that you have open.

Double the Apps

One of the benefits of running an OS X software that is 2015 or later, is screen division. You now can operate two apps at the same time without them overlapping. Choose the window or app you’d like to be on the left side, and then hold down the full-screen button in the upper left corner of that app. Once you do that, you are going to see a black line in the center of your screen, and to the right of it, you are going to find the rest of your windows and apps.

macBy using those five simple tips, you can make your Mac experience just that much more fun, and easy. Use the tips to enhance your performance at work, or just navigate freely while you’re browsing the internet. There are plenty of other Mac tips that are sure to help you out along your way, but the five fundamentals listed above are sure to have you forgetting about your PC in no time.

What Mac shortcuts do you use on your MacBook or iMac to make your experience more efficient? Start a conversation below.

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