Quick­fire tweaks

Give Yosemite a quick boost with th­ese crafty tips

Mac Format - - POWER UP YOSEMITE! -

Yosemite is packed with op­tions, fea­tures and modes that can rad­i­cally change the way you use your Mac. Th­ese tips are a sim­ple yet sure-fire way to im­prove your Mac ex­pe­ri­ence for your per­sonal needs, rather than fight­ing with de­faults that might make life more dif­fi­cult than it has to be.

1 Ac­ces­si­bil­ity

The Ac­ces­si­bil­ity pane in Sys­tem Pref­er­ences con­tains a range of op­tions de­signed pri­mar­ily for users with im­pair­ments or dis­abil­i­ties. This causes most Mac users to over­look th­ese op­tions, which is a mis­take be­cause there are some op­tions here that are use­ful to a wider au­di­ence. Go to Sys­tem Pref­er­ences > Ac­ces­si­bil­ity > Dis­play to ac­cess a whole bunch of in­ter­face set­tings. Some, like In­vert Colors are a bit too rad­i­cal, but op­tions like In­crease Con­trast, Use Grayscale and Re­duce Trans­parency have prac­ti­cal benefits. Try com­bin­ing the op­tions here with the dark mode (go to Sys­tem Pref­er­ences > Gen­eral and turn on ‘Use dark menu bar and Dock’) to cre­ate a stylish al­ter­na­tive to the regular look.

2 En­hanced Dic­ta­tion

While OS X doesn’t sup­port Siri, you can dic­tate to it as an al­ter­na­tive to typing on the key­board. Use the Short­cut com­mand (by de­fault, press the ƒ key twice) to bring up a mi­cro­phone win­dow. Speak what­ever you want and it’ll be con­verted into text and dropped in at the in­ser­tion point in the ac­tive win­dow. Dic­ta­tion is sur­pris­ingly ver­sa­tile, so don't be afraid to try it out in apps like Maps, Sa­fari and Mail – say “Show com­mands” to see the in­struc­tions you can give in the cur­rent con­text. You can im­prove the ex­pe­ri­ence by turn­ing on En­hanced Dic­ta­tion in Sys­tem Pref­er­ences > Dic­ta­tion & Speech, which en­ables you to use the fea­ture when you’re off­line.

3 Au­to­matic up­dates

Soft­ware up­dates of­ten im­prove the per­for­mance, re­li­a­bil­ity and se­cu­rity of your Mac. Open Sys­tem Pref­er­ences > App Store and put a check in the boxes next to ‘Au­to­mat­i­cally check for up­dates’, ‘In­stall OS X up­dates’ and ‘In­stall sys­tem data files and se­cu­rity up­dates’. You can also choose to in­stall up­dates for apps pur­chased from the Mac App Store and, if you don’t want up­dates to au­to­mat­i­cally in­stall, you can have them down­load in the back­ground so that they’re ready to in­stall when you want to.

4 Search cur­rent folder

Finder’s pref­er­ences are eas­ily over­looked be­cause they aren’t lo­cated in Sys­tem Pref­er­ences. That’s a shame be­cause they in­clude prac­ti­cal changes that make a world of dif­fer­ence. One tweak we like is to ad­just the search bar so it looks in the cur­rent folder in­stead of the whole Mac by de­fault. Click the desk­top to switch to Finder, choose Finder > Pref­er­ences > Ad­vanced and then change the bot­tom op­tion to ‘Search the Cur­rent Folder’.

5 Man­age Ex­ten­sions

Ex­ten­sions en­able you to quickly send in­for­ma­tion from one app to an­other, or to share it on­line. Open Sys­tem Pref­er­ences > Ex­ten­sions to see those that are in­stalled. Be­neath each one are check­boxes that con­trol where they ap­pear, such as the Share menu and No­ti­fi­ca­tion Cen­ter’s To­day view. Drag them up and down to change the or­der in which they ap­pear in the cor­re­spond­ing part of OS X.

6 Ad­di­tional ges­tures

In Sys­tem Pref­er­ences, choose Mouse or Track­pad to view the ges­tures avail­able for Ap­ple’s track­pads and Magic Mouse. Some are turned off by de­fault. Move the pointer over an op­tion to see a video that demon­strates how that ges­ture works. Put a check mark in the box next to any ges­ture you want to ac­ti­vate.

OS X’s Ac­ces­si­bil­ity pref­er­ences in­clude op­tions that are use­ful even if you don’t have dif­fi­cul­ties with mo­bil­ity, sight or hear­ing.

Some very use­ful track­pad and Magic Mouse ges­tures are turned off by de­fault.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.