The 7 Coolest El Capitan Tips and Tricks

Apple’s new iMac and MacBook operating system, OS X 10.11 El Capitan, will be released on September 30.

However, application developers and beta testers have gotten their hands on the new operating system and so far, the impressions have been good. Testers and developers are raving about the new features and vast improvements from the current version, Yosemite, which has had its fair share of issues.

A week before it rolls out though, you may want to grab a notebook and list down some of these El Capitan tips and tricks which will help enhance your experience with the all-new operating system. I’ve decided to write you a handy starting guide to maximize your experience with it.

Lost your cursor? Shake things up.

We’ve all lost sight of our cursor a few times, may it be due to the staggering amount of open programs or if it somehow blended to the dark color of the background. We can all agree that we suffered mini-heart attacks during these situations.

Luckily, you will no longer experience this in El Capitan: shake your mouse or wiggle your finger rapidly and the cursor grow, making it visible.

Is the screen too small? Hide the menu bar.

Unlike the iMac which has a humongous screen, the 12-inch Macbook and 11-inch Macbook Air are too small. Even if the display is high definition, detail is useless if you don’t there isn’t enough space to work around.

In El Capitan, a new feature allows you to hide the menu bar. Though it’s relatively small, every inch matters in small screens.

Need to multitask? Use Split View.

Split-screen view in El Capitan. Photo: Apple.
Split-screen view in El Capitan. Photo: Apple.

Sometimes, you need to work on two things on your computer at the same time. For example, you need to open up a slideshow program while using a spreadsheet as a data reference. In the current setup, this is impossible: you need to manually resize and drag the windows.

Thankfully, the new Split View feature in El Capitan helps you out in this regard. You can open two programs at the same time and each are assigned 1/2 of the display. Simply click and hold one of the colored buttons on the top left of the screen and drag the selected window to the top. It’ll automatically take up half of the screen. After which, click on another running program and it will take up the other half.

Managing your e-mail? Swipe the trackpad.

Photo: Apple

The Mac OS X and Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS, are getting closer by the second. One of the new features – specifically in the Mail app – in El Capitan is closely related to its mobile counterpart.

Your trackpad can double as a touch screen: use two fingers to swipe to the right and the selected e-mail will get deleted. Do it on the opposite direction and it will be marked as unread.

No Siri? Spotlight will help you out.


Disappointingly, Siri still won’t be in OS X so we’re stuck with Spotlight (maybe this is because Microsoft still can’t quite get Cortana to work on Windows 10 the way it wants to).

Fortunately, Spotlight has been upgraded and you can make conversational queries and end up with what you’re looking for. You can quickly access Spotlight by pressing Command + Space

Other than the smarter searches, you can now use natural language (or conversational) to search for apps, documents, and other files. You can type in something like “Powerpoint presentation I worked on last Tuesday” and Spotlight will provide immediate results.

Attachments view in Notes

Notes has a new feature, called the Attachment Browser. All of the files you attached in Notes, from PDFs, images, to map locations, will be arranged in one neat window. If you need to go to where a certain file is attached, simply click on it.

Since Notes is synced to all your devices through iCloud, you can view the files you have attached on your iPhone and iPad Notes app as well.

Pinned Tabs

There are websites we immediately visit after opening our browsers. May it lead to your e-mail service provider, company website, or Facebook page, you can save yourself valuable fingertip energy by using the Pinned Tabs feature on the upgraded Safari browser. This feature is long overdue – Mozilla Firefox already has this. Simply do a two-button click on the tab and it will slide to the left, ready to be opened the next time you need it.

Safari also displays a speaker icon in tabs where audio and video files are playing. It comes in handy especially when you accidentally open a website with ads which play automatically.

Take note of these El Capitan tips and tricks and you will quickly enjoy a seamless transition from Yosemite

El Capitan promises to be the quickest and the best Apple operating system to date, with added language support, faster app launch and switching, Metal (Apple’s graphics core technology), and an improved user interface.

Like Windows 10, it can be downloaded for free. Check out its full-list of features and capabilities in its Apple page.

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