12 Awesome MacBook Tricks You Didn’t Know You Could Do

It’s no secret that part of the MacBook’s extreme popularity is due to its sleek exterior and beautifully simple aesthetics. But did you know there’s more to your machine than just looks?

Macs are powerful operating machines, and with the right MacBook tricks, you can start to maximize your efficiency and use your computer’s most useful features. Here are 10 different tips and tricks you may not have known about your MacBook!

1. Spotlight’s Unit Converter and Calculator

If you’re a Mac user, you’re probably familiar with Spotlight: Apple’s impressive search function that allows you to sort through documents, apps, and other files to find exactly what you need on any of your Apple devices.

But what you might not know is that Spotlight is more than just a search function! For example, if you need to convert units (such as dollars to pounds or feet to meters), Spotlight is the first place you should look.

Simply hold down the Command key while pressing space to bring up the Spotlight search bar. Then, type in a value (such as $50), and Spotlight will automatically convert it to five other currencies in the blink of an eye.

You can also use Spotlight as a calculator. Type in your formula and Spotlight will spit out an answer for you!

2. Take a Screenshot (of Anything!)

Most MacBook users already know how to take a screenshot (hold down Command + Shift + 3.) But did you know that you can select exactly which part of the screen you want your screenshot to capture?

Next time you need to snag a photo of a reservation code or purchase receipt, try holding down Command + Shift + 4. Your cursor will turn into a little T, which you can use to select the area of your screenshot. Then, click and drag to highlight an area.

3. Take a Video Screenshot

Sometimes a photo just won’t cut it! If you want to take a brief screen recording, try holding down Command + Shift + 5. It will bring up a small toolbar that allows you to take a screen recording and save it on your desktop.

If you need to include sound in your recording, try learning how to record the screen on your Mac with sound.

4. Hide That Pesky Menu Bar

There’s nothing worse than trying to get some work done when you don’t have the screen real estate to spare. But with the right settings, you can free up about an inch of space at the bottom of your screen!

The trick is to hide your menu bar. That way, it only appears at the bottom of your screen when you hover over it with your cursor.

To change this setting, go to your System Preferences, then click General, and then check the box that says “Automatically hide and show the menu bar.”

5. Sign Documents Right in Preview

Trying to sign a document using a trackpad can seem downright impossible! Luckily, MacBooks have a fix for that. If you need to sign documents, you can do so right in Preview!

The best part is that you can upload a photo of your signature and use it as a stamp in Preview. That way, one uploaded signature can be used over and over again. No more messy trackpad signatures!

6. Split Screen

When it comes to multitasking, splitting your screen into two windows is one of the best choices you can make. If you’re a split-screen fan, one of our favorite MacBook hacks has you covered.

To enter split screen, click and hold the green circle in the top left corner of a window. This will bring up a menu that allows you to choose which side of the screen you want the window. Choose a side, and then your MacBook will show you which other windows can be moved to the remaining side of your screen.

7. Hot Corners

Hot corners are another great trick that MacBook users can do to use their computer to its fullest. Hot Corners can be activated in your System Preferences under Mission Control.

With Hot Corners, moving your cursor to a corner of your screen can trigger a number of reactions, such as locking your screen or pulling up your screen saver.

8. Word of the Day

Speaking of screen savers, MacBook users should also take a look at the various screen savers they have access to. Not only can you set your screen saver to show a montage of your photos, but you can also choose to see a Word of the Day to help grow your vocabulary!

9. Clean Up the Desktop

It’s easy to find yourself with a cluttered desk in real life, but did you know that a digital desktop is prone to the same issue? MacBook users can click the desktop with two fingers and select the ‘clean up’ option to organize the files and folders on the desktop and generally tidy things up.

10. Easy Reference Dictionary

See a word you’re not familiar with? Try highlighting it and using Force Touch to pull up a definition. To activate Force Touch, press down with extra force on your touchpad.

11. Do Not Disturb Shortcut

Need to activate Do Not Disturb in a hurry? No worries at all with a MacBook!

Hold down the option key and click on the notification icon in the top right corner of your toolbar. This will turn on Do Not Disturb instantly. Plus, it’s subtle and won’t pull up your whole notification center in the middle of a presentation!

12. Switch Between Desktops

If you’re looking for a way to switch between your desktops quicker on MacBook, look no further! You can use three fingers to swipe left or right on your trackpad. This will switch between your desktops and full-screened applications with ease.

More MacBook Tricks

If you liked these twelve MacBook tips, you’re in luck: these computers have so many cool hacks that this list is just a few of our favorites! If you’re looking for more MacBook tricks, check out some of our other blog posts.

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