11 handy tricks for El Capitan users

Despite the numerous problems that Microsoft Offices users have had with Apple's latest OS for Mac, OS X 10.11 El Capitan is still a truly great operating system with a lot of advantages. While most articles talk about major changes and improvements,small enhancements that make every day actions easier are generally overlooked. This is why I've decided to tell you about 11 small tricks that will make the lives of El Capitan users slightly better.

Lost cursor

I'm not sure if it's because I have a big screen or if my eyesight is getting weaker, but there are many times when I simply lose the cursor on the screen, so I start to move the mouse frantically in order to find it. In previous versions of Apple's operating system this would take a little while, but El Capitan brought a better solution. In OS X 10.11, if you jiggle your mouse up and down, the cursor will automatically increase its size, thus being easier to spot. (However, if you have a tendency to procrastinate, I recommend disabling this setting, as it's a compelling way of wasting time.)

A more customizable Spotlight

Spotlight is one of the most used tools in every Apple operating system, but there are also many times when its window gets in the way of what you are trying to do. El Capitan fixes this issue by enabling you to move the Spotlight window from its original position, and resize it until it "suits" your needs.

Auto-play in silence

I actually hate (I know that it's a strong word and I don't care) auto-playing media content. There I am, with my headphones on, listening to some relaxing music and focusing on the task at hand when I open a new tab, and a new sound (usually louder than the song) suddenly appears. Furthermore, since I have about 126 other tabs open, it takes a long while for the browser to display the webpage with the player that's annoying me, so basically the entire song is ruined. In case this happens to you too, in OS X 10.11, there is an easier way to solve the issue. If you use Safari, simply right-click the tab that started annoying you, then press on the mute button, and everything should be peaceful once again.

Drag windows to different desktops

I know what you're thinking: you could drag and drop windows to different desktops in previous OS X versions too. True, but El Capitan brings a few important changes. For starters, whenever you drag a window outside the corner of your screen, the OS will automatically create a new desktop, so you have some place to drop it, even if there was no more work-space in the alternative screen that you were previously using. Furthermore, OS X 10.11 allows you to combine windows in a split-screen mode, which is actually pretty cool.

Enhanced Notes

The Notes tool in El Capitan has been improved with several text editing features, but that's not even the best part. Once you start using OS X 10.11 you will be able to drag-and-drop media files directly into the application and attach them to the note that you're creating. Since the new QuickTime makes it very easy to create your own recordings, making notes that feature audio recordings is now a piece of cake.

Transit in Maps

This in probably one of the most talked about features, but since it's just a small change made to an application I felt compelled to include it in this collection as well. The Maps app from El Capitan now provides details about public transportation routes such as metro, bus, train, etc. making it much easier for people who don't have a car to get from point A to point B. Unfortunately, at the time this functionality is restricted to just a few cities from the US and London, but more will be added in time.

Quick file renaming

I have no idea why, but in all the previous OS X versions you were unable to rename a file using the context menu. Well, that has changed in El Capitan which now allows you to change the name of any file from the Finder window by keeping the Ctrl key pressed while clicking on the item and then selecting the Rename feature from the menu that pops up.

Copy pathname

One of the most underrated new features brought by El Capitan is the ability to easily copy the pathname of any file that you have stored. All you have to do is keep the Option button pressed while clicking on the file you're interested in, and the Copy as Pathname function will show up. This is highly useful to those who prefer using the Terminal or anyone who tries to locate a specific file on his or her Mac.

Natural Language and Enhanced Dictation

Disappointingly enough, Apple doesn't want to join the universal operating system game and has decided to keep Siri away from OS X 10.11. However, the good news is that in El Capitan you can combine the Natural Language feature with Enhanced Dictation and get a result that is very similar to the functionality offered by Siri. To do this, you will first need to go to System Preferences --> Dictation and Speech and enable the Dictation feature, then make sure that the Enhanced Dictation box is checked. Now, simply launch the Spotlight and use the Dictation Shortcut (double tap the Function button) to make use of this functionality.

Finding your friends

One of the coolest things that I've discovered in El Capitan was the Find My Friends widget, which is located in the Notifications Center. Once you find it, just click on the Edit button, then press the Add Icon button (it's green), and whenever you launch the Notifications Center, the locations of your friends will be automatically displayed. Additionally, if you click on any friend from the list, you will see a map with his or her location.

Tabs in the Mail app

Last on our list is a feature that I've wanted for a long time and that El Capitan has finally provided. From now on, whenever you use the Mail app embedded in the operating system, you will be able to use multiple tabs. This means that there will be no more fumbling around back and forth, trying to remember what was written in the email that you wanted to mention. Furthermore, the app now works in full-screen mode, so you don't need to worry about running out of space because you've opened too many tabs.

Comments