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Five Snow Leopard Tips in Five Days: Tip 2 - Navigating within a Stack

By  Sep 1, 2009

Topics: Apple, Operating Systems

Mac OS X's stacks feature displays the contents of any folder in the Dock as a fan (Figure 1), grid (Figure 2), or list (Figure 3). You click the folder icon to display the stack. Then click the item in the stack to open it. This makes it easy to organize Dock items and access the applications, folders, and files you use most.

Figure 1: The Stacks feature displays the contents of a folder in the Dock as a fan…

Figure 2: …a grid, …

Figure 3: …or a list.

While the stacks feature is not new in Snow Leopard, the ability to navigate folders within a stack grid or list is. This is a great way to organize the files and folders you need to access. Here's the scoop.

To navigate folders within a stack grid:

1. Display the stack grid you want to navigate and, if necessary, scroll to display the folder you want to open (Figure 4).

Figure 4: If there are many items in a grid, you can scroll down within it.

2. To open a folder in the grid, click it. The grid displays the contents of the folder you clicked. Figure 5 shows what the Applications stack might look like after clicking the Utilities folder within it.

Figure 5: Clicking a folder in a grid displays the contents of that folder in the grid.

3. To back out of a folder, click the name of the parent

Tip: You can repeat step 2 as desired to dig deeply into the file hierarchy.

To navigate folders within a stack list

1. Display the stack list you want to navigate (Figure 3).

2. To open a folder in the list, point to it. The list turns into a hierarchical menu with the folder’s contents displayed in a submenu (Figure 6).

Figure 6: When viewing a stack as a list, point to the name of a folder to display its contents in a subfolder.

Tip: You can repeat step 2 as desired to open multiple submenus for deeply nested folders.

For more tips and step-by-step, illustrated instructions for using Apple’s great new Snow Leopard operating system, please check out my Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard: Visual QuickStart Guide. And be sure to check back here each day this week for more Mac OS X 10.6 tips.