10 Essential Mac OS X Tips And Tricks For Beginners

It’s not easy to move from a familiar platform to a new one. There would be many things you need to learn before getting started, or mastering it.

If we take the case of operating systems, then switching from Windows to Mac OS is a good example.

Nowadays, Apple’s Mac OS are more popular than ever before. Users are still making the move from Windows to Apple’s OS. That is the reason why most of basic Mac tips and tricks are always helpful for beginners. That is also the reason I write this guide, contains ten tips I think will help starters easier to get started with their new iMac or MacBook.

#1. Take A Screenshot of A Particular Part Of Your Mac Screen

Capturing a screenshot is a common task that every user should know. The simplest way to doing so is that uses a keystroke: Command + Shift + 3.

However, you might not know that you can also choose a particular part of your screen and then take a screenshot of it. By using the Command + Shift + 4 keystroke, you will be able to click and drag out the selection box over parts of the screen you wish to capture.

After selected, the screenshot will be taken and saved to the desktop, by default. There would be much more things you should know about taking screenshots on Mac, just read this Print Screen Mac guide.

#2. Rename Multiple Files All At Once

Renaming a file is simple. But changing the name of a hundred files is a bit complicated as you can’t just rename one by one. It takes lots of times.

The good news is that if you are using OS X Yosemite or higher, you can do mass rename files at a time. Just choose all files you want to rename and then right-click to select “Rename …” option in the menu.


In the next step, select “Format” as the type of rename process and type the name you want to use in the Custom Format section. Then click on the “Rename” button to proceed.


For example, if you choose “File” as the name, then your files will be named “File1”, “File2”, “File3”, and increasing.

#3. Install And Run Windows On Your Mac OS Computer

Switching to Mac OS but still want to use Windows? No problem. You can easily install and run Windows OS on your Mac via Boot Camp. This program will create a new partition from your hard drive and then allow you to install Windows OS there.

To open the Boot Camp application, go to Applications -> Utilities.


Once completed the installation process, your Mac computer will boot into Windows OS, for the first time.

From now on, whenever you power your Mac on, just press and hold the “Option” key to choose between Mac OS X and Windows OS to boot from. Depending on your configuration, one of both operating systems will boot up if you don’t choose.

Note: This isn’t the dual boot mode, so you can’t switch between them on the fly. Just make sure you have selected the right one or you will need to restart.

#4. Add Signature To Documents

Do you feel tired of adding your signature to a digital document? You will need to print all digital document and sign on them. Then scan them via a scanner to convert back to digital files. Too many steps and complicated?

But if you are using a Mac machine, there is a much better method to add your signature to digital documents directly.

To doing so, you have to open the document that you need to sign with the Preview app. Look at the signature icon in the top tool menu and click on it.


After that, you will be able to create your signature in two methods – use the trackpad to draw your name or use the camera.

In the next time, you can use the existing signature or add a new one – your choice.

#5. Use Special And Foreign Characters

Have you ever want to insert a special character in your document, or a text field? And you don’t know how to do that!

It’s simple. Just open an app named Character Viewer and it will show you all special character, as well as foreign characters that you can use on your Mac. When you find a character that you want to use, just double-click on it.

That’s it!

How to open the Character Viewer application? It’s also simple, too. Just press Command + Space to open Spotlight and then search for “Character Viewer”. It’s easy, right?

#6. The Similar Function To Ctrl + Alt + Delete

You have just recently moved from Windows to Mac OS and want to force a specific application to close. But there is nothing happen after pressing Ctrl + Alt + Delete?

Well, Mac OS has its own function to force any apps to close, similar to Ctrl + Alt + Delete. It’s called Force Quit Applications and in order to launch it quickly, press Command + Option + Esc keystroke.

This keyboard shortcut will bring up a dialog that will display all running apps and allow you to choose any of them to terminate.

#7. Switch Between Multiple Opening Apps

If you want to switch between opening applications faster, just hold down the Command key and then press Tab multiple times until you see the application you want.

However, this keystroke does not work in case of switching between tabs, such as browser tabs. In this case, you can use Command + “~” to switch between those tabs instantly.

To find out more about Mac keyboard shortcuts, visit here.

#8. Search For A Word In Dictionary Instantly

In order to find a word in dictionary instantly, you can select that “word” and then press Command + Control (Ctrl) + D keys. The dictionary will show up immediately.


If you are having a trackpad (external trackpad or built-in in a MacBook), just select the word and then click on it with three fingers.

#9. Power Up Your Mac Silently

Every time you power up your Mac, there is always a sound to tell that it’s booting up. How about you are in the class, library or somewhere that requires the silence?

Well, you can easily turn on your Mac silently by pressing and holding down the Mute key before pressing the Power button.

#10. Convert Any Units Within Spotlight

There is an impressive function on your Mac I sure you don’t know it yet. You can use Spotlight to convert from one unit to another one. For example, most of us know 1 mile ~ 1.6 kilometers, but how about 5 miles?

For an instant result, just open Spotlight and type: “5 miles in km”. The result will appear there for you.


This function works with many other units, including currency or temperature.

I hope these essential tips and tricks will help you to get started with your Mac computer easier. If you want to learn more about Mac tips, visit UsefulMacGuide.com blog to find out.