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Personalizing the interface

From: Mac OS X Mountain Lion Essential Training

Video: Personalizing the interface

What you're looking at is how the Mac's Finder appears by default. Now, I'm going to make some changes that not only will make it easier for you to see what I'm doing throughout the rest of the course, but will also show you a few simple ways to personalize your Mac's interface. I'm going to start by right-clicking on the desktop, and I'll choose Change Desktop Background. So this takes me directly to the Desktop & Screen Saver preference. As much as I love the this Galaxy background, I want to simplify this a little bit, so I'll click on Solid Colors and I'll choose this second blue, which is Solid Aqua Dark Blue.

Personalizing the interface

What you're looking at is how the Mac's Finder appears by default. Now, I'm going to make some changes that not only will make it easier for you to see what I'm doing throughout the rest of the course, but will also show you a few simple ways to personalize your Mac's interface. I'm going to start by right-clicking on the desktop, and I'll choose Change Desktop Background. So this takes me directly to the Desktop & Screen Saver preference. As much as I love the this Galaxy background, I want to simplify this a little bit, so I'll click on Solid Colors and I'll choose this second blue, which is Solid Aqua Dark Blue.

Another thing I want to do while I'm here is turn off the translucent menu bar. You notice that the menu bar is this sort of light blue and this is perfectly okay in some circumstances, but suppose I go back to Desktop Pictures and I choose this green grassy background. If a window shows up near here, it's going to look a little funny, so I'm going to go back again to Solid Colors and then turn that off, so it turns white, nothing will show through behind it. I'm going to Show All and then I'll go to Trackpad. Now, I have a trackpad that's connected to my Mac.

Now, one of the things that they have here that was introduced with Lion is a feature called natural scrolling, and what this does is, if you're used an iOS device, you scroll in a certain direction, that's opposite to the way it used to work on Macs. Because I'm an old time Mac user, I prefer to have that option off, so I'll turn off natural scrolling. If you prefer things that way, you're welcome to leave it on. Now, it happens that I also have a mouse attached, so I'm going to go Show All. I'll click on Mouse and here is the scroll direction option here.

I've turned this off as well. If I turned it on, the scroll will -- would work in the opposite direction. Now, for some people, scrolling in Apple's natural direction feels perfectly okay on a trackpad, but I'll tell you, on a scroll wheel, it seems completely bizarre. So, again, feel free to turn off that option. Now we'll close out system preferences. And there are times when you need as much of the desktop as you can get to, and sometimes this Dock gets in the way. So I'm going to turn that off, so I'll go to the Apple menu, go to Dock, and I'll Turn Hiding On, and the Dock disappears.

It's still there, if I need it, I just bring my cursor down to the bottom of the screen and there it is, but for now we're going to hide it. Now, we have some items in the upper right of the menu bar and we don't need all those either. So we've got a Bluetooth icon here, Wi-Fi, date and time, and sound. One way to get rid of these things is to hold down the command key, click and drag on what you want to get rid off, drag it to the desktop, and it disappears in a puff of smoke. So, we'll get rid of those. and now we have a very nice and clean-looking desktop.

I'm an old time Mac user and I like to see my hard drive on the desktop, so I'll go to the Finder menu, choose Preferences, and I'll elect to show hard drives, and here are the two hard drives that are attached to my Mac, and I'll close that window. I also find it helpful to see how much space remains on my Mac's hard drive and how many items a folder holds, so I'm going to create a new Finder window by pressing Command+N, and I'll go to the view menu and choose Show Status Bar. When I do this in the All My Files view, I see that I have six items in this folder, but I'll select my Documents folder, and you can see that it lists the number of items, plus the amount of storage space, on my hard drive.

Also, sometimes I need to rummage around in my User folder, and for that reason, I like to put my User folder in the sidebar. So I'll double click on the hard drive, I'll go to Users, here's my Home folder, and I'll just drag this in to the sidebar. Now, I can click on that and then I can see the contents of my User folder. I'll close both windows by holding down the Option key and clicking on the red close button and they both close. Now, again, you're not required to perform any of these tweaks. These are simply the things I do to make a Mac more useful for me.

At the very least, you now know how to get some of these settings. Try the ones that make sense for you.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Mac OS X Mountain Lion Essential Training
Mac OS X Mountain Lion Essential Training

76 video lessons · 21019 viewers

Christopher Breen
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 4s
    1. Welcome
      1m 4s
  2. 6m 56s
    1. Installing Mountain Lion
      6m 56s
  3. 47m 16s
    1. Personalizing the interface
      4m 11s
    2. Touring the Finder
      3m 29s
    3. Staying current with Software Update
      2m 52s
    4. Configuring Gatekeeper settings
      3m 17s
    5. Getting on the Internet
      5m 36s
    6. Setting up iCloud
      4m 55s
    7. Understanding AutoSave and documents in the cloud
      4m 42s
    8. Configuring Mail, Contacts, and Calendar
      4m 33s
    9. Configuring your printer
      3m 39s
    10. Protecting your data with Time Machine
      4m 28s
    11. Learn your way around the Mac App Store
      5m 34s
  4. 11m 17s
    1. Finding files with Spotlight
      6m 6s
    2. Digging deeper with Finder searches
      5m 11s
  5. 23m 35s
    1. Configuring basic personal preferences
      11m 15s
    2. Adjusting Input Device preferences
      9m 38s
    3. Examining the basic system preferences
      2m 42s
  6. 1h 13m
    1. Organizing workspaces with Mission Control
      5m 49s
    2. Modifying Language & Text settings
      4m 5s
    3. Optimizing Security & Privacy settings
      6m 18s
    4. Getting notifications
      4m 38s
    5. Configuring displays and AirPlay
      2m 20s
    6. Using Energy Saver
      6m 1s
    7. Setting up Bluetooth wireless devices
      3m 39s
    8. Sharing files on a network
      6m 1s
    9. Configuring sharing
      6m 28s
    10. Editing your users and groups
      6m 48s
    11. Setting rules with Parental Controls
      7m 4s
    12. Taking notes with Dictation & Speech
      6m 0s
    13. Exploring the Accessibility settings
      5m 54s
    14. Listening with Sound
      2m 53s
  7. 36m 2s
    1. Organizing your business with Mail
      12m 42s
    2. Scheduling time with Calendar
      8m 32s
    3. Keeping tabs with Contacts
      5m 30s
    4. Tracking your tasks with Reminders
      3m 39s
    5. Staying in touch using Messages
      5m 39s
  8. 37m 18s
    1. Tracking your documents in TextEdit
      7m 3s
    2. Looking up words in Dictionary
      1m 56s
    3. Keeping notes with Notes
      3m 48s
    4. Working with images in Preview
      6m 14s
    5. Working with PDFs in Preview
      4m 27s
    6. Installing fonts with Font Book
      4m 42s
    7. Posting a note in Stickies
      1m 55s
    8. Adding things up with Calculator
      4m 46s
    9. Organizing apps with Launchpad
      2m 27s
  9. 34m 5s
    1. Navigating the web
      3m 38s
    2. Working with bookmarks
      4m 49s
    3. Using Reading List
      2m 4s
    4. Saving web pages and creating web clips
      1m 44s
    5. Viewing and saving PDFs
      3m 24s
    6. Using Safari to search the web
      2m 20s
    7. Opening local files in Safari
      1m 59s
    8. Working with preferences in Safari
      11m 1s
    9. Managing your Internet footprint
      3m 6s
  10. 8m 48s
    1. Playing media in QuickTime
      4m 15s
    2. Recording videos with QuickTime
      4m 33s
  11. 10m 13s
    1. Video conferencing with FaceTime
      3m 38s
    2. Taking pictures in Photo Booth
      3m 47s
    3. The great utility of Image Capture
      2m 48s
  12. 12m 40s
    1. Writing a simple Automator workflow
      4m 15s
    2. Creating an Automator application
      2m 20s
    3. Setting up an Automator calendar workflow
      2m 31s
    4. Creating an Automator service
      3m 34s
  13. 22m 1s
    1. Managing processes in Activity Monitor
      5m 13s
    2. Formatting, partitioning, and repairing storage devices
      8m 58s
    3. Taking care of your passwords
      4m 1s
    4. Setting up a Windows install with Boot Camp
      3m 49s
  14. 14m 57s
    1. Creating a boot drive
      3m 19s
    2. Understanding and configuring permissions
      4m 5s
    3. Exploring troubleshooting techniques
      7m 33s
  15. 19m 35s
    1. Getting your game on
      4m 1s
    2. Integrating with Facebook and Twitter
      2m 38s
    3. Advanced tips and tricks
      9m 35s
    4. Sharing files with AirDrop
      3m 21s
  16. 30s
    1. Goodbye
      30s

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