Macs may be more expensive, and Mac users more elitist (ahem), but blind Apple loyalty aside, there are a number of neat features bundled into your Mac that make it super useful and fun. We’ve covered dozens of Mac tips over the years in these pages, but today we’re highlighting 10 lesser-known Mac tricks that come baked into Leopard. From pure eye candy to outright productivity-boosters, read on to get reminded of some of the more obscure things you can do with your Mac, fresh out of the box.
10. Say anything.
Turn on your speakers, launch Terminal and type:
Yes, your Mac speaks. If you’ve got a text file you want your Mac to read to you, try:
9. Show off Stacks and Expose in slow motion.
Pretend you’re Steve Jobs showing off Leopard’s incredible graphics capability on the big stage with a press of the Shift key. Hold down Shift and click on one of your Dock’s Stacks, or hit F12 to invoke Dashboard—and watch the action happen in slow motion.
8. Activate screen corners.
7. Display custom hard drive icons.
6. Look up words in the dictionary with a keystroke.
5. Launch applications from Spotlight.
If Quicksilver ain’t your cup of tea—or you just use it to start applications—Spotlight can do that for you without running another application. Simply set Spotlight to include Applications in its search results, invoke it with the (default) keyboard shortcut, Cmd+Space, type your app name and hit Enter to launch it.
4. Tab between all controls.
By default your Mac’s Tab key doesn’t move between controls on a page or form other than text boxes and lists. Click the “All Controls” radio button at the bottom of the Keyboard & Mouse pane in System Preferences to right this wrong.
3. Zoom WAY in on a page.
2. Show the date on the menubar.
1. Double as an external drive.
Want to move huge files onto one Mac from another? Using the Mac’s “Target Disk Mode,” a press of the T key during startup transforms your Mac into an external FireWire drive. Plug it into another Mac with a FireWire cable and copy files to and fro, no networking required.
What are your favourite Mac tricks? Shout ’em out in the comments.