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This chapter is from the book

Get to Know Your Home and its Folders

When you open a Finder window, it usually opens to the Home window, as shown below. You can tell it's Home because your user name and the little house icon are in the title bar.

  • finder_icon.jpg

    To open a Finder window, single-click on the Finder icon (shown to the left) in the Dock.

    If the window that opens doesn't display your Home folders, single-click the Home icon you see in the Sidebar.

Your Home window displays a number of special folders. I suggest you do not change the names of these folders or throw them away unless you are very clear on what you're doing and why you're making that choice! For now, just let them be.

What each folder is for

Desktop Although this doesn't look like a typical folder icon, it really is a folder. The Desktop itself is a place where you can store items, sort of like keeping them on your office desk instead of putting them in a filing cabinet. Any file you store directly on your Desktop also appears in this folder.

Documents Your Mac will make sure every document you create is safely tucked into this Documents folder. Later you can create your own folders, as described on the following page.

Library This folder is used by the operating system. Do not rename this folder, do not throw it away, do not take anything out of it, and do not put anything in it unless you know exactly what you are doing. Just ignore it for now. For more details, see page 46.

Movies iMovie uses this folder to automatically store the files necessary for creating the movies you make.

Music iTunes uses this folder to automatically keep track of all the music files you buy and all of your playlists.

Pictures iPhoto uses this folder to automatically keep track of all your photos and albums.

Public You'll use this folder to share files with other people who also use your Mac, as explained in Lesson 9.

Sites You can create a web site, store it in this folder, and share it with anyone on the Internet.

Create your own folders

At any time you can create your own folders where you can store your documents and organize your files. For instance, you might want a folder in which to store all your financial documents. And another folder for all your newsletter files. And yet another for the screenplays you're writing. All of these documents could go inside the Documents folder, but to find the individual items that belong together would soon become unwieldy.

Use digital folders on your Mac as you would use paper folders in a metal filing cabinet. See page 128 for a tip on how to save files directly into your custom folders.

  • To open a folder, double-click on it.
  • To go back to the contents of the previous folder, single-click the left-pointing triangle, called the Back button (circled, below-left).

To make a new folder

Shift Command N

New folder

The new folder will appear inside the window whose name is in the title bar.

Click on its name, then type to rename it.

If you're not sure how to use keyboard shortcuts yet, see pages 50–51.

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