Mac Tips you may not know

2009-08-31 13:08:48

Here are some mac tips I know and consider "basic" mac knowledge, but no-one else seems to know.

  • exposé key is on modern mac keyboards, looks like a load of squares on the F3 key.
  • ⌘ + Exposé key => Show Desktop
  • ⌃ + Exposé key => Show Application Windows
  • ⌥ + Brightness keys => Open Displays prefpane in System Preferences.
  • ⌥ + Exposé key => Open Exposé & Spaces prefpane in System Preferences.
  • ⌥ + Dashboard key => Open Exposé & Spaces prefpane in System Preferences.
  • ⌥ + Keyboard Backlight keys => Open Keyboard prefpane in System Preferences. (Only on laptops with keyboard backlighting.)
  • ⌥ + Volume keys => Open Sound prefpane in System Preferences.
  • ⇧ + Volume keys => Adjust the volume with the feedback noise setting toggled. If you normally have feedback "blips", it'll be silent. Or vice versa.
  • ⌥ + ⇧ + Volume keys => Adjust the volume in 1/4 of a usual step.
  • ⌃ + Eject key => Shows the Shut Down dialog.
  • In the shut down dialog, hit R to restart, S to sleep, to cancel.
  • (Pretty much) Any dialog that pops up, hitting will push the "cancel" button.
  • In "Show all windows" or "Show application windows" exposé modes, hit the tab key to cycle through applications.
  • Hit the space bar in exposé to activate "Quick Look" + windows pop up to 100% size as you mouse over them.
  • Hold down ⌃ + ⇧ when mousing over the dock to toggle magnification whilst the keys are down.

(Alternative title Peter Cooper suggested, "A miscellany of input device co-ordinations to modulate the response of Apple's task preview and switching subsystem")

6 Comments on Mac Tips you may not know

  1. Another that not many know but should;

    ⌃ + F2 - gives you access to the finder menu which you can then navigate via the keyboard.

  2. Great Tips, especially like the 1/4 volume step control. One of the only 'Mac Tips' blog posts I've come across where I didn't already know at least half of the tips posted! Thanks for Sharing :).

  3. Not been a mac user that long, so quite few things here I didn't know. Loving the exposé related tips ... that being my favourite OS X feature (and one which Windows simply can't match yet).

    A simple tip I'd like to add is that if you're alt-tab'ing through applications, and you select a "hidden" application it doesn't restore the window, but if you hold ⌥ as you release the tab then the window will restore.

  4. @Rob

    Ah! That is pretty neat. Its not so much that the application is hidden (⌘ - H), but that the application's main window is closed. Just tried it by closing's window and switching to another app, then doing as you say and poof! the window appears. Neat trick.

  5. Nice collection! Loved the Quick Look in exposé, never thought about trying that.

    Another neat trick I use all the time is "⌃ + ⇧ + Eject key" to immediately turn off all attached screens. Simply moving the mouse will turn them on again.

    In Snow Leopard this seems to lock the computer (according to your settings in the Security System Preference Pane). I think it waited until the screensaver actually should have started and locked the screen in Leopard. I guess the new behavior is both a feature and a potential annoyance.

    It's a good way to get rid of the extra light source when your about to watch a movie on the TV (that's placed next to my screen) or just want to concentrate on something other than what's going on on the screen, like a quick in-office meeting.

  6. @Rob, oh that's a very nice find - especially for minimised windows always wanted a way to get those back from the keyboard.

    @Anders, I've previously used a hit area of "Sleep Display" to put the screen sleep, this is a much faster combo thanks!

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