Join Garrick Chow for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding applications, part of Computer Literacy for Mac.
- [Narrator] Applications are the programs your computer runs. And they're where you'll spend most of your time when you're on your computer. Generally, an application is any piece of software used to accomplish a task. Whether that task is writing a paper, composing music, printing a photo, playing a video game, browsing the web, or checking your email, there are countless applications for countless purposes. Some applications come pre-installed on your Mac, like the web browser Safari, the music management software iTunes, or the calendar app for keeping track of your schedule.
You'll acquire other applications either by purchasing them on an installation disk at a traditional store, or more and more these days, you can buy and download applications over the web from software companies' websites or through the Mac App Store. Once you've purchased your applications from a store or downloaded them over the internet, you'll follow the instructions to install the software on your Mac. Unless you choose to install your applications in a different location for some reason, the applications you install, should all end up in your applications folder by default. Which you can get to by going to the Go menu from here in the finder, and selecting Applications, or you can press shift + command + a.
So here's my application folder and you can see that I have quite a few applications installed on my Mac. To run an application just double-click it's icon. So iTunes is now running. I can tell it's running because I can see it's name in the upper left hand corner of the menu bar. I also see this dot under it's icon in the dock. On Macs, all running applications appear in the dock, making it easy to switch among multiple applications. So for example if I opened up Safari from the dock, that opens up, I can see a dot appears underneath it's icon, and I can switch back to iTues by clicking it's icon.
So while you can have multiple applications running simultaneously, in order to actively use any particular application, it has to be the front most, or active application. When you click an application's icon you bring it to the front of all the other applications that might be running. When you see it's name here in the Menu bar, you'll know that's the active application. For the most part, Mac OS is very good at managing multiple running applications at once, but if you're done working in a particular application, you might want to quit it so it's no longer running and taking up any attention from your computer. In just about all applications, you can click the applications name and choose quit.
And now iTunes has quit, and Safari is the front most application. You can also press command + q, to quit applications. Now if you find that you use some applications more than others, and that's going to be the case for anyone, it's convenient to add the application icon to your dock for quick access. So you don't have to open the Applications folder every time you want to run that program. All you have to is drag the application's icon anywhere on the left side of this dividing line here in the dock. I pointed out earlier that applications go to the left of this line and folders go to the right.
So for instance if I wanted to add iTunes to my dock, I can select it's icon, drag it down here. And you can see the other icons in the dock make room for the one that I'm dragging in. So that I can place it anywhere in this dock that I want to. And when I release, it's been added to the dock. Now whenever I want to run this application I just click it's icon. Which immediately launches it and I can start using the application as soon as it completely starts up. I'll just quit that again. Now I also suggest adding your entire Application folder to the dock.
To do so with the Applications folder already open, like it is here, just click the little icon at the top of the window. The trick is to hold down your mouse button without moving the mouse for just a second until you see the folder icon turn dark. Then you can drag that icon down and place it on the right side of the dividing line here in the dock. So now I close the application window because now when I click on the Application folder in the dock, I have immediate access to all of my applications without having to hunt down and open up my Applications folder.
Now Mac OS also has another way to open applications. You might have an item in your dock called Launchpad. If it's not there you'll find it in your Applications folder and you can add it to your dock if you like. Basically, when you click Launchpad, that shows you the icons for all of your installed apps. And you can launch them from here by clicking one. I'll just quit that again. Whether you want to use Launchpad or go directly to your Applications folder, is entirely up to you.
Personally, I prefer to use the Applications folder, I don't really use Launchpad. Now if you want to remove something from your dock, just click it and drag it up, and when you see the remove text appear you can release your mouse, and that removes it from the dock. So again, I prefer to use the Applications folder to launch my applications. And the way I like to set it up is to right click that folder and here under display as, I like to display that as a folder. So it has a consistent look. And then I'll right click again, and I like to view it's content as a list.
That allows me to then click the Applications folder in my dock and see all of my apps in alphabetical order. You can even press the first letter of the name of the app you're looking for to jump to that section of the list. For example, if I wanted to open up iMovie, I could type I, it jumps me to the I section, and I can easily find iMovie and launch it from there. But again it's entirely up to you, and how you prefer to work, to decide whether you want to use the Applications folder or Launchpad. Alright, so there's your primer on what applications are, where to find them, and a couple of tips for being more efficient when it comes to locating and running them.
- What's inside a computer?
- How to learn any application
- Five things that work in all applications
- Setting up a printer
- Connecting to wired and wireless networks
- Email servers and clients
- Dealing with spam
- Working with search engines
- Sharing files with others