Four basic tips, the kind that go unnoticed, for OS X

After facing a weekend restoring several family Macs that literally “had nowhere to go”, I have decided to write this simple article to remember certain points of the system. It’s very basic, I know, but many are overlooked and that’s why I’ve decided to do it.

I won’t discover anything new for the more experienced ones in the place, I’m sure of it. But it is these small details, so basic, that often escape us, I even forget them from time to time. So without further ado, let’s get to it. It’s not a specific trick of The Captain, but a basic OS X reminder.

  • Your Mac desktop can’t be where you store your files: I’m so used to seeing this, otherwise very typical for Windows users. OS X considers (let’s say) that everything you place on the desktop is important and you need quick access to it. That’s why it preloads it in memory. This makes that if we need access to a certain file, it is practically instantaneous. But it will also be a burden if you put too many files or folders on your desktop. That’s why we have to try to keep it as “clean” as possible.
  • Preview is your friend: This is one of the most useful tools in the system. Indeed, being able to preview almost any type of file with a simple space bar press is a real delight. You can use it anywhere in the system. We can preview documents attached to an email, see the print queue or even in the “stack” can view any file that is within it simply by leaving the mouse over the file in question and pressing the space bar.
  • The next step to Preview is to open the file we were looking for and have found thanks to this system application. If we have any file or document open with a preview, simply double-clicking anywhere in the Preview window will make it open with the application determined for that type of file.
  • Quickly visualize your desktop: Many times, with the tangle of open windows that we can have in OS X, it is difficult for us to see what we have on the desktop, with Exposé this will be an easy task. As you know, Exposé can be activated with the F3 key of our keyboard. If we press it and keep the Command key open before, we will see how, instead of showing us the open applications on that desktop, it shows us the desktop directly.
  • And as a bonus track we leave another classic that we don’t always remember. How to assign to a certain type of files with which application the system should open them when we double click on them. Simply right-click on the file we’re looking for and choose “Get information”. In the window that opens, we’ll have a section called “open” and it will be here where we’ll indicate which application we want it to use from that moment on.
Four basic tips, the kind that go unnoticed, for OS X
Four basic tips, the kind that go unnoticed, for OS X

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