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Have you ever wanted to know what every single possible terminal command was on a Mac? You can list every terminal command available by turning to the command line. What you’ll see is a significant list of terminal commands with over 1400 possible commands to investigate and use, many of which are either helpful or powerful as we regularly cover with our command line guides. Of course many of the commands listed will have no relevance to the average user, but it can still be helpful to be able to navigate through the list and investigate each command and its respective purpose.
We’ll show you how to list every single terminal command available on a Mac, as well as how to get an explanation and details on each specific command that is shown.
How to Show Every Terminal Command Available in Mac OS
This trick will reveal every single possible terminal command available to Mac OS and Mac OS X. It works in all versions of Mac OS X system software as long as you are using the bash shell, which is the default in all modern releases.
Open the Terminal app found in /Applications/Utilities/
At a fresh bash prompt, hit the Escape key twice
You will see a message stating “Display all 1460 possibilities? (y or n)” type “y” key to start showing every command available
Hit the Return key to scroll through the huge list of commands available
Hit the “Delete” or backspace key to escape the command listing when finished
You’ll see a truly exhaustive list of commands available, some of which may be familiar to advanced users and many commands which even pro users likely have never seen or used before.
Of course you’re now probably wondering what each command might do, or how to investigate what the shown commands do. That’s easy as well.
Getting Info & Explanation for Each Terminal Command
You can easily retrieve information and an explanation on any of the shown commands by using the handy open man page trick, which will launch a manual for the chosen command into a new terminal window. Here’s how it works in the context of the all inclusive commands list on Mac OS:
Right-click on any command listed you wish to investigate and explain further
Choose “Open man page”
The manual page for the selected command will open in a new terminal window to explain the command
You can also use the Terminal app “Help” menu to quickly launch manual pages by searching for a specific command there. Additionally, if you want to find related commands or related instructions, you can use this trick to search manual pages for matches containing a specific keyword or command.
The command line has literally thousands of commands available to use, if you’re interested in learning about specific terminal tricks be sure to read through out command line posts.
Many of you may use the excellent Picture-in-Picture mode on the Mac to watch a video or movie while doing something else on the computer. In doing so you have likely noticed that the Picture-in-Picture (PiP) windows snap into one of the four corners of the Mac display.
But what if you want to move your Picture-in-Picture window somewhere else on the Mac screen?
You can do that by holding down a keyboard key while attempting to move the window around.
To locate the PiP window anywhere on the Mac display, simply hold down the Command key while dragging the Picture-in-Picture video player window elsewhere on the screen.
As long as you are holding the Command key you can locate the PiP video window anywhere.
To try this out yourself, open a Picture-in-Picture video playing as usual and then hold down the Command key as you drag and locate the PiP window where ever you’d like it to be.
This should come in handy anytime you’re watching a PiP video on the Mac but the video player is blocking an interface component or some important data on the screen.
The macOS Sierra 10.12.2 update improves the stability, compatibility, and performance of your Mac.
• Improves setup and reliability of Auto Unlock
• Allows addition of a Chinese Trackpad Handwriting button to the Touch Bar Control Strip
• Adds support for taking screenshots of the Touch Bar using the Grab app or Cmd-Shift-6 shortcut
• Fixes an issue that caused the Touch Bar emoji picker to appear on the display
• Resolves graphics issues on MacBook Pro (October 2016) computers
• Fixes an issue where System Integrity Protection was disabled on some MacBook Pro (October 2016) computers
• Improves setup and opt-out experience for iCloud Desktop and Documents
• Fixes an issue with the delivery of Optimized Storage alerts
• Improves audio quality when using Siri and FaceTime with Bluetooth headphones
• Improves the stability of Photos when creating and ordering books
• Fixes an issue where incoming Mail messages did not appear when using a Microsoft Exchange account
• Fixes an issue that prevented installation of Safari Extensions downloaded outside the Safari Extensions Gallery
• Adds support for new installations of Windows 8 and Windows 7 using Boot Camp on supported Macs
Siri has the ability to read anything on the screen of an iPhone or iPad to you. And yes, that means Siri will quite literally read aloud whatever is open and on the display of an iOS device, whether it’s a web page, an article, an email, a text message, anything on the screen will be read out loud by Siri, and you’ll even have controls for speeding up and slowing down speech, as well as pausing and skipping sections
To get the excellent Siri Speak Screen ability working on your iPad or iPhone, you will need to enable a little appreciated accessibility feature called speak screen, and then it’s just a matter of initiating the proper request with Siri.
How to Have Siri Read Screen Text to You on iPhone, iPad
First we’ll enable the Speak Screen feature and then use Siri to access it in iOS, here’s how it works:
Open the ‘Settings’ app and go to ‘General’ and then to “Accessibility”
Go to “Speech” and flip the switch for “Speak Screen” to the ON position
Now from just about any screen in iOS, whether settings, a webpage, messages, email, summon Siri and say “Speak Screen” to have Siri read the screen and all screen contents to you
Use the onscreen controls to stop reading or adjust the reading speed, section, or stop (or ask Siri to stop reading)
For a practical example of how this can work, let’s imagine you have found a great article on the web and you’d like it read to you aloud. All you need to do is load up the web page in Safari (or another browser of iOS) and then summon Siri and say “Speak Screen” and Siri will start reading the text of the article to you.
Using the onscreen controls you can skip slow down Siri speech, skip backwards to a section to have it re-read, pause the speech, skip forward a section you don’t want read, or speed up the Siri voice reading.
This trick pairs really well with either the iPad or iPhone if you have the volume turned up enough to hear the reading out of the built-in speakers, but it also works wonderfully with headphones or speakers. Using this trick you could have Siri read you an article, an email, a web page, anything on screen, while you commute, or are out and about, or even just laying around.
You can even use this trick with the Hey Siri voice activation feature, making it one of the better accessibility features available in iOS.
Have any other screen speaking tips or ideas for how to use this great tip? Let us know in the comments.
Rarely, the Mac App Store may report erroneous app download statuses or even offer a malformed file leading to an app that doesn’t launch or is partially downloaded. These situations are almost always the result of an interrupted or corrupted download, but can occur in some other scenarios as well.
Sometimes simply deleting the app in question can resolve any surrounding difficultly, but on some occasions that isn’t possible or isn’t effective. These type of unusual errors can typically be resolved by manually clearing out the Mac App Store cache, and then re-downloading the app, or re-visiting the Mac App Store. This tutorial will walk through completing that process.
Accessing the Mac App Store Temporary Download Caches
Be sure to backup your Mac before beginning this process, it’s unlikely something will go wrong if you follow the instructions but because you are editing a system level cache directory it’s always good practice to backup and be sure your data is safe. Don’t skip backing up.
Quit out of the Mac App Store
Open the Terminal, found in /Applications/Utilities/ and type the following command exactly:
Hit Return and the com.apple.applestore folder will open in the Finder of Mac OS
Move the contents of this folder onto the desktop of the Mac (or if you are confident, move the contained temporary data into the Trash)
Importantly, do not delete or adjust any other files outside of this directory, when finished close the com.apple.applestore folder
Relaunch Mac App Store
Now you should be able to download or re-download the apps or Mac OS installer files again, and they should work properly as intended.
This process can help if you’re unable to download something from the Mac App Store, if it’s showing up erroneously as downloaded when it’s not, or if there are constant verification errors or other problems with the downloaded app or installer file. For example, you may need to do this if you notice that the Mac App Store is persistently showing a Mac OS installer as “Downloaded” despite not having completed the download as discussed in this Sierra troubleshooting detail. If you delete the temp cache data, it will allow you to re-download that Mac OS installer again in such a situation.
This troubleshooting trick will not resolve user level cache issues with the App Store, which are typically superficial behavior like the App Store not loading pages or behaving in an inordinately slow manner.
For those wondering about alternatives that do not involve the command line, you can also approach this temp cache directory through the Mac App Store “Debug” menu, but the latest versions of Mac OS and Mac App Store do not seem to support the current defaults write command to reveal the option. If you happen to know an updated defaults string that works with modern Mac OS releases, be sure to leave a comment.
A feature added in macOS Sierra is handy for those who frequently switch among two languages while typing.
Twitter buddy Michael Fessler alerted Mac 911 to a great help for those who frequently type in keyboards for two different character sets, like Latin and Hebrew, Chinese, Arabic, and many others. You can make a quick-switch option from the keyboard without resorting to a menu, by turning a tap of the Caps Lock key into a keyboard swap.
The option appears in the Keyboard system preference pane in the Input Sources tab. It has a lot of explanation: “Use the Caps Lock key to switch to and from U.S. Press and hold to enable typing in all uppercase.”
This won’t appear when you have two keyboards that use the same basic underlying set of characters. That may be confusing, because, for instance, you can add a French keyboard that uses a different layout, like AZERTY, and it’s not an option. Both the U.S. and French keyboards derive characters from the same Latin set.
Pick a non-Latin keyboard, and the option appears. If you have multiple non-Latin keyboards, the first one you added is the only one that Caps Lock swaps between. If you add more and then delete the first or more, the most recently added or the last one remaining becomes the swappable keyboard.
The Keyboard preference pane now lets you set a simpler way to swap for certain keyboards.
This doesn’t work for all non-U.S. layouts, however. If you add Japanese, as my friend Matthew Amster-Burton did, the checkbox doesn’t appear. That’s because macOS’s default input method for Japanese is Hiragana, which relies on the underlying roman syllables, according to Matthew.
You can seemingly predict this: if the keyboard preview in the preference pane shows Latin (or “Western”) characters, the keyboard option doesn’t appear; if the preview shows non-Latin characters, it does.
Now that macOS Sierra has Siri built directly into the Mac operating system, you’re probably wondering what exactly you can do with the handy virtual assistant on your computer.
It turns out that Siri has many abilities unique to the Mac, which you can’t perform on an iPhone or iPad with the virtual assistant. Of course nearly all of the traditional Siri commands from iOS work in macOS as well, which is just one of many reasons we think Siri is one of the features in macOS Sierra that you’ll use most.
Accessing Siri on the Mac
Before issuing commands to Siri, you’ll want to summon the virtual assistant. The easiest way to do this are by clicking on the menu bar item in the upper right corner, the Dock icon, or by hitting the Option + Spacebar keystroke.
When you click to activate Siri, Siri will stick around until you either click the icon again or close the Siri window in the corner of the display.
Now that yo just a taste of the type of commands Siri can perform on the Mac. You can substitute obvious things as well, for example you can ask about different settings or preference panels, Wi-Fi instead of Bluetooth, any application the Mac, ask to show any file type or document name, and so much more.
Mac Siri Commands List
This list will give you an idea of what to try and where to start with Siri on the Mac:
Put my computer to sleep
Activate the screen saver
Make the screen brighter
Make the screen dimmer
Is Bluetooth on?
Turn Bluetooth off / on
Lower the volume
Increase the volume
Show me privacy settings
Show me location settings
Show me network settings
What is my desktop wallpaper
I forgot my iTunes Password
How fast is my Mac?
How much memory does my Mac have?
How much free disk storage is available?
What is my Mac serial number?
What OS version is this?
How much iCloud storage do I have?
Open Mail application
Open the website for OSXDaily.com
Open the webpage (site name or site URL)
Send a message to (name) saying (message)
Open the Documents folder
Open the Pictures folder
Show me files named “screen shot”
Show me files from yesterday
Show me image files from last week
Show me documents from two days ago
Show me what I was working on yesterday
Show me my music
Play (song name) in iTunes
What song is playing?
Skip this song
Remind me to call (name) in 20 minutes
Show me pictures from last October
Show me my photos from Hawaii
Your best bet to mastering Siri on the Mac is to simply play around with the virtual assistant, asking various questions, changing command language, asking for different types of documents or apps, requesting different information, just have fun.
In fact, nearly every one of the commands from this Siri commands list work on the Mac as well, though obviously iPhone and iPad specific tasks and features are not possible on the Mac, though some will adjust accordingly. Explore and have fun.
The Siri Commands List, Courtesy of Siri on the Mac
Another option is to ask Siri directly, what can you do for me? This works to reveal many additional command options as well, since Siri for Mac has a little help guide that comes along for the ride, you can access the details by opening Siri and pressing the info ? question mark button, or if you ask Siri on the Mac what the assistant can do for you. This shows a variety of menu items showing different types of commands to ask Siri, some of which are Mac specific and others which are generalized for Siri.
Those menus from the Mac showing giant lists of Siri commands have been posted below for easy browsing, check out the screen captures and try them out yourself:
Have any particular favorite Siri commands for Mac? Let us know in the comments.