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Do you know any hidden or little-known nice feature of Mac OS X? It doesn't matter what it is—maybe just a short terminal command or a keyboard shortcut. Share your experiences on hidden Mac OS X features with us..

Please post one tip per answer. Please also check to see if your answer has already been posted - duplicate answers will be deleted. To search answers for this question use inquestion:400 (or inquestion:this, directly from the question page) in addition to your search terms in the search box in the upper right hand corner of this page.

Also provide details on how to achieve that feature, and if possible, include a relevant image too!

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17  
mac.finerthingsin.com is a great source of hidden gems on the Mac. –  Philip Regan Aug 24 '10 at 23:35
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My collection of OS X tweaks (hidden or not) can be found here: mths.be/osx –  Mathias Bynens May 2 '13 at 18:43
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Does iOS count? I'm sure most people know, but if you pull the camera thingy on the lock screen in iOS 7 up about 2/3 of the screen and then quickly flick it back down again, it will bounce up high enough to trigger the camera! –  RPi Awesomeness Dec 27 '13 at 3:56
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132 Answers 132

When you're in the +Tab task switcher selecting the Finder and pressing +Q will restart the Finder.

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Hide an Application While Cmd-Tabbing

As you're Cmd-Tabbing through applications, you can pause on an app (while still holding Cmd) and then press 'h' to hide the other app. You aren't switched to the hidden app, so your focus stays on the original one.

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In Finder, select any number of files. Press + ctrl + N to automatically have them moved to a new folder.

Great if you forgot to create a new folder before selecting files, and in general.

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You can prevent app from appearing in Dock by editing .app/Contents/Info.plist. Just add

<key>LSUIElement</key>
<true/>
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Probably the most used shortcut I created on my machine is one to hide and show hidden files.

I've set this up via an AppleScript on my machine with a keyboard shortcut of ^ + + + . which toggles the visibility of hidden files within Finder whenever I want. This way I don't have to manually run a terminal command to show hidden files, and I can quickly turn it off to avoid accidentally modifying system files. I use FastScripts to allow me to set the keyboard shortcut for my AppleScript, and placed the AppleScript in my ~/Library/Scripts Folder.

Here is the AppleScript in case you wish to give it a try:

tell application "System Events"

    set hiddenFilesDisplayStatus to do shell script "defaults read com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles"
    set hiddenFilesNewDisplayStatus to "NO"

    if hiddenFilesDisplayStatus is "NO" then
        set hiddenFilesNewDisplayStatus to "YES"
    end if

    do shell script "defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles " & hiddenFilesNewDisplayStatus
    do shell script "killall Finder"

end tell
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If you need to type an accented letter like "é" or "ñ" just press and hold the corresponding letter on your keyboard and a little popup will appear with numbered letters with accents. You can also click the letter of your choice.

enter image description here

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One of the most amazing things I know to do in the terminal is "doctor terminal" I just love it! :D I know it's a silly program that's easy to make but, no other operating system has it. I'm trying to get hold of the command now...

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2  
It's emacs feature and it's available on almost all operating systems emacswiki.org/emacs/EmacsDoctor –  mspasov Apr 12 '11 at 19:25
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If you want to Open/Close FrontRow just use + esc

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In an any Open/Save dialog, you can use Quicksilver to quickly find the desired file or folder and just drag it anywhere into the file dialog, sendig the file chooser directly to that location. [Enter] will do the rest.

(While not included in OSX, I assume, that the majority of users interested in this thread do run Quicksilver.app)

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Use this plugin to allow QuickLook to view animated GIFs - Animated GIF QuickLook For Mac 1.0

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And Quick Look supports animated gifs by default on Lion anyway. –  Lri Feb 23 '12 at 22:50
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A handy tip I discovered by accident.

Highlight any file in an Open dialogue window, press the space bar and voila! there is your file in all it's glory.

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This is called Quick Look and is already posted: apple.stackexchange.com/questions/400/… –  styfle May 20 '11 at 23:26
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protected by bmike Jan 23 '13 at 23:25

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