OS X Hidden Gems


Have you ever noticed that little dark circle that appears within the close button of a document window in OS X when you have unsaved changes? Yeah, me neither. After years of diligent Mac use, this subtle little element somehow escaped me until now. I guess I remember noticing it at times but never realized it was telling me to save my work. It’s a nice touch and got me wondering about what other subtle elements I might have missed over the years.

I spent some time gathering up a number of these hidden gems and figured I’d list them here in the hopes that our readers could add to the list in the comments.

Save Dialog

When saving a file you can press / at the save dialog box to choose from any point in the file system via a file path.


You can press Shift + Ctrl + Eject to put external displays to sleep. On a MacBook this will force the system to sleep without having to close the lid.


Pressing the Option key when clicking on the AirPort icon in the menubar will display some detailed information about your wireless connection, including the transmit rate.


Pressing Control while clicking on the current location icon at the top of the Finder window opens a menu to let you select any parent location along that particular file path.


Pressing Ctrl + Option + Command + 8 will invert the color of your screen.


Pressing Ctrl + Command + D while hovering over a word in any Cocoa application (Safari, Mail, etc.) will automatically look up that word in the OS X dictionary app.

This list just scratches the surface of what I know are a huge number of hidden gems buried inside OS X. If you have any others you want to add to the list, please share it with us in the comments.

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