I'm hoping to force myself to blog more consistently with a "Tip of the Tuesday" weekly post. While most tips will be design/productivity focused, I can't promise that a random tip or two might slip through!
Today's tip won't wow any of my former apple coworkers, but it's something I use many times a day on my Mac: SPOTLIGHT.
It's kind of a misnomer because it's actually the tiny magnifying glass icon sitting in the top right corner of your screen, but in this case Apple didn't name it as literally as it has done with other apps like "Address Book" or "iCal". The keyboard shortcut for Spotlight is command+spacebar (unless you have changed your default shortcuts). While Spotlight can definitely be used for searching anything on your local drive in a manner of seconds, and give it to you categorized, I actually also use it for a few other reasons, and below are my top three:
1. Application Launcher
If you're like me and you don't like cluttering up your dock with Apps you don't use on a regular basis, simply "command+spacebar" and start typing the first couple letters of the app. The app usually pops up by then and you can just press "enter" if it's highlighted on the app you want. I still find it faster to use than Launchpad, although I haven't upgraded to Mountain Lion yet.
For calculations, you don't even have to launch the calculator app, you can just activate Spotlight and start typing -- i.e. "1499*1.0775" will yield the cost of the $1499 item plus sales tax in my state. Just use the asterisk for multiplication and the slash for division. You can also include parenthesis to indicate priority (A+B)*C.
Simply type in a word and if you hover your mouse over the "Look Up" section, the definition will pop up. If you click on the highlighted word, it will launch the Dictionary App and you can then have access to the Thesaurus and Wikipedia.
Have any Spotlight tips for me? Would love to hear them!