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The seven best OS X tricks you're not using

Sharon Zardetto | April 9, 2013
It's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it: find overlooked OS X tricks. Sometimes I hunt for them; sometimes I just run across them. Here's a collection that I bet includes items you've missed, too.

5. Rearrange your status icons

I have quite a collection of utilities that, along with OS X, puts "status icons" in the menu bar at the top of my screen. You probably do, too. At the far right, you have some immovable icons: Notifications and Spotlight, and Users if you have multiple accounts on your Mac. Other icons are usually positioned according to when you installed or activated their begetters. But the order is not immutable: Command-drag an icon and others scoot out of the way so you can drop it where you want. The general constraint is that OS X's icons remain to the right of any third-party items.

Make sure to drop the icon in the menu bar, or it disappears with a puff of smoke. You can reverse most accidental deletions by going to System Preferences and turning the item back on from the relevant pane (Date & Time, for instance, or Sound). You might need to relaunch non-OS X items to make them reappear.

6. Go directly to your system info

Need to look up your Mac's processor type or speed, or check your laptop battery's charge cycles? Pressing Option before or after opening the Apple menu changes the About This Mac item to System Information. (Usually it takes three steps to get to System Information: You must choose About This Mac, click More Info, and then click System Information.)

7. Log out quickly

Pressing Option when you use the Apple menu also changes the Log Out command. It loses the ellipsis that signifies an impending dialog box, which means you can skip the Are You Sure You Want To Quit... dialog box. You'll still get to save any changed documents before the logout proceeds.


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