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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.
Click on the far right of your Mac's menu bar and you see the Notification Center. This is where you see alerts regarding things like received email, upcoming events, Facebook and Twitter notifications, and Game Center requests. Working with the notifications is pretty easy, you just click on the notification and the associated application will launch and you can do what you like. So, for example, I can click on this Lunch with boss notification, the Calendar application launches, and it shows me that event.
Or I can click on a mail message, Mail launches, and it shows me the contents of that message. It's also with the Notification Center that you can tweet and create Facebook posts, and you find these options at the top of the pane. So, for example, if I click on Click to Tweet, a message window appears, and then click on Send. If you like, you could add location. In this case, I'll cancel. And then there's Facebook, and the same idea there.
If you want to post something on Facebook, enter your text, click Post, and again, you can add your location or you can choose not to, and I will cancel that as well. Scroll up a bit more and you can choose to turn off Alerts and Banners, simply by clicking that to off, and all alerts and banners will be off until tomorrow, at which point this will automatically be turned on. Now, why would you want to do this? Well, perhaps it's late at night and you keep your Mac running, every so often, one of these alerts may sound an alert sound.
If the computer happens to be in your bedroom at the same time, you don't want to hear these things go off, so turn it off. Now let's take a look at Notifications in System Preferences. I showed you the Twitter and Facebook buttons, if you don't want those to show, simply click that off and you'll see that that they disappear from Notification Center. I find them handy so I'm going to leave them on. Let's take a look at one of the applications that will send alerts. You see that you have three options here.
You could have no alerts, whatsoever. So that means, if I receive a calendar event or an alarm goes off for a calender, nothing happens. Next option is a banner, and the final one is an alert. Now let's see one of these in action. Currently, I have Mail configured so that I see a banner, but let's change that to an alert. My producer, Ian, has just sent me a message from mail and because this is an alert, I have to respond to it. I can close it, or if I choose Open, mail opens and it shows me the contents of the message.
You noticed that once I clicked one of those buttons, that notification went away. Now, if instead, I had chosen banners, what I would see is a little banner that showed up, it would sit there for a few seconds and then it would disappear, but it would still be in Notification Center. Because I took a look at Ian's message, it is no longer in Notification Center. Now, also within Notification Center, you can choose the number of recent items you see from 1, 5, 10, or 20. You can see a badge app icon.
So, for example here in Mail, it indicates that I have 19 unread messages. I don't have to have that show, so if I turn badge app icon off, I don't see any of those notifications there. And I can choose to either play a sound or not play a sound when receiving notifications. I can choose how things are sorted in Notification Center. So manually means that I can take reminders and I can have them appear higher up the list. Calendars, I can move those down if I like. Or, by time.
If you sort them this way, the most recent notification will appear at the top of the Notification Center and less recent ones appear below it. If you don't want things to appear in Notification Center, you can simply grab them and drag them down to Not in Notification Center, then they will not appear there. You may receive a notification that there are updates available in the Mac App Store. There doesn't seem to be a way to remove that notification as if you click either one of the buttons that appear, the Mac App Store application will open.
To remove it, all you have to do is click and drag on it and drag it to the right and it will disappear. Unfortunately, a few minutes later, it will come back again. So to make the thing go away all together, simply click one of the buttons, the Mac App Store will launch and then you can update your software and that will be the end of it, until there's another update available to you. And that's Notification Center and its preferences.
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