5 more sweet Mac secrets you’ll want to use

A short collection of lesser known things

Shhh: Did you know these Mac features? c/o C.Alain and Flickr

I spend (so much) time with Apple’s products. Given that this is my job I guess that is OK, but I’m constantly surprised when I come across new features, so I thought this short collection of little-known items might be interesting.

Stop a bouncing app icon

Are you sometimes annoyed when an app icon in the Dock begins bouncing to demand your attention? What do you do when it does? Most people click on the bouncing icon to open the application and see what it needs, but you can also silence the request by hovering your cursor above the bouncing icon (don’t click). The icon will stop bouncing – it’s as if your Mac understands you’ve thought about taking a look but decided not to do so.

Print a little faster

You can create a really easy shortcut that lets you print almost any file using drag-&-drop. Open System Preferences>Printers & Scanners and simply drag the icon of an available printer to your Mac’s Desktop and/or Dock. Now you’ll be able to print almost anything just by dropping the file on the icon – the system will figure out which application to print from in the background so you don’t have to.

Use the force

When you open a file in most Mac applications (with a few annoying third-party exceptions) you’ll see the name of the document in the title bar. Just to the left of this you’ll see a small icon. Click and hold this icon for a few seconds and you can drag the file you are working on to other applications in your Dock, or use the App Switcher (Command-Tab) to use it in other currently active apps. This is a fast and easy way to place images, edit images in different applications and more — You can even use it to print in combination with the tip above.

Why you need text snippets

Do you have chunks of text you regularly put into documents? You can copy-&-paste this text between documents, but you’ll want to use text snippets for better results. Select the text you want to use and drag it to drop it on your Desktop (or drop the item on the Desktop icon in your Dock if you want). This action creates a text snippet that contains the words you need to use – and also contains all the formatting, hyperlinks and so on. When you want to insert this text, just place your cursor where in your document you want to text to appear and then drag-&-drop the text snippet into your document. “Boom,” as he used to say.

How to combine PDFs in Preview

It took me years to learn how to combine PDFs in Preview. Here’s how to do it:

  • Open a PDF in Preview and choose View>Thumbnails
  • Now drag the icon of those PDFs you want to add (from the Desktop or the small icon to the left of the file name in Preview) and drop it into the Thumbnails side bar of the PDF you want to add these items too.
  • Once you’ve combined the PDFs you can fine tune the results by editing page order and contents. More on this here.

Want more tips? Take a look at these.

Jonny Evans

Watching Apple since 1999. I don't say what they should do. I say what they might do. They sometimes do.

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