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Introduction to Mac OS X

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This chapter is from the book


Become familiar and comfortable with the Desktop and Finder.

Understand the Finder windows and how to use them.

Learn to use the Dock.

Work with contextual menus and keyboard shortcuts.

Burn a CD or DVD.

Learn to watch for tool tips and other visual clues.

Know where to go for more information.

Tiger is the latest and greatest version of the Mac OS X operating system. But even though it's the latest and greatest, it's still Mac OS X. In this section you'll become familiar with the basics of using your Mac in general, and the following sections will deal more specifically with the changes that appear in Tiger.

If you haven't yet installed Tiger, please see Lessons 1 or 2. Once you've got it installed and have gone through the setup process, you're ready to start using it!

Get to Know Your Desktop and Finder

When you turn on your Mac, you'll always see your Desktop,.shown below. This is also called the Finder, although technically the Finder is the application that runs the Desktop. Whenever you see a direction that tells you to go to the Desktop or to the Finder, this is where you need to go.

Make sure you can get to the Desktop or Finder when necessary

As you work on your Mac, you will be using a number of applications in which you'll create your documents, but you'll often want to go back to the Finder, which sort of acts like home base. The name of the active application, the one that's currently open and available to use (including the Finder), will always be displayed in the application menu. Keep an eye on that menu.

To go to the Finder at any time, do one of these things:

  • Single-click on any blank area of the Desktop.
  • Single-click on any Finder window (shown below) that you see.
  • Single-click the Finder icon in the Dock (shown on the opposite page).

Check to make sure the application menu says “Finder.”

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