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Mac OS X has been rewritten from the ground up, and Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard New Features highlights all of the most important and user-relevant aspects of this release. Experienced instructor and lifelong Mac user Garrick Chow introduces current Mac users to the improvements in the latest OS. While not a complete overhaul of the operating system, this update does address a fair number of internal systems and external user features. Garrick explores all of these updates, including enhancements to the Finder and the Dock and a completely revamped QuickTime player. He shows the wealth of improvements to built-in applications like Safari, Preview, iChat, and Mail, and explains the updated 64-bit support within Snow Leopard.
One of the features introduced in Mac OS 10.5 Leopard was stacks, which is a way of viewing and opening the contents of a folder in your Dock without having to open the folder itself. For example, when I click my Applications folder in the Dock, I see a grid of all the applications currently installed on my Mac. Now the problem with the Grid view of stacks was that you only had so much room to view the icons. If you had more items in the folder than could be displayed in the stack grid, you would see a button that said something like '20 more in Finder' which you could then click to open the actual folder you were looking for. But that usually meant having to start searching all over again for the file or item you wanted to open.
This minor annoyance has a very simple fix in Snow Leopard. Stacks are now scrollable. To show you what I mean I'm going to grab a folder with lots of items in it. I'm going to go to my main hard drive, and I'm going to drag the Library folder in here. You don't have to do this. I'm just demonstrating this because that has a lot of items in it. So now when I click on my Library folder, notice I can scroll through the entire contents of the folder and have access to everything in it. This is all without having to open the folder itself. Additionally, if I select another folder within the grid, like say the Preferences folder, I can see its contents without leaving the stack.
I can get any drilling further into more folders. I go to Audio, and that just has a couple of things in it. Notice there is a back arrow in each of the sub-folder displays. So I can retrace my steps back out of the folder structure, all without leaving stacks. To me, this simple improvement makes stacks much more usable in Snow Leopard. If you've been using stacks in say Fan view, which looks like this, or in List view, which looks like this. You might want to give Grid view another look, especially since it makes it much easier to preview the files in these larger icons.
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