9 Things You Didn't Know Your Mac Could Do

Keep your Facebook usage totally hidden from your boss, and more life-changing tricks.

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1. Have Your Computer Read to You

Don't feel like reading that enormous document yourself? One of the accessibility features in OS X is its ability to read text aloud. Highlight the section of text you would like to have read to you and then select Edit from the top of the page, followed by Speech and then Start Speaking.

If you don't like the sound of your narrator, you can change its voice by going into the System Preferences on your computer and then selecting Dictation & Speech. We recommend Vicky's natural-sounding voice. There are also options such as Princess and Bad News, if you're feeling adventurous.

2. Hide Facebook From Your Boss

We all look at things on our work machine we probably shouldn't. If you've got a job application open and feel your boss walking up behind you, then hide the window by pressing the Command button and H (for hide, get it?). Whatever you were looking at will be instantly hidden on your dock. If you're in deep and need to hide everything at once, pushing the Command button and M will minimize all of the apps currently running on your computer.

3. Put You at the Front of the Print Queue

Do you always end up in the office-printer queue behind the guy who decided to print War & Peace? Rather than sending documents to just one printer, you can select all the printers in the office and have your document print on the first one available. Go to System Preferences and then Printers & Scanners. Select your favorite printers on the network and then create a printer pool that includes them. Next time you print, select the pool rather than an individual printer.

4. Digitally Sign Documents

You can save a digital version of your signature on your Mac and then drag and drop it onto documents whenever you need to sign and return them. First, sign a piece of blank white paper in black ink. Launch Preview on your Mac, then open the Preferences menu and select Signatures. Click on Create Signature and then hold your John Hancock up to the webcam on your computer. Line it up so it looks like you signed on the digital line on the screen, and then click Accept to save it to your computer for further use.

5. Customize Your Shortcuts

Find yourself typing the same thing over and over again? OS X can save you keystrokes via customizable shortcuts. You can set up something as simple as swapping "otw" for "on the way," or as complex as a detailed email signature.

Set up your text replacement shortcuts by going to your Systems Settings and then selecting Language & Region, followed by Keyboard Settings and then Text. From that menu, press the + sign to add your shortcuts.

6. Perform Super-Quick Calculations

You probably know that you can launch the calculator from your Mac dashboard to do some quick arithmetic. But there's an even faster way. Try typing math problems into the Spotlight function on your Mac instead. The answer to your problem will be displayed right below the search function. If you need to do some more calculations, you can then launch the calculator from there.

7. Faster Shopping

If you do a lot of online shopping, then typing in your credit card number every single time you make a purchase can be a huge hassle. Safari allows you to save the numbers for your favorite cards, and then autofill them when you hit that checkout button. To save your numbers, launch Safari and then select Preferences, followed by Autofill. From there, click the Edit button beside credit cards to add the pertinent info.

8. Go Into Stealth Mode

Desktop notifications in OS X can be great for getting information quickly. When you're in the middle of a presentation for new clients, though, you'd probably prefer if they disappeared.

Much like the iPhone, OS X has a do-not-disturb function. Go into System Preferences and then Notifications to customize the settings for your computer. You can avoid accidental mishaps by setting up your computer to automatically go into Do Not Disturb mode when it's mirroring content to a projector or television. You can also pick times during the day (like when you're sleeping) when you want it to automatically turn on.

9. Conserve Your Battery

See what applications are hogging the most power by clicking the battery icon at the top of the page. Under the heading Apps Using Significant Energy, you'll see the biggest perpetrators.

A version of this post originally appeared on Cosmopolitan & Popular Mechanics.