Seven Useful macOS Tricks You Might Not Know

There are a lot of hidden features in both macOS and iOS that often go under the radar, either because they've not received much attention from Apple, or they've been forgotten after a period of time.

In the latest video over on our YouTube channel, we've rounded up some useful macOS tips and tricks that you might not know about.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

  1. Universal Copy Paste - In iOS 10 and macOS Sierra, Apple introduced a universal copy paste feature. On devices where you're signed into your iCloud account, if you copy something on one device, you can paste it to another. So if you copy something on your iPhone, for example, you can swap over to your Mac to paste it.

  2. Menu Bar - If you hold down the Command key, you can use your mouse or trackpad to rearrange the icons of the menu bar at the top of your screen.

  3. Dragging Text - You can highlight text on your Mac and then hold down with the trackpad or a mouse to drag that text into another app. If you drag text to the desktop, it'll create a new text clip document.

  4. Split Screen - To quickly access the split-screen multitasking mode on your Mac, click and hold the mouse cursor over the green button in the upper left hand corner of any app window.

  5. Emoji - To insert an emoji into any document or message, hold down the Control and Command keys and then press the space bar to bring up an emoji menu interface where you can choose an emoji.

  6. Picture-in-Picture - When you watch a video on your Mac, like the YouTube video above, click on the Picture-in-Picture button that's in the bottom right of the video player (it looks like an arrow pointing at a separate screen). If there's no Picture-in-Picture button, you can hold down Control and then double-click inside the video to open up a shortcut menu. From there, you'll have a separate video window that can be moved and resized.

  7. Signing Documents - When viewing a PDF or document in an app like Preview, there are tools for inserting a signature. You can create a signature using a finger on the trackpad of your Mac, which is a handy way to sign digital documents.
For more of our how tos and guides, make sure to check out our How To and Guide roundup sections on the site. For more Mac specific tips, keep an eye on our macOS High Sierra roundup, where we highlight macOS High Sierra tips and tricks in addition to everything you need to know about the operating system.

Related Roundup: macOS High Sierra


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7 months ago
Very impressed with Macrumors the last two weeks. You guys (and gals) have stepped up your internet game. Articles like these are the kinds of things that keep people coming back to the site, not to mention the wonderful forum members who are always full of vim and vigor. :)
Rating: 37 Votes
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7 months ago

Click bait .... sad.


Look up the definition of “click-bait.” This article wasn’t even close to that.
Rating: 23 Votes
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7 months ago

Perhaps Julie Clover should do something else for a living. Not knowing some of these basic 'mac' tips and working for a mac site is a bit amateur.

Maybe you should stop and realize that many, many members, as well as lurkers, may not know about some basic OS features. That is who the article is for. Juli Clover ('//www.macrumors.com/author/juli-clover/')(and MacRumors) is trying to educate people.

Get the chip off your shoulders and learn some manners. I think you owe Juli an apology.
Rating: 14 Votes
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7 months ago

Perhaps Julie Clover should do something else for a living. Not knowing some of these basic 'mac' tips and working for a mac site is a bit amateur.

I can't believe people on this site are such ******s. Are you really so uneducated that you think the author of a story is writing it for her own edification? Good grief.

I thought it was a cool article.
Rating: 11 Votes
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7 months ago
Just showed someone how to use signatures in Preview the other day. They didn’t even know it was there.
[doublepost=1520030783][/doublepost]

Click bait .... sad.

Uh if it’s informative and covers things not usually discussed it is definitely not click bait.
Rating: 8 Votes
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7 months ago

Click bait .... sad.

I think you're confusing "click bait" with "something worth clicking"...
Rating: 7 Votes
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7 months ago

This is badly worded, you need to click and hold the green button as the video says, not hover over it as "... hold the mouse cursor over ..." suggests.


Didn't mean to suggest just hovering over the button. Thanks for the suggestion on wording, I've fixed it.
Rating: 6 Votes
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7 months ago
I discovered that when taking a selection-screenshot via Cmd+Shift+4 when pressing Alt it after the initial click it will resize the window from the center of the selected area (nice if you missed the initial position of the first click). And when pressing Shift it locks the expansion of the area to the one you move first until you release it.
Rating: 6 Votes
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7 months ago
First grade teacher: “What is 1+1?”
6-yr-old vincebio: “Perhaps you should work somewhere else.”
Rating: 6 Votes
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7 months ago

4. Split Screen - To quickly access the split-screen multitasking mode on your Mac, hold the mouse cursor over the green button in the upper left hand corner of any app window.


Didn't know about that one. Pretty nifty, and more handy now that I've moved up to a 27" display.
Rating: 6 Votes
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