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Cool things you didn't know about your MacBook Pro!

Updated on December 2, 2013

Apple have added tons of cool features to their MacBook Pro line over the many years they've been perfecting it. These features include screen and keyboard brightness syncing with ambient light, zooming in on web pages using your trackpad, changing the background colours of folders, and more. Please note that these only apply to MacBook Pro's built in 2008/2009 or later (the unibody ones).

Oh, and if you like this page, you also might like to check out How to stop your MacBook from Overheating and How to Improve your Mac's Battery Life.

The ambient light sensor...

...Its fun to play around with!

Look closely at your iSlight camera. On the left of it you'll see a small dot that looks just like a mini iSight camera - the ambient light sensor. Now place your thumb firmly over it and watch the magic!

The ambient light sensor helps govern the brightness of the screen and keyboard. When you enter a dark room the brightness of the screen dims so it doesn't hurt your eyes, and the keyboard lights up to help you type in the dark. If you cover the sensor it simulates being in a dark room (from the computer's point of view). Now go into a dark room, and shine a bright torch directly at the sensor. I don't need to explain what happens if you do that...

Enter a bright room and press the F5 or F6 keys. Whatever those keys do, it won't let you preform it in a bright room. So put your thumb over the ambient light sensor and try the F5 and F6 keys. Wow, it controls the keyboard backlight!

------Make your MacBook Pro's screen go negative!-------

MacBook Pro trackpad
MacBook Pro trackpad

The Mac OSX zoom...

...zoom in on anything using the control key and the trackpad

This is very easy, yet very fun. It works on Mac OSX Leopard and Snow Leopard (all unibody MacBook Pros will have either OS). There is no setup in the system preferences required, simply: Hold down the "control" key and swipe two fingers up and down the trackpad while the "control" key is being held down. Swipe up to zoom in, and down to zoom out!

Your probably wondering why this has been implemented into the operating system. It one of the many "universal access" features available in Mac OSX Leopard and Snow Leopard. The full universal access pane can be found in the system preferences. It features many tools that make Mac OSX easier for disabled people to use. Of course some of them can be quite funny as well...

--------Customize every icon on your MacBook Pro!--------

You can customize every single icon in Mac OSX using a free application called "Candy Bar". There are several other programs that can preform the same function (you can even change icons manually) but Candy Bar is very user friendly, plus it has a very wide range of icons available for free download.

Firstly, you'll need to download Candy Bar from its website: http://www.panic.com/candybar/. The website states that the free download is only a 15 day trial, but after it has expired you can still keep your customized icons. After the download has finished, drag Candy Bar into your applications folder and open it.

There will be no icons in the Candy Bar application when you first download it, so you'll have to download some icons of your choice from the icon-factory: http://iconfactory.com/freeware/icon. When you download icons, you must download them in "iContainer" format, so they'll work in Candy Bar.

As well as downloading icon sets to change every icon on your Mac to a certain theme, you can also customize each icon individually, such as your application icons, which may not be included in the theme sets. Good luck!

--------------------Apple remote control trick--------------------

----------How to minimize a window in slow motion----------

As most of you know, you can minimize a window in Mac OSX by pressing the orange button in the top right corner of a window or by pressing "command-m". However, if you are holding down the "shift" key when you press the orange button the window minimizes in slow motion. And if you are holding down the "shift" key when you un-minimize a window it will, again, un-minimize in slow motion.

Your probably wondering why on earth that feature was implemented. Well, when developers were perfecting that minimize effect the slow motion probably helped them in exposing any flaws. That is the reason behind most of the other Mac OSX easter eggs too.

-------Create a Blank Space in your MacBook's Dock-------

Using your MacBook's "Terminal" application you can create spaces in the dock, as illustrated in the picture above. This can be useful for sorting the applications on the dock into groups (ie: Utilities, games, work, etc) or just for aethstetic purposes. Creating a space in the dock is not very difficult to pull off - Simply search for "Terminal" in spotlight, and click on the top result. Then copy & paste the following line of text into the terminal window and press enter:

defaults write com.apple.dock persistent-apps -array-add '{"tile-type"="spacer-tile";}'

Next, type "killall Dock" into the terminal (without the quote marks, of course) and in a few seconds the dock will refresh and you will be presented with a space somewhere on the dock. From there you can simply drag the space around to different places in the dock, in much the same way that you'd move an app around - And likewise, to delete the space just drag it off the dock. If you want more spaces, type the line above again, followed by "killall Dock" and another space will appear.

See the Apple logo on your MBP's screen...

...when the computer is turned off!

For this trick you'll need a MacBook/MacBook Pro/MacBook Air and a torch. Simply turn the laptop off, go into a dark room and hold the torch up to the Apple logo on the back of the screen...

The Apple logo on Mac laptops is lit by the monitor's backlight, so when the screen is lit, the Apple logo is also lit. And when the Apple logo is lit by a foreign object, it lights up that section of the screen. If you turn the computer on, then switch off the backlight (by turning the brightness all the way down) you would be able to see what's on that section of the screen if you shone a torch through the Apple logo.

Does your MacBook Pro Overheat?

Being very compact, but getting ever-increasingly powerful, MacBook Pro's have a tendency to overheat - Especially when preforming intensive tasks such as editing videos, playing high definition web videos (such as 1080P YouTube) or running demanding games. While it is normal for MacBooks to heat up when preforming those sort of tasks, there are a number of things you can do to ensure that your MacBook runs cooler & quieter - Benefiting both your health and your Mac's lifespan. Find out more about how to prevent your mac from overheating at MacInfo.us.

One last question...

What sort of MacBook Pro do you own?

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Contact

If you have a suggestion or enquiry that isn't suitable for public posting, please send an email to administrator@macinfo.us

Got any tricks up your sleeve? - If you have any tricks that weren't listed here, post them below...

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    • profile image

      skylar 2 years ago

      awesome page! used it for school and got an A!! thannks

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: This is awesome and convenient and I did it for the longest time until a friend told me that it drains your battery much faster than normal. I don't know how or why but I have noticed a difference now that I've stopped doing that!

    • tropicalmonsoon1 profile image
      Author

      tropicalmonsoon1 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Could you elaborate, please? (:

    • tropicalmonsoon1 profile image
      Author

      tropicalmonsoon1 4 years ago

      @takkhisa: Thanks!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      if you click on the trashcan and go to applications and it has KEYNOTE,PAGES,IBOOK AUTHOR,etc. for free instead of paying $5 on the iOS devices

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 4 years ago

      I have no idea about this since i use Windows computer but i like the way you presented everything here :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Good lens, thanks for liking mine!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Nice lens, thanks for liking my lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      fun page bro!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Nah sorry haha

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Why?

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      This page needs moar comments sections.

    • profile image

      sweetprincess2 4 years ago

      @Winter69: Same.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Macbook air have this feature, but i am not shure bout pro...

      the apple earpods is magnetic so you can have thenm on the top of the screen when you leave your mac- no more looking for a place to put them :))))))

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Great page haha (;

    • profile image

      Winter69 4 years ago

      like ur page

    • tropicalmonsoon1 profile image
      Author

      tropicalmonsoon1 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks for the feedback - I'm in the process of doing that!

    • tropicalmonsoon1 profile image
      Author

      tropicalmonsoon1 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks for that - I'll check if it applies to MacBook Pro's as well.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Good lens it was very interesting indeed - Although you need to extend it

    • tropicalmonsoon1 profile image
      Author

      tropicalmonsoon1 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Well, which part don't you understand?

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      HUH? I don't understand the last paragraph, about the apple logo staying lit!?!?!?!? Please help!

    • ilike2create profile image

      ilike2create 5 years ago

      Really nice lens. I can try some of those things soon because I am buying an "old" MacBook Pro 15° this week.

    • profile image

      TravelingRae 6 years ago

      Fun lens; I didn't know about being able to zoom with the trackpad and I laughed myself silly tricking my MBP into thinking it was running in the dark when it's bright in here. Thumbs up!