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In this course, Macworld senior editor Christopher Breen provides a comprehensive overview of Mac OS X Mountain Lion, complete with insider tips for getting the most out of the operating system. The course shows how to configure system preferences, personalize the interface, master gestures, and achieve fluency with applications such as Mail, Calendar, and Preview. The course also includes tutorials on browsing the web with Safari, automating complex tasks with Automator, sharing over a network, performing maintenance operations using Disk Utility, and offers time-saving techniques for using the Mac efficiently. Along the way, Christopher reviews the 200+ new features in Mountain Lion, which gives even experienced Mac users a valuable head start.
Although it's possible with the help of third-party software to control your Mac with your voice, most of us still rely on a physical device to command our Macs, a keyboard, mouse, or trackpad. So in this movie, we'll look at configuring these System Preferences now. Once again, back to System Preferences and we're going to start with the Keyboard system preference. Now, in the first tab, you have a couple of options, one is Key Repeat. What that means is that, when you hold down a key on your Mac, there'll be a little delay, and then eventually it will go "x, x, x, x, x" if you're holding down the X, and it will type that multiple times.
So what this does is it sets the rate at which those keys will be repeated. Then there's delay until repeat. So how long will that delay be after you've typed the first character before the repeat starts? So you can change that with the slider as well. And then there's the F key option. By default, the special F key features printed on the key, this is the top row, and you'll see things like brightness, volume and so on, work when you press the key. But you can change this behavior, so these things kick in only when you press down on the Fn, key and where that's located will depend on the kind of keyboard you have.
If you have a laptop, it'll be the key to the far left on the bottom row, if however, you're using some other kind of keyboard, you may find it up to the right of the main keyboard, next to the Home button. Then there's the option to "Show Keyboard & Character Viewers in the menu bar." So I'll enable that. You notice this little icon appears in the right side of the Menu Bar. So let's look at the Character Viewer and it looks like this. So what good is this thing? Well suppose that you're working in some kind of document and you need some special characters, so you really want this right pointing finger, for example, or you need kind of an odd currency symbol.
This is where you pick these things, you double-click and then they're inserted into your document. Then there's Show Keyboard Viewer, and you can make that larger by clicking on the green zoom button. Here are the characters that are on your keyboard. Now, if I press down on the Option key, those change, showing me where some hidden characters are. I could press Option+Shift and yet here are more characters, and we'll turn that off. Now, here are modifier keys.
This is one of the most important things that you can do with your Mac, if you're a little clumsy about your typing. Now, I find that I invariably turn on caps lock when I don't mean to. So I'm typing along in my document and I make a little mistake, I turn on caps lock, and the next thing I know, it looks like I'm shouting throughout my text, so you can turn that off so it does nothing. So choose No Action. Now when you hit the Caps Lock key, nothing will happen at all. I always turn this off so that it's No Action, but for now, I'll leave it on in case I need it later on.
You can change other Control key characteristics as well, so the Control key can be the Option key, or the Command key, or the Caps Lock key, or it can do nothing at all. This is largely for people who are coming from Windows, who've come to the Mac, and they want to change the arrangement of these command keys, this is the way to do it. If you have a bluetooth keyboard, just Set Up Bluetooth Keyboard. At this point you would turn on your keyboard and you'd run through the process of getting it configured. Now, let's take a look at keyboard shortcuts. There's a lot of powerful stuff going on in here.
The Mac has a lot of keyboard shortcuts and this is where you can view as well as edit them. So, for example, Mission Control by default, I would press the Control+up arrow, which I can do now, and there is Mission Control. But I can change that keyboard shortcut if I like, by clicking on it, and then typing some other kind of shortcut. So let's say I wanted to make that Control+Option+up arrow, and I can do that as well. Let's change it back. Highlight it, Control+up.
Now, if I happen to type a shortcut that's already in use, I'll see a little yellow triangle indicating I'm using this somewhere else. So there are a lot of things you can change. You can change your Launchpad & Dock shortcuts, Mission Control as we saw, Keyboard & Text, your Screen Shots, your Services. Now, what exactly is a Service? Well, a Service is a little sort of mini program that runs when you implement the thing, and more often than not, you're going to look under the Application Menu and you'll see a Services entry.
Now, in this case, we don't have any Services. Let me just launch TextEdit. Open a document, now we'll take a look at Services. So you can see you can perform a variety of functions based on what you've done in a particular application. The point being that once you've created services or you have them, you can assign keyboard shortcuts to them. You can change your Spotlight keyboard shortcuts.
You can change those for Accessibility. And here is really the big kahuna, and this is Application Shortcuts. Within applications, you have certain keyboard shortcuts. Let's go back to TextEdit again. So here, under File, I see I have some keyboard shortcuts. There's Command+O for Open, and so on and so forth, and here more to the side. Now, let's suppose that I wanted to assign something that doesn't already have a keyboard shortcut. For example, Allow Hyphenation, I'm not sure why you'd want to do that, but you can.
So what I would do here is click on the plus button. I'm going to choose an application, TextEdit, for example, then I'll type the name of the command. So again, let's go back here and make sure that we know what it is. It's Allow Hyphenation, and then I'll assign a keyboard shortcut, and let's make this Control+Option+H. I click on Add. It shows it here, and here it is here. Allow Hyphenation is now Control+Option+H. So this is a very handy thing to be able to do, if you like using keyboard shortcuts and the particular application you're using doesn't support a favorite shortcut.
So again, click plus, choose the application you want. Enter the exact name of the command and then enter a keyboard shortcut. I can also edit that here as well. So I'll click on it, highlight it, enter a new shortcut, and I can do that. In this case, I don't really need that shortcut, so I'm going to click on the minus button and get rid of it. Now, if you really like using your keyboard a lot, you can march through menus and commands using the keyboard's arrow keys. So you just turn on All controls, click on a menu, and I'm using the Tab key now, but I can move through these menus using the arrow keys.
Actually, I'm pressing the arrow keys now. Then once you want to choose a command, use up or down arrow key to select the command, and to invoke that command, just press the return key, and there you go. Now, let's take a look at Mouse. As I talked about when setting up the Mac initially, Apple now has something called the natural scroll direction, which, to those of us who've been using Macs for a long time, is completely unnatural because it's the opposite direction that we're used to. On a trackpad, it makes some sense.
On a scroll wheel, it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. So, as I have done, I would recommend turning that off. You can change your tracking speed, and that means, as you move your mouse around, how quickly is that cursor going to move? How fast will your double-click be? How quickly will you scroll using either the scroll wheel or a scroll ball, depending on what kind of mouse you have. In this area here, you may see different options, depending on the kind of mouse you have. You can change the function of the ball as well as what happens when you click on the thing.
Primary Button is a left click. Secondary Button is a right click, but you can change what that does when you press on that part of the mouse. And then there are little side buttons, you can change their behavior as well. If you have a bluetooth mouse, click on Set Up Bluetooth Mouse and you'll be walked through the procedure of setting it up. And on to Trackpad. Now, I have a magic trackpad that's linked with this computer, and so, I see the magic trackpad options. Apple has been kind enough to show you what all their gestures do through these movies here.
So all you have to do is select the gesture and a little movie will pop up and show you what to do to make that gesture work. So here's a secondary click, or a right click. So, two fingers, press down, you get a contextual menu and I could show you here. So on my trackpad, I press down with two fingers and I get my contextual menu. If you want to look something up in the dictionary, highlight, press down with three. There's three finger drag, and as you can see, you can move a picture around, scroll and zoom.
Here are the gestures here. I'm not going to walk you through all of these, so you can just simply come in here, take a look and see what they do, and then they have more gestures here. Again, if you have a bluetooth trackpad, select that, it will look around for any trackpad that you've turned on, and then you can make the link, and we'll click on Done. If you want to know how much battery is left, here is your battery level, at the bottom.
And that covers the many ways that you can touch your Mac to bend it to your will.
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