I’ve got a great tip for anyone who ever needs to do a Metric conversion—it’s easy to do right from Spotlight on your Mac. In my experience, Spotlight is largely ignored by many Mac users. It’s a very useful tool, however, and this tip is a great example of that.
All demos were done in macOS High Sierra, but will work similarly in recent versions of macOS.
To invoke Spotlight, type the Command Key and your spacebar. You can also click the magnifying glass in your menu bar, but I recommend making Command-Space one of your regular keyboard shortcuts.
Once you invoke Spotlight, you’ll have this appear on your screen:
You can use Spotlight to search your Mac and to search for info on the Internet—but you can also do some conversions. Let’s look at that.
English-to-Metric Conversions Using macOS Spotlight
When I say English-to-metric conversions, I mean figuring out how many kilometers are in 5 miles (or vice versa). To make that conversion, you can simply type something like 5 miles and Spotlight will do the rest. Like this:
Or pounds into kilograms, like this:
Or one I use all the time, converting temperatures in Fahrenheit into Celsius
Or maybe inches into centimeters:
Note that in this one, I had to add “in centimeters” to get my conversion. When just typing “6 inches,” I got information on feet, yards, meters, and millimeters. But that makes it a great time to note that you can use regular English expressions to further modify your conversion. For instance, add “in Kelvin” to “100 F” get your Fahrenheit to Kelvin conversion. Same with liters, milliliters, grams, or any other specific conversion.
And to repeat, you can all of these conversions in reverse. Kilometers to miles, kilograms to pounds, etc.
This is a great tool, and it’s built right into your Mac. Make it your friend!