If you want to maximize the time your hands are on your keyboard and minimize the time you use your mouse or trackpad, here are 10 techniques you need to master.
Scrolling on a Mac is a basic skill, but works differently than on Windows so it can trip up new users. There are also many shortcuts and settings. Learn some new tricks even if you are an experienced Mac user.
Your Mac automatically launches apps when you startup and when you log into your user account. Here's where to look to see what your Mac launches automatically. You can add your own items in one of these place, and use all of them to see what things are running in the background.
You can type special characters on your Mac using one of four different techniques. For accent marks and character variations you can hold down keys on the keyboard or use Option and Shift to access some keys. You can also bring up the Emoji & Symbols chooser for thousands of special characters. Watch for more options and tips.
You can put your Mac to sleep many different ways including keyboard shortcuts, special gestures and interactions, an automatic timeout, and even Terminal or Automator scripts.
If you don't want to use one of the macOS default alert sounds, you can use your own sound file instead. You can also set this for your Mail app incoming mail sound.
You can change how the Command, Control, Shift, Option and FN keys work on your Mac. If you need, you can remap one to the other. You can also assign special functions to left or right versions of the keys if you only need one. The third-party app Karabiner allows you to remap any key on your keyboard to any other key and some special functions.
Here are some System Preference settings you may not know about or be using. Learn how to change the menu bar clock, customize your language by app, show a message on the lock screen, access hidden screen resolutions and more.
The Status Menus are the icons you see in the top right corner of your Mac's screen. They give you control over various settings and special functions. You can arrange, add or remove them as you like.
When you get a new Mac, you'll be walked through some steps in Setup Assisant. After that, there will be a few thing you want to check and set up before you start using your Mac.
Here are some settings you may want to check out if you are concerned about security on your Mac. Not all of these are necessary, but you may want to consider them.
You can set your Desktop Picture to a variety of dymanic or static images that Apple provides. You can also use a soild color or choose from one of your own photos or an image file.
Each person using a Mac should have their own user account. This allows everyone to have things set up the way they want, access their own iCloud Account and prevents others from accidentally deleting or changing files. Enable Fast User Switching to make it easy for more than one person to use the same Mac.
Use Do Not Disturb to make sure notifications don't appear on yoru screen during meetings, online presentations or when you just want to get more work done. There are a variety of ways to turn on and off Do Not Disturb, and also a variety of settings to customize it.
System Preferences is where you go to change settings on your Mac. Settings are arranged by category in panes, but you can search for settings too. On the Mac, you access app preferences in the individual app.
If you don't like the colors or brightness of the macOS Big Sur default desktop wallpaper, you can create your own. It is easy to take the default image and tint it to your own color or even add more to the design.
The MacBook Pro Touch Bar can be a useful productivity tool if you take the time to train yourself to use it. The first steps are to learn what it is capable of and how to customize it.
There are more options than ever for customizing how macOS looks with Big Sur. The Menu Bar and windows get their color from the desktop, but you can also set them to ignore that. You can change the way sidebar icons and other elements look as well.
Notifiation Center Widgets in macOS Big Sur are more versatile and powerful thanb before, looking more like a real replacement for the old Dashboard widgets from years ago. Learn how to add, remove and customize them.
Learn how to use the new Control Center in macOS. With one menu bar item, you can control Wi-Fi, sound, Do Not Disturb, displays and more. You can choose which items are also shown independently in the menu bar.