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I like to refer to Launchpad as applications central because it's a single point of access for every application on your computer. Launchpad eliminates the need to dig through your Applications folder for an application that you don't have readily available in the dock or as a shortcut. With Launchpad you could also organize your applications into categories as well. Now Launchpad can be found down here in your dock. It's an icon, it's like a little rocket that's pointing upwards and you can also access this from your Applications folder as well.
So if you scroll down here you're going to notice that Launchpad is right here. So, if for some reason you removed it from your dock at some point you can go ahead and add it back in. Unfortunately, Launchpad doesn't have a keyboard shortcut at least by default. However, it's pretty easy to add a keyboard shortcut in there. So, if you go to the Apple menu, Systems Preferences, we're going to go ahead and go to the Keyboard option and then we're going to click on Keyboard Shortcuts. And you can come over here to Launchpad and Dock. And you can click on Show Launchpad and then just type a keyboard shortcut in this field over here, so if I wanted to make it Option+Cmd+L, that would become the new keyboard shortcut for launching the Launchpad. Just keep in mind that if this conflicts with any other applications that you use, you may want to change that.
Now I'm actually going to turn that off for now, I just wanted to show you how to add a shortcut if you wanted to. I'm ready to go ahead and quit System Preferences. Now I'm going to go ahead and launch Launchpad by clicking on the icon in the dock, and you're going to see what Launchpad looks like. Now the job of Launchpad, is to show you essentially every application on your computer. And if you have an iOS device, such as an iPhone or an iPad this is going to look pretty familiar. Because within here you can simply click on one of these applications and it's going to launch that application so you can use it. I'm going to go ahead and quit this application, we'll go back to Launchpad. If you have multiple screens of applications you can see that they show up down here, using these buttons or these little bulleted icards, and if you click and drag with your mouse you can swipe to the next page. So I'll go ahead and swipe back to the first page. Let's say I'm looking for a particular utility.
If I start typing something such as text. It's going to filter down the Applications to only show me that particular application. And then, if I press return, it'll launch that application for me. Pretty useful. So I'll go ahead and quit that application, we're going to go back to Launchpad, and in addition to being able to filter the applications by just typing, you know if I type contacts, it's going to filter to only that one. I'm going to get rid of that, because we can also organize our applications as well.
So let's say I wanted to organize a couple of my applications based on media. So I have iTunes here, and I also have the QuickTime player. One's for music, one's for movies. So what I can do is if I drag the iTunes icon, and drop it on top of QuickTime player you can see that it does something very similar to what you might see in an iOS device. And I can drop it down here and now you can see that both applications are within this category or, essentially, a folder. I can click on the name of this folder, and maybe change the name to Media, press Return and then when I click back off of this, you can see that now I've organized that into a Media folder or category.
So it's pretty helpful to be able to organize these. Same thing here, we have the Dictionary and Text Edit. Chances are you might use them together. So I drag Text Edit on top of the dictionary, and then just kind of drop that in there and now both of those applications are within this category. Maybe I'll change this to writing. So, I'll click off of there and then they rearrange to take up less room. So not only is it helpful to alleviate room but it is also helpful to get categorized content. Now, I'm going to go one step further for accessing Launchpad, because what they did is they added the ability to use gestures to access Launchpad. Now to show you this, what I'm going to do is go to the Apple menu and go to System Preferences.
And I want to point out that this is going to pertain to anybody who's using a laptop. Or anybody who has the Apple Trackpad as a separate device. So if I click on the Trackpad button, this is really helpful because it'll give you a video and show you some of the common gestures that are used. And I want to show you that a great way to launch Launchpad as you can see, is to swipe using that gesture. You simply close your fingers together, open them back up. And that's how you launch Launchpad.
So I'll go ahead and quit System Preferences and if I use that gesture on my computer, it opens up Launchpad. If I don't want to see it anymore, I just pinch my fingers together and open them up, and that will get rid of it. So gestures can be really useful as well, for doing different things inside of Mountain Lion, as well as just being more efficient. As you can see Launchpad can be invaluable when looking for an application that you might not use on a regular basis. It's also really nice to be able to group certain applications together for easy access when you need them quickly.
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