Thoughtful, detailed coverage of the Mac, iPhone, and iPad, plus the best-selling Take Control ebooks.



Pick an apple! 
Option-click to Hide Apps Quickly

This trick has been available in the Mac OS for years, but many people still don't know it. If you have too many windows cluttering up your screen, you can hide specific ones easily as you work. When you're in any application, hold down the Option key and click on another app's window, on the Dock, or in the Finder to switch to that other app and simultaneously hide all the windows in the previously current app.


Sound Different with Apple Soundtrack

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The sounds a Mac makes are iconic and easily identified. For example, when I saw Pixar's "Wall-E" on opening night, I knew immediately what percentage of the audience used Macs from the giggles I heard after the titular robot finishes recharging, which ends with the Mac's startup chime. You may also know the story of Sosumi (a made-up word that, when said aloud, is "so sue me").

What happens when you put the Mac's sounds together? Hear it yourself: Designer and musician Mike Soloman created a catchy tune made up entirely of Mac sounds in GarageBand. I especially like that he included a screencast of GarageBand playing the song (and that he threw in the Wilhelm scream at the end). Soloman has made his GarageBand file available for download, as well as an audio file of the song.


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