MacOS Big Sur is packed with new features, from a brand new Control Center that makes customization a breeze, to major overhauls, to Messages, Safari, and more (not to mention the lovely new redesign). One new feature that hasn't received that much attention is the addition of manuals to Apple Maps. However, this lesser-known tool can have a huge impact on how you use Maps on your Mac.
Guides are essentially collections of places grouped around a central theme – for example, the best bike routes in your area or great free experiences in your city. Best of all, macOS Big Sur allows you to create your own how-to guides to compile your favorite spots or places to visit. It's easy to do and we'll show you how to do it in this tutorial.
Step 1: add a new guide
There's a sidebar on the left side of Apple Maps (if you don't see it, click the button to the left of the top toolbar in Maps next to your location's name). Under the My Manuals heading, click the + button. This will add a blank guide. Right-click it, click Edit Guide, and give it a new name. You can add your own cover photo by clicking Change Key Photo. However, Maps will automatically assign you one when you add locations to your guide.
Step 2: add some spots
There are two ways to add locations to a manual. First, right-click the manual name, then click Add New Location. In the window that appears, you can search for a location or scroll through the list of recently viewed locations. When you've found a place to add to your travel guide, click the place name or the + button next to the name. Do this with as many places as you want. When you're done, click Cancel.
The second method is to use the map view. Many popular sights are already marked on the map. In these cases, click on the appropriate symbol and drag it from the map to your guide. A + symbol indicates that you can add it to the manual.
This also applies to custom locations that you mark on the map yourself. When you have the red custom marker pen on the map, simply drag and drop it onto the guide or click the button on the information card and click save to guide. Then choose where you'd like to add it.
Step 3: tweak your guide to perfection
Click the arrow next to your guide's name to expand it to see the list of locations. Under the title of the guide, click Date added. This is where you can rearrange the locations in your guide either by name, distance from you, or the date they were added.
If you're not satisfied with the key photo that Apple Maps selected, right-click the title of your guide and click Edit Guide. Then click Change Key Photo and select an image from your library.
To delete a location from your guide, right-click it and click Remove from Guide. You can't rename existing landmarks Apple added to Maps, but you can rename your own custom locations. Just right-click one, then click Rename, enter the name you want, and then click Save. This is a good idea if you've added a lot of custom locations to your manual that would be confusing otherwise.
Step 4: share your work
There are several ways to share your guide when you're done. First, right-click your guide, click Share, and then choose an option. The default options are Mail, Messages, AirDrop, Notes, and Reminders.
Alternatively, you can right-click the manual and click Send to Device. All Apple devices associated with your Apple ID should appear here. Click on one to send the guide.
You can also share a file from the menu bar. Make sure you clicked the guide first (and not an individual place in the guide) to share the whole thing.
Bonus: Use the editor's selection
Various outlets, from magazines to popular websites, have created their own manuals that you can search through in Maps. To find one, click the search bar in the top-left corner of Maps and scroll down to the "Editors Choice" heading (note that you need to be at or near a location that has a Instructions are located to display the editors selection). Alternatively, they are also displayed on the information map of a city or town, if guidelines have been created for them. Click on any of the guide cards to view it. Click See All in the search bar or click See More on a city info map to view the full list of guides.
If you clicked View All, you can now search the guides by location. Click the drop-down arrow next to "Editors' Choice" on the right and choose a new location from the list. You can now choose from a list of guides tailored to this location.
When you find a guide that you want to save for later, click its card, then click Add to My Guides. It will appear in the "My Manuals" section on the left side of "Maps" and will be available to you.