- Nov 29, 2002
The Menu Bar
As shown on page 2, you will always see a menu bar across the top of your computer screen. The items listed horizontally in the menu bar will change depending on what is "active" on your screen. For instance, if you have the general Finder window open because you clicked on the happy face icon in the Dock, you'll see the first menu bar shown below. You can tell the Finder is the active item because you see the word "Finder" in the menu bar.
You might have several windows open on your Mac at the same time, but only one can be "active." Whichever one you click on instantly comes to the front and is active. See page 67 for more on active windows and why it's important to know.
If you click on the System Preferences icon (shown to the left) in the Dock to open the System Preferences pane, the menu bar will change. You can tell System Preferences is the active item because you see its name in the menu bar. Notice that some of the other items in this menu bar, as shown below, are different from the Finder's, above.
Every application you open will also have its own menu bar, as shown below. The application QuickTime Player is open, and you see its name in the menu bar. Notice this menu bar has different items from either of those above. Under the application menu, as shown below, the last item in the list
You might someday open a game or watch a DVD movie and discover that you have no menu bar. Even if the menu bar is not visible, you can always press Command Q to quit. See Chapter 5 for details on how to use a keyboard shortcut such as Command Q.