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Sign up for the desktop with 6 of our favorite "Hidden" MacOS Mojave features



With the release of macOS Mojave, we went looking for features that can hide from all the changes to the operating system. What we found was some nifty abilities that hide, for the most part, in clear vision.

Even more features are expected to show up over time, as more users work with MacOS Mojave, but for now here are our top 6 hidden features of macOS mojave.

Note: Some features in this article were tested with the beta version of macOS Mojave. Let us know in the comments if you see any changes in the features.

Recent Applications in the Dock
Dock gets a new organizational tool; It may show three of the latest apps you've used in a particular area of ​​the Dock. This new feature is after the Apps section of the Dock, and before Docs and Trash section of the Dock.

(A new section of the Dock is reserved to show up to three recently used apps.)

If this seems similar to the newer applications that you can create in the Dock, there are, but with some differences. First, the latest apps will not appear in a stack, but as some icons in the Dock. Secondly, only apps that do not already have a home in the Dock are shown. This prevents duplicate apps from appearing in your dock.

The news software in the Dock has very basic controls you can specify:

Start System Preferences by clicking the icon in the Dock or by choosing System Preferences from the Apple menu.

Select the Dock Preferences window.

Notice in the box labeled, "Show newer applications in Dock to enable the feature or uncheck to turn off the feature and restore Dock space." [19659012] (The Dock preference pane contains a checkbox to enable or disable the Show latest applications in the Dock option.)

Currently, the latest app Dock section is limited to three apps;

Desktop Stacks
You may be prompted to call this feature hidden since Desktop Stack was displayed on WWDC. Nevertheless, there are a few features that were not shown.

With desktop stackers, you can clean up your desktop and organize all the items scattered around the desktop in stacks. The stacks are usually organized by type, places all the image files in a stack, all PDF files to another, etc.

(Select Use Stacks will quickly clean up your desktop, sort files into similar typical stacks on your desktop).

You can check how stacks are created and the sort order they use by either choosing View, City Stack City Cities in the Finder menu, or right-clicking on the desktop and selecting City Stacks from from the shortcut menu. No matter which way you get there, the sorting options are:

  • Kind (default)
  • Date Last Open
  • Date modified
  • Date Created
  • Tags

The desktop stacks work a lot like stacks that are in your port ; If you click or tap on a desktop stack, the stack will open and display the content. You can then choose an item to open or work.

Stacker also supports scrubbing through the contents without opening them. Simply place the cursor on top of the stack and then, with a trackpad, push two fingers side by side to scrub through the contents, or with a Magic Mouse, use a single finger to perform the scrubbing.

To assets Stacks: From the Finder menu, select View, use Stacks. You can also right-click the desktop and choose Use stacks from the pop-up menu.

To disable stacks: You can uncheck the Use Stack menu by repeating the steps above. When the mark is gone, the stacks are removed and all content is retrieved on the desktop.

If you have Disabled Stackers, there is another hidden trick associated with cleaning up your desktop, or in this case does not clear your desktop. Right-click on the desktop and when the popup menu appears, press and hold the option key. A new menu item will appear, labeled Notify Desktop. If you select this menu item, you spread desktop files around and make a mess. Do you want a bigger mess? Select the menu option Sign Up Desktop repeatedly.

(Lead a well organized desktop? Use the Hidden Message Board menu item to create chaos on your desktop.)

It will be interesting to see how long Mess Up your desktop stays in your beta and if it does release version of macOS mojave.

Missing in public beta, but likely to appear in the release version is an option to specify the sort order in a desktop stack.

Siri can help you find lost passwords
If you've forgotten a password, tell a website, ask Siri for help. Just say something like "Hi Siri, what is your Netflix password?"

The always faithful assistant will check if the forgotten password is in a keychain, iCloud keychain or Safari password list. If so, your login information will appear with the correct password tool. You still need to know the password for the login tool; Siri can not help you with that.

Screenshot Toolbar
The Mac has long been able to take snapshots with keyboard shortcuts or the Grab app that comes with Mac. These options do not go away; Instead Mojave builds on them and offers a new screenshot toolbar with alternatives to:

  • Capture the entire screen
  • Capture Selected Window
  • Capture Selected Part
  • Record Full Screen
  • Record Selected Part

The is also a set of options that allow you to:

  • Save to desktop, Documents, Post, Messages
  • Set a timer for None, 5 seconds, 10 seconds
  • Select a microphone to be used
  • View a floating thumbnail
  • Show the mouse pointer

While most of these screens were available earlier, they have gathered in a toolbar, a big improvement. However, the icing on the cake for many will be the ability to mark a screen or edit a screen shot.

(Screenshot options are collected in a new palette of tools displayed with the Command + Shift + 5 keyboard combination.)

After taking a screenshot or screen capture, double-click the thumbnail to view the image and access to basic creation tools.

You can add text, shapes, select areas or a signature, and rotate the image as well as crop it. When done, save the changes, and share the image with others via social media, Mail, or Messages, and send it to other apps on your Mac for further editing.

Screen capture can be edited to trim the start and end points. You can save the file, share it with others, or send it for further editing in any other programs you may have.

System Software Updates
You may notice something missing from the newly developed Mac App Store: software updates that apply to the macOS system. System software updates have been removed from the Mac App Store and moved to their own preference in System Preferences.

This new location allows you to specify preferences that are specific to how system software updates occur in relation to the various programs you have installed on your Mac.

Start System Preferences by clicking the Dock icon or by choosing System Preferences from the Apple menu.

Open the Software Update pane.

Software update will check for any updates for Mac's system software, as well as updates to drivers for printing, graphics, storage, and boot systems. Security updates are also checked using the new software update pane.

You can specify the update settings by clicking the Advanced button.

  • Install MacOS Updates
  • Install App Updates from the App Store
  • Install System Data Files and Security Updates
  • Install Updates
  • Download New Updates When Available
  • Install MacOS Updates
  • Install App Updates from the App Store
  • Install System Data Files and Security Updates [19659023] Create your choices by placing a tag next to each item you want automatically performed for you.

    I recommend to notice next to: Check for updates, Download new updates when available, and install system data files and security updates.

    When done, click OK to save preferences.

    When a system update is available, a Dock Emblem appears on the System Preferences icon. A message banner is also displayed.

    Gallery Sharing Options
    We mentioned some of the Finder enhancements in Rocket Yard's first look at Developer Beta. One of the new Finder features is Gallery View, a replacement for the older Cover Flow view.

    The new Gallery View has a lot to do with it, especially when working with a folder full of multimedia files. For example, an image file selected in Gallery View does not only show automatic preview of images but also shows the file's associated metadata, such as image size, resolution, camera type, lens, and lens settings.

    (The Finder's new Gallery view shows image metadata. You can also see that the More button at the bottom right is clicked to reveal available quick actions that can be performed on the selected file.)

    And while you have access to Metadata can make many tasks easier and you also find that you can rotate the image or tag the image directly from Finder. But wait, there's more. Just below the metadata panel you will find a More button. By clicking the More button you will see a popup menu that displays Quick Actions; Tasks that can be performed on the selected file. For an image file, you will probably see Create PDF, so you can quickly convert an image file to a PDF.

    However, you can also customize this popup menu by selecting Customize.

    (You can enable more quick actions to appear in the More menu by clicking the Customize option.)

    The Extensions setting pane opens with the Finder selected. You will see a list of actions that can be added to the More button's popup menu. Currently, Apple provides these actions, but actions can be created by third parties as well as created using the Automator app that comes with the operating system. I expect to see a large number of actions, such as converting from one file format to another, will be added quickly.

    At the moment, try placing a tag in the action label Set Desktop Picture, and then close Expansion Options Panel.

    Click the More button again and the new action is displayed in the popup menu.

    These are our top 6 hidden features for macOS mojave. What have you found in Mojave who surprised you, loved you or scratched your head? Let us know in the comments below.


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