Best Mac Tips, Tricks and Timesavers - <b>Technical Lobby</b>

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Best Mac Tips, Tricks and Timesavers

Your Mac can do hundreds of clever things. Here are some of our favourite macOS shortcuts, hidden features, tips and tricks.


Welcome to our roundup of the best macOS tips, tricks and secret features. In this article we will tell you about some of the most useful features that have been introduced to the Mac operating system over the years.
We have a run down of some of the best new features in macOS High Sierra, which arrived on Macs on 25 September 2017, you can read our macOS High Sierra reviewand check what the latest version of MacOS is. We also compare macOS and Windows here.

  • Stop autoplay audio and video in Safari :

Stop autoplay audio and video in Safari

With Safari 11 (which you can get if you are running macOS Sierra or High Sierra) can disable autoplay video, so you will never again have to hear voices while you are browsing the web.
Next time you are on a site that is autoplaying a video click on Safari > Settings for This Website, or right-click the URL box and select Settings for This Website.
Once the Settings for This Website option is selected you will see a pop up window with the option Auto-Play, hover on the words besides that to see three choices:
  • Allow All Auto-Play
  • Stop Media with Sound
  • Never Auto-Play
Stop Media with Sounds appears to be the default option, and it will essentially stop any video from starting if the sound is set to be on. If the video is set to play silently it will still run in Safari in High Sierra, but at least they won’t suddenly blare out audio, scaring you because you had the sound on your Mac turned up.

  • Create a long exposure shots and GIFs in Photos :

Create a long exposure shots and GIFs in Photos

A new feature in Photos in High Sierra is the ability to turn those Live Photos into a Gif like repeating loop. You can also set one of three other effects: a traditional live photo, a back-and-forth bouncing effect, or a Long Exposure image that mimics a photo taken with the shutter left open for a long time.
  1. To turn a live photo into a looping ‘Gif’, open your Live Photo in Edit mode.
  2. You'll see a drop-down box with the options: Live, Loop, Bounce and Long Exposure. Choose Loop.
We have a complete guide to turning Live photos into Gifs here: How to make a GIF on iPhone
If you have a Live Photo of something like fireworks you can make a Long Exposure image from it.
  1. Select the Live Photo > Edit
  2. Then choose Long Exposure.

  • How to pin important Notes :

How to pin important Notes

We use Notes all the time and the ability to Pin the most important ones is very handy.
To Pin a note, just find the note you want and right click on it and choose Pin Note.
You can also Lock Note, which will mean that a password is needed to open it.

  • Use Siri to change system settings on your Mac :

Use Siri to change system settings on your Mac

If you don't feel too much of a plonker talking to your Mac, you can use Siri to quickly make changes to your settings. Save time by using Siri rather than going though the System Preferences menus searching for the setting you require.
Activate Siri by pressing cmd+spacebar and then:
Say "increase brightness" and Siri will brighten up your display for you.
Or "turn on bluetooth" to switch on the bluetooth chip.
Try asking "how much space is left" to find out how much storage you still have available.

  • Correct Siri's mistakes :
Correct Siri's mistakes
If Siri has misheard you, just click on the text where it has attempted to transcribe your words and correct them there before pressing return.
You can also use this method to search using Siri without actually saying anything! Well you might need to say one word to get started, but then you can select that word and type in your question - handy if you don't want the person sitting next to you at work to know you were searching for film times for the Lego Batman movie.

  • Look inside Folders in Spotlight :
Look inside Folders in Spotlight

Speaking of Spotlight, if you search for something using Spotlight, a folder may be shown in the list of results.
What's not obvious is that you can use the cursor keys to highlight this folder, then tap the Tab key to move the highlight over to the right of the window so that you can select an item within it.
Hitting Enter will open any highlighted entry. Tapping Shift+Tab will move the highlight back to the left-hand column.
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