Macbook Basics

Tips to help you make the most of your computer!

How to take a screen shot.

Screen shots can be invaluable as a documentation tool. There is a simple way to take a screen shot on your computer. Press the Shift + Command + 3 buttons simultaneously in order to take a screen shot of your entire screen. To select an area to capture, click Shift + Command + 4 and drag the cross hairs that appear over the desired area. To snap the entire open window, press the space bar and you will see the camera icon appear and then click the track pad.


Screen shots are saved to your computers desktop and are named by the date and time that the shot was taken.

Saving Files in pdf Format

Since the pdf format is easily accessible to all people regardless of the software they have on their devices, it is important to know how to save files in this format. In order to save a file as a pdf, open the file, press Command + P or go to the File menu and select Print. When the Print window opens you will find an button in the bottom left corner that says PDF and in the drop down menu an option to Save as PDF. This will save a duplicate copy of your document so you will have the original version and a PDF version.
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Macbook Menu and Desktop

Please watch the video below to learn about specific features available in your macbook menu and desktop.
MacBook Menu Bar and Desktop

Macbook System Preferences Part 1

Please watch the video below to learn about the following areas in System Preferences:


  • General Preferences
  • Desktop/Screen Saver
  • Dock
  • Security & Privacy
MacBook System Preferences Part 1

Macbook System Preferences Part 2

Please watch the video below to learn about the following areas in System Preferences:


  • Spotlight Search
  • Notifications
  • Displays
  • Energy Saver
  • Keyboard


Review all of the Apple Keyboard shortcuts linked here.

MacBook System Preferences Part 2

Using AirDrop

AirDrop is a feature that allows you to share files between devices on the same wireless network. Please view the video below to learn how to use AirDrop on your computer. You can open AirDrop from the Finder window or from the Finder Menu by clicking Go and dropping down to the AirDrop option (or use the shortcut Shift + Command + R).
AirDrop Tutorial - Sharing Files

Accessibility Features

Accessibility features are settings on a computer that can assist users with the widest range of abilities to take full advantage of their devices. MacBooks come with a wide range of settings that can assist users to function more easily. The video below will review the following areas in System Preferences:


  • Dictation and Speech
  • Accessibility


For more details on the features available on your macbook please visit the page linked here: Apple's Accessibility Features.

Accessibility Features on MacBook

How to Earn Your Badge

In order to receive credit for completing this module you will need to read all the information above, watch the videos provided and review the linked webpages. As evidence that you have completed the tasks above, please provide the following to Danielle or Sue:



  • Screen shot of the "Save as PDF" menu drop down from a file you are converting
  • Screen shot of a file or folder that you have added a color tag to
  • Screen shot of a Keyboard shortcut you have created in the System Prefs window
  • Screen shot of an AirDrop file transfer


Email the screen shots to Danielle or Sue and complete the quiz linked below to complete this module. Once all information has been received your badge will be added to your iPad.


Macbook Basics Quiz