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10 things you can do on a Mac that you can't on a PC

Keir Thomas | Sept. 4, 2013
Here are some things you can do on any Mac – no extra software required!

Here are some things you can do on any Mac - no extra software required!

1. Look up words on a Mac
Just right-click a word in compatible apps like TextEdit, Safari and Mail, and select Look Up Word. You'll see pop-up definitions from the venerable Oxford Dictionary, Apple's own dictionary, and also Wikipedia.

2. Retrieve old versions of a file on a Mac
Made a regretful change to that document? If you're using a built-in app like TextEdit or Preview, click the file's name in the title bar and select Browse All Versions. Now you can move back in time to find a version before you made the edit - recent saves will be listed on the right of the screen.

3. Instantly view any file on a Mac
Select a file, then hit Space and you'll get a "Quick Look" of its contents - regardless of whether it's a document, movie, audio file or image.

4. Share files instantly with nearby Macs
AirDrop lets you share files instantly and easily with no need to configure anything, or even be on the same network. Both users should select AirDrop in the Favorites list in Finder, then simply drop files or folders on the icon representing the other user.

5. Create screencasts on a Mac
Open QuickTime Player and select File > New Screen Recording. Then hit the red record button, after which you'll be prompted to define an area of the screen you want to record. Then click Start Recording to go! Click the square button to finish and select the share button to upload.

6. Create template files for ANY app on a Mac
Create or select a file you want to use as a template, then right-click it and then click Get Info. Then put a check alongside Stationery Pad. From now on every time you double-click the file you'll automatically create and save a copy.

7. Annotate images and documents on a Mac
Double-click an image or PDF to open it in Preview, then click the Edit toolbar button (left of the search field). A new toolbar will appear showing tools you can use to add speech bubbles, arrows, or even a facsimile of your signature<> — useful for "signing" PDF forms.

8. Make calls to iPhones and iPads from a Mac
Open the FaceTime app then click the slider to On to register your Mac with your Apple ID/FaceTime account. You'll then be able to audio and video call contacts, and also receive calls from them. (Audio calling requires OS X Mavericks and iOS7.)

9. Create encrypted file stores on a Mac
Open Disk Utility then click File > New > Blank Disk Image. Choose a size and give it a name and location. Under the Encryption heading select either of the two options - both are bullet-proof when it comes to securing your data. Leave the other options as they are. When you click Create you'll have a .dmg file that acts like a USB stick - when double-clicked it'll appear on the left of Finder windows, and you can copy files to and from it. Don't forget to eject it when you've finished.

10. Instantly create PDFs on a Mac
Open the file, or browse to a website, then click File > Print. In the print dialog box, click the PDF button at the bottom left, then select Save As PDF.


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