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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.
Calendar is another component of Mountain Lion's information hub. It's an application for keeping track of the events in your and others' lives. Here are the basics of how it works. Here's Calendar. Calendar's interface resembles a large desk calendar. Hopefully, you like the look because there's not an easy way to turn that off. But like it or not, the interface is pretty straightforward. If you click on the Calendars button, you see all the calendars you have that are tied to the various accounts that you've set up. So in my case, I have my iCloud calendars and my Gmail calendars.
If you'll uncheck a calendar, any events that are associated with it will disappear. To make them reappear, simply click on them again. You can also show and hide calendars completely, so there goes my Gmail account, and there goes iCloud, but notice, it doesn't change what actually appears in the calendar itself, but it does hide the separate calendar entries in that left pane. And we'll go back to showing them. The buttons at the top, day, week, month, and year show you those views.
So here's Day, I can see my week on the left side and that will continue on, and then I can see events for that particular day. Click the arrows and you can move up through the days. I can have a Week view, Month view, and of course, Year view. Anything that has an event associated with it will appear in yellow. Any days that have a lot of events are colored more darkly. And we'll go back to Month view.
Regardless of which view you're in, if you click on Today, it will highlight the current day. So if you've gone forward a couple of months, you can easily return to this view just by clicking on Today. To quickly add an event, click on the plus button and enter your event. Now, this actually turns out to be pretty smart. Watch what happens. I've written, "Lunch with Ian tomorrow," and I press Return. When I do this, it creates, "Lunch with Ian." It shows me the details, and it fills in the time automatically, we tend to have lunch at noon, and sure enough, it filled in noon as the time.
Now, I'll delete that. Click on plus and I could choose something like, "Football with Nick." It filled in the event's name, I told it it was Saturday, so it went to the next Saturday and I told it that it would happen at two o'clock and sure enough, that's the time it scheduled it for. If you like, you can specify a date, so I could have "Football with Nick, December 22nd" and it would create an event on that date.
While we're here, let's look at the innards of an edit window. I could have this event repeat, if I liked. So if I wanted to go to a football game with Nick each and every week, I could click on repeat and choose every week. As you can see, an event has been created for every Saturday. You can decide when that's going to end. Well football season doesn't last forever, so we'll say, "After four times." I can show that time as busy or free, well I'm definitely going to be busy.
I can assign it to a Calendar. I think Fun Times because Football sounds like fun to me. I can also have an alert go off. So it can be a simple message and that will appear in Notification Center. I can have it be Message with a Sound. It can be an email message to me or I can ask it to open a file. So, for example, I could have a TextEdit file that includes all the details about that football game, it could automatically launch when this alert goes off. I can choose invitees, when I do that, I just start entering the name of somebody in my address book, press return, and an email message will be sent to this person, letting them know about the upcoming event.
I can also check their available meeting times if I like. I can add an attachment, so that TextEdit file I was talking about, I could add that as an attachment instead. I can add a URL for the stadium and I can also add a note. Because I've added a recipient for this invitation, I would click on Send, the email message will be sent out with the details. I'm going to click on Revert because I don't actually need to send anybody an invitation to this event. Now, if you're a busy person, you have a lot of events in your calendar and you may not remember when they all are, so that's where the search field comes in.
So if I want to find just those events that have to do with football, I type those words and I see any event that's connected to it. We can do the same thing with lunch, and I can see all my upcoming lunch appointments. When I select one, it will give me some of the details and it will highlight the date. Now, let's take a look at Preferences. In the General preference, you can choose how many days you're going to see in a week. Your options are seven days or five days.
You can decide when you're going to start your week. Most people start it on Sunday, but if it's a work kind of week and you're that sort of calendar user, you can choose Monday. You can choose how you're going to scroll in Week view, decide when your day starts and when it ends, and shows the number of hours in a day. For me, it's 24 hours a day, I don't slack, and your default calendar can be any calendar that you have. If you like, you can show event times as part of your calendar, and you can show the Birthdays Calendar. What this does is it looks through your contacts, it sees if the birthday field is filled in for someone, and if so, their birthday will be appended to your calendar.
You have an accounts option. We set up two accounts so that they use calendars, iCloud and Gmail, and you have this Delegation option. What this means is, you can choose which calendars that you're going to be able to access that are on Gmail. So I may want to access my Home Style calendar. Now, when I turn on that delegate, you see Home Style appears under delegates. Now I have access to that calendar. So when I add an event to that calendar, it will automatically be synced to Gmail. I can also turn on my Work Schedule and yet again, here's another delegate, when I add something to that calendar, it will be broadcast to Gmail, and then any devices that are synced with that Gmail calendar, as well as any people that are subscribed to that calendar.
Now, we're in Advanced, and these are mostly self-explanatory. Let's say that you take your laptop from one time zone to the next time zone to the next time zone. If you turn on time zone support, the times of your events will shift so that they work within that time zone. If you leave it off, they will maintain their original time. You can show events in year view, you can show week numbers if you like, open events in separate windows, ask before sending changes to events, and you can also automatically retrieve invitations from Mail.
Then there's Alerts, and this is new with this version of Calendar. You can set up Alerts by account. So I have two options here, I can set up iCloud or I can set it up for my Gmail account. Let's say for iCloud, I can have alerts go off for an event, at the time of the event, 30 minutes before, two days before, or whatever. Or I can leave it as none, so that I see no alert for that. By default, all day events, I'll see an alert, one day before at 9:00 A.M., but I can change that setting.
I can also change birthday alerts. Also, you have the option to use these default alerts only on this computer. So when you do this, your other computers that are synced with this account will not show these alerts as you've configured them here. Same idea with your iOS devices, they will use their default alerts instead of the ones that you've configured here. If you don't want shared calendar messages to appear in Notification Center, you could turn that off, and you can turn off all invitations in Notification Center if you like. And that's Calendar in a nutshell.
By itself, it's a capable calendar program. When used in league with an iOS device and an online service such as Google or iCloud, it becomes a central component for organizing the events in your life.
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