10 Tips for MAC Users

With the increase in MacBook Pro purchases,  we thought we would share several helpful tips that will help you optimize your experience when using your new computer.

1. Getting to Know Your Mac
To activate the System Information, click Apple > About This Mac > More Info… > System Report. The system report will show everything and anything you need to know about your Mac. It provides both hardware and software information related to the device.

2. Software Updates
The update process is very simple for Mac users. In order to manually install updates go to Apple > Software Update. If you would like to set up your Mac to automatically check for updates weekly all you need to do is go to Apple > System Preferences > Software Updates. Under the Scheduled Check tab you can set up a time period in which your device will automatically check for updates and downloaded the software.

3. Start Up Applications
A common issue seen with PC’s and Mac’s is having unwanted applications open upon start up when you boot up your Mac. In order to set up your Login Items, click Apple > System Preferences > Users and Groups > Login Items. On this window you can add, remove, or hide the applications that launch when you log in

4. Oops! Clicked Minimize! Where’s my Window???
Unlike a Windows machine where there are tabs for each application on the bottom of your screen, when you minimize an application on your Mac it goes to the Dock (the bar typically located at the bottom of the screen). You will be able to find  these minimized applications on the right side of of your Dock. Additionally, to bring any application to the front of your screen, select the icon in your Dock and the application will appear.

5. How to Close non Responsive Apps
Many people aren’t aware of Mac’s Control-Alt-Delete equivalent, Command-Option- Esc. The feature opens a Task Profiler that will show you all of the programs running on the systems. In order to close an application just select it and click Force Quit. If a program is completely locked up and non responsive it will appear in “red” on the list.

6. No More Defrag
Occasionally when a PC is running slowly the option of defragmenting the hard drive comes up. However, this is not the case with Macs. Based on Unix architecture with a Mac OS Extended Journaled file system, you don’t have to worry about defragmenting your hard drive to boost access/reading/writing times; it is done for you automatically. Whenever a Mac detects a heavily fragmented file causing it to run slowly, the process to automatically fix the file system will begin.

7. Ejecting Optical Media
For those of us using non-Apple keyboards that lack the CD eject key, there is an alternative method for ejecting your media. Press Command – E to eject your CD or drag the CD onto the desktop to the Trash (doing so will eject  the CD, not delete the software).

8. Setting Up Hot Corners and Shortcuts
Apple offers you the chance to set up your own Hot Corner and Shortcuts (either for your keyboard or mouse pad). These will allow you to access applications and perform tasks quickly. To access the the set up area go to Apple > System Preferences > Mission Control. From here you can set up shortcuts or click on Hot Corners and configure your preferences.

9. Upgrade that RAM!
RAM is active memory running on your computer. The more RAM you have the more applications you can have running simultaneously and you can decrease the “boot” times. The standard MacBook Pro comes with 4GB of RAM regardless of the screen size or hard drive memory. Now, if your like me and have a million things going on at once and quick speeds when moving between or working within applications, then you’ll want to upgrade your RAM. This will increase the overall performance of your computer and give it a little jump in its step. In order to find what sticks of RAM are compatible with your device I recommend using  Crucial.com’s Mac section. The website offers a scanner you can download that will then direct you to compatible sets of RAM sticks for your Mac (or any other computer you scan with it. )

10. Keyboard Shortcuts
If you’d like to save yourself some time, then it might be worth learning some of the keyboard shortcuts for your Mac. Here are several to get you going:

  • Command-? Mac Help
  • Command-A Select All
  • Command-C Copy
  • Command-D Duplicates current item
  • Command-E Ejects selected volume, media, or server
  • Command-F Find
  • Command-H Hide current application
  • Command-I Opens Get Info dialog for selected item
  • Command-J Toggles View Options Open & Closed
  • Command-K Connect to server
  • Command-L Creates Alias for selected item
  • Command-M Minimize a Finder-folder to Dock
  • Command-Option-M Save as above but minimizes all open Finder-folders
  • Command-N Opens up new Finder window
  • Command-O Opens selected item
  • Command-Q Quits active application
  • Command-V Paste
  • Command-W Closes Finder-folder window
  • Command-Option-W Same as above but closes all Finder-folders
  • Command-X Cut
  • Command-Z Undo
  • Command-Del Moves selected item to Trash
  • Command-Shift-A Opens the applications folder
  • Command-Shift-N Creates a new folder in the selected workspace
  • Command-Shift-Del Empty Trash
  • Command-Tab Rotate through open applications and switch to highlighted app
  • Command-~ Same as above but only flips through open windows in the selected application

Author: Eric Killham

Be happy – Anonymous

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About Ariana Lewis

The IT Help Desk provides the Loyola community with a single point of access for technology support. We are committed to providing both professional and timely service in logging customer service requests. Additionally, ResNet supports ITS' mission to fulfill the Loyola Promise by providing the highest level of customer service to Loyola students: assisting them with their personal electronic devices, allowing them to use information technology efficiently in their education.
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