March 12, 2017

Paint the Hot Corners in macOS

Mission Control iconMission Control icon

macOS ships with Hot Corners. You can move your mouse/trackpad cursor to the four corners of your screen and make things happen.

Step 1:

Hot CornersHot Corners

Go to the Mission Control Preference Screen on the Mac. Select System Preference… from the  menu. Click on Mission Control. Click on the Hot Corners… button on the bottom left.

Step 2:

Four CornersFour Corners

You can assign commands to each of those four corners. When you take your mouse to the specific corner on your display, the command chosen will activate.

You have a choice of the following commands.

Command ChoiceCommand Choice

The options are:

Mission ControlMission Control

Mission Control: This is the command which lets you see every open window on the computer. You can activate this usually by pressing F3.

Application Windows: This will show you all open documents in an application. ⌘+`, while you are in the application is a better way of switching between open application windows. So, it doesn't make much sense to use this option.

Desktop: This command shows the desktop. fn+F11 is a better way of showing the desktop. So, this command is not very useful.

Dashboard: This command shows the Dashboard. The Dashboard is a collection of widgets which Apple has forgotten about in Sierra. They have turned it off by default. You are better off leaving it turned off. They are not useful.

Notification Center: You can click on the icon at the topmost right corner to get the Notification window to pop out. You don't need this one.

Launchpad: You are still using the Launchpad? What is wrong with you? You can use the Spotlight menu (⌘+spacebar) to type in the name of the application that you are looking for and hit return when you find it on the list. Why would you go through pages of icons on the Dashboard? Even newbies are contemptuous of the Launchpad. This command is not useful.

Start Screen Saver: This is useful. If you have password protected your macOS, this is a good command to have available. In an office, when you walk away from your desk, it is a good idea to have the login password kick in along with the screensaver. Keeps away prying eyes. Having the screen saver activate when you need it is thus beneficial. Use this for one of the corners.

Password ProtectionPassword Protection

You can enable password on screensaver activation by going to the System Preferences>Security and Privacy preference pane and clicking on the General tab.

Disable Screen Saver: If you are going to have moments of inactivity but you don't want the screen saver to kick in, this is an useful command to have. Since moving the mouse/trackpad or pressing any key disables the screen saver, I am not sure how critical this is.

Put Display to Sleep: This is useful. I use it all the time. I want the computer to carry on its task in the background, while the display is shut off. Saves power and my eyes. This is specially useful when I am using SuperDuper! to back up my computer hard drive to an external hard drive.

Step 3:

If you assigned a command to the Hot Corners and used the computer, it would drive you batty. Every time your cursor would stray to a corner of the screen, a command would launch. Very soon, you would find yourself dreading using the mouse/trackpad, because it would almost feel like your computer is an evil entity specifically designed to drive you crazy. Come to think of it, it would feel very much like using a Windows machine. What a dreadful thought. Instead, when you select the drop down menu hold down a key, any of the following keys, ⇧, ⌘, ⌥ or ⌃. I like the ⌃ key.

Now with ControlNow with Control

See how the drop-down menu changed? There is a ⌃ key attached to the choice. Now when you take your cursor to the corner, nothing will happen. You will have to hold down the ⌃ key and take the cursor to your chosen corner for the command assigned to that Hot Corner. Accidental batty behavior can thus be avoided by assigning a key to activate the Hot Corners.

Painting the CornersPainting the Corners

This is how mine looks. Now get busy painting your corners.

macosxguru at the gmail thingie

Mission Control macOS

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