8 tips and tricks for OS X El Capitan

Use these tips to get the most out of OS X El Capitan’s new features.

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8 ways to get the most out of OS X El Capitan

OS X El Capitan comes with a number of helpful new features that add real value for any user. In this slideshow I’ll show you eight tips and tricks so you can get the most out of OS X El Capitan.

Here’s a list of what’s in this slideshow:

1. Auto-hide the menubar
2. Use Split View window resizing
3. Delete files immediately
4. Pin sites in Safari
5. Mute all tabs in Safari
6. Find your cursor by shaking your mouse or trackpad
7. Enable the three-finger drag gesture
8. Use a gray background in Safari Reader

1 auto hide

Auto-hide the menubar in OS X El Capitan

OS X El Capitan now makes it possible to auto-hide the menubar that appears at the top of your Mac’s screen. This helps you make better use of the screen real estate on your Mac.

Here’s how you can auto-hide the menubar in OS X El Capitan:

1. Go to Settings.
2. Go to General.
3. Click the checkbox next to "Automatically hide and show the menubar."
4. Close the Settings menu.

Don’t worry though, if you want to see the menubar again, just put your cursor at the top of your Mac’s screen and the menubar will appear as usual.

For more about how to auto-hide the menubar in OS X El Capitan, see the original tip.

2 split view window resizing

Split View window resizing in OS X El Capitan

OS X El Capitan now comes with Split View window resizing. Split View makes it easy and fast to put two applications side by side in full-screen view. This can be a big help if you need to copy and paste text between applications.

There are two different ways you can use Split View window resizing in OS X El Capitan.

Here’s the first way:

1. Click and hold the green fullscreen button in the upper left corner of an application window.

2. Release your trackpad or mouse button to put the window on the left side of your screen or drag it over to the right side if you prefer.

3. Click on one of the other app thumbnails that will appear on the opposite side of the screen to open it side by side with your first application.

The second way involves Mission Control:

1. If you are already running an app full-screen, just open Mission Control.

2. Drag the other app you want to the desktop of the first app at the top of the Mission Control screen and drop it.

3. Then click on the desktop at the top of the Mission Control screen that has both apps running on it.

When you are done with Split View, just hit the Escape button or click on the green full-screen button.

Once you have the application windows side by side, you can also resize them so that one app has more screen space than the other.

Here’s how you can resize Split View apps running side by side:

1. Just place the cursor in the middle of the two apps until you see the divider icon appear.

2. Click the divider and resize the window until it's the size you prefer.

For more about Split View window resizing, see the original tip.

3 delete files immediately

Delete files immediately in OS X El Capitan

OS X El Capitan now lets you delete files immediately from your Mac instead of putting them in the Trash. You can also immediately delete a file that is already in your Trash.

Here’s how you can immediately delete a file in the Finder in OS X El Capitan:

1. Open a Finder window.
2. Select the file you want to immediately delete.
3. Hold down the Option key on your keyboard.
4. Click on the File menu at the top of your screen.
5. Click on Delete Immediately.
6. A confirmation box will appear asking if you want to delete the file and reminding you that the deletion cannot be undone.
7. Click the Delete button on the confirmation box to delete your file.

If you prefer you can skip using the file menu and simply use this keyboard command:

Option-Command-Delete

Here’s how you can immediately delete a file in the Trash in OS X El Capitan:

1. Open the Trash.
2. Select the file you want to immediately delete.
3. Right-click the file.
4. Click on Delete Immediately.
5. The delete confirmation box will appear and you can click Delete to remove your file.

For more about how to delete files immediately in OS X El Capitan, see the original tip.

4 pin sites in safari

Pin sites in Safari in OS X El Capitan

OS X El Capitan now lets you pin your most used Web pages in Safari. When you pin a site it will appear on the left side in Safari’s tab bar. Your pinned sites will refresh in the background, so they stay up to date automatically.

Here’s how you can pin a site in Safari in OS X El Capitan:

1. Open the site you want to pin in your Safari window.
2. Right click on the site's tab in Safari.
3. Click on Pin Tab.
4. Your pinned site will move to the left of your unpinned tabs in Safari.

You can also easily unpin a site in Safari in OS X El Capitan.

Here’s how to unpin a site:

1. Right click the tab you want to unpin.
2. Click on Unpin Tab.
3. You also have the option to close the pinned tab by clicking on Close Tab.

For more about how to pin a site in Safari in OS X El Capitan, see the original tip.

5 mute all tabs in safari

Mute all tabs in Safari in OS X El Capitan

Who among us has not loaded a Web page only to have an annoying video or sound play automatically? In the past you’d have to frantically try to find the tab that the sound was playing in, but in OS X El Capitan you can easily mute all tabs in Safari.

Here’s how you can mute all tabs in Safari in OS X El Capitan:

1. Open a new tab that is not playing any sound.
2. Click the Mute All Tabs button in the URL address bar.
3. All open tabs in your Safari window will be muted.
4. Click on Mute All Tabs again to unmute all of your tabs if you wish.

You can also easily mute individual tabs in Safari in OS X El Capitan:

1. Click the sound icon on the tab you want to mute and the sound will stop.
2. Click the sound icon again to start hearing sounds again from that tab.

And you can also mute other tabs while listening to one tab in Safari in OS X El Capitan:

1. Click and hold the sound icon on the tab you want to hear.
2. A menu will appear with two options: Mute This Tab and Mute Other Tabs.
3. Click on Mute Other Tabs.
4. All sounds from your other tabs will be muted.
5. To unmute the other tabs, just click and hold on the sound icon on your current tab and then click on Unmute Other Tabs.

For more about how to mute tabs in Safari in OS El Capitan, see the original tip.

6 find your cursor

Find your cursor by shaking your mouse or trackpad in OS X El Capitan

OS X El Capitan now comes with a fun, easy way to find your cursor while using your Mac. You can shake your mouse or trackpad and the cursor will magnify on your screen so you can quickly locate it.

Here’s how to find your cursor while shaking your mouse in OS X El Capitan:

1. Grab your mouse and shake it vigorously.
2. Your cursor will grow in size until you can easily locate it on your Mac's screen.

And here’s how you can find your cursor while using a trackpad in OS X El Capitan:

1. Tap and hold the surface of your trackpad.
2. Move your finger back and forth as fast as you can.
3. Your cursor will grow in size until you can easily see it on your Mac's screen.

For more about finding your cursor by shaking your mouse in OS El Capitan, see the original tip.

7 enable 3 finger drag

Enable the three-finger drag gesture in OS X El Capitan

The three-finger drag gesture in OS X El Capitan can be a big help if you suffer from carpal tunnel problems since it makes it easier to select and drag objects on your desktop with just three fingers. And it also lets you select text with three fingers.

Apple made a change in OS El Capitan that moved the three-finger drag gesture from the Trackpad menu to the Accessibility menu. This has led some folks to think that the gesture has been removed in OS X El Capitan, but that is not the case at all.

Here’s how you can enable the three-finger drag gesture in OS X El Capitan:

1. Click on System Preferences.
2. Click on Accessibility.
3. Click on Mouse & Trackpad.
4. Click on Trackpad Options.
5. Click on "Three Finger Drag" in the dropdown menu.

And you can also use the three-finger drag gesture to quickly select text:

1. Move the cursor to the beginning of the line of text you want to select.
2. Place three fingers on your trackpad.
3. Drag your fingers to select the text.

For more about enabling the three-finger drag gesture in OS El Capitan, see the original tip.

8 gray background in safari

Use a gray background in Safari Reader in OS X El Capitan

Safari Reader is an amazingly helpful tool that makes it much easier to read Web pages. Safari Reader reformats website pages into a format is much more pleasing to view. And in OS X El Capitan you can now select a gray background with white text that actually resembles the popular Daring Fireball blog.

Here’s how you can use a gray background in Safari Reader in OS X El Capitan:

1. Open Safari in OS X El Capitan and go to the web page you want to read.

2. Tap on the Reader button on the left side of the URL field at the top of Safari.

3. Tap the font button (the letter A) on the right side of the URL field at the top of Safari.

4. The font and color selection menu will appear.

5. Tap on the gray color option that now appears between Sepia and Black.

For more about how to use a gray background in Safari Reader in OS X El Capitan, see the original tip.