10 amazing tricks to learn on your Mac

7. Restrict what someone can do – and when

With great power… well, we all know how that one ended. Yes, the Mac is incredibly powerful, but in the hands of younger children it can become a dangerous tool. It will relieve parents no end to see that the Parental Controls in OS X are simple to configure, and the range of options are pleasing to boot. Among others you can limit underage access and also computer usage to x amount per day, set a 'bedtime' setting that signifies the end of a browsing session and limit the functions of Finder.

8. Type exotic characters

Okay, we're just showing off, now! We're not just talking about an über-sized fry-up in a café here – accents and umlauts are bog-standard practice for any operating system. What we're getting it us the power of Emoji, the fun little characters available in OS X 10.7 and later. Take note though, that while you'll be able to enjoy these Japanese-originated smileys and other such animals and symbols on your screen, they're not entirely compatible on a cross-platform scale. Well, your pals will just have to get a Mac to read your coded messages then, won't they?

9. Quickly type out common phrases

In a similar vein to creating command shortcuts, you can do the same with words or even phrases, whether that's a particular piece of unicode or an email address. Just go to the Text tab of the Language & Text pane of System Preferences and click the + to add a shortcut and what it equates to. Don't worry: these are all perfectly editable once saved too, so you can delete that YOLO one in case your friends use your Mac…

10. Run Windows

Yep. It might seem nutty to want the old enemy running when you've got a perfectly lovely OS system, but perhaps you might want to play the latest games or run some niche piece of software that has no current Mac equivalent. You can either run Windows 7 or Windows 8 alongside OS X with a virtualisation app such as VMware Fusuion, Parallels Desktop or VirtualBox, or partition your hard disk to install Windows on to run it full-bore on your hardware using Boot Camp Assistant (in your Utilities folder). Just be grateful we didn't chuck a paneful pun in there to keep you on your toes…

These are just a fraction of the handy tricks that the Mac is capable of, mind: MacFormat has showcased a whopping 50 of them in its September issue. And the best news is that you can read the rest of them – along with the rest of the magazine – for free! All you have to do to grab the latest issue is get a trial MacFormat subscription to the app edition – visit macformat.com/ipad to discover tons more brilliant tips from the world of Apple.

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