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/… Sep 14, 2010 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, 2010 at 17:18
  • more of the same here superuser.com/questions/15646/underused-mac-os-x-gui-features
    – username
    Sep 14, 2010 at 17:40
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    My collection of OS X tweaks (hidden or not) can be found here: mths.be/osx May 2, 2013 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! Dec 27, 2013 at 3:56

155 Answers 155

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Advanced cursor navigation for text.

  • optionleft/right arrow – Move cursor to previous/next word break.
  • commandleft/right arrow – Move cursor to start/end of line.
  • commandup/down arrow – Move cursor to top/bottom of textarea.
  • shiftleft/right arrow – Highlight left/right character.
  • shiftcommandleft/right arrow – Highlight left/right word.
  • shiftcommandup/down arrow – Highlight text to start/end of line.
  • optiondelete – Delete word.
  • commanddelete – Delete line.

If you have an iPhone (or iPad) with iOS 12, and a Mac with macOS Mojave, you can use the iPhone as a scanner or photo camera to directly scan documents or take photos. The scanner will even rotate and resize the document so that it appears as a rectangle. This function is integrated in a few Apple apps like Finder, Mail, Messages and the iWork apps.

enter image description here

For more information, see the Apple Support article Use Continuity Camera on your Mac.


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

  • 2
    This isn't a feature of OSX it is a plugin. Jan 20, 2012 at 18:37
  • 2
    And Quick Look supports animated gifs by default on Lion anyway.
    – Lri
    Feb 23, 2012 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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