Technical writing services by Espirian

MicroMacTips part 6

Here’s part 6 of my series of short and snappy Mac tips. As usual, I’m serving up 5 useful pointers to help you be a better Mac user.

1. Change sidebar icon size

If you find that the sidebar icons in the Finder and in Apple Mail are not well sized, you can make them smaller or larger via System Preferences | General | Sidebar icon size.

Here’s the normal Mail sidebar compared with a larger version:

2. Add hyperlinks in text

You can add hyperlinks to text in Microsoft Word and Apple Mail by selecting the text and pressing Cmd-K. Enter the web address, press OK and the text will become a clickable link. This makes emails in particular much easier to read.

3. Duplicate a file or folder

Most people know you can copy and paste text with Cmd-C and Cmd-V. That also works with Finder files and folders but there’s an even quicker way: click a file or folder to select it and then press Cmd-D. This duplicates the item, labelling it as a copy of the original.

4. Fast completion of domain names

When you’re typing a web address on your iPhone or iPad, you can quickly complete the last part of the address (called the top-level domain name) by holding down the full stop key and then selecting the relevant option. This is much quicker than manually typing .co.uk, .com, etc.

5. Concentrate on your work by turning off notifications

When you’re busy working, the last thing you need is the distraction of onscreen notifications. You can temporarily turn these off by doing the following:

  1. Click the Notification Center icon in the top-right corner (looks like three horizontal lines)
  2. Click the Notifications tab (it might already be selected)
  3. Scroll up to reveal the Do Not Disturb slider
  4. Set the slider to On

The icon changes from black to grey when the Do Not Disturb feature is turned on.

Pro tip for toggling notifications

Hold down the Alt key while clicking the Notification Center icon to toggle Do Not Disturb mode. It’s much quicker than following the steps above.

Should you forget to turn notifications back on, the system will automatically re-enable them the following day.

Over to you

Do you have any tips to share? Let me know by leaving a comment below. Alternatively, tweet with the hashtag #MicroMacTips. Either way, 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 🔴⚽️