macbook air tips and tricks for beginners

But don't despair, if you're really wanting to stick with Microsoft, we've got you covered there too with our 20 tips and tricks for Windows 11 (opens in new tab). Otherwise, everyone will be able to access it. Matt has over a decade of experience in tech publishing, and previously ran the TV & audio coverage for our colleagues at, and before that he edited T3 magazine. In various places in OS X and macOS you see the option of sharing things to friends and contacts from a little Share button that looks like an arrow going up out of a box. Or, hold and when resizing a window for the whole thing to shrink down proportionally around the centre. Go on. The best bit, though, is that Macs keep track of how and to whom you most often share stuff. Instead, just right click the document and select Get Info then copy the preview image you want to use in Preview (or your preferred image editing app). (You'll have to have AirDrop turned on from the Control Centre of the iOS device first.). There are three ways to connect your Mac to your iPhone to share its signal: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and USB. Oh, and if you have just jumped on the Apple bandwagon, congratulations, because it really does come with some serious benefits. They have a beautiful interface and navigating your way around the place feels so seamless and easy. Use it to build your own little apps that perform a specific task, to make a workflow to modify batches of files, or to create new Services, which are functions you can access from a right-click. You can even type just a part of the target site's URL. Beyond the questions you may usually ask, like the weather or whos playing in the playoff game, Siri on macOS Mojave and Catalina can toggle system functions like Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, or even pull up individual files stored on the system, based on what you tell Siri about the file. And while we're talking about windows, if you want to move any that are in the background without bringing them to the fore, hold Command and then drag them around. If there's a process that's hogging resources and you're confident it's not needed, you can end it by selecting it, then clicking Quit Process. If you have tons of iMessage conversations going on at any given time like we do, it can be extremely easy to lose track of who said what, where and when, which is especially true if you regularly use multi-people chats and mix work and pleasure. One of the most under-appreciated apps on macOS, Preview is hugely powerful, and even for us at TechRadar, it can perform tasks that wed usually be stuck using a more expensive and elaborate app such as Photoshop for. While you could format the hard drive to take advantage of the exFAT file system, you would thereby miss out on faster write times. Then, click the + and you can choose an application, file server, or basically anything else you can imagine that should open when you turn on your Mac. You might find that occasionally when you close your MacBook's lid or pick Sleep from the Apple menu on your iMac or Mac mini that it resolutely refuses to go to sleep. The menu bar has been a fixture on the Mac since it launched in 1984, but since OS X El Capitan, you can hide the menu bar. There's also the option to highlight text in different colours, strikethrough some text, add notes and type some text into boxes. These days, however, you can just select a group of files then select Rename either from the right-click contextual menu or from the drop-down button marked with a cog icon in Finder windows. And there you go! You can choose which app you want to apply it to from the drop-down list, but you must know the exact name of the menu command to type into the next box, including the correct case and any special characters such as ellipses. Or, you can use iMessage like and old IRC chatroom, creating one called Banter which you can your close friends can regularly pop in for some general chat. For example, you might have defined a relationship with your spouse so that on your iPhone you can say "send a message to my wife" without having to specify who you mean, and you might want to keep that information private for security reasons. This lets you connect the two devices wirelessly. If you need more help with Family Sharing generally, check here (opens in new tab), or if you just want to get started sharing purchases, go to here (opens in new tab). Siri can even launch apps for you. You could use Automator to rename a large number of files, to convert images to a different file type, to turn text files in a folder to audio files, and much more.

If you ever find yourself in an unfamiliar place, or even if youve just forgotten your own Wi-Fi password, you can use Keychain Access on your Mac to find it. Just press Command+Space and get to asking. There are probably more than you see at first, too; click the cog to reveal more. And, while youre in that screen, make sure they have Screen Sharing enabled in the Sharing pane of System Preferences. Matt Bolton Whats more, you can also connect wirelessly to a scanner to import scanned documents or photos to the directory of your preference. Activity Monitor in OS X and macOS shows you how your Mac's resources are being used. If you just want a portion of the screen, the shortcut is Shift + Command + 4 with the same output directory. As you probably know, you can add multiple users to your Mac, so that every person in your home or office, say, can have their own space to work and to set things up how they like them. To make that happen, all you have to do is type 'amazon iMac' into Safari's search bar and then you'll see one of the options is 'Search for imac'; click on this, and you'll go straight to the results. After that, click the existing document thumbnail in the Get Info window and press Command + V to paste the icon from your editor to the file info window. Thank you for signing up to TechRadar. Future US, Inc. Full 7th Floor, 130 West 42nd Street, tips savvy tech seo simple super tricks non What in fact happens is that the attachment really gets uploaded to iCloud, and then a link is sent to your recipient where they have 30 days from which to download it. As a Mac user, you ought to be accustomed to everything being beautiful. No matter the case, taking a screenshot on a Mac requires nothing more than memorizing a few different keystroke combos. Up to six people in the same family can share purchases through the macOS Family Sharing feature.

You simply left-click and hold on that green maximum button, which brings out a dropdown menu in which you can choose to Enter Full Screen, Tile Window to Left of Screen, or Tile Window to Right of Screen. Launch Activity Monitor from the Utilities folder to see current processes, and the resources they take up. With Mail since Yosemite, though (and in fact with the webmail version of Mail at, you can email files up to 5GB in size. Type in something like $1,299 and youll immediately be told what that is in pounds Sterling (or whatever your native currency thats set in the Language & Region pane of System Preferences), and then the window will show more results, showing Euros Yen and so on. Click the + button to add a new shortcut. Lastly, make sure that youve got both Bluetooth and WiFi turned on. You can then select this Pool from the print dialogue in apps instead of your individual printers, and if one printer is in use, your Mac will automatically send the document to one that's free instead no waiting! He's always happy to explain the virtues of Dolby Vision over a drink, but he might need to use props, like he's explaining the offside rule. Also, you must be signed in to iCloud on both devices using the same Apple ID. Drag a PDF into the email youre sending, hover over it then at the top right youll see a little button appear. In addition, if youve got a secondary screen, this menu will also give you the option to move the active window to that screen. Since then, Apple has changed things up and now groups them by date instead. To start mirroring your screen, select it, then click on the name of your Apple TV. Preview is an incredibly powerful tool, and itll only get more powerful in macOS Mojave. One of the things we love most about the best MacBooks and Macs (opens in new tab) is just how intuitive they are. The columns show you things such as the CPU usage of a process or the RAM it's taking up. You can also type the specific currency youre looking for, for instance $1,299 to AUD if the currency conversion youre looking for doesnt appear.

Youd be surprised, but the area this comes in handy the most is with Wi-Fi connections. There's a really cool, badly understood feature in Safari since Yosemite: the ability quickly to search within specific sites right from Safari's search bar. Click the Sidecar icon, and select Use As Separate Display if you want to utilize it as an extended display or Mirror Built-in Retina Display to use it as a mirrored display. You can either use the PrtSc key to capture the entirety of your display or use the Snipping Tool to snatch but a portion. Before Yosemite, SMSs would only appear on your iPhone where you'd have to peck out a reply, but now you can have them come into your Mac or other iOS devices when they arrive so you can reply to them from there too. Luckily, in the Disk Utility app featured in macOS, theres the option to partition hard drives. That being said, for new users, the nifty Mac is often hiding a number of tricks and timesavers that can make the whole user experience even better. Sign up to get breaking news, reviews, opinion, analysis and more, plus the hottest tech deals! Lastly, choose a unique key combination to invoke the command, then click Add. For example, you can crop your image. In the old days, before El Capitan, OS X defaulted to grouping items in Notification Center by app. last updated 17 May 22. The long-standing feature isnt new to macOS, but it has been overlooked by an overwhelming number of Mac newcomers. When you then paste this into some text fields, such as in an email, it looks out of place, and can make things hard to read. In addition, with macOS Mojave (opens in new tab) and Catalina, every time you take a screenshot, a preview of that screenshot appears on the bottom right of your screen. To use Sidecar, just follow these steps: First, click the Airplay icon in the menu bar on your computer then select the iPad youd like to use. Go to System Preferences > Sharing, then check the box labelled "Home Sharing.". For Windows users, taking screenshots can be a chore. If you or they dont know it, just have them look in the iCloud pane of System Preferences. If you're just curious about how system resources are being used, click the tabs (CPU, System Memory and so on) to see graphs of your usage over time.

Split Screen obscures the launcher and OS X's Menu Bar, so you get a bit more screen real-estate and fewer distractions. With Macs more popular than ever, more and more people are making the switch from Windows to the Apple OS, but if you've been a Microsoft devotee for a long time, it's likely that your new Mac can do tons of things you're not even aware of. And, as a bonus, this version of Siri is much more useful. If you want to share your media with other people who arent signed into an Apple ID, check Share media with guests. For security, you can limit who can access your library by clicking on Options and setting a password. Make sure the Edit Toolbar is visible (from the View menu) and you'll see you've got options for drawing shapes, arrows, speech and thought bubbles and more. To begin, go to the Personal Hotspot option in the iPhone's Settings menu, and turn it on. Email isn't really meant for file transfer, but let's be honest we all do it. You could, for example, disallow a nervous computer user from modifying the Dock or changing their password. The process is straightforward: open up Keychain Access by searching for it in Spotlight, search the name of the connection and double-click the iCloud Keychain corresponding to the SSID youre looking for. Microsoft Word actually has a "Paste Special" (or "Paste and Match Style") menu option to do the same thing. To only capture an individual window, you can press Shift + Command + 4, then hit space and click the window youre trying to capture. Its an extremely nifty feature for productivity. Those special, blessed apps still get their own folders, but you can create your own or just put things into the iCloud Drive loose via the Desktop and Documents folders. Whats more, you can either add your signature by holding a signed piece of paper up to the webcam on your Mac and it does a fantastic job of cutting it out of the background or by drawing on your trackpad. In System Preferences > Print & Fax (or Printers & Scanners on recent versions of OS X), you can select multiple printers and create a Printer Pool. Now, in macOS High Sierra, you can chuck any file you like onto either the Desktop or Documents folder, in addition to the iCloud Drive icon in the Finder sidebar, and those files and folders will be synced automatically. It might be the 21st century, but we're still using squiggles on a piece of paper to agree to all manner of things. All those files will sync to other Macs signed in with your Apple ID (so long as you've enabled iCloud Drive on them) and will also be available through In doing so, you can theoretically divide the hard drive in half, with one volume being dedicated to macOS and the other to Windows. Keep in mind though, that its limited in the amount of outputs it can display, so this option is limiting for more complex setups. You can click on this preview to bring up a markup window, add notes to the image and save them. If you have macOS Catalina installed, its a bit different. For future reference, however, its healthy to talk to people. It's easy to set up, too. Start creating the steps of your workflow by dragging Actions from the left-hand side of the screen to the empty space on the right-hand side. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Just hold Option and click the volume adjuster in the menu bar (or press on one of the volume buttons on your keyboard). When you tick this box off, the menu bar will reappear as you glide your mouse arrow towards the top of the screen, allowing you to get at all your menus. In it, you can choose to import all of your cameras photos at once, directly to the folder of your choosing, or better yet, you can pick and choose which photos to store on your Mac while deciding whether to keep or delete the originals one by one. It can be annoying having to wait for someone else to print out large documents when you're in a hurry, so use this tip to minimize the wait if you have access to more than one printer. Not all apps or operating systems support them, but these are mostly part of the cross-platform Unicode standard. Put it all together and you could click the green button to make a window fill the screen then resize one edge while holding and so that you make it smaller but keep it centered. Of course, some keyboards arent compatible with the shortcut and opening a separate app to take a screenshot is a bit of a hassle. How it works is this: let's say you go to and search for 'MacBook'. Be careful when doing this, though, as having a lot of programs running when you start up your Mac can really slow it down. Hold down and as you tap those keys, though, and the increments become much smaller. To use a wired connection, simply connect the two with a compatible cable. From there, click Show password and enter the Keychain password that you set earlier. What actually happens is that you're redirected to a new URL that looks something like this: So, if you need to speed things up and temporarily dont need them running, hold Shift while OS X or macOS is logging you in to suppress them. You can be quite flexible when it comes to windows in OS X or macOS not only can you drag from any side to resize them these days, but you can also hold Option to resize them from two sides at once (the one you're dragging and the opposite one), or hold Shift to resize it while keeping it locked to the same proportions. Results come up underneath it, and hovering over a result will show you which menu it's in, or you can just click the result to select it. Contributions from Trust us: open an image in Preview and poke around the apps menus and interface to see just what its capable of. Just remember, to take advantage of this feature, you must have a Mac computer released in 2016 or later and an Apple pencil compatible iPad model. You can either hold down Command and Space for a couple seconds, or simply click the Siri button on your Dock or Menu Bar, and summon the same Siri youve grown accustomed to on your iPhone. Please do! It contains a search box, where you can type in the name of the option you're looking for. You can also link your camera to any macOS application that you want. If you are emailed a PDF to sign, though, you don't have to faff about printing it, signing it, then scanning it back in: you can actually sign it right in Mail. Ever since OS X 10.5 Apple has made it easy to back up using Time Machine. Now, it's easy. This will bring up a screen where you can select the printer to share, and specify who can use it, if necessary. Go to System Preferences > Keyboard > App Shortcuts. Automator is a tool built into OS X that enables you to build your own workflows of commands, making complex tasks much easier in the future. Apple understands, which is why the company rolled out its Sidecar feature in its latest macOS, macOS Catalina. If you want all of your system audio to come from the speakers instead of just music, though, hold Option and press a volume control key to open the Sound preferences, where you can choose an output (or use the Menu bar tip we already mentioned). Once you've built up your workflow, you can click Run in the top-right corner to test it (though you won't be able to fully test everything this way).

If you find your Mac is running slow, or the fans are kicking in when you don't appear to be doing anything too intensive, you can see if you can identify what's causing it. Beyond letting you, well, preview PDFs and images, Preview allows for a ton of annotations for PDF that are compatible with Adobes PDF app, Acrobat, which is used by Windows users and companies making it easy to share annotated documents with colleagues, regardless of the platform they use. You can do specific unit conversions if the need arises say, 13 stone in pounds but, you can also just type in the amount and unit you want to convert, and your Mac will suggest not just the likely conversion, but also a handful of alternatives. You will receive a verification email shortly. Choose whether you want to record sound (either from a built-in or external mic, or the audio the iOS device itself is producing) from the same menu, then click the record icon. Click this column header to sort by it and then you can easily find which apps are keeping your Mac awake, then quit them if necessary. There was a problem. Ideally you should be doing other things to back up as well, but at least do Time Machine; you can pick up a 2TB drive for less than sixty quid. Voil, your files are now way prettier and easily recognizable!

Try using that instead of your finger! Please refresh the page and try again. hubpages In OS X releases before Yosemite, renaming a group of files at once either meant third-party software or rolling your own rename script using something like Automator or AppleScript. That means, if youre planning on sharing an external hard drive between both Microsofts and Apples operating systems, you have a few options. To use this feature, you just connect your iOS device up to your Mac using its cable, then launch QuickTime Player. You'll find that our Mac tips shine a light on all sorts of useful tricks that you may have had no clue your Mac could do, such as combining multiple PDFs, signing documents, and doing some light photo editing without having to invest in expensive third-party software. Got an iPad stylus? Take the hard drive over to your PC and you can format one of those volumes for NTFS, making it the perfect little hybrid device. When you copy text from some applications, and especially from the web, you tend to also copy its formatting, such as the text size, font choice and so on. On iOS, apps that can use iCloud will usually default to opening files from their special folder, but should also allow you to browse through your entire iCloud Drive to open files stored elsewhere. Its even easier if you have upgraded to macOS Catalina. Whichever way you do it, you'll then need to pick a second open window or app to snap to the opposite side. In Contacts' preferences, click vCard then Enable private me card. When you use the volume up and down keys on your Mac's keyboard, the difference between one tap and the next can actually be pretty big especially if you're driving some meaty external speakers.