7 Useful Tips and Tricks for Using Mac Tools

In the first quarter of the 2022 fiscal year, Apple’s revenue reached $123.9 billion. The Mac product lineup, in turn, accounted for 9% of that amount, representing about $11.15 billion.

If you’re one of those new owners of Apple’s sleek computers, you might still be at a loss on how to make the most out of it. It can be even more confusing if you’ve been a long-time Windows PC user.

Worry not, as we’re here to help you discover the best Mac tools you can use for everyday tasks. So, keep reading, as you can start utilizing most, if not all, of these built-in apps and services today.

  1. Do More Than View With Preview

Preview is the native image and PDF viewer built into Apple computers. It supports many image file types, including JPEG, PNG, and TIFF. Moreover, it allows users to modify PDF files.

For example, you can use Preview to convert image files into PDF and vice versa. It also lets you add, delete, or edit pages in an existing PDF file.

To convert a PDF file with Preview, open the file and click the File option on the menu bar. On the new window that pops up, select Export. Choose your preferred file type from the Format drop-down menu and click Save.

To convert a file to PDF, open the file you want to modify and click the File option. Next, select Export as PDF, type in the new name in the Save As text box, and choose the save location. Finally, click Save for the changes to apply.

  1. Stream With AirPlay

According to a recent survey, more than three-quarters of US households own a smart TV as of 2022.

If yours is part of that group, you might be able to use your smart TV as a second screen for your Mac laptop. Best of all, you don’t have to hook the two up with physical cables. Thanks to the Apple AirPlay app, you can do that wirelessly.

AirPlay is the wireless screen-sharing program built into Mac computers and even iPhones. You can use it to mirror your Apple device’s screen or stream video and have it play on your big-screen smart TV. However, not all brands support AirPlay, but the latest LG, Samsung, and Sony models do.

To activate AirPlay, you need to connect your smart TV and Apple device to the same Wi-Fi network. You can then enable the screen-sharing program through your Mac’s System Preferences.

  1. Find Other Apple Devices You Misplace

Do you often misplace your smartphone, keys, earphones, or watch? If so, then lucky you, as your Mac’s Find My app can help you track them down.

The Find My app is another tool built into your Mac notebook, and if you have one, your iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch, too. It allows for the remote locating of macOS, iOS, iPadOS, and watchOS. You can also use it to search for misplaced Air Pods.

The app is also compatible with non-Apple devices, such as the Chipolo item tracker. You can even use it to locate friends and family members who also use Apple devices.

Once you’ve set up the Find My app, you can launch it via Launchpad. Another option is to open Finder and select it from the Applications folder.

  1. Search for Answers Using Spotlight

Spotlight is the native search software available on macOS devices. It provides indexing services and lets you locate almost anything stored on your Mac. That includes files, apps, visited websites, email messages, photos, and even contacts.

However, Spotlight has plenty of other tricks up its sleeve; for example, you can use it as a basic calculator. You can add, subtract, multiple, and divide straight from the search bar. You can also use it for currency, measurement, and temperature conversions.

To launch Spotlight, press the Command (⌘) and Spacebar keys.

  1. Manage Passwords With iCloud Keychain

In a recent study, 65% of participants said they forget passwords unless they write them down. So, it’s also no wonder that half of Americans admitted to resetting at least five passwords a month.

Does that sound familiar? If so, it’s time to use your Mac’s built-in password manager, iCloud Keychain.

iCloud Keychain remembers everything you allow it to store. That includes account credentials and credit card information, to name a few. Best of all, it encrypts your passwords and notifies you about weak or compromised ones.

To activate your Mac’s Keychain, head to System Preferences first. Then, choose Apple ID and select iCloud. Finally, check the box beside the Keychain field.

  1. Organize Your Time With Calendar

While there’s no dedicated Mac alarm clock, you can still set up alerts using the Calendar app. For example, you can set up one-time alerts or alarms that repeat daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly. For step-by-step instructions on how to do this, follow the guide in this link.

  1. Spell Properly With the Accent Menu

Have you ever needed to spell words with diacritical marks on your Mac but didn’t know how to make them appear? In that case, you most likely had to search them online and then copy and paste them into your text editor.

The next time you need to do that, use your Mac’s accent menu that you can access using the keyboard. Just long-press the key of the letter that requires a diacritical mark.

For example, if you need to spell paté or resumé, press and hold down the E key until a small window (the accent menu) appears. Then, mouse over the correct character and select it using your touchpad.

Use These Nifty Mac Tools Today

And there you have it, your ultimate guide on the Mac tools that can help simplify everyday tasks. So, try these nifty built-in apps first before downloading third-party programs. They might be enough for your needs, but if not, feel free to find and install a comparable one from the App store.

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