10 smart Mac features you should start using

10 smart Mac features you should start using
10 smart Mac features you should start using 1

Mac’s operating system was introduced 21 years ago. Whether you’ve been using Mac for longer or if you’re new, Mac OS is a huge operating system. There are features that you either do not know or have forgotten and features that you can take advantage of to get things done.

All of these features are available in the latest version of Mac OS Monterey.


Rearrange the menu bar icons

The menu bar is a great way to quickly access frequently used settings and features. To get the most out of it, you can change the order of the icons. To move an icon, hold down the command button, click and then drag the icon where you want it.

Some icons cannot be moved, such as Date, Time, Siri, and Control Center. All icons to the left of these can be changed.

Mac OS
You can move the position of most of the icons in the menu bar.

Customize (and find) the mouse cursor

The white-black mouse cursor is a familiar sight. You can actually give it a personal touch in the menu Aid. In the section Screen there are Pointer settings, which change the appearance. You can make it bigger, change the outline and color.
And here’s a bonus tip: On the Pointer tab, you’ll find a check box for Shake the mouse pointer to find it. Turn it on and you will be able to see the cursor magnify as you move it back and forth quickly.

Arrange your windows

One of the main reasons why users prefer to work on a Mac instead of an Ipad or Iphone is that Mac OS is made for multitasking and working with multiple apps simultaneously. For example, I type this in Apple Pages while skipping to Pixelmator Pro to edit screenshots.

I have a single screen on my Mac and I use the feature Place the window edge to edge… so I can see both apps. Place the edge-to-edge window… is available in all Mac apps. To activate it in the app you use, go to Window in the menu bar and select Place the window edge to edge to the left (or right) on the screen.

Mac OS
Place the windows menu in Mac OS.

The app you are in will be moved to the side, while the other page will show the other available app windows. Click on one of these windows and it will fill that side of the screen (if an running app does not have an open window it will not appear. The app must have a file or window open.) To exit the view, press esc- the tangent.

Change subtitles

My hearing is not what it used to be. I also watch more international series than ever before. I thus use subtitles and can then enjoy the program without worrying about not understanding what someone is saying. But the standard text of the Apple TV app is a little too intrusive for my taste.

You do not change the subtitles in the TV app settings but in System Settings> Utilities. In the left window, scroll to the section Hearing and click Subtitles. Apple has four subtitle styles to choose from. Or you can click on “+And create your own style.

Mac OS
You can customize captions displayed in the TV app and other Apple apps.

Note that the text style set here only affects Apple apps. For example, if you are watching a Youtube video, you will have to take advantage of what Youtube has to offer.

Create and customize memojis

Memojis are mostly seen as an Iphone / Ipad gadget. Although they are more functional (and fun) on these devices, you can still create them in Mac OS. How to use.

Open System settings. Your account should be at the top of the System Preferences window. If you move the cursor over your profile picture, you will see the text “change” appear. Click on it.

In the window that appears, there is a list of different profile picture options on the left. Select Memoji.

Your available memoji is displayed on the right. If you already have a Memoji and you want to change it, select it and click the button Edit. To create a new Memoji, click “+“button.

You will see a set of properties that can be changed, from skin to clothing. Go through each one and make your choices.

Click Save when done.

Mac OS
Create a Memoji on Mac.

After creating a Memoji, you can also set an Expression. To set Memoji as your Mac’s user profile picture, select it so that it appears in the lower left corner. Click Save.

If you use Icloud and your devices are on the same account, your Memoji will be transferred to your other devices.

Copy text in a photo

Mac OS Monterey introduced Live Text, the ability to select and copy any text in an image. For example, if you take a picture of a sign, you can open the picture in the app Preview, move the pointer over the words in the sign and the pointer changes to the text selection tool. You can then select the text, copy it and paste it into a text document. You can learn more about how Live Text works in our review article.

Live Text lets you select text and copy it from an image.

Turn on ICloud’s relay service

Apple created Icloud Private Relay Service to preserve your privacy while browsing the web. When you use Safari, data that is sent is encrypted, then it travels through two eavesdropping relays – nodes on the Internet through which data travels – to help hide your location, IP address and browsing activity, this to prevent a profile from being created about you. One of the nodes is at a third-party service to prevent Apple from knowing the user’s information. It is not a real VPN service, but it is a good tool for privacy. You can read more about vpn services here.

To activate ICloud’s relay service, go to System settings and click on your Apple ID. In the list on the right you are looking for Private relay service (beta)tick the box and click the button Option. There is also an IP address setting that you can change.

Mac OS
Icloud’s private relay service.

ICloud’s relay service is still a beta feature, which means it works, but still has some obvious bugs. Apple can also make big changes in how it works. The service requires an Icloud + subscription, which costs as little as nine kronor a month for 50 gigabytes.

Add extensions to the context menu

The Mac OS context menu, which is accessible by right-clicking, control-clicking, or tapping two fingers on the trackpad, is excellent, as it allows you to perform certain tasks instantly, thus saving a few steps. However, it’s not just system functions – when you install an app, it often adds functions to the menu.

You can see app-related actions at the bottom of the menu that appears, or when you right-click on a file and select Quick Actions, a list of app-related tasks is displayed. When an app adds this type of functionality, it creates an extension in Mac OS. But sometimes there are items in the menu that you never use, or you may not know that there are features available that you can use.

To manage the context menu, go to System settings and open Addition. To specifically handle the Quick Actions section, go to the section Finder. In the left pane, you can add or delete data. For example, in the Share section, you can add apps to the Share menu.

Adjust Touch Bar

If you use a MacBook Pro with a Touch Bar, you can customize the Touch Bar features.
Go to System Settings> Add-ons.
Select Touch Bar in the left column.
click the button Adapt.
A new screen will appear with a selection of buttons at the bottom of the screen. This is the set of Touch Bar buttons that appear when folded.
To add a button, click and drag the button to the bottom of the screen. Touch Bar will display the new button.
To delete a button, move the cursor to the bottom of the screen until a button is highlighted, then move left or right to select the button you want to delete. Click and then drag upwards on the screen and the button should appear with a “Remove from Touch Bar” tag.

To customize the Touch Bar as it expands, follow the steps above.

Delete all content and settings

We’ll all run into problems with our Mac that may need a factory reset. If you’re using an Apple Silicon Mac or an Intel Mac with a T2 security chip and running Mac OS Monterey, there’s a quick way to erase your Mac’s settings, data, and apps while retaining the installed operating system. This feature does not completely erase your Mac, only your personal files.

Open System Preferences (Apple menu> System Preferences) and then with the System Settings window active, go to the menu bar (at the top of the screen) and click on the System Settings menu. Under About system settings, there is a new item called Delete all content and all settings. It works just like it does on Iphone and Ipad: select it when you want to delete all your personal files, without deleting the operating system.

Mac OS
Delete your user data immediately.

You must enter an administrator password and you must go through the steps in the Delete Assistant. Your Mac restarts and takes you through the installation process. If you do not want to set up your Mac, press and hold the power button to turn it off.

Translation and editing by Petter Ahrnstedt

10 smart Mac features you should start using 1

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