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MicroMacTips part 5

In this post, John Espirian shares 5 more tips for being a better Mac user.

1. Navigate using the hidden window title menu

Ctrl-click the title of a window in the Finder and you’ll see all the folders that lead to that window. Click any folder in the list to jump to it quickly. If you’ve got 19 seconds to spare(!), this video will show you how to do it:

The same process works in lots of other apps, e.g. Acrobat, Preview and Word. So, if you have an open document in Word and want to locate the file in the Finder, just Ctrl-click the title and click the folder below the file name. Easy peasy.

Ctrl-clicking is the same as right-clicking

If your mouse supports it (and most do), performing a right-click is easier and quicker than pressing Ctrl and making a normal mouse click. Both actions have the same effect.

2. Cycle between windows in an app

Say you have lots of open Word documents. You can switch between them by pressing Cmd-`. The same combination works in most apps, so this is a shortcut that’s really worth learning.

If keyboard shortcuts aren’t your thing, look for the Window menu in the toolbar at the top of the screen. Most apps will list all open windows within this menu, so you can click to select the window you want to see.

Press Cmd-` to cycle between windows

3. Force an application to quit

Beach ball of death

When you’ve finished using an app, you can usually close it down via the Quit option in the app’s menu. The keyboard shortcut is Cmd-Q. But sometimes this method doesn’t work, usually because the app has frozen and is unresponsive. If the usual pointer arrow is replaced by the spinning, multicoloured ‘beach ball of death’ cursor, it could be a sign that the app is stuck.

The beach ball cursor is a common sight, but it shouldn’t hang around for too long. If it does, it’s a sign that something may have gone wrong.

To force an unresponsive app to quit, do the following:

  1. Press Alt-Cmd-Esc
  2. Click the app you wish to quit
  3. Click Force Quit

Force an application to quit

4. Switch between icon view and list view

I like to use list view for all my Finder windows, but there are times when I need to see an icon more clearly. This set of keyboard shortcuts lets me switch quickly between the views:

(I’m not a fan of column view or cover flow view, but perhaps one or both of them will suit you.)

5. Split multi-page PDFs into individual files

Our final tip comes courtesy of a reader. Here’s how to create individual files from a multi-page PDF:

Reader’s tip: saving multi-page PDFs as individual files

I recently needed to split a file into pages, one file for each page, and found that I couldn’t do this in the free version of Acrobat Reader DC. Then after a bit of research I found that you can do this in Mac Preview by dragging individual pages from the sidebar onto the Desktop or into a Finder window. You can do this for single pages or for a range of pages (not necessarily contiguous).

Karen Cox

Saving a PDF as a separate file

A great tip there, Karen – thanks for sharing!

Share your MicroMacTips

Do you have any tips to share? Let me know by leaving a comment or tweeting with the hashtag #MicroMacTips. I’d love to hear from you.

Read all the MicroMacTips series

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Who wrote this?

John Espirian – the relentlessly helpful technical copywriter

I write B2B web content, blogs, user guides and case studies – all aimed at explaining how your products, services and processes work. I also offer LinkedIn profile critiquing and rewriting.

I work from home in Newport, South Wales and support the (formerly) mighty Liverpool FC 🔴⚽️