Helping you get the most out of your Mac, iPhone & iPad

Bay Macs’ HelpDesk - with Steve Paris

Q: What’s the weirdest Mac feature you know?

A: Interesting question. One person’s ‘weird’ feature, can be another’s crucial benefit. And with that in mind, you’ll find numerous such possibilities in the System Preferences’ Accessibility panel.

This section is there to help people with various impairments access, control and navigate their Macs. This is where you can setup commands to zoom into the screen for instance, or turn on VoiceOver, which allows you to control your Mac using only the keyboard while a computer speaks to you so you know you’re selecting the right menu, or opening the proper file.

Apple has a fantastic array of such features, but to go back to the ‘weirdest’ one, select that panel’s Display section. Click on the Pointer tab.

You’ll find useful options like toggling the ability for the pointer to grow in size as you move the mouse quickly left and right – helping you figure out where it’s gone to (ideal with our ever larger displays). You can also increase the size of the pointer if the default size is too small for you. And here’s my ‘weirdest’ one: you can alter the pointer’s colours. By default it’s black with a white outline, but you can change these to any colour you’d care to imagine. Actually if you want to play a prank on a Mac user, you can use this option to invert the colours (white with a black outline), to look like a Microsoft Windows pointer instead!

Steve Paris is an internationally published writer, an Apple Certified Trainer, and provides consultancy, training and trouble-shooting services to the Swansea area. You can email him at or contact him on 077-8866-0407.

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