Air Acclimation: 5 Essential MacBook Air Tips for Beginners

Apple’s Mac shipments were up by nearly 50 percent in the last quarter of 2020. The MacBook Air is their most popular model so there are a lot of people using new Mac laptops.

If you’re one of them and you’re looking for some MacBook Air tips to get more out of your device, read on. Here are 5 simple Mac tips to improve your Mac experience.

1. Learn These Useful Keyboard Shortcuts

The Mac is well-known for being one of the first computers to use a mouse but sometimes it’s faster to get things done with the keyboard. Keyboard shortcuts let you take action without having to move your hands.

The following are some of the most useful keyboard shortcuts on the Mac:

Command-X, Command-C, Command-V — Cut/Copy/Paste

Command-Tab — Switch apps

Command-` — Switch windows in the current app

Command-L — Move the cursor to the address bar in Safari

Command-H — Hide the active application

Apple also provides a long list of Mac shortcuts on its website.

2. Use Trackpad Gestures to Make Navigation Faster

Similar to keyboard shortcuts, trackpad gestures give you shortcuts that can save time. There are several gestures you can use on any MacBook Air with a Multi-Touch trackpad, including:

Right-click — Click with two fingers

Smart zoom — Double-tap with two fingers

Zoom in/out — Pinch with two fingers

Previous/next page — Swipe left or right with two fingers

Apple provides a complete list of gestures on its support site.

3. Set Up Hot Corners

You can use hot corners to get quick access to different parts of your Mac. When they’re configured, you just move the mouse pointer to the corner of the screen to activate it.

Turn on hot corners in System Preferences > Mission Control. Click on Hot Corners and use the pop-up menus to configure each corner you want to use.

4. Learn How to Take Screenshots

Screenshots are helpful for troubleshooting problems if you want to send an image of an error to technical support. They’re also useful for saving things like receipts or images from the web.

There are several options for taking screenshots on the Mac:

Shift-Command-3 — Capture the entire screen

Shift-Command-4 — Capture a selection of the screen

Shift-Command-5 — Record your screen or a small part of it as a video

You can also capture a single window by pressing Shift-Command-4 and then pressing the spacebar. Once the pointer changes to a camera, click on the window you want to capture.

5. Use Spotlight Search to Find What You Need

If you’re not sure where you saved something on your Mac or you simply don’t want to click through a bunch of folders to open it, use Spotlight search to track it down. Press Command-Space to open the search bar and type what you’re looking for.

Spotlight can find documents, apps, and various other types of files saved on your Mac.

These MacBook Air Tips Will Save You Time

Using these MacBook Air tips can save you a lot of time once they become a habit. If it seems like too much to remember, pick one or two and use them until they become second nature. Then do the same with another one, and so on.

It won’t take long to become a Mac power user once you pick up a few of these tips.

Check out the Technology section of our website for more helpful posts like this one.

John Thompson

Peter Thompson: Peter, a futurist and tech commentator, writes about emerging technology trends and their potential impacts on society.