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In this course, Macworld senior editor Christopher Breen provides a comprehensive overview of Mac OS X 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, and master gestures, as well as achieve fluency with applications such as Mail, iCal, and Preview. The course also includes tutorials on browsing the web with Safari, automating complex tasks with Automator, sharing over a network, and performing maintenance operations using the disk utility, along with timesaving techniques for using the Mac efficiently.
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 and that would be a keyboard, mouse, or trackpad. We'd look at configuring those system preferences now. We are going to start with keyboard. Now Apple has packed a lot of functionality into this single system preference. At the very top you have Key Repeat. This slider indicates how quickly a key will repeat when you press and hold on it.
So if you press and hold on the X key, how quickly you get multiple access. If you have kind of slow fingers, the idea is you want to move this slider down to Slow and then it won't repeat nearly so quickly. Delay Until Repeat. Similar idea, how long is the delay until the keys starts repeating. Now there's the option for using the F keys. Let's take a look at what F keys are. F keys are this row here at the very top of the keyboard, starting with F1 and on this keyboard going to F12.
As we see they have little icons on it. First couple are for brightness and after that you've got an Expose button, and then you have play controls for iTunes, and then you have volume controls here along the top. Now by default when you press one of these F keys, that special function will initiate. So if I were to press F1, that will control the brightness on this particular keyboard. So let's go back to System Preferences. So if I were instead to enable this option, in order for me to invoke those special features, I would have to hold down the Fn key or the Function key to make that happen.
Otherwise, they act exactly like F keys. So let's say that in a program I've assigned a certain command to an F key. So if I press F6 for example, my documents print. Turn this on, press F6, I've got my documents printing. Instead, if I want F6 to do the special feature assigned to it, I would have a hold down the Fn key. I'm going to turn that off for now. Next option is Showing Keyboard & Character Viewers in the menu bar. I turn that on and I have a new menu up here in my menu bar.
This, if I were to choose them out, would show me the Character Viewer and the Keyboard Viewer. I am going to show these to you in another movie. So we are not going to look at them right now. Just know that that's the way to expose this menu. So I am going to remove that. Finally, there is a really important feature buried in the Ssystem preference, and that's modifier keys. Click on this, I don't know about you, but every so often I'll hit the Caps Lock key by mistake. I'll start typing and everything is in all caps and I am going, what is going on? And then I look down at my keyboard and I see that little green light indicating that Caps Lock is on.
There's a way to disable that and this is the way. Caps Lock > No Action. Now from now on, you can bang on that Caps Lock key until doomsday and it won't do anything. So this is one of the things I do when I first set up my Mac, is to disable the Caps Lock key. The real purpose of this other than that is it allows you to assign other functions to these keys. So the Control key can now be the Command key or the Option key, or again, you can disable it altogether. Not a good thing to do with the Control key or the Option key or the Command key, but certainly with Caps Lock > No Action.
Now let's go to Keyboard Shortcuts. The Mac has a lot of keyboard shortcuts and this is where you can view them as well as edit them. So to edit them, you just click to the right side of a shortcut. That highlights and then you can change what that shortcut is. So currently it's assigned F11. I could change that to F6, if I cared to, by just tapping F6 on my keyboard. I am not going to do that right now. What I really want to focus on is Services.
Now Services are functions that are available within all or specific applications, and I can illustrate that by going to TextEdit. So here we have a line of text in TextEdit. I'll go to the TextEdit menu and I choose Services. You see there a couple functions built in that don't really have anything to do with TextEdit. However, if I highlight this text, go to TextEdit, and then choose Services, you see that they're more options. So I can make a sticky note of this text for example, or I could have new email based on the selection or new note with this selection.
So Services allows you to have this kind of power. So one reason that Services appears here is because you can assign keyboard shortcuts to Services, just as you could for other things. So for example, Send File To Bluetooth Device by default is set up as Shift+Command+B. But you can also add keyboard shortcuts and I find this extremely helpful. Let's move to Pages so that I can show you how that works. So let's go to the Edit menu. Let's say I routinely track changes in my documents, and I'm tired of having to go down into the menu to invoke this command.
I can assign this within the Keyboard Shortcuts area, and I'll do that now. So I'll go to Application Shortcuts and click on plus. I choose the application that I wanted to assign that keyboard shortcut for. I don't see Pages here, so I am going to have to add it. Then all I have to do is type in the name of the shortcut, and that's Track Changes.
And now I'll assign a keyboard shortcut. I will make the Command+Option+T and click Add. Let's go over to Pages and see if it's there. And here it is. So now I have a new keyboard shortcut in Pages that I can invoke whenever I want track changes. Now also within the system preference that you can set a Bluetooth keyboard. We are going to do that in another movie. So just know that. that option is in here. Now let's take a look at Mouse.
This is a little bit similar to the Keyboard system preferences. You can change your tracking speed here, how much ground the mouse covers when you move it around, your double- click speed, your scrolling speed. Also, if you're a lefty you can decide which is going to be left-click and which is going to be a right-click or primary or secondary click. For right-handed people the primary mouse button is the left, but if you use a mouse with your left hand, you can change that so that it's on the right. At the bottom is a very useful feature and that's Zoom using scroll wheel when holding Control.
So I've enabled that. I'm holding down the Control key and now I am using the scroll wheel to zoom in and out. Now for some people with aging eyes or not the greatest eyesight, this is very helpful because you can zoom in on small text and even if you have really good eyesight, sometimes you'll visit a webpage or you'll be somewhere else in an application that has really tiny text. This is an easy way to zoom in on that text. And this also works with a trackpad. If you want to zoom in, hold down the Control key and with two fingers swipe up, and then to zoom out again, Control key down swipe with two fingers down.
There's one the other input device that you can configure and that's Trackpad. We've been through all this already when we were looking at gestures, so we've taken a tour. Point & Click option, Scroll & Zoom, More Gestures, and again, at the bottom you have the option to set up a Bluetooth trackpad. We are going to talk about setting up Bluetooth devices in another movie. There you have it, configuring your input devices.
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