You know when you’re trying to open a file on your MacBook, and you rememand ber you’re only supposed to open it with another app like so? Well to never waste time doing that ever again, with the file selected, press Command + I, open up this window here.
Select The Default App
Under Open the with, select the default app you want to use moving forward, and press Change All. Pretty simple, right? If do my thesis a MacBook user, we’re doing over eight settings changes that will permanently speed up your workflow and 12 tips you can use every day to increase your productivity on this overpriced, I mean lovely, lovely machine.
Staying Within Finder
Under view, you wanna show both the Path Bar and the Status Bar. This lets you see exactly where you are in the file management hierarchy and how much space you have left without having to dig around for it. Because this is now enabled, under Finder Preferences, General tab, I actually uncheck Open folders in tabs instead of new windows since I could just click the path to go back to the previous folder.
Open New Finder Windows
When I open new Finder windows I also like to see my Documents folder instead of the Recent folder. Under Tags, if you’re like me and don’t use Tags, you can uncheck all of them here or just leave the ones you do use. And for Sidebar, I like to keep mine as clean as possible. So, I uncheck the ones I never use. Feel free to just pause the blog and copy my settings here. And under Advanced, the only thing I change is Search the Current Folder instead of Search This Mac.
Instead Of Mac
This means whenever I search for something, like so, it will only search within that folder instead of this entire Mac which will actually give me irrelevant results. Pro tip for accuracy I haven’t seen anyone else mentioned, if you’re trying to move a document between folders like this, it’s actually very easy to drop it into the wrong one. But if you move the cursor to the right, to one of these info columns, you’re actually now able to drop it into the top level folder without any issues.
Last Macbook Setting
Last MacBook setting to change under System Preferences, go to Dock & Menu. Battery, all the way down here, and enable Show Percentage. I don’t know why Apple makes the simple feature so hard to find. By the way I do have a no-BS newsletter called the “Productivity Ping.” I send you one practical tip and one keyboard shortcut every other week. So, sign up for that if you’re interested. Link down below. Moving over to MacBook tips and tricks for productivity, starting with the Dock.
Change A Position Of The Dock
First, you can actually change a position of the Dock by holding down Shift, and dragging the line like so. Second, you can right click on the vertical line to access Dock settings instead of having to go through System Preferences. And within Dock Preferences, I like to disable Show recent applications in Dock to keep this clean.
This is a nice segue into the Option key tips, because if I hold down Option + Command, I can drag the Downloads folder and create a Download alias folder. I can now drag this Download alias folder into the Dock. And this is nice to have because I believe, by default, the Download folder within the Dock opens in a weird stack way that I don’t really like.
Download Alias Folder
I can just delete the Download alias folder here and this remains where it is. Similar to the first tip of this blog, if you right click on a file to open with another app, you can actually just hold down Option and this changes to Always Open With. If you wanna quickly make a copy of a file, hold down Option and drag the file down or to another folder.
Expand Folder Views
Normally, you expand folder views one level at a time like this. But if you hold down Option and click, you expand all child folders and files immediately. And for almost every Menu tab up here, if you hold down Option, you’ll see hidden directories or new functions. This is very useful the next time you come across a help set article or tutorial telling you to go into a folder you can’t seem to find, clearly not Jeff Su standard. But by holding down Option, you might be able to locate it.
Hidden Library Folder
On that note, the Hidden Library folder is actually very useful for us to access regularly. This is undergo, hold down Option and you’ll see it. Open Library. Go to File and add this to sidebar, so you can navigate back to this easily. Pro tip, the Font folder’s actually in your Library. And this is where you can add or delete fonts used on your Mac.
Holding Down Option
To wrap this part up, by holding down Option and clicking the red X button, you close all windows for a given application. Moving on, here’s a MacBook productivity tip a very few people know about, and that is if you connect your iPhone to your Mac using a cable. Open up QuickTime Player, File, New Movie Recording. And here, you can actually select your iPhone screen like so.
Recordings Of Your Iphone
You can make recordings of your iPhone directly on your Mac. And doing virtual meetings, present your QuickTime Player window, which is now your iPhone screen, for product demos. Command + Shift + 5 brings up a default MacBook screen recorder. And under Options, you can actually choose where you wanna save the screen recording to, the timer, choose a microphone if you have different peripherals plugged in, and Show Mouse Clicks for a better viewer experience.
Recording Your Screen
Speaking of recording your screen, the sponsor of today’s blog is Scribe. I’ve talked about them before, big fan of their product. They’re a free Chrome extension that you can use to create high quality step by step tutorials at work or for school. For example, for me at work, all new joiners need to learn how to use a specific tool. Instead of teaching the same thing over and over again, I try the Scribe, add the link to an onboarding document for all new hires to go through.
Free Version Of Scribe
Although the free version of Scribe is more than enough for 80% of use cases, they’ve been super nice and provided us with 200 Scribe Pro promo codes. The Pro version, you can do extra stuff like recording on web and desktop and annotating screenshots. You can sign up using the link down below. And there’s a Scribe teaching you how to redeem the promo code. You can experience it for yourself.
Macbook Specific Tips
After opening an image or photo using Preview, I can click Markup, edit size, and now I can decrease the size of this file. If I need this below 500 kilobytes, for example, I can change a width to something like, I don’t know, 17. The proportions stay the same but now it’s only 486 kilobytes. I can press Okay. Command + S to save. And there you go. While we’re talking about images, you can hold down Command, select multiple images, right click, Quick Actions, and Create PDF.
Press Command + S
In this PDF file, you can actually move the pages around like so and press Command + S to save your changes. Alternatively, after opening a PDF document, you go to File, Export, PNG, to create an image file from all the PDF pages like so. This is especially useful if you’re uploading documents to a website that only accept a certain file type. And although I don’t really use Keynote, Pages, or Numbers because Google Workspace is the best place.
Export Keynote Presentations
Remember, you can export Keynote presentations as PowerPoint documents, Pages into Doc, and Numbers into Excel. I’m having way too much fun with this blog. All right, next MacBook tip. If a program stops responding, you have three ways to deal with it. First, you can bring up Activity Monitor, select the app or process, and click Stop.
Free App Called Alfred
By the way, I use a free app called Alfred instead of a default Spotlight. So, let me know if you want a blog on all the apps I use on the Mac. Second, you can hold down the Command + Option + Escape keys and Force Quit the application that way. Or finally, you can actually go down to the Dock, right click, and actually hold down Option and Force Quit that way. The option key gives you a lot of options. I gotta end this blog.
Selling A Macbook
If you’re selling a MacBook or buying one second hand, go up to the Apple logo here about this Mac. Copy the serial number here, go to checkcoverage.apple.com, paste in your serial number, input this code, click Continue. And this shows you whether your support and warranty have expired. Moving over to the keyboard, this is how to Delete works on a Mac.
Rid Of The Top Line
But if you hold down Function, you can actually delete like you would on a PC. Very useful if you’re trying to get rid of the top line. Those of you who have never used a PC before, probably don’t even know what I’m talking about. Next, you can long press a key to reveal accented alphabet characters like so. Command + Control + Space to bring up the searchable emoji bar. And of course, the secret shortcut Apple employees are forced to use every day to pledge their allegiance, Option + Shift + K to input the Apple logo. Just kidding, Mr. Cook. Love your products.