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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.
Essential Training, though this may be, I'm going to assume you know the basics of getting around on a Mac, but I don't want you to assume too much. So in this movie, I want to show you a few handy shortcuts, for getting where you need to go without a lot of fuss and bother. Now, like Windows, the Mac OS supports contextual menus, menus whose contents reflect what you're doing at the moment. Apple recommends that you control click to produce these menus. So in this case, if I want to produce a contextual menu on the desktop, I would hold down the control key and then left-click, and here's my contextual menu.
But if you have a mouse with a right click button, and that's most mice today, you can simply right-click and that will produce the contextual menu. Or if you're using a trackpad, click with two fingers and again the contextual menu appears. For this next one, I'll open TextEdit. Now, let's suppose that you have an application full of menus and commands, yet you can't seem to find the command you're after. Well, you don't have to hunt through the menus to find what you want. Instead, just go to the Help menu and start typing the name of the command.
So, in this case, I'm looking for Attach Files. I type the first couple of letters, and here is my menu command. Then, I drag the mouse to that command and a blue arrow appears showing me where that command is. And now we can quit TextEdit. Let's conduct a search by pressing Command+F, and here is my search window. Now, by default, when you search your Mac, the Mac will not produce results from certain folders, and this would be from like your Library folder or your System folder. There will be cases when you want to find these hidden files, but how do you that from here? So click on Kind, choose Other, and then enter system, and you'll see this single entry, which is System files.
Enable In Menu and click Okay. Now, you notice when I'm searching, System files is included in my search options. Let's say I'm looking for something like a plist file, which is a preference file. I would type in .plist, and I'd see a few results. However, if I choose System files are included, now I have lots and lots of results because these Plist files are in folders that are normally hidden. So if you want to conduct deeper searches, this is one way to do that.
Now you notice that when I launched TextEdit, I didn't do it by digging down into my hard drive and then into folders. Instead, I went to the Spotlight menu, and the shortcut for doing that is Command+space bar. If want to launch an application, all you have to do is start typing its name in the Spotlight menu. For example, if I wanted to launch iTunes, I just start typing its name and the first result is iTunes. Then to launch the application, all I have to do is press the Return key, yes I'll agree to its terms, and then the application launches. And I'll quit that.
And lastly, there's a reason that the Option key is called Option. Look what happens when I click on the file menu and then I'm going to hold down the Option key. Notice that some of the commands change. Same idea, I'll go to the Finder menu. When I do this, this is the Option key off, it says Empty Trash. If I then empty the trash, I'll see a little warning indicating that I'm about to empty the trash. But if I hold on the Option key, that little ellipses disappears, indicating that it will automatically empty the trash without bugging me about it. So, it's worth your while to go through the various menus, press the Option key, and then see how the commands change.
These are some not-terribly obvious features of the Mac OS, but ones that are sure to save you time if you take the time to learn about them.
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