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Using the Notification Center

From: Mac OS X Mountain Lion New Features

Video: Using the Notification Center

If you have an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch, the idea of Notification Center should be familiar to you. It's a single location where you can view events, alerts, and reminders. To display Notification Center, simply click on the three-line icon in the top right corner of the Mac's menu bar. Below you'll see any notifications you have waiting. Here you might find recently received email messages, Twitter alerts, reminders, recent events from the Calendar application, and Messages alerts. To view the complete item associated with the event, all you've to do is click on it.

Using the Notification Center

If you have an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch, the idea of Notification Center should be familiar to you. It's a single location where you can view events, alerts, and reminders. To display Notification Center, simply click on the three-line icon in the top right corner of the Mac's menu bar. Below you'll see any notifications you have waiting. Here you might find recently received email messages, Twitter alerts, reminders, recent events from the Calendar application, and Messages alerts. To view the complete item associated with the event, all you've to do is click on it.

So for example, I have a mail notification here. I can click on it and when I do that out pops Mail, and it shows me that message. Or I can click on a Calendar event. So I have a meeting with Scott today. I click on that. The Calendar application opens, that event is highlighted, and I see the Edit pane for that event. Notification Center has headings for different kinds of notification, so Mail, Twitter and Reminders for examples. Next to each one of these you'll see a little X. If you click on that X, any notifications associated with that particular application will disappear.

So if I were to click this X next to Mail for example, all those notifications would be wiped out of notification center. I don't want that to happen, so I won't do that. If you look at Calendar, however, you'll see that there is no X there, and that's because all calendar events that are coming up in the near future will appear here. You don't want to wipe those out, because you want to see what's going to be happening in the next day or so. However, once an event expires, it's already happened, then it will automatically be removed from Notification Center.

Although you can configure notifications behavior in System Preferences, here is a shortcut to that preference. Just go down to the bottom of Notification Center and click on the Settings icon. When you do that up pops the Notification system preference and it's within this notification system preference that you can change the behavior of your notifications as they're associated with different applications. If you look at Calendar, you can see how it's configured. Now let's look at the Calendar alert style. In the Alert Style area you can choose to show no alert, a banner, or an alert.

So what's the difference? Well, obviously, No alert means that when something happens you won't receive any sort of alert. A banner alert is one that briefly appears on the Mac's display and then disappears into Notification Center where it will take up residence. And finally, an alert is one that appears that contains a couple of buttons that you must click to dismiss the alert. In the case of Calendar events, it's Close and Snooze. It's a good idea to choose this latter option if you might be away from your Mac when a Calendar alarm goes off, for example.

You'll see that alert when you return. And here is an example of an alert. I have my coffee break. I can choose to close this or snooze. If I choose Snooze, it will delay for a few minutes and then it'll appear. Right now I am going to click on Close. But when I do that, note that it's still in Notification Center, so this is simply an example of an alert. It doesn't disappear from Notification Center. Below the Alerts area are a number of options. First of all, you can choose the number of notifications that will appear in Notification Center for each application.

In the case of Calendar, I've got five recent items, but it can be 1, 10, or 20. You can also choose whether a badge app icon appears. For example, in Mail this would be the number of unread messages you have, and finally, whether the Mac makes a sound when a notification appears. Also in this preference you'll see the Sorting pop-up menu. If it's set to manually, as it is by default, you can drag applications up or down the list to determine where they appear in Notification Center. And to do that, all I have to do is take applications here and change the order.

So for example, I've chosen to put Mail first before Calendar events, so I'll look in the Notification Center, and sure enough, here is Mail and then Calendar follows. I can put things back and there it is. Or I can choose to sort things by time, and that means the most recent notification is going to float to the top, and there it is. I want to show you two other options within Notification Center. The first is Click to Tweet.

This will appear if you've added a Twitter account in the Mail contacts and Calendar system preference, something that I'm going to show you how to do in another movie. Just click on this entry and a sheet appears where you could add your Twitter message. To send it, all you have to do is click Send. You can Cancel of course, or if you'd like to Add your Location, you can do that as well; just click on Add Location and then your location will be appended to your Tweet. This is a very uninteresting Tweet, so I'm going to click on Cancel. And finally, scroll up and you see the option to switch on or off alerts and banners.

There maybe times when you don't want to be distracted by alerts and banners and when one of those times comes, all you have to do is flick this switch to off. Do that and you'll see no alerts and banners for 24 hours. After those 24 hours expire, this will automatically be switched on again, and that's just a safety measure. You may have forgotten you switched it off. You may not see an important alert or a banner, and you'll be disappointed later. This ensures that that doesn't happen. And that's the low down on notifications.

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Mac OS X Mountain Lion New Features

18 video lessons · 14722 viewers

Christopher Breen
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