It’s the little things that make El Capitan sing. Here are the under-the-hood tweaks to investigate
El Capitan may not have had a radical refresh, but it contains plenty of interesting and practical tweaks that improve your time spent using it. 50> One that we adore is that you can quickly locate the pointer just by shaking it. This enlarges it temporarily to help you spot it on a busy or large desktop. If you find it annoying, perhaps because you fidget with your mouse or trackpad, the behaviour can be disabled by turning off ‘Shake mouse pointer to locate’ in System Preferences > Accessibility > Display.
51> If you previously used Yosemite and turned on its option to reduce transparency effects, consider turning it back off again (in the Accessibility pane, under Display). Many of the more objectionable instances of it have been toned down, such as text scrolling behind semi-opaque foreground elements, which affected legibility.
52> Invaluable on small displays is the ability to hide the menu bar until you need it, just like you’ve been able to do with the Dock for years. You can enable this in System Preferences > General.
53> The Share menu has gained actions to add what you’re looking at to Reminders or Notes. If you can’t see these options, click on Share > More and ensure that they’re checked. They’re handy for keeping track of web pages as part of research notes, to remind you about things like event tickets going on sale, and you can add copies of documents from Pages, Numbers and Keynote to your notes, too. Note that the first time you open Notes you’ll be asked to upgrade to a new format for storing them in iCloud; only do this if all your devices are able to run El Capitan or iOS 9.
54> The fake clicking noise that Force Touch trackpads make by turning on Silent Clicking in the Trackpad preferences pane.
55> A Find My Friends widget can be added to Notification Centre’s Today view. Click Edit at the bottom of that view and then click the plus in a green circle next to the widget. Find My Friends will display a location warning; tap Allow to enable it to use your current location. You might find this useful to know, say, when to set out to pick up family or friends.
56> Safari now lets you clear your browsing history in a less disruptive fashion. Open either its application menu or the History menu and then hold å to append “…and Keep Website Data” to the option that covers your tracks. This preserves cookies, which might contain settings for web apps, for example.
57> It’s easier to manage your downloads on the fly now, rather than ending up with a burgeoning folder full of them. Open Safari’s General preferences, click the pop-up menu labelled ‘File download location’ and choose ‘Ask for each download’.
58> In OS X’s colour picker (accessible in apps such as TextEdit using ç+ß+C), the Crayons tab is replaced with a Pencils tab with a broader selection of colours. With text selected, the appropriate pencil pops up out of the arrangement to remind you which colour you applied to it.