Justin Pot

Justin Pot is a technology writer and enthusiast who lives in Portland, Oregon. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, if you want. You don't have to.

You might think emoji only belong on your phone, and it’s true these post-modern hieroglyphs didn’t really take off until the smartphone revolution. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use them on your computer, especially if you own a Mac. There are all kinds of emoji-specific features baked right into macOS.

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Sometimes a GIF alone isn’t enough; sometimes you want to add a little bit of text. Photoshop can do the job, but the process isn’t as intuitive as you’d imagine, especially if you’ve never edited animation in Photoshop before.

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The Mac App Store is the default way to upgrade or install macOS, but it doesn’t work for everyone. Maybe you’ve got multiple Macs and a limited amount of bandwidth, and don’t want to download the entire operating system for every system. Or maybe you’re looking to install the operating system from scratch.

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Are there particular Terminal commands you find yourself running several time a day? Do you wish you could trigger them quickly, with just a keystroke?

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If Windows 8 taught us (and Microsoft) anything, it’s that users really love the Start menu. If you’re switching to the Mac, you might wonder why macOS doesn’t offer one, or really anything quite like one.

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Tech tutorials that start with 3 minutes of “hey guys what’s up” are the worst. Get to the point! Here’s how you can bypass that nonsense when sharing a video with your friends.

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When you double-click a ZIP file on your Mac, the files are automatically uncompressed and the ZIP itself is sent to the Trash. What if that’s not what you want?

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So you accidentally made a vertical video. Annoying, especially when the footage itself is clearly supposed to be horizontal. What’s a well-meaning videographer to do?

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There are a thousand potential reasons your Mac is having problems. Maybe an application is hogging resources. Maybe your hard drive is failing. Or maybe you’ve got malware. EtreCheck is a free program that runs over 50 diagnostics on your Mac, then gives you a tidy report outlining all of them—so you know where to start looking.

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If you’re troubleshooting your Mac, you’ve probably seen this advice before: reset your NVRAM. Some forum denizens talk about this as a cure-all solution to Mac instabilities, but what is NVRAM? And what problems can it actually solve?

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The latest macOS update, 10.10.2, has an interesting “feature.” Click the battery icon and you’ll notice that the “Time Remaining” estimate is completely gone. Even worse, there’s no option anywhere to bring it back.

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Does using a scroll wheel on your Mac feel…wrong? You’re not alone.

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When you turn your Mac on, do you notice the blurred image behind the login screen? By default it’s a blurred version of Sierra’s iconic wallpaper, or a blurred version of your current wallpaper.

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Do you browse Twitter with your mouse? Stop it! Twitter’s keyboard shortcuts make everything about using that website faster, and they’re easy to pick up.

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Dropbox, by default, syncs everything to all of your computers. But maybe that’s not what you want.

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Is there some piece of information you want to keep track of, constantly? For many Mac users, the menu bar is the place to put things like that, but that means collecting individual applications for things like weather, network status, and more.

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Can’t get your Mac to start up? The problem could be software, in which case your best bet may be to reinstall macOS. If that fails, though, the problem could be hardware-related.

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Your mouse is slowing you down. The less you use it, the faster you’ll be able to do just about everything.

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Maybe you’ve heard of Lynda.com, a popular website with thousands of tutorial videos teaching computer skills like programming, web design, and how to use almost any software you can think of. It’s a great service, but it’s not cheap: subscriptions start at around $20 a month, and can cost as much as $30 a month if you want offline access to the videos.

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Confused as to why your Mac scrolls up when you drag your fingers down on the trackpad?  Apple calls this “Natural Scrolling,” and the idea is to make scrolling work like it does on touch screens. On the iPhone, you drag content up and down with your fingers. This is intuitive on a touchscreen, and Apple wanted Macs to be consistent with those same gestures.

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When you think of Facebook, search probably isn’t the first thing to come to mind. And to be fair, for a long time Facebook’s search function was pretty terrible.

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If you want to avoid getting scammed on Amazon and other sites, you might think the reviews section is your best friend. After all, if there’s a problem with the product other customers would point it out.

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Your Mac can tell you what’s taking up space on your hard drive…but it isn’t very detailed. Click the Apple at the top-right of your screen, then click “About This Mac,” and the “Storage” tab gives you a visual overview like the one above. But for many users, particularly those with multiple hard drives, the “Other” category is comically large.

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You know that thing where you copy something important, forget to paste it anywhere, then copy something else? It sucks, because the important thing you copied first is gone.

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You’re installing some packages with Homebrew on your Mac, when you see a 404 error. Installation simply stops. Seriously?

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