10 Mac OS X Beginner Tips For Finder, Menu Bar, Context Menu & Navigation

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We regularly cover tips for Mac, but not all of them are ones that might be handy for the average user. Their needs are simple, and they don’t often have to foray into a Terminal window. It’s precisely why you’ll often find apps that do very little but carry a price tag. Apps like this can be avoided by most people, provided they are ready to venture tweaking the Terminal occasionally. If you’re looking to start out with a few minor tweaks on your Mac, here are ten that might not only be extremely useful, but might just get you hooked to getting a few things done via the Terminal.

Mac-OS-X-Beginner-Tips-For-Finder-Menu-Bar-Context-Menu-Navigation

Tab To All Form Fields

You may have noticed that when you use the Tab key to move to the next form field on a webpage or app, it skips some items. The items that are skipped are usually dropdowns, but can include other fieds as well. To fix this behavior, go to System Preferences > Keyboard. At the bottom of the window, you will find two radio buttons, among which Text boxes and lists only will be selected. Select All controls instead, and you will never have this problem again.

Tab To All Form Fields

Reveal Hidden Options On Menu Bar

The menu bar is one of the best places to quickly access an app from, and if you want to get more use out of it, consider holding down the Option key and clicking on an icon. It will reveal additional information about the app. It is most useful if you’re using a Mac book. Hold down the Option key and click the battery icon to see how it’s doing health wise.

Menu bar volume    hidden menu bar options

View List Of Autocorrect Suggestions

Where would the world be without spelling and grammar check? Quite possibly, we’d be better spellers or terrible writers, but if you’re already as dependent on Mac’s spelling and grammar check as you are on oxygen and Cheetos, hold down the the F5 key the next time you misspell a word or aren’t sure how it’s spelled, and you can view a list of suggestions for that word.

View List Of Autocorrect Suggestions

View File Path For Any File Or Folder

A while back, we covered an app called XtraFinder that added a lot of features to the Finder, and one of them was to easily get a file’s absolute path from the right-click context menu. If you aren’t up for installing the app, you can simply drag & drop a file on to a Terminal window, and it will give you its absolute path.

View File Path For Any File Or Folder

View Full Directory Path In Finder

If you’ve migrated from a Windows PC to a Mac, you will notice that file paths aren’t exactly out in the open. Since you can’t see the path of a file or folder, it is likely you often forget where a file is saved. This simple Terminal command puts the File or Folder path in the Finder window’s title bar.

defaults write com.apple.finder _FXShowPosixPathInTitle -bool YES
killall Finder

View Full Directory Path In Finder

 

Scroll Horizontally Using Mouse Wheel

Hold down the Shift key as you scroll, and you will move the horizontal scroll bars on any website or application.

Magnify Icons In Dock As You Scroll

Few apps forgo an icon in the Dock, and if you have a lot apps running, it is likely you have more icons in the Dock than Edward Cullen has pointless lines. To make navigation easier, hold down the Control+Shift key as you mouse over icons in the Dock, and the icons will enlarge to give you a better view.

Magnify Icons In Dock As You Scroll

Keyboard Shortcut For Viewing Hidden Files

Some tips and tricks involve viewing the hidden files on your system, and if you are too crazy about tinkering with the Terminal, hold down Command+Shift+. in a File Open dialog box, and all hidden files will be revealed.

Keyboard Shortcut For Viewing Hidden Files

Remove Unnecessary Items From Right-Click Context Menu

The great thing about most Mac apps is that they rock. Not only do they have a good interface, but they work exceptionally well. The thing is, you don’t always need every one of their features. If you have an app that you love that has added an extra option or two to the right-click context menu which are useless for you, you can remove them.

Go to System Preferences > Keyboard and select Services in the Keyboard Shortcuts tab. Uncheck the options you want to remove from the context menu.

Remove Unnecessary Items From Right-Click Context Menu

If you’re just getting started on a Mac or have been a long time user who is ready to venture into a little tweaking, these small tricks are a good way to get started. Go crazy!

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