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How to clean your desktop, signing docs in Preview and other cool hidden features of your MacBook

By AYIE LICSI Published Sep 13, 2021 5:57 pm

Much like an iPhone, MacBooks are chock-full of clever features to optimize your usage and make your workflow more productive. Some of these handy features come in the form of keyboard shortcuts and are common knowledge even to first-time macOS features.

Your Mac holds a host of functionality tools buried deep and if you explore enough, you'll find highly helpful features that will save you a few clicks. Here are 7 hidden MacBook features to help you become a bonafide power user.

Control media from your menu bar

Tired of switching through different apps to play or pause videos and music? You can pin a universal media player to your menu bar to save time and effort. With the widget, you can control playback across YouTube and Netflix on your browser and music apps like Spotify.

To add the player, open up System Preferences > Dock & Menu Bar > Now Playing and check “Show in Menu Bar."

Use the full-fledged screenshot and recorder tool

Taking a screenshot on the Mac is simple—just press Cmd+Shift+3 or Cmd+Shift+4. Did you know there's a more full-fledged tool for screenshots and screen recording?

Pressing Cmd+Shift+5 will bring up a dashboard-like interface where you can find different screen capture options. You can record a particular area of your screen and specify a microphone input for audio, too.

Rename multiple files with one action

Renaming files can be tedious, especially if there are a lot of files to rename. Fortunately, macOS has a feature that allows you to rename multiple files quickly.

First, highlight the files you wish to rename, then right-click on them. Select Rename and choose Format in the first drop-down menu. Fill in the information you want to use and tweak the settings according to your liking. Click Rename when done.

Sign documents in Preview

There's no need to download third-party apps to sign documents. Open up the file in Preview to do this. Click on the pen icon next to the search bar by the top-right to pull up the menu. Then, click on the signature box to add your signature.

You can use your trackpad to sign, sign a piece of paper and hold it up to your MacBook's camera, or sign your name on your iPhone's screen. After, you can click and drag your signature into your document.

Utilize Spotlight Search

Spotlight Search isn't a hidden feature per se, but did you know that it has extra functions besides searching for files? As long as you're connected to the web, you can do math computations and currency conversions in the search bar after pressing Cmd+Space.

Clean up your desktop with Stacks

Clear your desktop by ticking Use Stacks when you right-click on your desktop. This feature will gather all comparable files into one stack so they won't clutter your screen.

Pin files and folders to your dock

Want to create a shortcut for a certain file or folder but don't want it cluttering your desktop? Pin them to your dock.

Open the file or folder in the Finder app and click on the item and tap on File. Hold down the Shift key to reveal the "Add to Dock" option to create the shortcut. You can also just press Ctrl+Cmd+Shift+T to do all this.