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Connecting via the Finder

There are a number of ways to initiate a screen-sharing session. The simplest is right from the Finder. Computers with file sharing or screen sharing enabled are automatically detected via Bonjour (Apple zero configuration network discovery feature) in Leopard and displayed under the Shared section of the Finder’s toolbar.

In a home or small office network, all available Macs will automatically appear (in larger networks with multiple subnets, you will see only computers on the same subnet as yours unless a network administrator has set up wide area Bonjour using Leopard Server).

When you select a Mac in the Shared section of the sidebar, you’ll see the folders made available for Guest access (if the Guest account is enabled) using file sharing.

You’ll also see buttons to Connect As (meaning connect as a specific user rather than a Guest) and Screen Sharing. To share the screen, simply click Screen Sharing. If required, enter your username and password for the remote Mac (see Figure 2). If the Guest user account is enabled and all users are allowed to connect, you will not be asked for a username or password.

Figure 2

Figure 2 Connecting to a Mac for screen sharing

A screen sharing window will open, displaying the desktop of the remote Mac. If no user is logged in, you’ll see the login window (from which you can log in).

The window is pretty basic but it does include a toolbar that has buttons for exchanging clipboard contents with the remote Mac. This makes it possible to copy and paste items between the two computers.

Also, when a screen is being shared, an icon of a monitor with binoculars in it appears in the menu bar. Clicking it offers a menu that can open the Screen Sharing preferences and terminate the screen-sharing session.

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