For example, you can create a smart folder that contains all PDF files matching a certain name pattern within a given directory (or the whole disk) . You can get really advanced, there's a ton of different parameters you can use , and you can even create more complicated conditions by holding Option and clicking the plus sign (now changed to just three dots). And of course you can drag these folders into the sidebar's Favourites section.
I would LOVE them if they were reimplemented as a fuse style file system instead of a userland macOS trick.
Like, you're in a smart folder that contains files whose name includes "foo", and you try to create a file whose name does not include "foo", what happens? Do you get an existing filesystem error? Do you get a new "can't create new files in smart folders" error?
Interestingly enough I just discovered that if you drag a file into the Tags section of the Finder window's sidebar, it will remain where it is - but if you create a smart folder whose criteria is "tag:tagname" it won't let you drag anything into it, even though it shows the exact same set of files.
This would pretty much match the expectations of how "Smart Folders" currently work in the Finder, and also how equivalents like "Smart Playlists" work in iTunes/Music.
The point OP was making is that they have probably did their due diligence and subsequently decided that it ain't worth doing.
That being said, I agree that support should be native.
You can create a smart album that “is not” in “Any”. Now this smart album has all the photos that are not in any album.
Type whatever you want.
Your default web browser with your default search engine will now open and perform your query.
I can't stress this enough how much I use this workflow when writing code.
Another thing for the OPs issue with the screenshots, (there's a few steps via terminal so maybe try the above shortcut to search for an article on how to do it) you can have all your screenshots redirect to a folder.
For example all of my screenshots end up in $HOME/screenshots
Also, another cool and sometimes useful shortcut, holding option while clicking is a big thing in osx. Try click the wifi icon in the top right corner whilst holding the option key. It will give you a bunch more details :)
Command + D: Opens Dictionary using the word you typed in Spotlight
Command + L: Jumps to dictionary definition without leaving Spotlight
Set safari as your default, set the search engine you want in the safari preferences, change your browser back to what you prefer.
So now I realize for years I’ve been using this silent feature of macs for years called “not totally jacked up font rendering”. I would never have imagined this was a feature, but apparently there is a collective insanity in windowsland where the quality of font rendering is not just a total and utter failure. So this is my new top Mac feature.
Some people, myself included, prefer how Windows render fonts. Others prefer MacOS.
From what I recall the last time this came up on HN, MacOS tries to render true to the font as if in a professional work flow that ends with a physical product. Windows aims for on screen legibility as it's primary goal.
Also remember that most Windows machines have a much lower DPI screen that what comes with or is hooked up to a Mac, so what is being optimized for there is also different.
Honestly hooked up to my large 1440p screen, MacOS's font rendering isn't /that/ nice, it becomes a wash vs Windows, and on a 1080p laptop I'll take Windows don't rendering.
How is this more legible in any objective universe lol.
So there is subpixel antiiasing, which I prefer, it works really well on lower res displays and gives you more horizontal dpi, but not all app frameworks support it (...) and some people /hate/ it.
Then there is the classic grayscale anti-aliasing.
Finally there is the nightmare of different DPI monitors.
I've also witnessed a machine (Surface Book!) that decided to start rendering all fonts in MS office applications in some weird super jaggy way like it was 1992 or something.
The fonts should never be blurry, IIRC Microsoft tries go snap characters to pixel boundaries, which is less "correct" than Apple but should be more legible.
Unless something goes wrong...
It was interesting because I realized how subtly difficult font rendering is. Unless you’re using a monospaced font all of the characters have different widths, you have to figure out how to split text into lines, or how much to space text if the alignment is set to justify. In some of the fancier fonts on macOS, the characters actually change slightly if there are other characters nearby.
So then a few years later, he's running a computer company, and it's the heyday of greenscreen, monospaced fonts. And a lot of people - without this connection to the font-making culture of western history, genuinely thought that's perfectly fine, no room-for-improvement, etc. Monospaced stuff was honest, straightforward, industrial - it didn't waste any effort on silliness like "looking pretty" (very much like soviet brutalist architecture).
As a manager, he was able to at least greenlight the idea of "wasting money" (lots of it, in fact), on decent typography, because, thanks to that education, he understood it wasn't just being done to make stuff prettier, but was actually being done to make it easier to read. That there was a powerful, utilitarian reason to do fancy fonts, not just an aesthetic one.
Do you mean kerning and ligature or something else?
They turned off subpixel anti-aliasing and it looks worse on older displays.
(I can't help but think of the "slowing down older iphones" thing)
search for "fix blurry fonts mojave"
- While a menu is open, hold Option; if you're lucky, you'll get some additional options. This works after right-clicking an item in Finder, for example, or after right-clicking an icon in the Dock.
- Magnet for window management. This is a third-party application, but you'll wonder how you lived without it. If you've used Spectacle, Magnet is similar, but I find Magnet to be a bit more graceful.
- Sidecar and AirPlay. Want a second screen? Got an iPad or Apple TV? You can effortless treat it as a second screen with very low latency. It "just works."
- Cmd + Space to open Spotlight. Most power users are already familiar with this; if you're not, try it.
- Cmd + Shift + G in Finder to go to a folder by path. You can also use it to copy the path to the current folder.
- Return/Enter to rename the currently-selected file in Finder. If you're coming from Windows/Linux and are accustomed to pressing F2, you might not know about this one.
- Similarly, to open the currently selected item in Finder, press Cmd + O. To navigate up a directory, press Cmd + Up.
- Ever installed a new drive in your Mac? You don't need to manually download macOS installation media beforehand; with the right key combination at boot, you can install it via the internet. There are a few different related combinations with differing functionality; it's worth looking them up and choosing the right one for your situation: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201255
- Option, to move all four corners symmetrically around the region's center
- Shift, to constrain expansion to a single axis
- Option + Shift, to move the edges on a single axis symmetrically around the center
- Space + Shift, to move the entire region along a single axis
Cmd-Down also opens in Finder, just like Cmd-O
If you're using a Macbook with a Touch bar, you can press Cmd + Shift + 4 to enter a screenshot selection mode, and then use Touch bar to adjust screenshot mode (full screen, window or selection) and destination (Desktop, Clipboard, Preview, Documents etc) on the fly.
cmd + ctrl + o to open another tab in Finder in the same folder that's current open. In my opinion this should be the default for cmd + t, which opens a new tab but in your home folder.
For the app icons in the top right, clicking while Option is pressed also shows different menus. For example, the wifi icon now has options for diagnostics or the battery icon has a battery quality indicator.
- Get Info on file.
- Check Stationary Pad box.
> Lisa users never dealt with Lisa applications directly (these were called tools in Lisa parlance) but instead always manipulated stationery pads which produced documents.
If you open the file from within the application itself (I tested with Pages) or via an external app (Terminal, LaunchBar, etc) then it opens the original.
Dragging and dropping files from the finder into an file selector window (ie. Open File in most programs) will navigate to that file and select it. As others mentioned this works in terminal as well to give you a path, but actually this generally works in any text box (unless it specifically handles paths being drag ‘n dropped). This also works with multiple files / multi file selection, and in the case of inserting the path as text, they are space delimited and auto quoted (convenient for shell use).
Edit: This icon can include the one at the top of a finder window (the window title). That’s actually interactable and can be dragged and dropped for the directory itself.
I'll add that if you want the path of a file and the destination application doesn't support drag 'n' drop, right click on a file in finder, then hold the Option key and you'll see the copy command changes from "Copy" to "Copy as Pathname".
You can also drag a file or folder's icon from a Finder window title bar.
When it doesn't work, that's a good indication of a program that's using Electron, Carbon, some old framework, or poorly maintained.
Adobe and Audacity are both guilty of this.
Hit it once, start dragging, then hit it again to bring back your apps to drop into.
My daughter enabled it while I wasn't at the computer and then thought my keyboard had died. Even took it in to get repaired, and got a new keyboard.
There is no permanent indicator that it's enabled, and it persists after reboots (once logged in)... when I figured out my brand new keyboard still had several broken keys I started looking for S/W level issues. Hard facepalm. It didn't help diagnosis that I did have some physically affected keys too.
At least I got a new keyboard out of it...
I think it was either persistent, or he only sleep/woke his computer and never tried rebooting it.
Looking at my keyboard shortcuts it's cmd-alt-ctrl-8, and it is presently disabled.
In short, it makes the keys on a numerical keypad allow you to control the mouse (move up/down/left/right and click)
Finder: Cmd+Shift+G to navigate wherever I want (with autocomplete)
Text input: Control+Command+Space for the emoji list and search
Text input (switching keyboards for Japanese input): Control+Space for quick toggles
Text input (accents in my native language): all the accents and letters of various European languages are usually made by using Option+[key] for the accent, and Option+[key]+letter for the proper letter. The [key] maps are e -> ´, `` -> `` (I'm messing up the rendering of the quotes here despite my best efforts), i -> ˆ, u -> ¨ and some keys Option+[key] directly give a character when it's unique, such as Option+a=å and Option+o=ø, and Option+1=¡ (because it's the key for ! otherwise, which makes sense - and can help with Spanish)
For the longer examples, Option+e+e = é, Option+e+a = á, Option+`+a = à, Option+u+u = ü, Option+i+u = û, Option+n+n = ñ, etc.
Holding Option in menus also shows extra options and their shortcuts (although this is less and less the case outside of the Apple apps themselves). An example using Finder -> Edit and pressing/releasing the Option key
Oh and one more: the app "Stickies", which allows you to have "post-it notes" with color coding and collapsing the note by double-clicking on the title, saving to file, etc. I use it to take quick notes or set casual reminders.
Last but not least, not an Apple app but a very helpful tool I've used to make the gif in this post: Kap is incredibly convenient to records bits of the screen and save to various formats, and it's been improving a lot since its early releases (I have no stake in this, I'm just thankful for such a cool piece of free software)
Nowadays, holding down a key will show a pop-up with all the accent options, which you can then select by mouse or by typing the number under it, much like on iOS. The option route is my preferred one, as it's faster, but the new one is much more accessible to people without keyboard prowess.
If I remember correctly, once you hold the key you can also use the number underneath to select the character (as in "long press e, press 2"). I've since disabled that long-hold thing because this allows me faster text repetition (eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee... in all its glorious uselessness), but I am glad Apple thought about the UX for different types of users there.
Thank you so much for telling us about it, but I expected that I can drag the window anywhere. Turns out I can only drag it where it could also be dragged by clicking normally.
But I turned it on anyway, we'll see if I'll use it.
Discovered after ~10 years
If I have dot files, I’m gonna go all grey beard and handle them in a terminal.
added since sierra
Edit: Thinking about it a bit more, it might not be that long since I wasn’t into programming back then and hidden files meant little to me. The first time I used it was probably around Leopard.
Edit 2: It seems like the feature debuted in Lion (10.7). This would make sense since Finder was overhauled in that version to add several features.
Also, what do you use for backups?
- you can drag that file anywhere to move it.
- CMD click it to see a breadcrumb menu showing where it is and navigate to the folder
on a similar vein, dragging a file into an open file modal box makes it browse to the containing folder. In windows, dragging a file would move the file into that folder.
I combine the above two quite a bit. Editing a file in app A, need to upload it somewhere via browser. Drag file from title bar into open dialog box, done.
This behaviour seems to come 'for free', so, when it breaks, I can only assume that it's intentionally broken. One of the many ways that Adobe Acrobat violates the design language on macOS is by making this somehow not work. (They also break print to PDF–I guess because otherwise you wouldn't pay for the PDF creation capabilities—and do their absolute best to make sure you don't access the native print settings, which is fun because Adobe's own print settings don't play well with the printer accounting software at $WORK).
Similarly you can right click the window title (click with two fingers on the touchpad) for this functionality. It's very useful to navigating up in the folder hierarchy in Finder without adding any new icons to the toolbar.
I knew about this feature but it took me about a year or two of using macOS every day and the feature only working about 50% of the time before I understood how to get it to work reliably.
For those, like me, who were having problems: You have to click and hold the mouse button over the window, then hold the mouse there for a short period of time (e.g. half a second), then drag. If you drag too quickly it'll move the window instead.
I use this all the time when I either have something handy in Finder or can find it more quickly with alfred.
Especially drag-n-drop. I'm not sure if it's already mentioned, but the proxy icon (the icon in the title bar) is super-useful in situations when you need to find (e.g. upload/attach the file in Safari, opening the file with another app) the file somewhere else. Just drag the proxy icon and drop it to the destination, and it usually will do what you want.
Also the Touch Bar. Everybody complains about it while not even trying to take advantage of it... Customize your Touch Bar so that the buttons are in a consistent way, e.g. I always put the new tab button (if it exists) in the far right, where I can reach without looking, and I put the most useful actions (like getting information, trashing files in Finder, tab switching in Safari, text suggestion, etc...) in the middle, and put the less-useful but somewhat frequent actions (like toggling the sidebar, emojis, etc..) in the left. If you consciously try using them for a week or two, you realize you're much productive using the Touch Bar than using obscure shortcuts or moving the mouse.
: BTW, good news for people who were complaining - macOS Big Sur greatly increases the amount of controls reachable with the keyboard, although I dislike the fact that I have to bang more tabs to reach some button.
: There's definitely Apple's fault here too, if you're using a Touch Bar equipped Mac, 'brew cask install haptickey' so that you get haptic feedback on your Touch Bar touches.
My original touch bar layout mirrored the pre-touch bar layout out of familiarity. Recently I've learned how to use it as intended (sliders instead of up and down buttons, using application-custom buttons). I realized that I was just being an old man about the touch bar before.
As the apple keyboard strokes become shorter, and the gestures become more numerous, we become one. ;)
My ideal setup would be to make the trackpad a tad smaller, add the physical function keys again and the touch bar above.
I don't think it was a good tradeoff for many use cases.
With the pandemic is kind of a non issue, but at the office it’s quite common.
An excellent example I discovered only the other day: in Finder, press spacebar to speed up drag-and-drop spring-loading. (It finally makes spring-loading USEFUL!)
Everything explained and shown here:
E.g. move file into a folder in another Finder tab, now made quick via this action.
- Hold down the option key while resizing a windows (with the mouse) to also resize the opposite side. This also works when resizing the window on a corner to resize all edges at once.
- Double click a window border to enlarge this side of the window up to the edge of the scereen. Hold down the option key to enlarge also the opposite site.
- Double-click the title bar of a window to maximize it
It's the first app I install on any fresh box.
On my personal computer I use Better Touch Tools.
For example, this script picks a random color preset each time a new session is created, and this one picks a preset based on the hostname.
(Also, try hitting space a couple of times in that mode.)
After you’ve done that it won’t be saved, which is great as you can quickly snap and use a screenshot without having to switch to the Finder - and the desktop doesn’t get cluttered with hundreds of images.
What I found you can do instead is use Cmd-C to copy it and then paste it into the app. That generally works.
`defaults write com.apple.screencapture show-thumbnail -bool false`
Increase Contrast, which I prefer not just for aesthetic reasons (it gives a slightly old-school feel to the interface), but because it delineates areas of windows / apps more clearly: Preferences > Accessibility > Display > Increase Contrast. This will automatically turn on Reduce Transparency, but I used that setting anyway, to reduce distracting detail.
You can then navigate by arrow keys or typing. Space bar activates the highlighted menu/submenu.
It makes life so much better.
Control-F2 itself was slightly broken in 10.14 (IIRC), so I hacked up a dumb workaround in my Hammerspoon config:
This is also something you can generally call from Applescript as well, if you want to automate application behaviors.
I am pretty sure most of the work was just extending the documentation in https://developer.apple.com/library/archive/documentation/La... with looking up application "dictionaries" (iirc, a box of supported commands) and all menu items being accessible by default.
Also, Command-K to clear out a terminal window (also often works in similar places, such as the MAMP error log viewer).
My 1 year old taught me that one.
defaults write -g NSRepeatCountBinding -string "^u"
I also have repeat set to fastest and delay until repeat the shortest.
If you're just using Preview to rearrange/combine/etc. pages, no re-encoding happens and file size stays the same.
Believe me, I do a lot of PDF management in Preview. Even to the point of creating my own Quartz filters in the ColorSync Utility precisely so that I can intentionally re-encode images when I want to. (Because the Apple-provided Quartz filters are hard-coded to abusrdly high or absurdly low resoltions.)
Others already mentioned:
- three-finger drag is indispensable. Anytime I touch someone else's laptop I turn it on and blow their minds
- hold Cmd in Spotlight to reavel the path containing the selected item, Cmd + Enter opens that folder in Finder.
- readline keys work in basically every text input on the machine. Want to delete a line? C-a C-k. Delete the word preceding the cursor? M-Backspace.
- Cmd + Down opens the selected item in finder, Cmd + Up jumps one level up the folder hierarchy Cmd + Left/Right expand/collapse
Worth noting: Chrome actually no longer dies when you fat-finger cmd-w. It shows a "hold cmd-q to quit" overlay and only dies if you keep holding the keys down.