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Quick Tip: 3 Essential Mac OS X Workflow Tips

There are lots of little-known tips and tricks for improving your day-to-day Mac OS X workflow. Sure, Spotlight, Spaces, Expose and the Dashboard have a place in the heart of most Mac users but sometimes it's the dead simple tricks that make using your Mac more enjoyable and can also help to increase your productivity. Here are 3 simple and extremely effective workflow tips for every Mac beginner and even more advanced users. Read on to find out more...

01 - Minimize / Restore All Windows

You may already know the two main methods to minimize a window to the Dock:

  • Double-click on the top area of a window's tool bar / title bar
  • Command+M

But what if you wish to minimize all open windows of your currently selected application? Easy. Either:
Hold down Option and double-click on the top area of a window's tool bar / title bar or
Use the shortcut: Option+Command+M

... and to restore the minimized windows of the same application? Option-click one of the Minimizes windows in the Dock.

Remember these tricks will work for Finder windows and other Mac OSX application windows too!

02 - Moving background windows without selecting them

Even advanced Expose experts come across times when switching windows can be a drag (quite literally!) I often need multiple windows open at the same time: Safari, Pages, Finder, etc. Sometimes, I just need to be able to see some information in a background window which may be obscured from view. Of course, selecting it by clicking on the window brings it to the front, which is often not what I want.

There's a simple solution not may Mac users know about: Hold down the Command key and drag the background window from an empty area of it's Title Bar. The background window can be dragged anywhere on the screen without disturbing the surrounding window layout.

Make sure to Command-click on an empty area of a Safari window's Tool or Title Bar. If you click on the name of the site it won't work.

03 - Quickly find the location of a document in your application

One of my favourites and most used! You're working away in Pages/Keynote/Logic/etc, etc on a document. If you forget the location of your document/file how can you effortlessly find it? Spotlight is one option. Choosing File > Save as... often will open a save dialogue window in said location. Yes, you guessed it... There's an even easier way!

Command-click on the icon / name of the document as displayed in the top-middle of the Tool Bar. A drop down menu appears displaying the Finder window hierarchy and where your document is currently located.

Simply Click on any of the folder icons/names to open a new Finder window displaying the contents of that folder.

So, these are three simple and easy to remember Mac tips that I hope you find useful. And if you do find them useful, please feel free to share them!

Rounik Sethi

Rounik Sethi | Articles by this author

Rounik is the Executive Editor for Ask.Audio & the macProVideo Hub. As an Apple Certified Trainer for Logic (and a self-confessed Mac fanatic) he's taught teachers, professional musicians and hobbyists how to get the best out of Apple's creative software. He has been a visiting lecturer at Bath Spa University's Teacher training program, facilitating workshops on using music and digital media tools in the classroom. If you're looking for Rounik, you'll most likely find him (and his articles) on Ask.Audio & macProVideo.com.

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