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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..

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

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mac.finerthingsin.com is a great source of hidden gems on the Mac. –  Philip Regan Aug 24 '10 at 23:35
My collection of OS X tweaks (hidden or not) can be found here: mths.be/osx –  Mathias Bynens May 2 '13 at 18:43
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

134 Answers 134

You can force Expose to only show windows that are on the current Space (instead of all windows open on any Space). Type the following into Terminal:

defaults write com.apple.dock wvous-show-windows-in-other-spaces -bool FALSE

then, to restart Dock:

killall Dock
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I am new to Mac so this might be common knowledge but in snow leopard if you hold 3 and 2 during boot you will boot into 32 bit mode and the same goes foe 64 bit when holding the 6 and 4 keys during boot. Macfuse for example did not like running in 64 bit mode

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

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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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To paste plain text without any formatting use +++V.

That's very useful when working in app like Keynote and copying some text from webpage.

Note: It doesn't work if any other function assigned to this shortcut. To fix that just change the default shortcut in the app to something else.

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Create a Keyboard Shortcut to open Terminal (or any application) no matter where you are or what application is currently active.

Use Automator to create a Service. Within Actions choose Launch Application.

In my case I made sure that the service receives no input in any application.

Then from the dropdown select other then double-click Utilities then select Terminal.app and click choose.

Save the service and make sure it has a .workflow extension.

Next open up System Preferences and click on the keyboard. Click the Shortcuts tab and select the Services option on the left.

You should see your new service in the General section named whatever you chose to name it.

Then you can click the none button that indicates it has no shortcut yet and assign it whatever shortcut keys you want.

There are other ways but this works no matter what application is active and it never fails.

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Safari also supports a subset of Emacs keybindings

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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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It's emacs feature and it's available on almost all operating systems emacswiki.org/emacs/EmacsDoctor –  mspasov Apr 12 '11 at 19:25

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. –  ؘؘؘؘ Feb 23 '12 at 22:50

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

protected by bmike Jan 23 '13 at 23:25

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