Top 5 Tricks for Mac Newbies

All right, so you just got a Mac and you absolutely love it – are we right, or are we right? Cool, join the club. But before your enthusiasm dies out and fades away, let’s stop and take a look at the 5 coolest tricks for Mac newbies. These are genuinely awesome things that we’re willing to bet you had no idea your machine could pull. So, without further ado, check out all the clever things your Mac can do.

#1 Remote control

That’s right, ladies and gents, there are numerous methods for controlling your Mac machine from a distance. All you need to make sure is that your Mac back home is turned on. Then, you can try out an app for remote use like LogMeIn, or share your desktop across networks, with the aid of Google Hangouts. Macs come with an in-built VNC client in OS X and, the best part yet, iCloud comes with a feature called Back to My Mac, which shows up in the Shared folder of your Finder sidebar. Aside from leaving your Mac on, you also need to be connected to your iCloud account.

#2 It speaks!

If you’ve got an iPhone, you probably already know all about Siri, but perhaps you’re not aware of the fact that your MacBook or Apple laptop can also perform vocally-dictated commands. In Edit > Speech > Start Speaking, you can have your Mac device read your texts back to you in a wide range of voices and accents. For voice controls, go to Speakable Items in the Accessibility pane or start dictating whenever the need strikes, in OS X versions starting with 10.8 and upwards. You can also use a shortcut: double press the Function key on your keyboard.

#3 Go Windows

Yes, this may defeat the whole purpose of buying a Mac and making the switch in the first place. However, while Apple purists may argue all they want, sometimes it’s just useful to run Windows on a Mac device, which is why we included this tip on our list of Mac tricks for newbies. For instance, given the nature of your profession, you may need to run a specialized program, which has no equivalent for the Mac. There are plenty of virtualization apps out there which will allow you to run Windows and the OS X on the same device at the same time. we recommend VMware Fusion, Parallels Desktop and VirtualBox for beginners.

#4 Write in tongues

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If you sometimes need to use special characters on your Mac, you might want to know that it includes a wide range of them. Simpler ones, such as the é in café can be accessed by pressing the Option+E, followed by another E, but there are so many more available to you. You can find them in the Edit Menu of most applications, under Special Characters.

#5 Do your own screencast

Ever noticed how many of the video tutorials you find online are recorded off a Mac? That’s because one of the handiest tricks for Mac newbies is recording your desktop. All you need to do is fire up QuickTime, then select New Screen Recording. You can choose whether or not you want to display the mouse cursor, how much of your screen you want to record, then edit it at will.

Know other awesome Mac tricks for newbies?

Since Lure of Mac aims to cater to all kinds of Mac lovers, from iOS aficionados to complete beginners, don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments if there’s anything you think we forgot. Got beef with any one of our suggestions? Drop us a line and tell us all about it!