Quick Tips

Change Audio Output & Input In The Menu Bar

If you have headphones, speakers and internal speakers set up on a Mac and also a headset, microphone, and internal microphone, you’ll want to easily switch between different inputs or outputs. There is a quick way without going to the System Preferences each time.

How To
Hold the Option key and click the volume icon in the menu bar this will show a list of audio inputs and outputs. You can now select what you want. 

This enables you to quickly switch between audio inputs and outputs.

Find Your Mac’s Cursor

Many times the best place to look for something you’ve lost is down the back of the sofa, however, this is not helpful if the item lost is the cursor on you Mac’s screen. A feature that has been available since the release of El Capitan in September 2015 is the ability to make your cursor reveal itself by simply moving your mouse quickly or running your finger rapidly back and forth across the trackpad, this makes the cursor increase in size. Once you’ve located the elusive cursor, stop and it will shrink back to its normal size.

How To
Open System Preferences and select Accessibility.

Once the Accessibility panel is open select Display on the left side and ensure the ‘Shake mouse pointer to locate’ checkbox is ticked (img.1).

 (img.1)

(img.1)

A quick way to find mislaid cursors. 

Change The Default Finder Folder

Do you wish you could see a different folder to “All My Files” when you open a new Finder window in macOS?

If like myself you prefer to have your Documents (or any other folder) show it is extremely easy to change the default behavior to one that suits your individual requirements.

How To
In the Finder menu (usually showing when you click on your Desktop) select Preferences or you can just hit the key combination Command ⌘ + , which will show the Finder Preferences.

Click on the selection box below “New Finder windows show” and select the folder you would like to display (if your folder is not there click on other and navigate to your desired location) (img.1).

 (img.1)

(img.1)

Each new Finder window will now open showing your selected folder.

Pin A Note To The Top Of Your Notes List

Many users make notes in the native macOS all of the time and would like to keep their most important note at the top of the list. Well there is an extremely easy way to do this.

How To
When in notes find the note you would like at the top of you list (img.1).

 (img.1)

(img.1)

Right click on the note you would like at the top of you list and then left click on 'Pin Note' (img2).

 (img.2)

(img.2)

Your note will now be pinned to the top of the notes list (img.3).

 (img.3)

(img.3)

An easy way to keep you most important note at the top of your list.

Jump To Right Most Tab In Safari

Last week saw the release of updates for all of Apple’s platforms including macOS High Sierra 10.13.4, as well as bringing improvements to performance and stability it also added a few new features.

Safari.jpg

This quick tip will show one of the little features added in this update. If you have several tabs open in Safari, something that happens to me on a regular basis when doing research, it can be a pain to tab across your tabs in order to get to the right most one.

With the release of macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 you can just hit the key combination Command ⌘ + 9 and you will be automatically taken to the right most tab.

A shortcut I will definitely be making use of.

Check Storage On Your Mac

At the current time many of us are constrained by the limited amount of storage on Mac Desktops and Laptops due the use of SSDs and their cost.

It is prudent to keep it check on your disk usage and available space. The screencast below shows how to do this.

Screencast

Text Walkthrough

Check Storage On Your Mac

  • Check Storage On Your Mac

  • Click on the Apple Menu.

  • Select ‘About This Mac’.

  • The basic system information is displayed.

  • Select the Storage tab.

  • All attached Hard Drives are shown with disk usage.

  • In the manage section Apple has provided a convenient place to manage the space on the internal hard drive.

  • Back in the storage section available space is displayed above the Hard Disk usage.

I hope this screencast provides an easy way to check the storage on your Mac.

Amazon Alexa Web Portal

Have you received or purchased an Amazon Smart Speaker recently?

A very quick tip, according to reports many will have received a smart speaker as a gift over the holiday period and one of the best selling smart speakers is the Amazon range including the Echo and Dot. By now they have probably all been set up using the Alexa App for iOS or Android and setting have been adjusted on these devices.

There is another way to adjust the settings and adding skills etc. on your new Echo or Dotwhich is via the Amazon Alexa web portal. Being paralysed from the neck down I find it much easier to to browse and change setting via my Mac and not a mobile device, other able bodied users may find the convenience of a web portal an added bonus. Just visit https://alexa.amazon.co.uk in the UK or https://alexa.amazon.com in the USA log into your account and all of the settings for your Alexa device will be available to you.

This is another way of controlling your Alexa smart speaker.