20 Time-Saving Tech Tips for Mac Users

CC Image: Robby Mueller on Flickr

Of these 20 tips for Mac users that can help you save time over the course of your workday, I’m hoping there’s at least one you don’t know about. Pick that one and start incorporating it into your workflow. Sure, it may seem like you’re only saving nanoseconds, but that time adds up, especially if you have repetitious tasks to accomplish.
I’m of the opinion that time spent searching online for a better solution to a common problem is time well-spent. I’d be glad to hear your suggestions for similar small tips and tricks that save your bacon (or allow you more time for preparing and consuming bacon) in the comments.

My Favorite Mac OS Tips (Mountain Lion)

  • Enable multiple “spaces” so that apps can run fullscreen and you can have multiple virtual desktops. If you’ve never used a “space,” open Mission Control. Drag any open application to the top row to create a new space.
  • Swipe between spaces by using two fingers to swipe left or right. This may need to be enabled in System Preferences, Mouse, More Gestures, Swipe between full-screen apps.
  • Open a specific application in the same “space” each time. Once you’ve placed the desired app on the desired space, right-click or control-click its icon (whether in the dock or within Finder) and choose Options->This Desktop.
  • Customize “hot corners” so that placing your cursor in any corner launches a particular OS app, like your screensaver. Click the Apple icon in the top left corner, then choose System Preferences, then Mission Control, then Hot Corners at the bottom of that window. Use the dropdown menus at each corner to select your OS app of choice.
  • Enable text-expansion so that you can type something like e\ and your email address appears. Go to System Preferences, Keyboard, Input Sources, Text (along the top). Click the + sign at the bottom of the window to add a new text expansion unit. Be sure to use a somewhat random character string so that your normal typing isn’t affected.

Mac Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Cmd + tab = Switch between open applications. Keep tapping to keep switching.
  • Cmd + space = Open Spotlight to quickly search for files or launch programs.
  • option + e + any letter = Create an accent symbol above any letter.
  • command + option + esc = Force quit any program (seldom used, which is why I always forget the key combo).
  • CheatSheet: Learn all Mac keyboard shortcuts for any program for free.

Chrome Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Cmd + w = Close an open tab in Chrome
  • Cmd + t = Open a new tab in Chrome
  • control + tab = Switch between open tabs in Chrome
  • Cmd + +, Cmd + -, Cmd + 0 = In Chrome, zoom in (+), zoom out (-), revert to normal-sized view (0)
  • Every Chrome for Mac keyboard shortcut

Mac Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Cmd + T = Transform the selected layer, allows for quick rotation, expansion and contraction.
  • Cmd + J = Create an identical copy of a selected layer
  • Cmd + shift + n = Create a new layer
  • ] or [ = Increase ( ] ) or decrease ( [ ) brush size
  • 500+ Photoshop CS5 keyboard shortcuts
Were any of these new to you? Which ones?
What should I add to my arsenal of time-saving tech tips?