Join Christopher Breen for an in-depth discussion in this video Exploring the Apple menu, part of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard Essential Training.
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OK so now you know what's on the Desktop, you know your way around. But there's a menu that you should pay special attention to because it's going to be there all the time. It's never going to change. It doesn't matter if you're running the Finder or if you're in some other kind of application. That menu is always going to be the same and it's a useful menu to know about. That is the Apple menu and you don't see the word Apple, but you will see this representation of an apple with a bite taken out of it, which is Apple Inc.'s logo, up here in the upper left corner. Click on that and you'll find some useful commands.
The first one I'm going to show you is called About This Mac. You click on this and what happens? One of the important things you find is, what version of Mac OS X are you running? On our screen you're seeing version 10.5. Now we're recording this just a week after Leopard was released, but it's quite likely that you're viewing is down the road somewhere and this version number's going to be different because Apple updates the OS every so often. So on your screen, you might see 10.5.1, .2, .3, .9. Who knows.
But here you'll see the version number. Now there's a really cool trick that you can use here. So for example you're calling that tech support person again and they say, Gosh, which build of the operating system using? Oh, I don't know. Well now you do. You click on the version number and you can see the build number. Even maybe more importantly, particularly if you are speaking to Apple, they may say what's your serial number? Oh the serial number of your Macintosh computer can be found by clicking that one more time and there is the serial number for your Mac. When you're talking to Apple confidently give them the serial number without having to squint at the little tiny type on the side of your computer box.
Again, all you have to do to get through these little bits of information are click on the version number, and you're good to go. Software Update is something we showed you earlier on when you first installed Mac OS X so that you could find updated software. You can also get there from here. Under the Processor heading, it shows you what kind of processor your Mac has. As I explained earlier, the processor is the brains of the Macintosh.
There may come a point when you're talking to tech support or you just bragging to your friends for example, and they want to know what kind of processor you have in your Mac. This is how you find it. About This Mac, look under Processor and then you can see the name of the processor you're using. Next to that is the Memory heading. This tells you how much memory is installed on your Macintosh. Again, it's great for bragging rights, particularly when you have a lot of RAM and you can tell your friends, Oh I have 8 GB of RAM and you have 2. But it's also helpful when you're talking to tech support somewhere. They may ask you, How much memory do you have in your Macintosh? And this is the way to find out.
Finally there is a More Info button here. If you click the More Info button an application called System Profiler will launch. Now there's a lot of stuff in here that you need to know nothing about because it can be very complicated. However, if somebody, a tech support person for example, asks you for the intimate details of your Macintosh, you're going to want to open System Profiler and provide them with the information that they ask for and this is the way to do it. We're going to go up to System Profiler. I'm going to show you an important command. Click and hold on the menu and choose Quit System Profiler.
The Quit command is always the bottom one in the application menu. Now we'll return to the Apple menu. Another useful command is you've already seen Software Update. This is a way to get to it. Mac OS X Software. This will actually take you to Apple 's web site where they will offer use some more software that you may wish to purchase. System Preferences. These are the control panels. These are the settings that control the way your Macintosh behaves. We're going to look at those in detail later. Dock is for configuring the Dock the way it behaves.
Again we're going to look at this later. Recent Items will show you things that you've recently launched, Applications or Documents, for example. It's a quick way to go back and start working in something that you worked in recently. Force Quit. This is a little tricky because I have to admit that every so often Macintosh computers have flaws, and that means you may be running an application that stops doing something. It may lock up, it's no longer responding to you. The way to make that work again is to Force Quit it and what it's really telling is, I don't care if you don't want to work, you just need to go away and quit.
And then you can relaunch the application and it will start working again. If you're a Windows user, this is equivalent to Control+Alt+Delete. Get out now. The next command is Sleep. You could leave your Macintosh running all the time but there's really no need to. I mean unless you stay awake 24 hours a day and never sleep yourself, you can keep your Mac running, but why make your Mac work harder than it should. You can make it go to sleep. This doesn't turn it off. What it does is it kind of shuts down all the processes. It turns off the hard drive for example, it takes the display and it turns the display off. You're kind of putting the Mac into suspended animation when you do that.
Restart tells the Mac to shut off and then immediately start itself back up again. You may want to restart after you've installed an update for example, or if the Mac doesn't seem to be behaving itself properly, you can restart it and then it comes up clean and it starts working again. Shut Down. You want to turn your Mac off. That's the off button. Even though your Mac has an off button, do not shut it down by pressing and holding the off button. Choose Shut Down. That's the elegant way to do it and it gives the Mac the opportunity to kind of clean up after itself before it shuts down.
And finally you can Log Out from this particular account. We haven't talked about accounts yet. I'm going to talk about that later. Just know that if you need to log out later, this is where you're going to find that command.
- Installing and getting familiar with Leopard
- Using the Finder and getting file information
- Searching with Spotlight and creating Smart Folders
- Organizing files
- Configuring the Dock
- Choosing System Preferences
- Exploring iLife applications
- Working with Safari
- Customizing widgets
- Personalizing Mail settings
- Playing and ripping an audio CD in iTunes
- Using Disk Utility to keep the Mac healthy