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This question serves to share and collect the enhancements which are not documented by Apple, or documented poorly.

Please justify your answer; if it is something that is well documented by Apple and elsewhere on the web, it does not belong here. Your answer should put the feature into context, explaining how to use it. Add a picture if necessary.

Please add only one topic per answer. Try to find and edit existing features / answers rather than posting a duplicate answer which will end up getting deleted. Note that answers which are not specific to Mountain Lion will be removed as well. You can post such answers here.

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27  
I wish I had enough rep on Apple.SE to downvote. As it is, you'll have to make do with an angry glare: ಠ_ಠ –  GnomeSlice Jul 25 '12 at 18:47
29  
I'm sorry, I just think it's not a very good question for the Q&A format of the site. No amount of editing will change that, in my opinion. –  GnomeSlice Jul 25 '12 at 18:51
25  
@GnomeSlicE We've done these type of wiki collections several times in the past. While they are disputed, they always receive a lot of resonance. It's better to avoid them, especially for little things. But as Apple does not document everything they introduce in their software this question can be useful to many. Feel free to discuss these type of questions on meta. –  gentmatt Jul 25 '12 at 18:54
24  
Disagree with GnomeSlicE. Agree with gentmatt. These types of questions, when well cultivated, can be very useful and discourage (to some extent) the really bad CW posts. –  daviesgeek Jul 25 '12 at 19:02
14  
The 200+ improvements mentioned by Apple can be found at apple.com/osx/whats-new/features.html –  Hope4You Jul 25 '12 at 19:12

53 Answers 53

Exposé for all windows

Mountain Lion re-introduces the pre-Lion feature to be able to disable group by application in Mission Control, this was enabled by default in Lion and could not be disabled.

You can disable this in:
System Preferences → Mission Control → Group windows by application.

enter image description here

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2  
This alone may convince me to upgrade. I have avoided lion solely because of the removal of all-window expose. –  Fake Name Jul 27 '12 at 4:34
1  
@gentmatt realised my colleagues sat next to me haven't upgraded, looks like it was enabled by default and you couldn't turn it off, the ability to turn it off is what is new. –  Steve Jul 27 '12 at 11:06
2  
@Steve Yes, that's it. :) –  gentmatt Jul 27 '12 at 11:10

'Do Not Disturb' Mode for Notification Center

In the Notification Center drawer, scroll up a bit past what appears to be the top. There's a switch 'Show Alerts and Banners' that is checked by default. Uncheck it to disable notifications for the rest of the day.

Alternatively, option-click on the Notification Center menu bar item to activate Do Not Disturb mode quickly.

enter image description here

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7  
The ⌥-click trick is particularly awesome. The Notification Center icon turns gray when in do-not-disturb mode! i.imgur.com/MV3Tt.png –  Daniel Lawson Jul 25 '12 at 17:20

Messages is AppleScriptable, including an Event Handler Suite! This could get fun.

enter image description here

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1  
Excuse-me, it's maybe a very dumb question, but where did upi find this Messages.sdef file, and what is this application you are using to reed it? Thank in advance! –  Pascal Qyy Jun 21 at 13:28
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Use AppleScript Editor and open the dictionary from the file menu –  Daniel Lawson Jun 21 at 21:36

Inline progress for downloads and file copies

Bars show progress.

enter image description here enter image description here

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3  
I wouldn’t say the sharing button is underdocument. :P It’s actually one of the main advertising points for OS X. –  daknøk Jul 26 '12 at 22:15
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This even works in the Dock via Stacks, in this case into the Downloads folder (that's the Download folder stack). Awesome. This is hands down the coolest feature in Mountain Lion for me. –  Jason Salaz Aug 24 '12 at 18:16

Enhancements to Launchpad

There's now a search bar on top, and when you mouse over the Launchpad icon while an app is downloading, you get progress information:

enter image description here enter image description here

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13  
It's good to know that you do not need to click the search field first - instead: search by typing from anywhere in Launchpad. –  gentmatt Jul 25 '12 at 17:39
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@gentmatt: the reason for the large screenshot was to see the dock icon too... –  houbysoft Jul 25 '12 at 17:42
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@PooriaAzimi: well it lists all the apps. Whenever you install a new app in the App Store, the icon of that app "jumps" to the Launchpad, so it makes sense for launchpad to show the progress. –  houbysoft Jul 25 '12 at 18:28
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@PooriaAzimi: also note that a progress bar is now displayed under the "Applications" folder as well. –  houbysoft Jul 25 '12 at 18:28

Photo Stream and other screen savers

Mountain Lion includes a bunch of new kinetic photo-based screen savers.

You can select from several categories of stock images or choose a folder, iPhoto event, or Photostream as the source of images.

Go to System Preferences -> Desktop and Screen Saver -> Screen Saver and select one of the screen savers in the Slideshows category to try them out.

Personally, I'm a fan of Shifting Tiles.

enter image description here

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Customizable sidebar

You can now drag/drop sections in the Finder side bar again.

moving around the Favorites section of Finders side bar

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9  
Du benutzt aber interessante Namen ;) –  gentmatt Jul 25 '12 at 19:40
5  
OH SWEET LORD! FINALLY! –  XAleXOwnZX Jul 25 '12 at 22:09
1  
This feature is documented by Apple. –  Graham Perrin Jul 30 '12 at 12:50

Chess

...can now be played over the internet via Game Center.

enter image description here

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9  
Wow, why didn't they advertise this? Awesome feature. –  Nathan Greenstein Jul 25 '12 at 20:08
7  
Because it's Chess? –  Daniel Lawson Jul 26 '12 at 15:27
1  
Wait, how can I enable that? –  Moshe Jul 26 '12 at 18:59
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This was advertised. –  asmeurer Jul 27 '12 at 2:09

Go full screen on any display

It is now possible to use a fullscreen app on a screen other than the primary one.

To do so, drag your app on the screen of your choice and hit the fullscreen arrow or the fullscreen shortkey of the app.

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2  
What happens on the other screen? My understanding was that the other screen was useless in Lion when you had an app full screened. –  Keen Jul 25 '12 at 20:18
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@Keen Unfortunately it is same as before in Lion, the other screen is useless. –  Ermiar Jul 25 '12 at 20:19
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that's a step in the right direction, though full screen mode is still utterly useless for me, since I work with two monitors. –  daviesgeek Jul 26 '12 at 1:45
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This feature is documented by Apple. –  Graham Perrin Jul 30 '12 at 12:57

Ask to keep changes when closing documents

You can now force Mountain Lion to ask whether you want to keep changes you made to a document when closing it, which effectively allows you to sidestep autosaving.

System Preferences > General > [] Ask to keep changes when saving documents

Clearing the checkbox, as shown below, allows unsaved changes to be saved automatically.

enter image description here

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1  
Please try to avoid bloating answers. I think in this specific case the picture wasn't necessary. –  gentmatt Jul 25 '12 at 21:30
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I think having a nice screenshot for each one would be nice, in order to get TL;DR type people up to date in a quick skim through the page –  XAleXOwnZX Jul 25 '12 at 22:12
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Whoever downvoted this : you are wrong. The "Close windows when quitting an application" was there in Lion, but not this. –  houbysoft Jul 26 '12 at 2:48
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@houbysoft I totally agree, and I think this is a terrific change, but then that's exactly what your tip should say. Don't say you can disable autosaving; you can't. Be accurate. –  matt Jul 26 '12 at 21:08
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@GrahamPerrin The answer is still inaccurate. I repeat, you cannot avoid automatic saving. At close time, the document changes have already been automatically saved. Regardless of the wording of the checkbox or the dialogs, what's happening is only that you are alerted to this fact so that you can revert if you like (using the Versions feature). That is something you could have done anyway. So the alert is all that is new. It's good, but you are not in fact avoiding / allowing automatic saving; it's happening, regardless. –  matt Aug 7 '12 at 17:24

Save As

...is back!

Try the following keyboard shortcut: option-shift-command-S. Or simply hit the OPTION key while the file menu is pulled down:

enter image description here

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13  
I love how they count this as a feature. They could have many more features if they removed them in previous versions and then added them back in in the later versions –  Jonathan. Jul 26 '12 at 16:41
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If you assign a shortcut for duplicate in System Preferences > Keyboard > Keyboard Shortcuts The menu entry Save As... will be shown permanently - without the need to press ALT. –  gentmatt Jul 30 '12 at 11:49

The Mac App Store can be navigated with two-finger swipes

Back and forward are (finally) bound to the two-finger swipe gestures in the MAS just like they are in Safari.

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4  
Still not the finder though.... :'( –  Jonathan. Jul 26 '12 at 16:41
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@Jonathan You can go back and forward in Finder by holding option while making the mission control swipe (3 or 4 fingers). It probably doesn't allow two because some views have sideways scrolling. –  ughoavgfhw Jul 26 '12 at 22:35
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I worked on this last summer! You're welcome! :D –  jtbandes Jul 27 '12 at 5:32
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And two major OS releases later, it can finally be full screened! @Moshe Hi! Sorry I missed you at WWDC! –  wjl Jul 29 '12 at 7:40

Internet Sharing

Internet Sharing now supports WPA2 encryption (and no longer supports WEP, apparently) when sharing a wired connection to Wi-Fi.

enter image description here

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3  
@KevinMark WEP is still (kind of) supported in Internet Sharing and AirPort Utility. If you option-click the drop-down menu in Security (in Internet Sharing), WEP 40-bit and WEP 128-bit appear as new options. –  Ethan Lee Aug 30 '12 at 16:58

Zoom in PDF with Quick Look

Easily zoom in to a PDF with Quick Look (without Preview).

Methods include:

  • spread your fingers apart whilst the cursor is over the Quick Look window
  • smart zoom, Magic Mouse double-tap with one finger.

It doesn't seem to work on anything but PDF documents.

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2  
Typical Apple doing something people want but not going all the way. This would be useful on images too... –  Jonathan. Jul 26 '12 at 16:40

Three-finger tap for QuickLook

Tap (but don't click) with three fingers over an item in Finder to open QuickLook for that item. Tap again to close the QuickLook window. This is exactly like pressing the spacebar.

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Re-enable Web Sharing for individual users

May be more a "feature" than a feature, but anyway:

Per-user Web Sharing is gone from Preferences but can be easily re-enabled via Terminal.app. Copy the following snippet into /etc/apache2/users/USER.conf:

<Directory "/Users/USER/Sites/">
    Options Indexes MultiViews
    AllowOverride AuthConfig Limit
    Order allow,deny
    Allow from all
</Directory>

and restart Apache with sudo apachectl restart.

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AirPlay Everywhere

AirPlay devices like Apple TV and Airport Express now show as system audio output devices, so any audio on your Mac can be streamed to them. There are two ways to do it.

The fiddly way

System Preferences > Sound > Output

The easy way

option-click on the volume control in the menu bar

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Scrollbars get a bit wider when hovered over

Now it is easier to grab them.

screenshot showing normal scrollbar, and new wider scrollbar

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3  
Odd, this does not work when using Show scroll bars: always. –  Arjan Jul 27 '12 at 10:08

In-App File Manipulation

When you hover over the file name in the application bar you can Rename, Move to iCloud, Move to.., Duplicate, Lock and Browse all Versions.

Other than that, you can also have specific services that appear there.

enter image description here

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1  
Provided a better screen shot –  matt Jul 26 '12 at 19:01

Accidental Dock icon removal prevention

When moving and icon outside of the dock, it doesn't delete automatically, you need to stay out for a little at a minimum distance before it deletes.

There is a follow up question asking how to disable this feature - preferebly using a defaults write command.

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3  
I was really confused after the ML install when I was trying to remove some default Apple stuff I don't need in the dock ;) –  timbooo Jul 26 '12 at 19:32

Safari Tab Sharing:

If you have more than 1 Mac signed into the same iCloud account, then you can access a list of any open Safari tabs on your other machines by clicking the button in the toolbar as follows:

enter image description here

So far so yeah yeah we all knew about this months ago, but:


Start: Previously undiscussed material

In addition to opening the tab it even captures certain state definitions, such as whether or not you have the page open in Reader mode or not (and opens the tab to match accordingly). In reader mode on the remote tab? You will be if you open it locally via iCloud tab sharing.

Also things like dynamic page titles are carried over such as the (1) that appears when a new question with activity is identified on this site for example Have an open but unattended SE site tab open? You'll be able to see how many new questions with activity just by watching the tab title change. Same thing applies to Facebook chat windows etc, anything that alters the page title without you needing to navigate elsewhere in order for it to do so.

To open the shared tab in a new tab rather than replace the contents of the current one, simply Command+Click it

End: Previously undiscussed material


When iOS 6 is released, the same features will be available cross platform between Safari and Mobile Safari.

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Applications in the Get Info dialogue window are now expressly listed as 32-bit as opposed to just "Intel," which has been entirely dropped.

enter image description here

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Quickly Renaming Bookmarks in Safari

When you click and hold on a bookmark on the Safari bookmark bar you can quickly rename it.

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You can now silence bouncing application icons in the Dock by just hovering over them, instead of needing to click and activate them.

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4  
Actually, this was possible in Lion as well. My mother used it all the time for Entourage (she gets a lot of mail ;) ) –  Matt Jul 27 '12 at 6:17

Documents in iCloud

If an application is iCloud-savvy, its Open dialog has an iCloud tab. You can not only open documents here, but you can also drag documents into the cloud from the Finder, and you can create folders (drag one document onto another to do so).

enter image description here

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Dictation

You can dictate text wherever you can type text - even in an application that has not been rewritten for Mountain Lion. You must go in System Setting -> Dictation & Speech to activate the feature.

Note that you must have an Internet connection, since this is Siri behind the scenes and your speech must be sent to Apple's servers for interpretation.

enter image description here

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Better Dashboard Widgets Management

The "widgets bar" at the bottom of Dashboard is gone. To manage what dashboard widgets appear, click the + button to enter a mode where you see all available widgets; click one to add it to your default set of widgets. A new search bar helps you find the widget you want just like in the refined Launchpad. So, click...

+

..at the bottom left to enter the "add widgets" mode:

enter image description here

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2  
Definitely a big fan of the improved Dashboard. –  Terrance Shaw Jul 26 '12 at 23:21

Slightly better Dock appearance

The Dock "shelf" (when the Dock appears at the screen bottom) is drawn in a less glassy way (looks more like brushed metal, less reflection, less wasted space).

Also, the active appication indicator lights are much more subtle that the glowing "orbs" that used to sit on the glass and look awful, and now look like little LEDs set into the edge of the shelf

enter image description here

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Reading List caches content for offline use

Reading List in Safari is not new (it was introduced in Lion). But in Mountain Lion, a Web page stored in the Reading List stores the page, not just the URL, so you can read the page later without having to download it from the network.

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protected by Jason Salaz Jul 27 '12 at 9:29

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