Making the Switch to Mac? 11 Mac Tips and Tricks For Beginners

Apple is the world’s most valuable company. As of 2020, they have a market value of $2 trillion.

Headquartered in California, they sell a variety of items from tablets to laptops. Their most popular item, however, is the iPhone, which also happens to be the best-selling smartphone in the world.

Their Macs aka personal computers are also popular. They might be more expensive than PCs, but most would say that they’re worth it.

Are you planning on making the switch? Looking for some Mac tips and tricks? If so, you’re on the right page. Keep reading to learn more!

What Is a Mac?

The Mac is a line of computers designed by Apple. An alternative to Windows-based PCs, they offer a streamlined user experience, which sets them apart from other devices.

As of 2020, there are six models to choose from—the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac, iMac Pro, Mac Pro, and Mac Mini.

11 Mac Tips and Tricks For Beginners

MacBooks are different from PCs in various ways. Here are a few tips to get you started!

  1. Take Advantage of Spotlight

Spotlight is the all-encompassing search engine that all Mac computers come with. You can use it to search for pretty much anything from apps to text messages.

To open Spotlight, click on the small magnifying glass on the top corner of the screen. Another way to open it is to use the Command + Space shortcut.

  1. Taking Screenshots

Unlike PCs, Macs do not have a print screen button on the keyboard. Instead, you have to use the shortcut, Command + Shift +3.

Alternatively, you can use Command + Shift + 4 if you want to capture just a part of the screen. You’ll be able to choose the area that you want to take a screenshot of.

  1. Using Activity Monitor

Activity monitor is the Mac version of Task Manager. You can use it to see all the processes that are currently running. If you want, you can also use it to force quit non-responding apps—they’ll be highlighted in red so that you’ll be able to tell easily.

What’s the easiest way to open Activity Monitor? With Spotlight.

  1. Installing Apps and Programs

The way you install programs is a little different than PCs. Instead of launching an installer, you have to drag the file to your Applications folder.

As soon as you do that, it will automatically install. It’s worth noting, however, that some apps can be installed directly through the App Store.

  1. Backing Up With Time Machine

Time Machine is a built-in program that allows you to back up your computer. So if anything happens, you can easily restore your files (e.g. photos, apps, etc).

Keep in mind, however, that backups can take a lot of space. Given that, you might want to plug in an external drive.

  1. Using the Built-in Dictionary

Macs are great in that they all come with built-in dictionaries. In other words, you can look up any word that you’re unfamiliar with.

Simply highlight it with your mouse and use the shortcut Command + Control + D. If you’re using a trackpad, you can also click it with three fingers.

  1. Clearing Your Cache

There’s more than one type of cache that you can clear—the browser cache, system cache, and user cache.

While they’re all different, they do have one thing in common. That is, old cache files can easily take up valuable space on your hard drive. Fortunately, it’s easy to clear cache on Mac computers so it’s not that big of an issue.

  1. Using Siri

Siri is the voice assistant on Apple devices. Aside from Macs, it’s also available on iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, and Apple TVs.

Basically, you can control your computer with your voice—you just have to activate it in your System Preferences. Once you’ve done that, you can talk to Siri by holding down Command + Space.

For those who are interested, you can also type to Siri. Just select it under “Accessibility.”

  1. Copy and Paste

Copy and paste is one of the most common actions that you’ll be using. The shortcut, however, is a little different than that of PC computers.

Instead of Control C and V, it’s Command + C for copy and Command + V for paste. Or if you want, you can select the command from the top menu after highlighting the item or text that you’d like to copy.

  1. Using System Preferences

System Preferences is pretty much the control panel. You can select it from the Apple menu on the top left-hand side of the screen or click on the shortcut on the dock.

From there, you can change your language, access iCloud, connect a Bluetooth device, and more.

  1. Using Split View

You can create more workspace by using the Split View feature. It’ll split the screen in half so that you can view two apps at once.

To get started, put your cursor over the green button on the top-left of your first window. Once you do that, you’ll be able to choose another window to view on the other side of the screen.

Getting Used to Your Mac Computer

Apple computers are a little different than PCs but it shouldn’t take you that long to get the hang of it! If anything, these Mac tips and tricks should help with your transition.

Looking for more articles like this? Then check out the rest of our blog!

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