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Mac OS X has been rewritten from the ground up, and Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard New Features highlights all of the most important and user-relevant aspects of this release. Experienced instructor and lifelong Mac user Garrick Chow introduces current Mac users to the improvements in the latest OS. While not a complete overhaul of the operating system, this update does address a fair number of internal systems and external user features. Garrick explores all of these updates, including enhancements to the Finder and the Dock and a completely revamped QuickTime player. He shows the wealth of improvements to built-in applications like Safari, Preview, iChat, and Mail, and explains the updated 64-bit support within Snow Leopard.
To me, one of the most significant features added to OS X, and this was back in version 10.3 Panther, was Expos? - a feature that lets you manage multiple windows. If you've been using OS X for any length of time, you're most likely familiar with, and use Expos? and you know that the default action on most Macs is to press F9 on your keyboard to tile all of your open windows on screen, or F10 to tile just the windows of the active application, or F11 to move all the windows to the side and reveal your desktop. But you might have discovered that you need those F keys for other applications or that when you're using a MacBook or MacBook Pro, you have to hold down the Function key while pressing the F keys.
Or you may have just found it inconvenient to access Expos? this way. You can still assign the corners of your screen to activate Expos? in System Preferences, but now in Snow Leopard, you can also activate Expos? via the Dock. All you have to do is click and hold on the icon of the application in which you want to select a window, for instance, Mail. All the windows become available and you can select the one you want just like you could in the previous versions of OS X. Now here in Mail, I have this message I started writing that says, "Check out this PDF." I want to attach a PDF to this message. It's easier than ever to do using Expos? in the Dock.
To do this all I have to do is find the file I want. Let's just hide the Mail application with a couple more windows here and open up my exercise files folder and just drag one of these pdfs in here. With that PDF selected, all I have to do is drag it to the Mail icon, hold it over the Mail icon for a second, which activates Expos?, and then hold it over the message window I want to add it to, and then release, and there it is. Let me show you another improvement to Expos?. Let's hold down the Safari icon to invoke Expos?.
By the way, once Expos? comes up, you don't have to keep holding down the mouse button. Now I have about ten Safari windows open and they all look pretty similar, especially because I have a lot of lynda.com courses open, so it's kind of difficult to tell them apart at this size without reading the page setup below each one of them. In Snow Leopard, you can mouse over a window in Expos? and press the Spacebar in your keyboard to get a full size view of the window before selecting it. You don't have to keep pressing the Spacebar either, just move your mouse over the windows and each one will zoom forward and back as you move around.
Once you find the one you want, just click and it pops to the front. Another cool thing I want to point out is if you have any windows in an application minimized in the Dock, let's go ahead and minimize a couple of these windows, minimizing three Safari windows there. When you invoke Expos? from the Dock, they now show up as smaller icons at the bottom of the grid. In previous versions of OS X, they weren't included in Expos? at all, and you just had to remember they were down there. And there you have the new features of Expos? in Snow Leopard. Again, Apple has taken a feature of OS X that worked great before and tweaked it a bit to make it even better.
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