Mac OS X Basics Part one - LaGuardia Community College OS X Basics Part one Handout Objectives . 1. Desktop a. Desktop elements b. Customizing the Desktop 2. The Dock a. The Dock elements b. Customizing the Dock

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  • Mac OS X Basics Part one Handout Objectives

    1. Desktop a. Desktop elements b. Customizing the Desktop

    2. The Dock a. The Dock elements b. Customizing the Dock c. Adding/Removing items from the Dock

    3. Finder a. Setting Finder Preferences b. Modifying the Finder Window

    4. Menu Bar a. Investigating Menus b. Using the Menu Bar c. Understanding standard Mac OS X menus

    5. Spotlight a. What Spotlight can do for you b. Using Spotlight c. Setting Spotlight preferences

    Overview: This lesson will show quick overview of the basics Mac OS X

    1. Desktop

    Everything starts on the desktop at the bottom of your screen is The Dock, where

    you have quick access to applications and files. To open something just click on it.

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    a) Desktop elements

    First is the icon for the Finder, which shows you all your files and can help you find

    anything on your Mac. Second is Dashboard with cool widgets like calc weather, clock

    etc. Of course you can add many more widgets for your own interest. Then there is Mail,

    The Safari browser, iChat for text and Video, Address book, iCal, Preview for looking

    at JPEG and PDF, iTunes, Photo Booth which let you take fan photos, record yourself ,

    iPhoto to store all your digital pictures, iMovie, Garage Band for creating music, Time

    Machine for backing up and finding old files and System Preferences.

    To the right of this line you will find Stacks. A Stack is a folder of commonly

    used items that you can access instantly from the Dock. The Mac comes with three built

    in Stacks. One for Applications, One for Documents and One for Downloads. When you

    downloading something from the Internet like a PDF. It automatically goes to

    Downloads Stack. Click a Stack to see whats in it, and then just click on anything you

    want to open.

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    b) Customizing the Desktop

    The Desktop as you know is the large expanse of the color that compromises the

    background of your Mac OS environment. You can cover the desktop with a solid color

    or a picture by choosing an image as follows:

    1.Click The System Preferences icon on the Dock (or select Apple System


    2.In System Preferences, click the Desktop & Screen Saver button or choose

    View Desktop & Screen Server.

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    2. The Dock By Default, the Dock is located on the bottom of your display and is quite

    large. In addition to changing the location and size the Dock has a few additional

    tricks, available in the Dock preference pane.

    a) The Dock contains Application and Interface components. On the right of the Dock

    we have: (1). Applications (Finder, Mail, Safari etc.) (4) To the right of this line you will

    find Stacks (Downloads, Applications, Documents and Trash). (2) Bright dot - Indicates

    open (running) applications. (3) Dock size adjuster

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    b) Customizing the Dock

    To change the Dock size, magnification, hiding position, and visual effect go to

    the Dock pane in System Preferences.

    c) Adding/Removing items from the Dock

    Add any item to the Dock by simply dragging it to the Dock. This creates a Dock

    based alias of the item. Applications must be placed on the same side of the separator line

    as the Finder; documents, folders and disks must be placed on the other side of the line.

    To remove an item from the Dock is extremely simple. Drag the item out of the Dock, let

    go, and it disappears in a puff of smoke.

    3. Finder Lets take a closer look at the Finder. It is how you access everything you

    want to do on the Mac.

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    a) Setting Finder Preferences

    The Finder has a number of preference settings that affect the appearance of icons

    on the desktop, the behavior of Finder windows, Label colors, emptying Trash, and

    showing extensions on the names of files and more. You can change these

    preference settings by choosing Finder Preferences. The Finder Preferences

    window appears. There are four available subpanels to the Finder to the Finder

    Preferences window.

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    b) Modifying the Finder Window The Sidebar in the Finder window help you navigate. Just click on the icon to see

    files and folders inside. You can choose how you view Finder items by Icon view,

    List view, Column View or Cover Flow. To get a closer look at a file use click look.

    Just tap the space bar and quick look will show instantly the content of the file

    without even an opening an application. In the Finder you can easily create a New

    Folders, rename Folders and keep all your folders organized exactly how you want


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    4. Menu Bar

    Along the top is a Menu Bar. It changes to match any application you using

    it. Click on any item and you see a list of commands. You also find a Status

    Menu on the right of the Menu Bar for things like sound, date and time, WI-FI

    connection and yours on line chat status.

    a) Investigating Menus

    The Mac OS uses menus to present lists of commands and attributes. You

    can issue a command or put an attribute into effect simply by choosing it from a

    menu using the mouse. The menu bar menus will change as you switch


    b) Using the Menu Bar The menus in the menu bar at the top of the screen contain commands that

    are relevant to the application you are using at the time. To use the menu bar, you

    position over a menu title and click or press the mouse button. The menu opens

    beneath title so that you can see the items in it and choose one, if you like.

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    c) Understanding standard Mac OS X menus

    In most Mac OS X application, the left side of the menu bar includes several of the

    following standard menus:

    Apple: at the left end of the menu bar.

    Application menu: This menu is next to Apple menu and is very unique.

    File: Next to the Application menu and contains commands that effect whole

    document (or file) , such as New, Open , Close, Save, and Print.

    Edit: To the right of the File menu and contains commands that you can use

    change a documents contents.

    Window: This menu item enables you to zoom (max or min) the active


    Help: This menu gives you access to onscreen help.

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    5. Spotlight

    Mac OS X includes powerful tool to help you search for information. Spotlight is a

    revolutionary new technology that helps you to find files and folder and many more stuff

    on your Mac. Spotlight also does math equations, without opening the calculator.

    a) What Spotlight can do for you?

    Spotlight can find anything on your Mac for you almost instantly. Spotlight can

    search through your e-mail, your calendars, yours contacts even movie, image and music


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    b) Using Spotlight

    A Spotlight search can be run in two main ways:

    From the menu bar

    From a Finder window

    Running Spotlight from the menu bar is the easiest and most convenient way to start

    search. Spotlight icon is located on the upper-right-hand corner of you menu bar and is

    indicated by magnifying glass. Clicking the magnifying glass icon in the menu bar drops

    down the Spotlight search field, where you can type anything you want.

    c) Setting Spotlight preferences

    To access Spotlight preferences launch: System preferences and click on Spotlight

    icon. There are two panels in the Spotlight Preferences: one called Search results and

    the other called Privacy.

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