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Tools and shortcuts for MacOS

After many years of Windows, I switched to MacOS this year - with no regrets. Besides the big plus of being UNIX-based, I got to appreciate the user-friendliness and smooth integrations with the iPad. My favourites are using the iPad as an external sreen, Airdrop, signing documents and continuity.

But the system switch, also made me find new ways to interact with it. In the following I want to show a few tools and shortcuts that optimize my workflow on the Mac:

Tools

Rectangle:

An OSS window management tool. I use it to split windows and move them between displays with shortcuts.

Alfred

Besides Apples Spotlight, it provides great features like:

  • find file by prepending '
  • see matching bookmark results
  • clipboard history (Cmd+Alt+c)
  • text expander: insert frequently used snippets through a keyword
  • web search:
    • gmp: Google Maps
    • gm Gmail
    • drv: Google Drive
    • yt: YouTube
    • wiki: Wikipedia
    • weather: Weather forecast

Workflows (premium) Despite the rather high price tag, I think that it’s a worthy investment:

  • Bitwarden: simply type .bw to access and copy credentials. Very useful for programs outside the browser.
  • **Spotify: **I use it mainly to choose music, but you can also add songs to playlists etc. I set up a separate shortcut for spotify context (Ctrl+Cmd+s).
  • Google: get search suggestions:g
  • Obisidian:
    • os: search markdown files
    • odi: append to daily note

MonitorControl

An OSS tool to control the brightness of external monitors using the native keyboard keys or automatic brightness using the dim-sensor.

Dozer

An OSS tool to declutter the menubar. It lets you hide a desired portion of the menubar icons on a hotkey. Great for focus :)

As you see, I am an advocate of Open-Source tools, and there is a great compilation on Github. I also like this plugin to open vscode inside the Finder.

System shortcuts

You can set up your own shortcuts in the settings under Keyboard -> Shortcuts -> App Shortcuts. I use these frequently:

  • Cmd+Shift+i: Move screen to iPad

  • Cmd+Shift+o: Share via AirDrop

Other useful system shortcuts include:

  • Cmd+Opt+h: Hide all other apps

  • Cmd+o: Open file

  • Cmd+t: Open tab

  • Cmd+Opt+w: Close all windows

  • Shift+Cmd+5: Take screenshot or make recording, +3 for whole screen, +4 for portion

  • Opt+Sound: Open sound settings

  • Opt+double-click: Open the item in a separate window, then close the original window.

  • Opt+drag: Copy the dragged item. The pointer changes while you drag the item.

  • Cmd+drag to another volume: Move the dragged item to the other volume, instead of copying it.

  • Opt+Cmd while dragging: Make an alias of the dragged item. The pointer changes while you drag the item.

  • Cmd + Shift + .: Show hidden files

  • Cmd+d: Duplicate selected files

  • Shift+Cmd+o: Open documents

  • Alt+Cmd+l: Open downloads

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I hope you found some useful new trick. If you have something to share that I missed, I'd be happy if you'd reach out on Twitter or via Email!

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