Prac­ti­cal point­ers

It’s the lit­tle things that make El Cap­i­tan sing. Here are the un­der-the-hood tweaks to in­ves­ti­gate

Mac Format - - 75 EL CAPITAN TIPS -

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.

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