I'm getting this question every couple of weeks from friends and colleagues, and every time I'm sending them instructions on what and how to install in order to setup their environment to make their experience better.
There are many tools/apps/configurations that you can use to make your life easier and your experience better with your mac.
So I decided to finally write everything down and share it (instead of copy&paste emails/whatsapp/slack/discord messages).
Here is my basic setup and recommendations for others.
And if you like the red arrows - keep on reading 😉
By default, screenshots are saved to your desktop. To change this - click
⌘+shift+5 and under the "options" menu set the "save to" to "Clipboard".
- To capture an area use
- To capture the entire screen use
commandkey. You can find it left to your
I'll start with some general tools that just make my life easier:
Rectangle is an open-source tool that gives you the ability to easily move the windows-apps around your desktops using your keyboard (left-half / right-half / top / bottom etc)
Monosnap is a tool to edit your screenshots. They have both paid and free versions (for personal usage).
Remember the red arrows? This is what you want:
This is the de-facto package manager for macos (as a developer - most of the packages you need you can install using homebrew).
Open your terminal (cmd + space) and run:
/bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/HEAD/install.sh)"
Personally, I don't use this tool, but many of my friends like it, so I decided to keep it on my list.
If you moved from Windows to MacOS - AltTab is probably your friend - it brings the power of Windows's "alt-tab" functionality to your Mac.
(Image from AltTab's website)
Install using brew:
brew install alttab
iTerm2 is a replacement for the standard macos's terminal (and is so much better).
Now that we have homebrew installed we can use to install iterm2:
brew install iterm2
There are many settings that you can change in iterm2, here are a few that in my opinion are a must:
- Disable the bell: iTerm2 Preferences -> Profiles -> Terminal -> Notifications -> Silence Bell
- Set iterm to jump over words on option+left/right arrow and move to begin/end of line with cmd+left/right arrow. iTerm2 Preferences -> Profiles -> Keys:
1. ⌥← (option + left arrow) - set action to "Send Escape Sequence" - Esc+
2. ⌥→ (option + right arrow) - set action to "Send Escape Sequence" - Esc+
3. ⌘←(cmd + left arrow) - set action to "Send Hex Code" - value is
4. ⌘→(cmd + right arrow) - set action to "Send Hex Code" - value is
oh-my-zsh is a framework for managing zsh configurations. zsh is the default shell on macos these days.
There are hundreds themes and plugins and you can configure almost everything inside.
Lets start by installing oh-my-zsh:
sh -c "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.github.com/ohmyzsh/ohmyzsh/master/tools/install.sh)"
We also need fzf for fuzzy search (some plugins need it):
brew install fzf
There are so many oh-my-zsh themes that you can use. I like
intheloop, but you can try others and find the one that you like the most.
To set the relevant theme open your
~/.zshrc file and change the value of
brew install zsh-autosuggestions echo "source /usr/local/share/zsh-autosuggestions/zsh-autosuggestions.zsh" >> ~/.zshrc
brew install zsh-syntax-highlighting echo "source /usr/local/share/zsh-syntax-highlighting/zsh-syntax-highlighting.zsh" >> ~/.zshrc
zsh-yarn-autocompletions - not in brew, so we need to install it manually:
- Download the mac zip/targz file from the release age: https://github.com/g-plane/zsh-yarn-autocompletions/releases
- Extract it
- Run the following:
- Once installed - add it to your
pluginssection in the
plugins=( # some plugins yarn-autocompletions )
This is an important step - to allow running this file you need to set some permissions.
Open Finder, go to
~/.oh-my-zsh/custom/plugins/yarn-autocompletions, hold the shift key, right-click on the
yarn-autocompletions file, click
open (while holding the shift-key).
By default - oh-my-zsh comes with many other plugins. You just need to enable them. The complete list can be found in your
~/.oh-my-zsh/plugins folder, and you can just edit your
~/.zshrc file and add them as part of the plugins config.
Here is a good list to begin with:
plugins=( # other plugins aws git npm yarn zsh-interactive-cd )
The Fuck is a great tool that corrects errors in previous console commands.
Here is an example:
➜ git push fatal: The current branch master has no upstream branch. To push the current branch and set the remote as upstream, use git push --set-upstream origin master ➜ fuck git push --set-upstream origin master [enter/↑/↓/ctrl+c] Counting objects: 9, done. ...
To install just run:
brew install thefuck
Do you think I'm missing something? Let me know in the comments.
Cover photo by Christopher Gower @ unsplash