There’s no shortage of cool things your Mac can do that you probably didn’t know it could do.
It won’t wash your car, or predict a winner in the World Series (St. Louis in six; Bambino rules), but there are plenty of little things most users don’t know about because Apple, in whatever wisdom can be garnered when market share is at 2.2-percent, decided not to tell us.
Now those very same hidden, secret slick killer tips are uncovered, unleashed, exposed, and available for the hitherto unknown price of, uh, well, they’re free. Read on.
Secret Slick Tip #1 – Zzzzzzzzzz. Put your Mac to sleep in two seconds flat. Zzzzzzzz. Done. Yes, you can close the lid on your PowerBook or iBook. But you need to be careful because if you slam it something’s liable to crack or break, so I don’t think you can get it done in just two seconds.
Remember this tip: Press Command-Option, then click and hold the Eject button for, oh, um, how about two seconds. Zzzzzzzz.
No more fumbling around trying to remember where the Sleep is. No more digging through System Preferences. Command-Options, then Click.
Zzzzzzzzz. Why doesn’t someone document these things? I don’t know, either. Frankly, between you and me, I think it’s a perverse pleasure that only Apple engineers fully understand or appreciate. Or, they like knowing and like knowing that you don’t know.
Secret Slick Tip #2 – Launch Favorite Applications on Startup. OK, if you’re a power user, you already know how to do this, so it’s not much of a secret. Then again, it’s not much of a secret where the weapons of mass destruction are hidden, either.
The point is, the average user probably starts up their Mac like this: Step 1, press power button. Step 2, wait. Step 3, open Mail. Step 4, open Safari. Step 5, open Microsoft Word. And so on and on.
Your Mac will open all your favorite applications upond start up if you tell it to (don’t get pissed if you already know this one; I’ve got a Bonus Secret Slick Tip ready to even the score).
Open System Preferences. Click on Accounts (in the System row). Click on your Account (in the My Account box). Click on Login Options (there’s a little “house” icon there).
In the upper right is a tab; Startup Items. Click it. That opens to a list of items, utilities, applications that can be set up to start up when your Mac starts up.
What do you want? Word? Mail? Safari? Click the “+” sign, find the application and you’re good to go.
Secret Slick Tip #3 – Move It Back Again. Have you ever moved a file but dropped it into the wrong folder? What a pain. Now you have to click around to find it, or, worse. Use search.
There’s an easy way to move a file to the wrong place and move it back again. Let’s say you’re moving a file and accidentally drop it somewhere within one of four or five folders. Before you do anything else, press Command-Z.
Boing. The file goes back to where it’s supposed to be. That’s slick.
Bonus Slick Tip – Print PDF’s. This’ll shock you. You can work up a document in Word or AppleWorks or whatever. Then print it and, say, email it to a friend. But what if your friend doesn’t have Word, or AppleWorks. Most Macs can handle Adobe’s PDF file format (Portable Document Format).
Mac OS X handles PDF’s exceptionally well. So well, that you can actually “print” a PDF. Get your document on screen and select File, then Print. In the Print dialog box, select the PDF button.
Now your document will be saved as a PDF on your Mac. Cool, huh? Excuse me, uh, slick.
OK, what’s yours? Do you have a secret slick killer tip or two for the rest of us? Mac users are an industrious group. What’s your favorite Mac tip?
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