11 creative ways to set up your Mac for productivity

11 ways to turn your Mac into a productivity machine

As you work, you want to be as productive as possible. It can be challenging with all the distractions around, but lucky for you, your Mac has many great features that can help you be more efficient.

11 creative ways to set up your Mac for productivity

All the functions listed in this post are built-in, so you don't need to download anything. Although some features are available only with macOS Ventura and later, you can still use most of them if you have an older operating system.

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Table of Contents:

Paste text with or without formatting

You can paste text in two different ways: with the original formatting or without it. Only some people know how to copy and paste without any formatting, which can be very helpful and time-saving.

To paste text without its formatting, follow the steps below:

1. Copy the text you want.
2. Paste the text by pressing the Command+Option+Shift+V keys on your keyboard.

Paste without formatting

The key combination Command+V will paste text with the original formatting.

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Start using Text Clipping

The feature is not well known and undeservingly so. It allows you to drag text from an app to another location on your Mac. Text Clipping can save time and boost productivity as you can pull out pieces of text for later use.

To use Text Clipping, follow the steps below:

1. Highlight the text you want to extract and drag the selection to a preferred location on your computer.
2. The text is saved in a ".textclipping" format and named after the first few words of the selection. You can rename the Text Clipping file as you want.

Clip text from a file

If you want to use the extracted text, drag it to a Pages document, for example.

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Pause file copy

Another feature you need to know is how to pause a file while it's copying. There might be a time you'll need this function, so to save time, you can stop the process instead of canceling it and starting from the beginning.

To pause the file copy process, follow the steps below:

1. While the file is duplicating, click on the pie chart. If you see your files 'as Icons' and not 'as List', skip to the second step.
2. Then, click on the X button to stop the process.

Pause file copy

3. The file copy is stopped. You can continue any time by clicking the 'Resume' icon.

Resume file copy

If you don't want to resume the copy, delete the 'ghost' copy (file that's not entirely copied).

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Instantly convert images to different formats

If your Mac runs on macOS Monterey or later, you can convert images using Finder.

To change image format fast, follow the steps below:

1. Right-click on the image.
2. Hover over "Quick Actions" and click "Convert Image".

Quicky convert image

3. Next to "Format", click on the drop-down menu and select the format from the given options.
4. If you need to, change the image size.
5. When finished, click "Convert to (chosen format)".

Convert image to a format

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Make the best of App Switcher

To save time and increase productivity use the App Switcher. It's a program that allows you to switch between running apps fast. With it, you can also open files and close running apps.

To switch between apps using App Switcher, follow the steps below:

1. Press the Command+Tab keys on your keyboard to open the App Switcher.
2. While pressing the Command key, switch between apps by tapping the Tab key until you locate the application you want to open.

Open app with App Switcher

3. Then, release the Command key to open the app. It will pop up on the front of your screen.

To open files using App Switcher, follow the steps below:

1. Click and start dragging the file you want to open.
2. Simultaneously open the App Switcher (as explained above), drag the file on an app, and release it.

Open file with App Switcher

3. Your selected application will then open the file.

To close a program using App Switcher, follow the steps below:

1. Open the App Switcher.
2. While pressing the Command key, tap the Tab key until you select the application you want to quit, and press the Q key on your keyboard.

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Rename multiple files at the same time

Another productive feature is the ability to rename several files using the 'Rename' action. It only applies to files with the same piece of text in their name. For example, you have a few images with the same one word as part of the name and want to change it.

To replace a part of the file name on multiple files at once, follow the steps below:

1. Press the Command key on your keyboard and select the files you want to rename. Remember, they all have to have at least one word that's the same in their name.
2. Then right-click on any selected files and click "Rename".

Click on Rename

3. From the drop-down menu, select "Replace Text".
4. Next to "Find", type the text you want to replace. And next to "Replace with", enter the text you want to replace it with.
5. When done, click on "Rename".

Rename multiple images

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Paste photo edits

With macOS Ventura or later, you can paste photo edits. If you want to use the same edit on multiple photos, you can just paste it. No more editing each picture separately.

To paste the same photo edit on other pictures, follow the steps below:

1. Open the photo you want to edit in the Photos app.
2. Click on "Edit" and make the desired changes.

Click on Edit

3. When done, click on "Done".

Finish image editing

4. From the menu bar, click "Image" and select "Copy Edits".

Click on Copy Edits

5. Select the photos you want to paste the edits to, click on "Image" again, and select "Paste Edits".

Click on Paste Edits

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Use the Notification Center

The Notification Center can be quite helpful when you need to quickly glance at the calendar, your notes, etc. With one click, you can see your day's schedule, the time, the weather, your stocks, and more.

To edit the Notification Center, follow the steps below:

1. Click on the date and time section at the top right corner of your screen.
2. Then, click on "Edit Widgets".

Edit widgets in Notification Center

3. From the list, choose the widgets of the apps you want to see in your Notification Center.
4. Rearrange the widgets by dragging them to the position you want.
5. When done, click on "Done".

Set up Notification Center

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Split the screen

The Split View function is a saver when you need to work with two apps or browser windows at the same time. You can fixate them to a part of the screen and change the size.

To use Split View, follow the steps below:

1. At the top left corner of a window, click and hold the green button until a menu pops up.
2. Then, choose which side you want to assign the window to.

Split your screen

3. You'll then get the option to choose the other window or app to set on the other side of the screen.
4. To change the sizes of the windows, drag the handle between the two to one or the other side.

Resize windows when screen is split

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Quickly access features with Hot Corners

Place something in your screen corners. It's a fast way to access specific Mac features like Quick Notes, Mission Control, and more. One of the best is the Lock Screen feature. You only need to move your mouse to a corner, and the screen is locked.

To set up Hot Corners, follow the steps below:

1. Click on the Apple logo and go to "System Settings" or "System Preferences".

Go to System Settings

2. Click "Desktop & Dock" and select "Hot Corners".

Click on Hot Corners

Or click on "Desktop & Screen Saver", and in the "Screen Saver" tab, click on "Hot Corners".
3. Choose a corner and click on the drop-down menu.
4. Select the feature you want to add.

Use screen corners

5. When done, click on "Done".

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Organize open windows with Stage Manager

Stage Manager minimizes and organizes your opened windows. Their thumbnails appear on the left side of your screen, allowing you to preview each window.

To use Stage Manager, follow the steps below:

1. Click on the Control Center icon in the right corner of the menu bar.
2. Then, click on "Stage Manager" to activate the feature.

Enable Stage Manager

This is the fastes way to activate it. To learn more about Stage Manager and how to use it, visit out post on Became a pro user of Stage Manager.

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Work smarter, not harder

Mac has a lot of features that can help you be more efficient. Select the ones you find beneficial and boost your productivity.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below.

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About the author:

Karolina Peistariene

Author of how-to guides for Mac users. Responsible for collecting, analyzing, and presenting problem-solving solution articles related to macOS issues. Years of macOS experience combined with solid research and analyzing skills help Karolina provide readers with working and helpful solutions as well as introduce various features Mac has to offer. Contact Karolina Peistariene.

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