5 Essential Time-Saving Tips for OS X Mountain Lion

M
ac OS X is a beautiful combination of power and simplicity. With Unix at its core, it provides advanced functionality to the power users while presenting a simple and an elegant GUI for normal users. Following are a some of the basic time-saving tips for increased productivity on Mountain Lion.

1.  Spotlight for Quick Calculations

Instead of opening the Calculator application, Spotlight in the menu bar can be used to do quick calculations. Just type the mathematical expression in the Spotlight search bar to get the result!calculator-spotlight

If [enter]/[return] key is pressed after typing the expression, the Calculator application also gets opened.

2.  Enable Fast User Switching

If there are multiple user accounts on the same Mac, there is no need of logging out from a user account completely in order to login to another account.  Simply activate fast user switching, and you can quickly switch back and forth between multiple accounts from the main menu bar. To enable fast user switching in Mountain Lion:

  1. Select System Preferences from the Apple menu and select Users and Groups.
  2. Click the lock icon and then enter the admin name and password.
  3. Select Login Options.
  4. Check the box labeled ‘Show fast user switching menu asfast user switching

With fast user switching enabled, the name of the current user is displayed in the menu bar. To quickly switch accounts, simply click this user name.mac multi-user switching

Note: You may still be required to enter the login passwords. 

3.  Free up Inactive Memory Using Terminal

You can quickly free up memory, without rebooting the Mac, by using the purge command from the Terminal application.

Open the Terminal Application, either by typing Terminal in the Spotlight or by going to Applications -> Others -> Terminal

Once the Terminal Window is open, simply type purge and press return/enter key.  OS X will take a few seconds to free up inactive memory.  You can see the amount of memory freed in the Activity Monitor (Applications -> Others -> Activity Monitor).

Here are the screen shots from Activity Monitor app before and after using Purge.Mac memory status before purge

Mac memory status after purge

4.  Get Quick Definition of a Dictionary Word Using Gesture

If you want to quickly lookup the meaning of word, simply do a single tap using three fingers. Make sure that three fingers-single tap gesture is enabled in the System Preferences -> TrackpadLookup Gesture-Mountain Lion

5. Add Most-Used Folder to Dock

Drag and drop your most frequently used folder from Finder to Dock (to the right of vertical line as shown in image below) for quick access.mac os x mountain lion dock

Once added to Dock, you can then simply drag and drop any file from Finder to this folder in Dock. You can remove the folder from Dock by right-click -> Options ->Remove from Dock or by dragging its icon an inch or more off the Dock, waiting for a few seconds and then releasing.  The icon will simply vanish in a poof of smoke.  

Share with us your favourite tip in the comments below!  

 

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Mariam Yusuf

Mariam Yusuf - An avid technology enthusiast who had been on a long voyage of discovering, deciphering and discarding technologies as they appear, mature and go into oblivion. Played with the internet in it's heydays (early 90's), chanted Java's mantra of WORA in the mid 90's, toyed with AI, fuzzy logic, image processing, sensor networks and web technologies; taught for some time and now writes about technology. She can be reached on Google+

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