5 Tips & Secrets Found Inside Mountain Lion

Apple included over 200 new features with OS X Mountain Lion. You probably have become familiar with most of them including iMessage, Dictation and AirPlay Mirroring, but maybe some have gone unnoticed.

Get more out of OS X Mountain Lion by taking advantage of these 5 tips and tricks you may have missed.

1. 40 Stunning Wallpapers

Deep inside your Mac are 40 high-resolution wallpapers hidden within OS X Mountain Lion. I'm unsure why Apple has decided to leave most of these images out of the screensaver options but here is how you can get them to show up.

From the Finder Menu, select Go -> Go to Folder (or press Command+Shift+G) and type in the following:

/System/Library/Frameworks/ScreenSaver.Framework/Versions/A/Resources/Default Collections/

The "Default Collections" window will appear showing you four folders filled with landscapes, animals and patterns. The images also include stunning photos from the Hubble Space telescope and National Geographic.


Keep this window open while you follow the next steps.

Launch "System Preferences" and choose "Desktop & Screensaver" from the first row and click on "Desktop".

Now you can drag each folder from the "Default Collections" window to the Folders category in the wallpaper list on the left. Doing this will give you a shortcut to the images without creating any duplicates.


Since the images are sized at 3200 x 2000 resolution, they look amazing on a Mac desktop and even better on a Retina MacBook.

2. Notification Center Shortcuts

Access Notification Center on your Mac in a pinch by swiping with two fingers from the right edge of the trackpad to the left.

Notification Center on Mountain Lion can be incredibly useful - use it to send a quick tweet, for instance. Click on the "Settings" icon on the bottom to make various changes to the type of alerts your receive and their respective style. For example, you can deactivate sounds or toggle how long a specific alert will remain on the screen.

mac-osx Notification_Alerts

If you're interested, you can also automatically import Growl notifications into Notification Center by upgrading to version 2.0 to disable Notification Center alerts temporarily, hold the "Option" key on your keyboard and click on its icon on the menu bar.

3. Safari (Pinch to Minimize)

No matter what browser you're using, switching between half a dozen tabs can be a pain; try using the following tip that makes online multi-tasking a piece of cake.

mac-osx Safari_Pinch_Tabs

Use a pinching gesture on your trackpad to minimize all open tabs in Safari into smaller windows, much like its iOS counterpart. Switch from one tab to another with a two-finger swipe.

4. Sending files over iMessage

mac osx iMessage

Mountain Lion allows you to use iMessage to send any type of file under 100MB (music, video, PDF, etc.) to another Mac or iOS device. You could even send .gif images, although they will only play out in preview mode.

Emoji fans can access their favorite characters by pressing "Option + Command + T".

5. Bring Back "Save As" Option

The "Save As" option is available in Mountain Lion but was not included as part of menu options for their applications. Only Apple can answer why is this so. Sure you could try the shortcut "Command + Option + Shift + S", but there are easier ways.

Note: Unfortunately, when choosing the "Save As" option in Mountain Lion, changes will be saved on BOTH the original document and the newly created one. If you're going to use this feature, remember to do so before making any edits.

Option 1. Hold the "Option" key while clicking on the File Menu from applications missing the Save As feature.

Option 2. Launch System Preferences and go to "Keyboard -> Keyboard Shortcuts". Now select "Application Shortcuts" from the left hand column. We'll create two shortcuts here, one for "Save As" and another for "Duplicate".


Click on the "+" sign and type "Save As for Menu Title" and set "Command + Shift + S" for the Keyboard Shortcut. Repeat this process and type in a second shortcut for Duplicate, say "Command+Option+Shift+D". Complete these steps and you'll find both "Save As" and "Duplicate", along with their associated keyboard shortcuts, when clicking on the File Menu.

Other subtle features

  • You can stream sound from your Mac to your Apple TV via Airplay. Access the feature by selecting "Sound" from the "Settings" panel.
  • Create folders in Launchpad by dragging one icon to another. Folders can be renamed.
  • Files can be renamed directly from the title bar.

It's interesting how many features Apple has borrowed from iOS and made part of Mountain Lion. Hopefully I've covered one or two you didn't know about. Feel free to share any that you've come across in the comments below.

Edward Marquez

Edward Marquez is a tech writer covering the latest apps and software on Apple products. He also runs the tech news website, Gears of Tech.

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