7 Hidden MacBook Features to Know About
Apple’s MacBook lineup encompasses various models, including the MacBook Pro, MacBook Mini, 14-inch MacBook, and more, all of which come equipped with a range of impressive hidden features waiting to be explored. From efficient screenshot and screen recording tools to simplified emoji access, these features can enrich the user’s Mac experience and enhance their productivity. Here are seven such hidden features of the MacBook models that users must know about.
Screenshots and screen recording
Taking screenshots and recording the screen are really useful features that can help users with several tasks. What a lot of people do not know is that MacBook has some hidden keyboard shortcuts that make capturing screenshots fairly easy. Some of these keyboard shortcuts are:
CMD+Shift+3 for taking a screenshot of the entire screen
CMD+Shift+4 for taking screenshots of a selected area
CMD+Shift+5 for opening a dedicated dashboard for screen capture.
This dashboard streamlines the process by giving all the essential options for screen capture in a single location. Here, the user can record specific screen sections and customize their screen recording process.
For a streamlined startup routine on the macOS, one has the option to automate the launch of one’s preferred applications upon logging into the MacBook. This feature extends beyond just apps; it includes the option to open pictures, videos, and all the other items that are available on the ‘Finder’ app. To do this, the user would need to visit Users & Groups in System Preferences. After selecting their username, they can access the ‘Login Items’ tab, and navigate to the ‘Applications’ section. From there, they can then choose the program they wish to automatically launch during the laptop startup, enhancing its efficiency and convenience.
Whether one is using a 15-inch MacBook Air or a 16-inch MacBook, the option to use the entire screen can make a world of difference, especially for artists and those in similar professions. This MacBook feature helps the user to stay focused on their task by allowing the app or the window they are working on to occupy the entire screen. To activate the full-screen mode on their MacBook, one would need to click on the green button situated in the upper-left corner of a window. One can also activate this mode by clicking on ‘Enter Full Screen’ from the hover menu.
MacBooks also feature a dark mode that can help users reduce the strain on their eyes. Whether one is using a classic MacBook Air or the new and powerful Mac Studio with M2 Ultra or M2 Max chips, the dark mode can benefit all users. To activate the dark mode, the user must open System Preferences and select the ‘General’ option. In the Settings window that opens, they will see three choices: Light, Dark, or Auto. Selecting the Dark option will activate the dark mode as per the user’s preference. One can also select the Auto mode if they only require dark mode during the night time, as Auto mode switches between light and dark modes based on the time of day.
Mac users can also add some variety to their work environment with the Dynamic Desktop option. This option allows the system to change the wallpaper throughout the day based on the user’s location and time, offering them a fresh visual experience. The users can access Dynamic Wallpapers via the Desktop & Screen Saver option in System Preferences. In the Apple drop-down menu, they can select one of the dynamic wallpapers available.
The Preview app on a Mac provides a convenient means for users to add signatures to documents. The process involves minimal effort, starting with opening the document, selecting the pen icon near the search bar, and clicking on the signature box, followed by ‘Create Signature.’ Once the user has navigated to this option, they can then enter their signature by one of three options:
They can sign a piece of paper and hold that sign in front of the Mac’s camera.
They can also use the trackpad to create the signature digitally.
They can use their iPhone screen to create their signature.
Once they have created the signature, they can simply drag it down to the document.
Extended display with an iPad
What a lot of Mac users do not know is that they can also extend their Mac’s display to their iPad wirelessly. This is possible with an Apple feature called Sidecar. This innovation is particularly valuable for users who own a Mac (with macOS Catalina) and an iPad (with iPadOS 13 or newer), as it allows for a seamless extension of their workspace or additional display area, enhancing productivity and multitasking capabilities.
Whether one is using a MacBook, the Mac Mini with M2 Pro, the Mac Pro with the M2 Ultra, or any other system, exploring and utilizing these hidden features will significantly enhance one’s user experience.