When Apple releases a new version of OS X, we tend to stick with the way we did things in the old OS, ignoring fresh features in the new one. Eventually we try the new t">

What everyone should know about OS X Mavericks: Tabs, Tags and Notifications

Macworld Australia Staff
10 April, 2014
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When Apple releases a new version of OS X, we tend to stick with the way we did things in the old OS, ignoring fresh features in the new one. Eventually we try the new things, and gradually they become the old habits we stick with when the next new OS X comes out. Well, it’s time to adopt the novel features in OS X Mavericks as your new normal.

Mavericks has plenty to like and it’s not that hard to get up to speed. So strap on your learning cap, and master the unknown.


Here’s how to take advantage of three new features in OS X Mavericks.
By Christopher Breen.

Now that we’ve been living with it for a few months, we’re familiar with all of the new features in OS X Mavericks, right? No? You aren’t using tags or tabs? You haven’t even tried to use the new Maps app? Don’t be embarrassed: Mavericks gives you a lot of new stuff to learn, and some of us have things other than ‘Explore Mavericks’ at the top of our to-do list. But don’t miss out on some of your new operating system’s most useful and important new powers.

Here are the basics about three such features.


You create tabbed windows all the time in Safari, and you can do the same in the Finder. Specifically, you can create a single window and then, within that window, create tabs – with each tab representing a different Finder folder. It’s a great way to cut down on clutter.

In the Finder, press Command-N to create a new Finder window. Choose View > Show Tab Bar. Look at the top of your new Finder window, and you’ll see a smallish plus (+) button on the far right. Click it, and you’ll create a new tab that opens in the Finder’s default view (which is the All My Files view).

You can treat this tab just like a window. Open a folder within it, and that folder will show its contents. Click the window’s Back button, and you’ll jump to the previous contents of the tab.

You can create tabs in other ways, too. If you hold down the command key and double- click a folder, it becomes a new tab within the active window.

 Each tab in OS X Mavericks can represent a different Finder folder – which means that you can populate your desktop with fewer open windows. 


Or you can drag a folder from another location (such as the desktop) on top of the plus sign to create a new tab that contains that folder’s contents.

If you’d like to pull a tab out of a window, just drag it outside the window; it will turn into a window of its own.



Do you alphabetise the spices in your condiments cabinet? Do you dutifully tag photos once they’re imported into iPhoto? Do you know the difference between a cousin once removed and a second cousin? If that kind of specificity appeals to you, then you’ll love Finder tags. This is a feature designed with organised minds in mind.

The point of Finder tags is to let you assign coloured labels to your files and folders, and slap keywords on them. If this sounds like the old Labels and Finder Comments features, it should. They’re kissing cousins (once removed, perhaps). But with Finder tags, you can assign more than one coloured label to an item, and keywords are much more evident.

You can assign a coloured tag in several ways. The easiest is to select an item in a window and, from the Tags menu at the top of that window, select a tag. (You can choose more than one.)

Alternatively, you can drag items on top of tags that appear in a Finder window’s sidebar. Or you can select an item, click the Finder’s File menu, and choose a tag. Or you can Control-click (right-click) a file or folder and choose a tag from the resulting menu.

Coloured labels are all well and good, but keywords deliver the real power. And creating keywords is easy: select an item in a window and click, once again, the Tags menu. At the top of this menu, you’ll see an empty field. This is one place where you can create tags.

Want to assign a colour to a new tag? Simply right- or Control-click on them in the sidebar, and choose a colour from the menu that appears. Another approach is to choose Finder > Preferences, click the Tags item, and then, in the resulting list of tags, click the empty circle next to the tag the colour of which you wish to change. At once a menu will appear, offering you the seven colour choices along with a No Colour option.

How worthwhile are these organisational tools? If you click one of these sidebar tags, you’ll see a window full of files that have been assigned that tag. Click Vacation plans, for example, and all your vacation- related items should appear (assuming that you’ve taken the trouble to tag them).

Also, if you open a window in List view, choose View > Show View Options, enable the Tags option, and end by clicking the Use as Defaults button at the bottom of the window, you’ll see the names of your tags within each Finder window whenever you open a window in List view.



If you take a gander at the top-right corner of your Mac’s menu bar – whether you’re running Mountain Lion or Mavericks – you’ll see three lines, preceded by dots. This is Notification Center, where alerts issued by your Mac appear.

These can include Calendar events, received Twitter tweets, text messages and email summaries.

Notification Center in Mavericks looks and operates very much as it did under Mountain Lion, but it has a few changes that you’ll find helpful.

To begin with, when you receive a notification from Apple’s Messages application, you can click directly within the message and type a reply in the Reply field. You’ll also see email notifications sent from Apple’s Mail application.

Hover your cursor over such a notification, and you’ll have the option to reply to the message or to delete it. Choose Reply, and Mail will open with a reply message already set up for you.

Safari now supports a feature that allows websites (with your permission) to send you notifications via Notification Center. This could be helpful with sites that push sports scores, for example.

If you scroll up in Notification Center, you’ll find a new Do Not Disturb switch, similar to the feature of the same name on iOS devices. Flip the switch to Off, and you’ll see no notifications until the next day, when the switch automatically moves back to On.

But you needn’t handle this kind of thing with a switch. Instead, launch System Preferences and select the Notifications preference. On the right side of the resulting window, you’ll see controls for configuring Do Not Disturb.

By default, when you enable this option, your Mac won’t bug you during the overnight hours between 10pm and 7am; but you can always use the up and down arrow controls to change those hours.

In addition, you can enable an option to permit reception of FaceTime calls during the Do Not Disturb hours that you have configured.




There are a multitude of ways to create, view and edit tags in OS X Mavericks.
By Dan Miller.

The Finder has had a labels capability for years. In OS X Mavericks, those labels have become tags – and they’ve also grown more powerful and capable. Here’s a more-advanced examination of the intricacies of applying and editing tags, as well as a look at how to view files that have already been tagged.



Control- or right-click a file: An all-purpose approach is to Control-click or right-click a file, and then select a tag from the pop-up contextual menu.

Use smart folders: In the Finder, choose File > New Smart Folder. In the resulting window, click the plus (+) button next to the Save button near the top of the window. Enter your first condition. (For example, specify a file type, documents that contain certain words, files created on a specific day or within a period of time, or files you’ve placed in a particular location.) Enter any other conditions you want.

When you’re done, press command-A to select all of the files that meet your conditions; then use one of the techniques above to apply the tag.

Create a keyboard shortcut: Launch System Preferences, choose the Keyboard preference pane, click the Shortcuts tab, and then the App Shortcuts entry; next, click the plus-sign (+) button near the bottom of the window.

In the next sheet, choose Finder from the Application pop-up menu, and enter Tags… in the Menu Title field. You can use either three periods or a real ellipsis after the word Tags; to get the latter, just press Option-; (the semicolon key).

Enter a keyboard shortcut in the field of the same name – like Shift-Control-T – and click Add. When you select an item in the Finder and press your shortcut, the Tags window will appear.

Use an iCloud shortcut: In an application that supports iCloud (such as Apple’s TextEdit), click the small triangle that appears next to the name of the document in the window’s title bar. Then add a tag in the Tags field from the window that appears.

Use a third-party app: In Hazel, for instance, you could set up a rule that looks in a folder you want to monitor, and set the conditions (Kind is text, say). Once you’ve set the conditions, apply the tab by using Hazel’s Add Tags action. (You can replace old tags with new ones if you like.)

Use tags on applications: Select an application that you obtained from the Mac App Store and press command-I. Click the Lock icon at the bottom of the Info window, and enter your administrator name and password to unlock the application. Next, click the Read only entry that appears next to the ‘everyone’ permissions group and change it to Read & Write.

After you close the Info window, you will be able to tag the app.

One of the options for applying tags to a document is to use the drop-down list accessible from the window title bar. 



Finder > Preferences: In the Tags pane, click a tag to rename it; right- or Control- click it to change its colour.

Finder sidebar (a): Right- or Control- click a tag in the sidebar, and then either select Rename or assign the tag a new colour.

Finder sidebar (b): Select All Tags… in the sidebar, and then right- or Control- click a given tag to rename it, delete it or change its colour.


The Finder’s toolbar in OS X Mavericks has a window for creating new tags and for assigning existing tags to appropriate files. 



In the sidebar: In either the Finder dialogue box or the Open dialogue box, click the tag in the sidebar to see all files that bear it. (Make sure that you’ve selected Recent Tags as a sidebar option in Finder > Preferences > Sidebar). If you select a tag, you can run a Spotlight search in that same Finder window; the search will find only matching items that have that tag.

In searches (a): Press Option-command- Spacebar to initiate a Spotlight search, and then type the name of the tag you’re looking for. Use the arrow keys to select the appropriate tag from the Tags section of the search-results look-ahead drop- down list, and then press Return.

In searches (b): To be more specific, initiate the search, and then type tag: followed by the name (or initial letters) of the tag you want.

In the original location: You can view tagged files in their original locations in two simple steps. First select the file, and then choose File > Show in Enclosing Folder. Alternatively, you can right- or Control-click the file and select that option from the contextual menu.

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