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Life Hacks: 

How to master OS X El Capitan


Quality over quantity is the phrase that’s mostly been used to describe Apple’s OS X El Capitan – and we’d have to agree.

Apple hasn’t reinvented the wheel with its new update, but it has introduced a few incredibly useful features that allow users to get the most out of their desktop.

Now, you can use two apps at the same time, talk to Spotlight as a form of search, and arrange all of your open windows in one easy-to-see layer, among other things; Apple has even invented a brand new font, specially designed to make reading on your Mac easier.

Besides the obvious stuff, there are plenty of little tips and tricks that make El Capitan Apple’s most user-friendly update. Here are six of the best.

How to master OS X El Capitan:

1. Hide your menu bar

For the first time on OS X, you can hide your menu bar when it’s not in use. This might seem trivial, but if you’re using one of the smaller Mac laptops then that extra space will be very welcome.

To do this, simply go to System Preferences > General, and then choose the “Automatically hide and show the menu bar”.

Want to get it back? Hover over the area and Hey Presto; it reappears, as if by magic.

2. Mute individual safari tabs

You know when you’ve got multiple Safari browsers open, but you just can’t find where the annoying advert music is coming from? Finally, Apple has come up with a way to stop that happening.

With El Capitan you can locate the tab playing the music through a little speaker symbol, which appears on each tab playing audio.

Simply click the tab and select “Mute this tab”: no more annoying music.

3. Use Swipe in Mail

Swiping is the new clicking; everybody’s doing it. Apple has taken Tinder’s neat little trick and used it to make Mail in El Capitan much easier to use. Swipe right on an email: mark it as unread. Swipe left: you can delete it with ease.

Smart Suggestions is another great new Mail feature, too. With this enabled, recurring names from your emails will be highlighted, prompting you to add them to your contacts for the sake of ease.

You are also able to bring up multiple tabs when you compose an email, but this was also a prominent feature in iOS.

4. Faces

As a result of El Capitan, Photos is much quicker and easier to use. One of the best, lesser-known features is Faces; a face recognition tool that familiarizes itself with what your friends and family look like to make tagging easier.

Yes, it might sound a little creepy, but think of the time you’ll save when you upload that next huge holiday photo album.

5. Customize your Notes with PDFS, maps and URLs

It’s hard to put into words just how important Notes is for Mac users. From your shopping list to a new restaurant recommendation, all life’s important information has been stored here at one time or another.

And now, with El Capitan, you can make this handy little memory pad even better than before with photos, URLs, PDFs and maps all supported in Notes. To add a map, the trickiest of the bunch, select Share icon, choose the Notes app, then add the map to the memo you’re after. For the others, simply drag and drop.

Apple has also added in a new checklist feature to the app, which may sound obvious, but it’s taken Apple a good while to install this useful little addition.

6. Move Spotlight window

It’s funny what annoys some people, but it turns out that Spotlight’s immovable nature under Yosemite really got to a lot of Apple users.

El Capitan addresses this desktop feng shui fuax pas with incredible simplicity: just grab, drag and move the window wherever you want – instant Mac spiritual harmony.

Perhaps even more impressive, but nowhere near as satisfying, is the fact that you can now talk to Spotlight in “conversational language” and search for documents much more quickly.

Phrases like “email I sent to Bob yesterday” should now give you immediate access to your correspondence in no time at all. Unless you talk like Macho Man Randy Savage, the app should have no trouble understanding you.

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