When the MacBook is used as your entertainment computer, many system settings are reasonable. But if used at work, you must adjust it!
- System settings
- The common system shortcuts
- Frequently-used software recommendations
This article gives some practical advice to people who use MacBook at work to make you more productive. Don’t look down on these suggestions. Day after day in work, small habits tend to have a big impact. Especially for those who find them harder to use or has just bought a new one, this article will make you love the MacBook at work!
1. System Settings
Set F1-F12 As the Standard Function Key
The top row of the MacBook keyboard feature key, F1-F12, defaults to quick settings such as system brightness and sound. When the MacBook is your entertainment computer, this default setting is very convenient. But for those who use the MacBook as a working computer and need to use the function keys frequently, it’s a good idea to set the function keys to the standard function keys.
Firstly, open System Preferences, click on the Keyboard icon, and check on “Use all F1, F2, etc. keys as standard function keys”. Later, if you want to adjust the volume, press and hold the “Fn” key in the lower-left corner of the keyboard and press F11 or F12.
Change Trackpad to Click
When you first use the MacBook, if you feel that the touchpad reacts slowly, you need to do the following settings.
Open System Preferences, click on the Trackpad icon, check the “Tap to click” option, and now click the touchpad with your finger to achieve the effect of a mouse click.
Adjust the Dock to The Left of The Screen
Why adjust the Dock to the left of the screen? The MacBook screen is a rectangle, and if you put the Dock below, the available width of the screen will be reduced. In addition, the order of reading is from left to right, so Dock is better placed on the left for people who use the MacBook as a working computer.
Open System Preferences, tap the Dock icon, turn the size of the icon to the right size, and turn off the Magnification effect, which instantly enlarges when the mouse is placed on the Dock. This effect may draw your attention and interferes you. In the “Position on Screen” column, select “Left”, and check “Minimize Window into the Application”.
Full Keyboard Control Mode
What is full keyboard control mode? As an example, as shown in the following image, I’m writing in a document. This document has not been saved and has no file name. If I accidentally click the close button, a dialog will pop up.
Currently, the “Save” button is activated by default, and if I press “Enter”, the Save dialog will pop up. But what if I don’t want to save it? You can only do it by moving the cursor with the mouse or touchpad and then clicking “don’t Save”. Can I control the activation of the “Don’t Save” button through the keyboard? The answer is yes, just do a simple setup.
Firstly, open “System Preferences” and click the “Keyboard” icon. Then select “Shortcuts” and “All Controls”.
Now, when I try to close an unsaved file again, the new dialog is as follows, with a few changes. There’s an additional blue frame on the “Don’t Save” button. When you press the “tab” on the keyboard, the blue frame switches between the 3 buttons.
Suppose the “Don’t Save” is now with the blue frame, and then you press “Enter”, only to find that the system is still entering the Save File dialog box. Why doesn’t the blue frame work? That’s because the blue box is triggered by the space bar. When you press the space bar, the system exits directly without saving the file. This adjustment allows you to interact with your MacBook more quickly when you’re not convenient to use the mouse and touchpad.
Quickly Lock the Screen
If you leave your computer for a long time, it’s a good idea to lock your screen to prevent data leakage. So how do you lock your MacBook quickly?
You only need to touch the touchpad or quickly move the cursor.
Open the “System Preferences” and click the “Desktop and Screen Saver” icon. Then select “Screen Saver” and click “Hot Corners”. In the following pop-up screen, select “Put Display to Sleep” in the lower right corner and then click “OK”.
Finally, open “System Preferences” and click the “Security and Privacy” icon. In General Tab, check the “Require password (immediately) after sleep or screen save begins”.
Now, when you leave your computer, remember to touch the touchpad or quickly move the cursor to the bottom right corner of the screen, the MacBook will immediately enter Screen Saver mode and require a password to get into the desktop.
2. The commonly System Shortcuts
Check out the document (https://support.apple.com/zh-cn/HT201236) to learn the system shortcuts.
Don’t look down on these shortcuts, the proper use of shortcuts will greatly improve the efficiency of your daily work. When you start using these shortcuts, you may use it slowly, but be sure to stick to it.
3. Frequently-used Software Recommendations
Window Management Software-SizeUp
Do you want some documents to fill the left half of the screen, and the chat interface to the right half of the screen, so that you can chat with your partner while facing the document? When you’re finally getting a good external monitor, do you often drag a window back and forth between your notebook and the external monitor screen?
SizeUp quickly addresses such needs, and the software can be used for permanent free.
After downloading and installing, open SizeUp, then open the chat page, press the shortcut “control+ option + M”. However, you’ll see this prompt below, this is because SizeUp requires your authorization to control the window.
Open the “System Preferences” directly, click the “Security and Privacy” icon, and then click the “Accessibility” in the privacy Tab. Then add SizeUp to the list on the right. (You may need to click the yellow lock in the lower right corner, and then you can edit the list on the right.)
If you’ve connected an external monitor, press the shortcut “control + option + right-key”. The front window on the left will be immediately sent to the display on the right.
Here are some of SizeUp’s common shortcuts, more ways to use please check its official website.
Control + option + command + M: Make the current window fully screened.
Control + option + command + up-key: Make the current window occupy half of the current screen.
Control + option + command + down-key: Make the current window occupy the lower half of the current screen.
Control + option + command + left-key: Make the current window occupy the left half of the current screen.
Control + Option + Command + right-key: Make the current window occupy the right half of the current screen.
Control + option + left-key: Send the current window to the left display screen.
Control + option + right-key: Send the current window to the right-hand display screen.
Find Files and Applications-Alfred
You must have ever used Spotlight in your MacBook, which is a long input box popping up in the middle of the screen. When you enter a file name or application name, Spotlight will find the corresponding candidate and you can press Enter to quickly open the file or program you need.
Alfred’s ability is far beyond Spotlight. You can install the free version directly. Alfred also offers advanced features such as more powerful Workflows and Clipboard management (Powerpack required).
For everyday operations, the free version is sufficient. Because Alfred can replace Spotlight entirely.
First, remove the shortcut “Command + Space” occupied by Spotlight for Alfred’s use. Then turn on “System Preferences”, select “Keyboard”, and switch to Shortcuts.
Open Alfred, tap the Alfred icon in the menu bar, then open Preferences.
As shown in the following image, set “Command + Space” as Alfred’s shortcut.
Now press the shortcut “Command and Space” and enter “dash”. Alfred, case-sensitively, will lists all applications, documents, and historical URLs that contain “dash”. As shown in the following image, press Enter to open Dash, or press “command + 2” to open dashboard. You can also press the up or down key or move the cursor to select a target.
For more information on how Alfred is used, please refer to the official website or search the tutorial on the Internet. Here’s a brief demonstration of the use of clipboard management and in-plant workflows.
As shown in the following image, use the shortcut to open the clipboard manager, which lists the text fragments that have recently been copied. And then you can quickly pick these text fragments or enter some characters to find the target.
Have a Free Cup of Coffee-Caffeine
You’re presenting PPT to important customers this afternoon, and when you turn on your MacBook and connect to the projector and start explaining, all of a sudden, the MacBook goes into sleep mode!
You should install this free software immediately-Caffeine. Set the software to start on and click on the status bar. When the coffee is full, the MacBook will not go to sleep mode. And when it is empty, the MacBook will switch to sleep mode. When you turn on the MacBook, the coffee cup will be full.
Quickly Switch and Open the App-Manico
The MacBook system is defaulted as a shortcut to display the currently running application. When you press “Tab + command”, you’ll see the following image.
If you want to switch to Firefox, you need to click “Tab” again. If you want to switch to a calendar, you need to press ‘tab’ twice. If you open more than a dozen apps at once, you often need to press “Tab” a dozen times to switch to the program you want.
Manico is designed for this circumstance. After installation, the default shortcut is to hold down the “Option”. As shown, press the number 7 to quickly open a map numbered 7.
In addition, it is recommended to set the letter and number on the left side as the index. It allows you to quickly switch applications with your left hand.
Click the Manico icon in the menu bar, open Preferences, and select “Use left hand area “and “Use numeric and alphabet” in the Appearance Tab.
Copy and Paste as You Like-PopClip
How many times do you copy a piece of text from one application and paste it into another place in your daily work? How many times do you copy a URL and then open your browser and paste it into the address bar and return to open it? How many times do you copy a noun and open your browser to find a search engine to search for?
These repeated modes of operation could be simplified, and the only thing you need is PopClip. When you select a piece of text (As the image below, select “Earnings of the Day”), PopClip pops up a quick action bar that you can copy, cut or paste. And more powerfully, PopClip offers many free plug-ins, such as using a specified search engine to search for selected text, or selecting English words for case conversion, and so on.
Note that PopClip requires your authorization to pop up the shortcut status bar. Click “Open System Preferences”, and then click the “Security and Privacy”, and “Accessibility” on privacy Tab. Add PopClip to the list on the right and tick the checkbook. (You may need to click on the yellow lock in the lower right corner before you can edit the list on the right.)
Have a Cocktail-Bartender
If you see to here, you have been recommended the installation of a row of software. Your system status bar has been very crowded. Sometimes the current active application menu may block the app that you want to use.
You need a bartender to help you adjust the status bar. The bartender will be my last recommended app. You can customize to hide some of the less commonly used status bar icons, especially suitable for the people who wants to keep the desktop cleaner.