The best life hacks for your MacBook
- Use special characters such as é and ö
- Make calculations with Spotlight
- Change Delete to Backspace, or vice versa
- Add an emoji
- All your open programs side by side
- Always keep your screen on
- Adjust volume in smaller steps
- Open 2 programs side by side
- Copy on one, paste on another device
- Share files via AirDrop
Use special characters such as é and ö
When typing an email or other text, I occasionally need an e with a dash (accent aigu for the French) or an o with two dots (the well-known umlaut). On a MacBook, I can simply add those characters by pressing a letter key longer. If I press the e key, I get a pop-up of all special characters with an e. It works exactly the same for the i, o, u, and so on.
Make calculations with Spotlight
How much is 78+56? And 100 dollars, how many euros is that? I answer these kinds of questions by using my MacBook's Spotlight. When I press the Command key and press Space, Spotlight opens like a search bar, where I can type my question. That way, I quickly solve a sum and check how much that vacation in America will really cost me.
Change Delete to Backspace, or vice versa
The MacBook keyboard either has a Backspace key or a Delete key. That's not always useful when I want to quickly remove something in the middle of a text. To change Delete to Backspace - or vice versa - I hold the fn key while removing text. This tip is especially useful for everyone who made the leap to Apple for the first time and is still used to a keyboard with both keys.
Add an emoji
Did a colleague makes a bad joke? (What is an astronaut's favorite key on a computer keyboard? The space bar.) As far as I'm concerned, a crying emoji is the only logical reaction. To add an emoji, open the emoji keyboard by pressing the Command, Control and Space bar simultaneously. Bonus tip: if I search for 'laughing' in the emoji keyboard, the matching emoji will appear.
Another one? What happens to astronauts who misbehave? They’re grounded.
All your open programs side by side
Multitasking is a breeze on MacBook, so I often have many different programs open at the same time. If I want to jump from Spotify to Photoshop quickly, I use a simple motion. By placing 3 fingers side by side on the touchpad and then sliding them up, I get to see all open programs.
Always keep your screen on
I occasionally stream a movie from my MacBook to my TV, and to make that work, it can't go to sleep mode. I use a super simple program called Caffeine. If I switch on Caffeine, a coffee cup icon appears in the menu bar at the top of the screen. If the cup is full, the screen stays on. If the cup is empty, my MacBook will go to sleep mode after a while.
Adjust volume in smaller steps
Especially when I use my earbuds on YouTube, I like to be able to control the volume fairly precisely. I do this by holding down the Shift and Option keys while using the volume keys. The volume then changes in steps that are 4 times smaller than normal. I also use the same trick for screen brightness and keyboard lighting.
Open 2 programs side by side
If I want to use information from a site in a text, it is useful to have two programs open side by side. I do that with the help of Split View. If I click and hold on the green plus - which is normally used to put a program on the full screen - the window opens on half of the screen. Next, I choose the program that I want to open next to it.
Copy on one, paste on another device
Sometimes I have a link on my MacBook that I want to share via Whatsapp on my iPhone. Previously, I could only get the link from one device to another in a fairly inconvenient manner, but Apple has found a solution. If I copy the link on my MacBook, the link will be in the paste function of my iPhone a few seconds later. For this to work, I must be logged into iCloud and turn on Bluetooth and WiFi.