Whether you’ve been using a Mac system for years or if you’ve recently made the switch from Windows, here are some basic Mac tips to make your life easier.
Getting to Know Your Desktop
Your desktop is where all the action happens. You will see a row of icons at the bottom sitting on a transparent grey ribbon. This is called the Dock and it is where you can find some of your applications. You can hide this by clicking on the Apple symbol in the upper left-hand corner, then selecting “System Preferences” and “Dock” then check the box that says “Automatically hide and show the Dock.”
Right Clicking on Mac?
The Apple mouse or trackpad does not have two obvious buttons for left and right-clicking. Every time you tap on the mouse or trackpad the default is a left-click.
One way to right-click on a Mac is to hold down the Control (CTRL) key first before you tap on the mouse or trackpad. Another way to right-click is to simply use two fingers on the trackpad and tap them at the same time to initiate a right click.
Alternatively, you can change the settings on your Mac to make the bottom right-corner of your trackpad to act as the right-click. There are many ways to customize your computer!
The easiest way to open an application is to look for the icon of the application on the Dock and click on it.
However, not all of your applications are located on the Dock. On the top right-corner of the desktop screen, you’ll find a magnifying glass. If you click on it, it will bring up a search bar. Just type the name of the application you want into this search bar (such as ‘Safari’) to open the application.
On the Dock, by default you should also have an application called the Launchpad and it is indicated by a rocket icon. Clicking on this icon will bring up a list of all the applications you have on your Mac.
Finder For Your Files
When you write any text documents, PDFs, or any other document or media, the file will be stored in your Finder. This is equivalent to “File Explorer” if you’re familiar with Windows computers.
On the Dock, you can easily locate your Finder by its iconic smiley face. You can also open multiple Finder windows at the same time. In each Finder window, you will see the folder hierarchies in the main, center panel in ‘List view’. You can also access your ‘Downloads’ folder here as well as see a list of all applications installed on your computer.
Using Your Trackpad Effectively
If you’re on a MacBook, your main point of contact will be the trackpad. Depending on how many fingers you use on the trackpad and what gestures you make, you can get your computer to do different things. For example, if you swipe up with three fingers it will show all your open windows at once. You could also press “Mission Control” (F3) on a keyboard, the key may have 3 small squares.
Take some time to familiarize yourself with these gestures by viewing the short animations Apple created to illustrate them. These animations can be found by clicking on the Apple logo at the top, followed by “System Preferences” and then “Trackpad”, then hover your cursor over the gesture descriptions. You can also see pictures illustrating them here.
Do you have any cool tips you like to use on your Mac? Share them in the comments below.