Category Archives: Power
No matter how many times I visit this page, I always find something new that I hadn’t tried before. So the title of this post is more of a suggestion than a description. Why not take a poke around Apple’s shortcut list and discover ten that you don’t already know? I’m going to give a quick round up of ten shortcuts that I use on a regular basis.
1. ⌘ ⌃ Space
Command-Control-Space is a universal shortcut (i.e., you can use it no matter what application is currently active) for bringing up the character viewer (see the screenshot, top of page). In order for it to work, the cursor must be in a text field where character entry is possible, but you can use it literally anywhere: text documents, search fields, browser bars, save dialogs, etc. I used it heavily in creating this post!
2. ⌘ ⌃ ⏏
Command-Control-Eject saves you having to trawl all the way up to the icon top left of your screen and choose ‘Restart…’. It’ll give you the chance to save any unsaved work or cancel the shutdown. This shortcut has a cousin, too: add the option key (⌘ ⌥ ⌃ ⏏ ) to the mix and you get Shutdown instead of Restart.
3. ⌘ ⌫
One of my pet annoyances is continually being asked if I want to save ‘Untitled’ documents, those that I’ve never saved before, when trying to quickly quit an app. Having to take my fingers off the keyboard to move the cursor down to that ‘Delete’ button is time-consuming, and tabbing to it takes multiple hits of the tab key. Fortunately, ‘Command-Delete’ will let you discard the document immediately from the keyboard in one quick shot.
4. ⌘ G
Most people are familiar with invoking ‘Find’ on a page by using ‘Command-F’, but have you ever got annoyed by having to mouse up to those tiny little jump arrows in order to cycle through the hits?
Save your eyes and use Command G instead! Note that you have to invoke Find with ‘Command F’ first.
5. ⌃A, ⌃E, ⌃K
That’s three separate shortcuts not one! In any text field, Control-A moves the cursor to the beginning of the line; Control-E moves it to the end, while ⌃K deletes everything from the cursor to the end of the line. Old-hands of the Terminal and other command-line utilities will know these well, but even they may be surprised that these work across a wide-range of GUI apps, too. Particularly useful in Web browser address bars, search fields, Spotlight and so on.
6. ⌘ L
Command-L in Safari and other browser-based apps (including Xcode’s Documentation viewer 😉 ) will immediately move the focus to the address bar/search bar and allow you to edit its contents. No clicking necessary!
7.⌘ ⌃ 1, ⌘ ⌃ 2, ⌘ ⌃ 3
Three commands new for Safari’s sidebar. Respectively, open the sidebar with Bookmarks showing, with Reading list showing, and with Shared links showing. Hitting the same shortcut again toggles the sidebar closed. Note that those are the numbers ’1′, ’2′ and ’3′, not F1, F2, F3.
8. ⌘ ⇧ A, ⌘ ⇧ U, ⌘ ⇧ H, ⌘ ⇧ D
Again, that’s 4 different shortcuts, this time for the Finder. OK, hands up all those that switch to the Finder, hit Command-N to open a new window, and then click to their Desktop? Save yourself the grief (and the time), just activate Finder and hit Command-Shift-D. No need to open a window first, the shortcut will open a new window for you showing your Desktop folder. The others do the same thing but for different folders: Command-Shift-A opens your Applications folder, Command-Shift-U the Utilities folder, Command-Shift-H opens your Home folder.
9. ⌘ F1
This one’s for those of you with dual monitors or when your Mac is hooked up to a projector. Command-F1 toggles between mirroring and separate monitor views. Great for presentations.
10.(fn) ⌃ F8
Control-F8 activates the Status bar (top right row of icons on your screen). Use the left/right arrow keys to move along them, and the up/down arrows to select things in any menu. Hit ‘enter/return’ to perform the action. Note that on laptops you may need to invoke the fn ‘Function’ key, depending on your settings in Keyboard Preferences.
This is a great one for turning on/off Bluetooth, Wifi and checking Mavericks’ new Energy monitor in the Battery/Power icon. Mostly though, I use it for manually starting Time Machine backups or entering TM’s “star wars” interface (oh, and as a bonus…note that (fn) ⌃ F2 activates the other side of the menu bar (i.e., the menu). Enjoy!
Got your own favourite shortcuts? Tell us what you use most in the Comments!
If you see a screen with a progress bar (something like the shot above), your Mac is starting up in Safe Mode. This shouldn’t happen unless the user intentionally wants to do so for troubleshooting purposes. However, if you find that your Mac is defaulting to Safe Mode when you try to start up normally, try the following tips.
1. Stuck Shift key
Check that the Shift key is not accidentally being pressed down or stuck. If you suspect the keyboard may be faulty, plug in a different keyboard.
2. Use Terminal to reset boot-args
Allow the machine to finish booting into Safe Mode, then open Terminal (Applications/Utilities/Terminal.app) and copy this command into the Terminal window:
sudo nvram boot-args=""
press ‘return’ on your keyboard. Enter an Admin password (type carefully as it will not be echoed to the screen) and restart the Mac.
3. Do a PRAM reset.
In this case, a PRAM reset effectively does the same as No.2 above. However, if No.2 didn’t work, it’s worth trying this way of doing it in case for some reason the boot memory failed to hold the preference setting. You can also do this step instead of Step 2 if you are not comfortable with using the Terminal.
The PRAM reset is done like this:
1. Power down the machine.
2. Locate the following keys on your keyboard in preparation for Step 4:
3. Press the ‘power on’ button.
4. Immediately – and before the grey screen appears – hold down ‘command-option-P-R’ all together.
5. Keep them held down until you’ve heard the start-up chime twice. After you release them you should hear it again, and hopefully your Mac will boot up as it should normally.
Here’s a couple of tricks you can use to eek a bit more life out of your old battery between recharges.
1. Turn off the keyboard backlights by pressing F5.
2. Turn off Bluetooth in the menu bar.
3. If you’re not using the Internet, turn off Wifi in the menu bar.
4. If you are using the internet, but you’re not expecting or bothered about receiving mail for a time, quit Mail or any other email client app. If you still want to check your email and you use a web-based mail service like GMail, you’ll use less battery power if you quit Mail, and open GMail directly in your browser window.
5. Reduce the hard disk drive sleep time (formerly known as ‘spindown’). By default, your Mac will power down the hard disk after 10 minutes inactivity on battery power. You could try setting that to 5 minutes (any less, and you’ll probably lose what you gain as the the HD will end up having to power up more often than necessary).
To do so, open Terminal, and copy/paste this command:
sudo pmset -b disksleep 5
After pressing ‘Return’ on your keyboard, you will need to enter your password, which will be invisible when you type it (so type carefully).
If you want to change it back to its default anytime in the future, just use the same command but change the ’5′ to ’10′.
This doesn’t affect the spindown time when you’re on mains power.