There are many ways to take notes with your mac whether it is in a school lecture or at a work meeting. You can use built-in apps like Notes, TextEdit or Pages. You can get third-party apps like OneNote, Noted, Bear or GoodNotes. There are many also ways to record audio while taking notes.
TextEdit seems like a simple text editing tool, but it actually has some pretty rich features. You can do things like set document properties, edit code, define and use styles, insert images, audio and video, and even export HTML documents.
With standard Mac apps like Pages, Numbers and Keynote, you can revert to a previously saved version of the file to retrieve text or items you may have deleted or changed. You can completely revert to the old version, or copy and paste some text from an old version. This also works with TextEdit and some third-party apps.
Text Clippings are little files you create using drag-and-drop. Once you have a text clipping, you can drag-and-drop or copy-and-paste it back into another document. You can organize your text clippings in the Finder. They are particularly useful because they retain text styling.
You can type fractions in text and word processing documents in a number of ways. The simplest is to use a slash character between numbers. This also works in cases where you want your Mac to perform calculations, like in Spotlight. But you can also format the fractions nicely using baseline shifts, special fraction characters, and the math equation editors in Pages and Word.
If you need to raise characters above or lower them below the baseline, you can do it one of four ways. This is typically used in mathematical equations and chemical formulas. You can use the baseline adjustments in many apps, special superscript and subscript characters, commonly-recognized symbols, and the equation editor in Pages.
There is a quick and easy way to see your document or selected word count in Pages. In TextEdit, there is a simple trick you can use to reveal the document word count. You can also write a simple two-line AppleScript service in Automator to count the words in selected text in almost any application on your Mac.
A hidden feature of TextEdit will allow you to search for patterns like email addresses, phone numbers and URLs. You can also construct complex search patterns. You can use these patterns to do complex text replacements such as switching around the order of items in your text.
When editing text in TextEdit, Pages and other apps, you'll often see options for Kern, Ligatures and Baseline. These adjust the character spacing, combine some letters into a single character, and adjust the vertical positions of the letters. See examples and learn how to use these text features.
New Mac users may not know about TextEdit, a simple but deep text editing and word processing tool that comes with your Mac. You can use TextEdit to create documents in cases when a full word processor like Pages or Microsoft Word isn't necessary. TextEdit has two modes: plain text and rich text. You can use the first for writing, notes and coding. You can use the second for word processing. TextEdit also allows you to open Microsoft Word documents which is useful if you are sent one but haven't bought Word.
A new feature in Pages is the ability to export into Rich Text Format. This kind of file can be opened and edited by almost any text editor or word processor. You can use RTF to move a document from Pages to TextEdit, or to send to someone when you are not sure what kind of word processor they are using.
TextEdit and other Mac text editing apps have useful functions for converting text from all caps to lowercase, allowing you to process uppercase text quicker. You can also convert the other way, or capitalize each word.
Find and replace is useful tool for writers, editors and anyone who works with large word processing documents. You can use a variety of special find features in TextEdit to refine your searches. If you know the right techniques, you can swap words and search for patterns. In Pages searching isn't as powerful, but Microsoft Word has even more advanced features.
Most people use a click and drag action to select text. But you can also use a variety of other techniques that work better in many situations. You can click once to define the start position and then again to define the end of a selection. You can select by word or line. You can also select everything with a simple keyboard shortcut. There are even more obscure ways to select text.
The Font Panel can be accessed and used in apps like Pages, TextEdit and Mail to change the font and style of currently selected text. You can also save font settings a 'Favorites' in the Font Panel and then easily access those particular styles later. These Favorites will remain in the Font Panel across all of the apps that use it, so you can set up favorites that you use often and access then easily in different apps. You can also customize the font sizes shown in the Font Panel.
Text Replacement is a built-in function on your Mac that allows you to automatically replace one sequence of characters with another. You can use them to fix common typos, make it easier to type long phases, or even allows you to insert longer passages you commonly use when writing. They can also help when trying to type special characters or emoji. Text Replacement works in most apps though some have special settings.
You can copy and paste complex objects between apps, and the apps will do the best they can with the objects. Between very compatible apps like Pages and Keynote, you get an exact copy of the object, with properties still editable. Pasting into apps like TextEdit or an image editor, you'll often get a simpler by usable image instead of the original object.
When you type a link in a word processor, it often converts that link to clickable text. But if you are writing a document for print, or just don't want the link to be clickable, then you need to change it to normal text. You can do this on a case-by-case basis by simply using Undo. Or, you can change preferences to stop these links from appearing in the first place. Learn how to do this in TextEdit, Pages and Microsoft Word.
Normal copy and paste of text will include the text font, style and other attributes. But if your intention is to just copy and paste the raw text, then you will want to learn how to use Paste and Match Style. You can use this in most apps, including Pages, TextEdit and Microsoft Word.
When you type a quote or apostrophe symbol on your Mac, it will usually automatically convert to the curly version. However, you can control when this happens on a per-app basis. You can also make exceptions to the process while typing. See examples in TextEdit, Pages and Mail.