12 KILLER features of OS X 10.11 El Capitan: Everything you need to know to become a Mac expert
Apple updates its Mac OS X system every year, and so the famous Californian landmark of choice this year is Yosemite National Park’s El Capitan.
But what has Apple added to make this year’s operating system so special? Well, here are the 12 killer features every OS X user needs to know.
1. Never lose your cursor
Use two monitors or just keep losing track of where your cursor is pointing? Worry no more as Apple has brought in a great cursor-finding feature.
Simply rub your finger across the trackpad or shake your MightyMouse and your cursor will magnify and you won’t be able to miss it.
If you use your Mac for photo editing, illustration or other mouse-intensive activities, you can turn the feature off in System Preferences > Accessibility.
2. Mission Control is finally useful again
In Yosemite Apple made a huge misstep when it changed Exposé into “Mission Control” and thus grouped open windows by app. While that was handy to see the app you were currently using, it meant you had no idea what was open in each app thanks to cascading windows. Now, though, things are back to how they used to be when Exposé was great.
To activate Mission Control, tap the shortcut button on your keyboard (three squares next to the brightness buttons, or F3).
3. Run apps in split screen, finally!
It may have taken years to arrive, but finally Mac users have Windows’ best feature: split-screen windows and apps.
You can now merge two full-screen windows together to create a split view, or drag open windows together from your desktop to place them next to each other automatically. It’s so simple to do too, and Apple even shows you all your other open windows when you start to snap windows together.
To activate Split Screen mode you can either press and hold the green fullscreen button on your active window, picking the window to snap next to it from your other open screens. Alternatively, you can open Mission Control and drag two full-screen apps together onto one desktop to force them into split screen mode.
4. Hide the Menu bar to maximise desktop space
Want to make your Mac desktop look really clutter free? In El Capitan you can actually hide your Menu bar as well as the Dock.
To do so, head to System Preferences > General > Tick “Automatically show and hide the menu bar”.
5. Spotlight can now search by phrases and natural language
Spotlight has always been a handy search feature for OS X, but in El Capitan it finally found some brains and no longer needs you to spell out what you’re looking for to the letter.
Natural language search is a huge addition to OS X. While it won’t search the web for you or organise your life like Windows 10 and Cortana, it definitely makes looking for that document you wrote two weeks ago a whole lot easier.
6. Find and use emojis quicker than ever before
Emoji’s are here to stay, one even made Oxford Dictionaries’ word of the year, and so knowing how to quickly deploy a “Disappointed but relieved face” or rolling out an “Information desk person” is key.
In El Capitan you can quickly drop an emoji into whatever you’re writing by pressing Ctrl + Command + Spacebar to open the OS X character viewer. It should default to Emojis in the “Smileys & People” category, but you can quickly access and add any unicode emoji found on Apple’s systems – yes, including the Taco.
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