Four Methods College students Can Use a Mac to Enhance Their Research

Student life is often stressful. However, you can take some pressure off and streamline your learning process with a few simple tips. The most successful students use every resource available, so let's discuss some tools that can help you handle student life.

1. Use specialized fonts

Fonts are about more than style, and the choices you make can affect readability, information retention, and the success of proofreading. In general, sans serif variations like Arial, Calibri, and Roboto are the easiest to read on electronic devices. Therefore, when writing an assignment, you should consider using one of these fonts for optimal readability.

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Fonts for Your Creative Project

Additionally, the best font for information storage is a nifty creation called Sans Forgetica, and DP Sans Mono is the ultimate proofreading tool. Let's discuss these options in more detail.

Sans Forgetica for information storage

Sans Forgetica was founded at RMIT University in Australia and is the product of scientific research. Designers and behaviorists worked together to create a font that would increase information storage by forcing the mind to process it deeper. Sans Forgetica accomplishes this goal by making it difficult to read.

The extra effort required to decipher the words increases engagement, forcing you to process information at a deeper level and hack your brain to retain the content of the text. You can use Sans Forgetica on Mac or PC so you can instantly convert your study notes and embed all the important details in memory.

DP Sans Mono for proofreading

DP Sans Mono was developed by Distributed Proofreaders and is an invaluable tool for anyone looking to submit error-free content. Students, writers, journalists, business owners – pretty much anyone – can benefit from familiarizing themselves with this handy font.

DP Sans Mono makes any character big, bold, and easy to spot. The font isn't pretty, but that's the price you pay for accurate proofreading. Large spaces and different characters make mistakes stand out, and you will be surprised how many mistakes you miss when using standard fonts. Proofread anything with DP Sans Mono and your teachers, readers or editors will thank you.

2. Use macOS VoiceOver

Often times, the pile of reading required on a given topic can be mountainous. Combine the content for every course you take and you have likely something that is similar to Mount Everest. Reading a screen for long periods of time can lead to eye strain, headaches, and loss of concentration. Fortunately, the VoiceOver tool in macOS is the perfect solution.

Related: How to use spoken content to have your Mac read aloud

VoiceOver reads selected text aloud so you don't have to look at your screen to study course material. You can even set the tool to read large chunks of content while you perform other tasks. Students discovered long ago that audiobooks are a great way to record material, and macOS's VoiceOver feature turns any text into a listening experience. You can also use the tool as a proofreading assistant because reading your work aloud will help you spot mistakes.

To activate VoiceOver, you can use the Command + F5 keys Combination. Alternatively, you can activate the function and access additional settings via System settings > Accessibility > Voice over. Once active, just highlight the text you want to read and a friendly robotic voice will recite the information provided. However, if you are studying scanned pages and cannot select the content, there are special tools that can be used to convert the PDF to text.

3. Convert scanned PDFs or images to text with Google Docs

Scanned content can be problematic for any student as you lose the ability to find texts using your browser's search function. You can waste your time rereading material and looking for that snippet of important information you forgot to write down when you could have just pressed Command + F and looked for relevant phrases. In addition, the lack of the copy and paste option can decrease productivity. Fortunately, there is software that can convert images and scanned PDFs to plain text.

Related: Google Drive Tips And Tricks You Wished For Before

While several apps can do the job, using Google Docs is one of the fastest and easiest conversion methods. To convert an image or a scanned PDF file to text, do the following:

  1. Go to the Google Drive website.

  2. If necessary, log in.

  3. click New.

  4. Choose File upload.

  5. Find the item you want to convert and select it.

  6. click Open minded to upload the file.

  7. Ctrl-click the item in Google Drive.
  8. Choose Open with > Google Docs.

Google Docs will then start and perform the conversion. The results are generally accurate; However, the quality of the scan or image can affect the result. Once converted to text, you can copy, paste, edit, find and read it aloud with VoiceOver.

4. Back up data in several ways

macOS makes backing up a breeze with its built-in tools. Time Machine is a great way to automatically back up to a physical drive, and you can even configure the application to use Network Attached Storage (NAS), which is ideal for portable Macs. If you want to set up Time Machine, you can do that in. to do System settings > time Machine.

However, you should also have an off-site solution for critical data. Fortunately, iCloud is an effortless way to back up your tasks and other important documents. You can access the iCloud settings in System settings > Apple ID > iCloud, and backing up is as easy as copying files to iCloud drive in the viewfinder.

By making the backup automatic and a habit, you will avoid one of the most devastating scenarios students face: losing an assignment. You don't want your hard work to be wasted, so turn on Time Machine and use iCloud or find another way to back up your Mac data.

Knowledge increases productivity

Understanding the tools at your disposal will streamline your study process, increase productivity, and make student life easier. Specialized fonts for information storage and proofreading are essential. Additionally, having VoiceOver reading your course material helps reduce screen time, and converting scanned pages to text gives you more control over your documents. Finally, and most importantly, you should always use several methods to back up your data.

Student life can be difficult, especially when you make multiple commitments. However, by putting all of these tips into action, you can take some of the stress out of studying and focus on success.

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About the author

Matt Moore
(16 articles published)

Matt is an Australian freelance writer with a degree in creative and critical writing. Before his studies, he worked in technical support and gained valuable insights into the technology and its users. His real passion is storytelling and he hopes to one day write a well-published novel.

By Matt Moore

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