3. Launch Spotlight with Command-Space
Looking for something? You know Spotlight can help you quickly find files, emails, look up words, even launch apps…but do you know that a quick tap on command-space will open up Spotlight on the menubar for you to start typing? Simple as that you can quickly type command-space then something like safari then return and launch Safari…and your fingers didn’t even touch the mouse! Want to turn that up to an 11? Then just download Alfred for free from the Mac App store and do all this and more!
4. Drop Files onto the Dock to Open in an App
I like to keep Preview as my default app for opening images. Preview is pretty fast and easy when I need a quick look at something (or just need to resize the image quickly), but when I want to edit an image I use Acorn. So how do I open an image in Acorn? You’re thinking, launch Acorn, go to the File menu… Nope, easier. I have Acorn on my Dock all the time, so all I need to do is drag and drop an image file onto the icon and … Acorn launches (or comes to the front) and the image is opened! This trick works with just about all apps and can save you a ton of time.
5. Custom App Stacks
My dock was getting pretty cluttered. Lots of apps that I “needed”, but you know I didn’t use them all that often. So I made a custom App stack for them. This is a multi-step process:
- Make a folder somewhere (I made it in ~/Applications which is different than the system-wide Applications folder (see tip 7 for more on these directories).
- Open your Applications folder in another Finder window.
- You’re going to make aliases to your real apps in this step. Hold down command and option and drag an app you want quick access to and drop it in the folder you made.
- Repeat for as many apps as you wish
- Drag the folder with all the aliases to the right side of your Dock, just to the left of the Trash.
- Enjoy! That’s it. The folder will have aliases to all your apps!
6. Remove Icons from the Menu Bar
I know we like to have icons on our Menu bar, but sometimes it gets a little crowded. For some icons on your Menu bar (mostly System related ones), just hold down the command key, click the icon and drag it off the Menu bar! Come on, you don’t really need the volume/speaker icon there did you?
7. Get to your Library Folder
One of the “improvements” in Lion was to hide your Library folder from you. Okay, I get it. You shouldn’t need to muck about in your Library very often, but hey sometimes you do. Sometimes you need to clean out stubborn files or something. Here’s the easy way to get to your Library folder (and the Applications folder from tip 5 too). With the Finder active hit command-shift-g and you’ll get a Go to folder: window. Just put “~/Library/” (no quotes) and click Okay. That’s it. For tip five use ~/Applications/ instead.