Chasing Mavericks: 8 great OS X tips

November 20, 2013 9:39 AM EST

Apple's OS X Mavericks includes a host of handy features for power users, but they're not all super-obvious. I've gathered together a short collection of hints and links to help you use them:

Mavericks -- your new Mac HQ

Limited search

Want to find something by name in Finder search? Just use Shift-Control-Command-F instead of Command-F in Finder. The search is now limited to file names so the results come through much quicker.

Emergency boot

You can create a bootable Mavericks volume on a USB drive (this must be at least 8GB). It's an extensive process, but fortunately you'll find a clear and complete explanation of the procedure right here.

Tap the triangle

Click the triangle next to the document name in the title bar and you can rename the file, assign tags to the file, change its location and lock the file. Another Finder tip: Command-T will open new tabs in Finder view.

Understanding Tagging

The most complete explanation of the best use of tagging in Mavericks I've found comes from Josh Centers at TidBITS. Tags are incredibly useful once you have put a coherent system in place. This extensive report explains everything you need to know.

Better displays

Mavericks' support for multiple displays is seamless. Better yet, you can now assign separate Spaces to each display. Configure this at System Preferences>Mission Control>Tick Displays have separate Spaces

Twitter in Safari

You can see your Twitter feed in Safari's sidebar, but first you must link Mavericks to your Twitter account in System Preferences>Internet Accounts. Mavericks will also attempt to link your Contacts to their Twitter handles, if you choose to allow this. Right-click one of these shared links to retweet.

Your gate, your rules

Apple's Gatekeeper system helps keep your Mac secure, but at the cost of your use of unverified apps, such as OnyX.  That’s because when you try to open an unverified app the system won't let the software launch. You can get rid of Gatekeeper entirely in System Preferences>Security, but then you'll lose that added protection. Topher Kessler has a more extensive explanation of this. Fortunately there's two easy ways you can continue to use those unverified apps you choose.

Right-click the application in Finder and use the "Open" contextual menu to launch the app for the first time. The system will see this as meaning you really want to use the software, and while it will warn you that it is unverified, it will let you launch the software and add it to the Gatekeeper exceptions list.

You can also get these apps to work in System Preferences>Security&Privacy>General where you will see a message about the software you just tried to launch (you need to try to launch the unverified software first for this to work). Click "Open Anyway and the software will launch.

Find passwords

Finally, (though this isn't a Mavericks-specific trick), Keychain Access in the Utilities folder stores your username and password details. If you have an app or website into which you log automatically, you can find your forgotten password using the utility. Launch it, then search for the website or app in the search field. Look for the result that includes "password" in its name. Double-click on that result and in the dialog box that appears tick Show Password, type in your login when asked, and there's your forgotten password.

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