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System Preferences

One of the great things about Mac OS is the way it can be customized to look and work the way you want it to. For example, you can set the date and time, customize the appearance and functionality of the Dock, fine-tune the way the mouse works, and set up a screen saver.

Mac OS X offers a new way to customize Mac OS: with the System Preferences application (Figure A). It offers access to a variety of panes, each containing settings for a part of Mac OS.

Figure A The System Preferences window, with icons for all panes displayed.

  • Date & Time enables you to set the system date and time as well as customize the appearance of the menu bar clock.

  • Dock enables you to change the size, magnification, and other settings for the Dock.

  • Energy Saver enables you to set options for putting your system, display, or hard disk to sleep after a certain period of inactivity.

  • General enables you to set the color scheme and scroll bar functionality.

  • Keyboard enables you to fine-tune keyboard operations for the way you type.

  • Mouse enables you to set the tracking and double-click speed for the mouse.

  • Screen Saver enables you to set up a screen saver for your monitor.

  • Sound enables you to set the system volume, speaker balance, and alert sound.

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