When To Use It

It's easy enough to manage two or three apps. As the workday progresses, though, it's easy to have your work spread across a dozen windows and dozens more tabs. Magnet takes that further, letting you drag windows to the side or corner of your screen to show two, three, or four apps side-by-side. You can customize keyboard shortcuts to quickly snap windows to the spot you want or to switch desktops and move windows along with you.

Speechnotes | Speech to Text Online Notepad

It maximizes your screen real estate, one that works similarly to the default window organizing options in Windows. A wide variety of apps can help you manage windows on Macs. Spectacle free lets you arrange windows with only keyboard shortcuts. You can remove some on your own—press Command while clicking on menubar icons to rearrange or remove them from your menubar, when possible. Your normal menubar will then be as clean as you want.

Whenever you want to view other menubar apps, click the Bartender icon to switch the menubar to your hidden icons.

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Wish there was a desktop app for Gmail, Google Docs, and the dozens of other web apps that power work today? Add the link to a web app, its name, and a custom icon, and Fluid will make a standalone browser for that app. That lets you keep your favorite web apps pinned to your dock, a click away whenever you need them. Each app has its own cookies, so you could, say, have one Fluid Gmail app for your work email and another for your personal email. On iOS, you can do something similar by saving a bookmark of a web app to your home screen. Tap that icon to launch the web app in its own window, without Safari's address and tab bars.

Or, on Windows and Linux, click Add to desktop in the Chrome browser's menu to save a standalone app of your favorite web apps. It makes a fake—virtual—computer on your Mac where you can install and run Linux, Windows, and older versions of macOS alongside your favorite Mac programs. VirtualBox lets you do that for free, with a barebones virtualization tool.

Comparing macOS Dictation With Google Voice Typing

If you need to use Windows or Linux apps often, it's worth investing in the paid paid apps from Parallels and VMware. Lifehacker had trouble deciding between Parallels and VMware Fusion, and having used both, we feel the same. They're run virtual machines more efficiently than VirtualBox, are easier to use, and blend into your Mac with better support for keyboard shortcuts, TouchBar, and native devices. Parallels is more consumer focused and comes with a set of Mac utilities to clean up hard drive space and convert videos. VMware come from a more professional background, with its server virtualization tools and VMware Workstation for PCs as some of the most popular virtualization software.

To run Windows on a Mac, though, the best pick often depends on any sales that might be running, or whether you have an older version around that's eligible for an upgrade. Either one you pick, you'll get your old PC apps running on your Mac fairly easily. The best thing about working on an iPad or with full-screen apps on a Mac is the lack of distractions. There are no windows poking out behind your current window, tempting you to check Twitter and switch songs in Spotify. HazeOver is the next best thing. Duet Display can turn any iPhone or iPad into a second touchscreen for your Mac.

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You can then drag-and-drop items with touch, use an on-screen touch bar to change settings, and keep any window open beside your Mac for extra screen real estate. Your Mac comes with Automator, a handy tool to organize files, run timed events, resize photos, and more. Want to automate even more of your work?


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These handy apps build on macOS's built-in tools for powerful ways to work faster. The right-click menu is one of the most powerful parts of Mac and PC apps, hiding a wealth of additional options behind an easy-to-remember button click. BetterTouchTool takes that to the next level. This unique app lets you set what happens whenever you click multiple times with your mouse—and on a trackpad, it lets you set actions for each corner, multiple finger gestures, or force touch click.

Say you want to quickly close a popup window in Safari. You could set BetterTouchTool to close a window whenever you 3-finger click on it. Or perhaps you want to click once to get a specific menu option. You could set the top left corner of your touchpad to select that option directly.


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  4. Or you could have it recognize a drawing on the touchpad—a square, say—to take a screenshot if you wanted. BetterTouchTool also works with the Touch Bar on newer MacBooks to add custom buttons and options to the always-on toolbar at the top of your keyboard. You can also use it with a companion iOS app or the Apple TV remote to, say, change slides or run custom options with a tap. As a bonus, BetterTouchTool also makes it easier to arrange your windows side-by-side.

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    From the Window Snapping tab in its settings, you can enable Windows-style options to drag a window to the top of your screen to maximize it or to the sides to have it take up half your screen. Only want the window snapping tools? To quickly open apps and files, run automations, expand text, manage the clipboard, and more. Press space before you start typing to search through your files, too. Behind the scenes, Alfred can do more than speed up search. It includes a Snippets feature to expand common phrases as you type in any app.

    You can make your own or download popular workflows to add Evernote notes, control Spotify music, upload files to Dropbox or an FTP server, start a timer, check the time in another timezone, and much more. Hazel makes sense of files for you automatically. Others files have common names—including scanned documents, screenshots, bank statements, and more—that need better names and to be saved in specific folders. Music, photos, videos, eBooks, and other media might need to be imported into other apps with their metadata.

    Macs also come with a free, built-in automation app: Automator. It too can move files and keep things organized, albeit with less detailed options than Hazel. Something funny happened as SSDs made our laptops faster and thinner—storage space suddenly became a scarce resource. DaisyDisk helps you find them. It quickly scans through your computer and visualizes which files and folders use up the most space. You can zoom in on those long-forgotten ZIP files, virtual machines, videos, and more that waste space—and either view them in Finder to delete or move them or drag them to the bottom of the app to delete them at once.

    Keyboard shortcuts are one of the best ways to speed up work. Instead of switching to your mouse—or touching the screen as you would on a tablet—you press a few keys and magic happens. But what if you could make keyboard shortcuts for anything you can think of, shortcuts to upload files, open sets of apps, add text to a file, crop images, and more? You can build detailed workflows that get work done for you at the touch of a button.


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    Ever gotten to the end of the day and wondered where the time went? Wonder no more. Working on a project for a client? You can add a project, list the sites, apps, and documents related to them, and have Qbserve automatically track how much you work on their projects based on the time you spend in those apps. You can then drill through the time you spend at work, play, and projects—and even turn project time directly into invoices from one app.

    Its free plan is a great way to start tracking your workday. These are only some of the dozens of productivity apps you could download for your Mac—tools that would speed up your work, help you accomplish more, keep you from getting distracted, and add new features to your favorite software. But they're our top picks, whether you're new to macOS or just looking to make your time on your Mac more efficient.

    Looking for more productivity app options? Check out our roundups of software that everyone needs: a backup tool , an email app , a calendar app , a cloud storage service , and a to-do list app. There are dozens of options for each, many of which work on the web and across platforms, so check the linked roundups above for recommendations there.

    Learn more about how we select apps to feature. Matthew Guay is a senior editor and writer on the Zapier team in Bangkok. When he's not writing, he's likely reading a new book or exploring random streets in a new city. Follow Matthew at maguay.

    Learning to speak again

    It will then be able to interpret your voice offline. The purple microphone will light up as you speak if your Mac can hear you. To use voice dictation in an application on your Mac, first select a text field in an application. Speak to your Mac and the words you speak will start appearing in the text field. The purple indicator on the microphone should move as you speak. How are you doing?

    Whereas the Windows Speech Recognition feature is extremely powerful and can feel more like an accessibility tool than something intended for the masses, the Mac Voice Dictation feature is more streamlined and simplified. The Best Tech Newsletter Anywhere. Join , subscribers and get a daily digest of news, comics, trivia, reviews, and more. Windows Mac iPhone Android.