Do you know any hidden or little-known nice feature of macOS (née 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!

  • I wonder if the "Terminal Tips and Tricks For Mac OS X" thread from SU can be ported over: superuser.com/questions/52483/… – Josh Newman Sep 14 '10 at 17:12
  • @3rdparty, that would probably happen only after this site is out of beta... (though I don't know what the exact plan is with regard to these overlapping sites). – Jonik Sep 14 '10 at 17:18
  • more of the same here superuser.com/questions/15646/underused-mac-os-x-gui-features – username Sep 14 '10 at 17:40
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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! – RPiAwesomeness Dec 27 '13 at 3:56

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On newer versions of macOS , you can access an interactive tool for taking screenshots via +Shift+5.


You can use three different modes.

Capture/Record Entire Screen

This mode is basic and lets you capture the entire screen. It replicates the functionality of +Shift+3.

Capture/Record Selected Portion

This mode allows you to crop out parts of the screen beforehand. You can move or resize the selected portion. The width and height of the portion will appear while resizing. This mode replicates the functionality of +Shift+4.

Capture Selected Window

This screenshot-exclusive mode allows you to take a screenshot of a window. Windows include context menus and other UI items as well. This mode replicates the functionality of +Shift+4 after pressing Space and selecting a window.


After capturing your screenshot or recording, you can view a preview of it. Right-clicking this preview allows you to set its save location, open it, delete it, or use Markup.

Right-clicking preview of saved screenshot

Markup editor allows you to draw freehand circles, add text, crop, or rotate screenshots.

Markup editor on screenshot

The Markup editor also allows you to trim recordings.

Markup editor on recording


By long-pressing on the bookmarks tab on the sidebar, you can open a menu containing the structure of the bookmarks folder. You can move your mouse to jump to a folder from this menu.

Context menu for bookmarks folder structure


If you use a second monitor this one helped a lot

fn + + - combines the contents of both screens into one


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

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    This isn't a feature of OSX it is a plugin. – Graeme Hutchison Jan 20 '12 at 18:37
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    And Quick Look supports animated gifs by default on Lion anyway. – Lri 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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