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In Mac OS 7.6 For Dummies Quick Reference, author and Mac expert Dan Parks Sydow distills all the practical information and neat tricks you need to use Mac OS 7.6 effectively. Concise, plain-English explanations cover topics such as
Plus, Mac OS 7.6 For Dummies Quick Reference includes handy cross-references to Mac® OS 7.6 For Dummies® so that you can always easily find in-depth coverage of Mac OS 7.6 topics.
Always fun, always fast, this book explains the commands and features of the new operating system without including all that extra information users don't need. This Quick Reference format cuts to the chase.
Part I: Performing Basic Tasks
- Dealing with the Desktop
- Activating the Desktop
Arranging icons on a grid
Lining up icons
Getting acquainted with the Launcher
Creating and working with Launcher sets
Starting the Handler
Hiding the Desktop
Switching between programs
- Doing Work with Disks
- Copying a file from a hard disk to a floppy disk
Copying a file from a floppy disk to a hard disk
Copying an entire floppy disk to a hard disk
Duplicating a floppy disk
Ejecting a floppy disk
Erasing a disk
Formatting a disk
Opening a disk
Renaming a disk
- Taking Out the Trash
- Placing something in the Trash
Checking the contents of the Trash
Emptying the Trash
- Working with Windows
- Changing a window's size
Making a window as large as it can be
Closing an open window
Closing all open windows
Opening one window while closing another
Activating a window
Moving a window
Rolling up a window (using WindowShade)
Part II: Files and Folders
- Using Files
- Adding a file to the Apple menu
Adding a file to the System Folder
Copying a file to a different folder
Copying a file to the same folder (duplicating a file)
Copying a file to a different disk
Deleting a file
Finding a file
Getting information about a file
Locking a file
Making an alias of a file
Moving a file
Opening a file (running an application)
Printing a file
Removing a file from the Apple menu
Renaming a file
Selecting several files
- Working with Folders
- Adding a folder to the Apple menu
Viewing a folder in the Apple menu
Copying a folder to a different folder
Copying a folder to the same folder (duplicating a folder)
Copying a folder to a different disk
Creating a new folder
Deleting a folder
Determining the location of a folder
Finding a folder
Getting information about a folder
Making an alias of a folder
Moving a folder
Opening a folder
Organizing a folder's contents
Removing a folder from the Apple menu
Renaming a folder
Selecting several folders
Part III: Customizing the Mac OS 7.6 Environment
- Acquainting Yourself with Control-Panel Basics
- Running a control panel
Making submenus appear
- Apple Menu Options
Auto Power On/Off
ColorSync System Profile
Date & Time
File Sharing Monitor
Shut Down Warning
Insertion Point Blinking
Mac OS Easy Open
- Disk cache
Monitors & Sound
Users & Groups
- Font for views
Part IV: The Multimedia Mac
- Audio (AppleCD Audio Player)
- Playing an audio CD
Defining track information
Changing the order of tracks
Changing the color of the player
- Color depth
- Screen Captures (Screen Dumps)
- Saving the entire screen
Saving a portion of the screen
Saving a window as a picture file
Saving a window to the Clipboard
Working with picture files
- Speaker volume
- Choosing a voice
Speaking alert window text
- Video (Apple Video Player)
- Preparing your Mac for playing a video
Playing a video
Adjusting the picture quality of a video
Saving an image from a video
Saving part of a video as a movie file
Part V: Getting Connected to the Internet and the Web
- Discovering the Internet and the Web
- What is the Internet?
What is the Internet good for?
Why the fuss about the World Wide Web?
- Installing the Mac Internet Software
- If you don't have Mac OS 7.6 on your Mac
If you already have Mac OS 7.6 on your Mac
- Mac OS 7.6 and Macintosh Internet Software
- Understanding TCP/IP and PPP
Open Transport (the Mac's version of TCP/IP)
Open Transport PPP (the Mac's version of PPP)
- Setting Up Things for the Internet Connection
- Configuring the Modem control panel
Configuring the PPP control panel
Configuring the TCP/IP control panel
- Tying into the Internet
Working with Cyberdog
- Starting Cyberdog
Using the Notebook (bookmarks)
Part VI: Printing
- Printing without QuickDraw GX
- Setting up your printer
Printing from the Desktop
- Putting QuickDraw GX to Use
- Checking for QuickDraw GX
Setting up your printer
Printing from the Desktop
- Using Desktop Printers
- Creating a Desktop printer
Printing with a Desktop printer
Managing Desktop printing
Part VII: Understanding Extensions
- About Extensions
- How extensions and memory work together
Why extensions make upgrading easier
- Exercising the Extensions Manager Control Panel
Extensions: Extra Info on a Few Key Players
- Apple CD-ROM
? Printer Name
Part VIII: The Mac Command Reference
- ?-->About Apple Guide
?-->Mac OS Guide (Command Key+?)
Index and Look For
Apple menu-->About This Computer
- System software version
- Apple menu-->AppleCD Audio Player
Apple menu-->Automated Tasks
Apple menu-->Control Panels
Apple menu-->Find File
Apple menu-->Graphing Calculator
Apple menu-->Jigsaw Puzzle
Apple menu-->Key Caps
Apple menu-->Note Pad
Apple menu-->Recent Applications
Apple menu-->Recent Documents
Apple menu-->Recent Servers
Apple menu-->Shut Down
Application menu-->"Application List"
Application menu-->Hide "Program"
Application menu-->Hide Others
Application menu-->Show All
Edit-->Copy (Command Key+C)
Edit-->Cut (Command Key+X)
Edit-->Paste (Command Key+V)
Edit-->Select All (Command Key+A)
Edit-->Undo (Command Key+Z)
File-->Close Window (Command Key+W)
File-->Duplicate (Command Key+D)
File-->Find (Command Key+F)
File-->Find Again (Command Key+G)
File-->Get Info (Command Key+I)
File-->Make Alias (Command Key+M)
File-->New Folder (Command Key+N)
File-->Open (Command Key+O)
File-->Print (Command Key+P)
File-->Put Away (Command Key+Y)
Special-->Eject Disk (Command Key+E)
View-->by Small Icon
Appendix: Installing Mac OS 7.6
- Is Mac OS 7.6 on Your Mac?
If You Don't Have Mac OS 7.6 on Your Mac
If You Have Mac OS 7.6 on Your Mac
Non-PowerPC Users and OpenDoc
(The online version of this Part has been abridged.)
When your Mac starts up, an onscreen version of a desktop appears. It's from this desktop that you perform the tasks that are basic to computing: starting programs, copying files from and to floppy disks, organizing these files into folders, and displaying the contents of folders in windows. If you're new to the Macintosh, you don't want to skip this part. The following pages walk you through all of these chores -- and a whole lot of other tasks that you'll do over and over as you work on the Mac.
In this part . . .
The Desktop (sometimes called the Finder) occupies the entire area of your monitor's screen. The Desktop is usually gray. See also Part III where you find out how to change the look of the Desktop.
The Desktop serves as the background on which icons appear. Most notable of these icons is the one that represents your startup disk. The startup disk is the hard drive that holds the System Folder -- the folder that holds the various software files that collectively make up much of the Macintosh operating system, or Mac OS 7.6.
You organize your work from the Desktop. For example, you run a program (such as a word processor) and use that program to create a file (such as a report). You also use the Desktop to work with this file, including copying the file to another hard drive or to a floppy disk, moving the file to a different folder, deleting the file, and so forth.
Move the mouse so that the cursor is anywhere over the Desktop and click the mouse button. Those concise instructions on how to make the Desktop active are for those of you who have a good grasp of just what the Desktop is. If you're a little uncertain about this whole concept of the Desktop, read on.
If you're familiar with the Macintosh, you know that you always have a menu bar present at the top of the screen. However, the menus listed in this menu bar change because any program, when running, "takes over" the menu bar and substitutes its own set of menus in the menu bar. Here's what the menu bar looks like when I run Apple's SimpleText text-editing program.
For comparison, the following figure shows what the menu bar looks like when I run a graphics program named ClarisDraw.
When I move the cursor to a position anywhere over the Desktop (versus over a window that belongs to a program that's running) and then click the mouse, the menu-bar contents switch to display still another set of menus. Clicking on the Desktop makes the Desktop "active" and brings up the menus of the Desktop, as shown in the following figure.
Because the Desktop has its own set of menus, just as a program does, the Desktop itself may seem to be a program. As it turns out, it is. The Desktop just happens to be a program that automatically starts every time you start up your Macintosh and remains running until you turn off your computer. Regardless of how many programs you run (you can run different programs at the same time), the Desktop program is always running.
I show the menus for SimpleText and ClarisDraw in the preceding figures, but in this book I don't discuss these menus or the menu items in the menus. To find out about the SimpleText and ClarisDraw menus or menus from any other program you have, refer to the documentation that comes with the programs. In this book I discuss the menus (and the dozens of menu items in those menus) that belong to the Desktop. Don't think you're getting shortchanged, though; I take a couple hundred pages to handle the task.
If your Desktop has icons strewn all about, you may consider rearranging them so that each one falls in a cell of a grid. Picture your Desktop as a checkerboard. If each icon on the Desktop appears in a square on this board, then things look a little more organized, right? That's the principle behind the Clean Up Desktop menu item in the Special menu.
Of course, cleaning up the Desktop in this way doesn't actually draw a checkerboard on your screen. You can't see the square, but the Mac uses the checkerboard to scoot each icon to the nearest square when you clean up the Desktop. Follow these steps to arranging your icons:
When you line up icons, each icon appears along the right side of the Desktop, each icon falling into a square on an imaginary grid. If your Desktop has more icons on it than can fit in one column along the right of the Desktop, a second column appears to the left of the first (and so forth if you have quite a few icons). To line up the icons on the Desktop, follow these steps:
The Launcher can also help you organize your icons. See "Using the Launcher" next in this part for the details.
Using the Special menu is a quick way to tidy up your Desktop. However, organizing your icons doesn't help the fact that you still have an abundance of icons cluttering your screen. A more sophisticated approach to organizing your Desktop involves the Launcher -- Apple's utility program that exists just to help you keep your Desktop organized.
Not only does the Launcher organize your icons, it enables you to easily access documents, folders, and applications. I place this section near (but not in) the "Organizing the Desktop" section because the Launcher is really much more than just a Desktop organizer.
The Launcher is a window that displays icons as buttons. You choose which icons you want in the Launcher window, and the Launcher turns each into a button. Here's a look at my Launcher. In its window you can see buttons for six programs.
The Launcher derives its name from the fact that a single click on a button launches, or starts up, the program the button represents. In the preceding figure, you see that one of the buttons represents the SimpleText text editor. A click on that button starts the SimpleText program.
As far as Desktop organization goes, moving several icons from the Desktop to a window is a slight improvement, but it may not solve all your Desktop problems. Even though the icons now appear in a nice neat row in a window, they are, after all, still hanging around in plain view. By turning into buttons, they now actually occupy a little more space than they did as plain old icons sitting on the Desktop. Fortunately, you can condense the Launcher to show just the buttons you may need at any one time.
The Launcher can hold a number of sets of icon buttons and can display only one set at a time -- that is the organizational power of the Launcher. Each set of icon buttons appears in the same Launcher window. To display a particular set, you click on the appropriate button at the top of the Launcher window.
The Launcher gives you control over the number and names of the sets you can use. The Launcher also lets you select the applications to place in each set. Though I show only programs in the Launcher, you're free to include documents or folders. If a document appears as a button, a click on the button starts the program that created the document and then opens the document. If a folder appears as a button, then clicking on the button makes that folder open on the Desktop.
You have full control over what appears in the Launcher window. Read this section to see how to create the sets of items that appear in your Launcher. Read the next section ("Adding items to a Launcher set") to see how to define what programs, files, or folders appear in each set.
After you read these two sections, you don't need to bother with this setup business again -- the Launcher remembers everything that you want displayed. Do the following to define the Launcher sets you want to use:
You must press Option+8 as the first character in a folder's name. That tells the Launcher to use that folder as a Launcher set.
You create a folder for each set of icon buttons. If you look back at the preceding figure, you see my Launcher has four sets.
After you define the sets for your Launcher, you add items to the sets. An item can be a program, document, or folder.
After you add the desired items to your Launcher sets, you're finished with the Launcher set up. Unless you decide to add to the Launcher at a later date, you don't have to fiddle with the Launcher again. Here's how to add an item to a set:
If you have trouble finding the Launcher program, choose Control Panels from the Apple menu. The Control Panels window appears. Scroll through the window until you find an icon labeled Launcher. Double-click on that icon. The Launcher window appears.
In the following figure, I'm dragging the icon for a kid's game named KeyWack to my Launcher. I've already added three other games to the Games set of my Launcher.
You can find the Launcher in the Control Panels folder, which you access from the Apple menu. If the Launcher window isn't open on your Desktop, choose Apple menu-->Control Panels-->Launcher.
If you think the Launcher is handy, you may want it to start up each time you start your Mac. That way, the Launcher window pops up right where you left it when you shut down your computer.
From now on, the Launcher automatically starts each time you start up your Mac.
Even if you have one or more of the program's windows open, the contents of the Desktop may be visible in the areas between the windows. That is, files and folders that are on your Desktop will be visible, as will windows that belong to any other program that is currently running. Some people find this comforting -- to return to the Desktop, all they have to do is drag the cursor to any spot where the Desktop is visible and click the mouse. Others, however, find the sight of the Desktop and all the the things on it annoying and distracting. If you're a member of this second camp, follow these steps to hide the Desktop when a program is running:
When the Desktop is hidden, clicking on the area between open windows has no effect because what you're clicking on isn't really the Desktop. Think of it as a clean sheet that's been slipped over the Desktop to hide all the icons and windows that are on it. This means that you can't just jump to the Desktop by clicking on what appears to be the Desktop. Instead, you must choose the Finder (which is another name for the Desktop) from the menu that appears at the far right of the menu bar.
Mac OS 7.6 allows you to run several programs at once. If you run several programs at the same time, you may find it hard to tell which program is running, and switching back and forth between the different programs may get confusing.
You can solve both these dilemmas by using the application menu -- the always-present menu at the far right of the menu bar. The menus in the menu bar change according to the program that is currently active, or frontmost. But the application menu always remains in its position at the end of the menu bar.
What I've been calling the application menu isn't actually named application menu. Instead, the menu is a little icon that changes depending on what program is active. For instance, if the SimpleText text editor is active, the application menu is a miniature version of the SimpleText icon.
To see which program is currently active, click on the application menu. A gray separator line appears a few items down from the top of the menu. Under that line is a list of all of the programs that are currently running. The program with a checkmark to the left of its name is the current, or active, application. In the following figure, you can see that I have Microsoft Word and SimpleText running on my Mac, and that SimpleText is the active program.
To switch to a different program, just select the program you want in the application menu. The selected program is then active, and the menu bar menus change to those of the selected program.
In the preceding figure, you see three names in the list of applications that are currently running: Finder, MS Word 6, and SimpleText. Yet I said I had two programs running. Before you throw this book down in total confusion, let me explain. The program named Finder is always running, no matter what you do or don't do. The Finder is another name for the Desktop. You can move to the Desktop at any time by choosing Finder from the application menu.
Every time you work or play on your Mac, you're dealing with at least one disk -- your Mac's startup disk. The startup disk is the disk that holds the System Folder. If your startup disk is a hard disk (also called a hard drive), there's a good chance that this disk also holds many or all of the programs you work with. If that's the case, you may not always be aware that you're working with a disk -- you just go about your business of running programs.
At other times, however, it is very apparent that you're working with a disk. For example, when you copy a file from, say, your hard disk to a floppy disk.
On the following pages I discuss how to copy a file to a floppy disk and a number of other disk-related tasks.
You may have a file on your hard disk, and the file is so great that you want to give it to someone else. The file is so important, you also want a copy of it as a backup, just in case something happens to your machine. To accomplish both of these tasks, you can copy the file to a floppy disk. Follow these steps to clone your file:
After the copying is complete, you have two versions of the file: the copy that's now on the floppy disk and the original file still on your hard disk.
If you have a file on a floppy disk that you want on your hard disk, you can copy it from the floppy disk to your hard drive. Here's how:
Double-click on the hard drive's icon to open a window that displays the hard drive's contents. If the destination is to be the hard drive, now go to Step 2. If the destination is a folder on the hard drive, now double-click on the folder to open it and display its contents in a window.
After the copying is complete, you have two versions of the file: the copy that's now on the hard disk and the original file still on your floppy disk.
If you want all of the files that are on a floppy disk copied to a hard disk, you're in luck -- that task is a simple as can be. Just follow these steps:
After the copying is complete, you have a new folder on your hard disk. It has the same name as the floppy disk and contains copies of all of the files that are on the floppy disk. The files on the floppy disk are still on that disk as well.
If you want to copy all of the files from one floppy disk to a different floppy, your Mac is up to that task. Why would you want to duplicate a floppy disk? You may want to make a backup copy of everything on the one disk.
In this section, I list two sets of instructions -- one for those of you with a single floppy drive on your Mac (which is most of you) and another for those of you with two floppy drives.
If you have any files on the floppy disk that is to receive the copies of the files, be aware that these files get deleted during the course of the copying. Use either a new floppy disk or a disk that you know holds only "garbage" (old, unwanted files).
If you have only one floppy disk drive, you must perform a little juggling act to duplicate a floppy disk. In short, you alternately insert the two disks (the one that holds the original files to copy and the other that is to receive the copies) into your one drive by following these steps:
If a window appears telling you that the disk is unreadable and that it must be initialized, do that. If you aren't sure how, read "Formatting a disk" in this section.
A window appears asking if you really want to replace the contents of the disk. You do, so click on the OK button. The disk ejects, and a window appears requesting that you insert the first disk. When you insert the first disk, the Mac copies the contents of the first disk to the second disk.
If you want to copy a lot of information, you may need to repeat this process one or more times. In other words, you may have to insert disks several times.
After the copying is complete you have two floppy disks, each with an identical set of files on it.
If you're fortunate enough to have two floppy disk drives, disk duplication goes much more quickly than it does for your associates who have a single floppy disk drive.
Take note of the name of this floppy disk so that when it comes time to copy one disk to another, you remember which disk is which.
If a window appears telling you that the disk is unreadable and that you need to initialize it, then do so. Read "Formatting a disk" in this section for the details.
A window appears asking if you really want to replace the contents of the disk. You do, so click the OK button. A window appears to show the progress as the Mac copies all of the files from the one floppy disk to the other floppy disk.
After the copying is complete, you have two floppy disks, each of which has an identical set of files.
When you want to remove a floppy disk from the floppy disk drive, you can't just pry it out with your fingers. Why should you when the Mac does the work for you?
The easiest way to eject a floppy disk is to click on its icon on the Desktop and, with the mouse button held down, drag the icon to the Trash. When the Trash can darkens, release the mouse button. The floppy disk should jump right out of the drive.
You're using the Trash can here, but you don't have to worry about anything bad happening to the contents of the floppy disk. Although the analogy of the Macintosh Desktop being like a "real" desktop usually holds up, in this case, I don't think it does. After all, you're ejecting a disk, you aren't deleting it.
If you're still apprehensive about dragging a disk to the Trash, then try this method of ejecting a disk. Click once on the disk's icon and choose File-->Put Away. The disk then ejects from the drive.
When you eject a floppy disk using the File-->Put Away command, the disk's icon disappears from the Desktop. That means your Mac has now forgotten all about the disk, which is usually just fine with you.
There may be a time when you want a disk ejected, but you still want your computer to know a little about the disk. Duplicating a floppy disk when you have only a single floppy disk drive is one such case. See also "Duplicating a floppy disk" in this part for more information. In these cases, follow this method to eject a disk: Click on the disk's icon on the Desktop and choose Special-->Eject Disk. The disk ejects, but its icon remains on the Desktop (though it dims somewhat to let you know that the disk isn't in the drive).
If you want to use a floppy disk that is just lying around and you aren't interested in the files that are on it, erase the disk so that you can reclaim all its disk space. You can then reuse the disk to save other, more important files. Follow these steps to get all the garbage off a file:
All of the items on the floppy disk disappear from the window that displays the contents of the floppy disk.
You are now free to refill that disk with new files and folders.
A new floppy disk usually needs to be formatted. Formatting a new, blank disk adds a little information to the disk that allows your Mac to work with the disk. This formatting is also called initializing a disk, just in case you hear someone mention that phrase around the water cooler.
Follow these steps to find out if you need to format your disk and then format it, if necessary:
Some floppy disks come preformatted. If you have such a disk, you don't need to format it yourself -- and you won't be prompted to do so when you first insert the disk in your Mac's floppy drive.
The window that asks you if you want to initialize the disk has a pop-up menu in it. This menu allows you to specify the format of the disk. For standard initializations, leave the pop-up menu alone -- it's all set to format the disk as a Macintosh disk, which is almost always what you want.
You open a disk to display its contents. To open a disk -- whether a hard disk or a floppy disk -- double-click on its icon. If you want to open a floppy disk, you need to first insert the floppy disk in the floppy disk drive.
From the Desktop, you can also open just about anything by clicking on the item's icon and then choosing File-->Open. I thought I'd tell you about this menu command, even though I can't think of a single time when it's quicker to choose this command than it is to simply double-click on the icon of the thing you want to open. Just use whichever method seems easiest to you.
You can change the name of a disk -- whether it's a floppy disk or a hard disk -- by clicking on the name of the disk (the name appears right below or beside the disk's icon) and then typing in the new name. If you want to rename a floppy disk, you have to first insert the floppy disk in the floppy disk drive.
The Macintosh makes it easy to delete, or trash, files. So why dedicate a whole section to the topic? Because the Macintosh makes it so easy to delete files! In this section, you see how to toss out the items you don't want, and how to avoid accidentally tossing the items you do want.
You can delete anything -- documents, programs, folders -- by placing it in the Trash and then emptying the Trash. You move an item to the trash by dragging the item to the Trash can icon: Click on the item's icon and, with the mouse button held down, drag the icon over the Trash can icon and release the mouse button.
Placing something in the Trash can doesn't automatically delete that item -- you still have to empty the Trash can. See "Emptying the Trash" in this part for more information.
Do you have something in the Trash? You can tell by looking at the Trash can icon. If the Trash is empty, the can looks like the one pictured on the left in the following figure. If there's something in the Trash, the can bulges -- like the one pictured on the right.
If you have something in the Trash can, you need to empty the can to delete its contents. Probably. If you aren't quite adept at deleting files, you may first want to double-check the contents of the Trash can to make sure that whatever is in it is really something you want to remove permanently from your disk.
To open the lid of the Trash can to take a peek, double-click on the Trash can icon. A window opens, and if there's something in the Trash, the contents appear in the window.
If you truly want to delete the contents of the Trash, you can go ahead and empty it. Read the next section to see how to empty the trash. If you think you've made a mistake and inadvertently placed an item in the Trash that you don't want deleted, simply click on the item in the open Trash window and drag it out of the Trash.
Emptying the Trash can is as easy as choosing Special-->Empty Trash. When you do that, a window appears that gives you one last opportunity to change your mind.
If you're the cautious type, click on the Cancel button and then check the contents of the Trash to see if everything in the can should be salvaged. If instead you're confident that you do want to delete the contents of the Trash, click on the OK button.
You can avoid the above warning window by holding down the Option key as you choose Special-->Empty Trash. However, you should save this technique for when you have every confidence in your file-deleting judgment.
Working on the Desktop often means working with windows. When you choose an item from the Apple menu (such as the Note Pad), a window often appears. When you double-click on a disk icon (such as the icon for your hard drive), a window that displays the contents of the disk appears. Double-clicking on a folder in the disk window results in still another open window -- one that displays the contents of the folder. The following figure shows you the windows I get when I double-click on different items.
In the preceding figure, you see that the Apple Extras window displays elements in its title bar (the top strip of the window) and scroll bars that the other windows don't. For example, a close box appears at the left of the title bar, and a zoom (enlarge) box appears at the right of the title bar. Additionally, the title appears in a darker text than the titles of the other windows. Finally, the Apple Extras window has shading in its vertical and horizontal scroll bars, but the other windows don't. What does all of this tell you about the Apple Extras window? It's the active, or current, window.
Your Mac can have any number of windows open at the same time. But only one window at a time can be the active, or current, window. The current window is the one that responds to the mouse and keyboard. For example, if you choose File-->Close, the active window closes; you don't need to specify which window should close.
In this section, I discuss how to work with windows -- not how to work with things in windows. When working on the Desktop, the things in windows are usually files and folders. Because files and folders happen to be the topics of Part II, that's the part you should refer to for information on arranging things in a window.
If a window displays a lot of items (such as numerous files), you want that window to be large enough so that you can see most or all of the items in it. If you want to open a number of windows on the screen and be able to view at least some of the contents of each, then you want each window to be small. Both scenarios are common, so when you work on the Mac Desktop, you need to know something about resizing windows.
Most windows have a grow (resize) box in the lower-right corner. To resize a window by using the grow box, first move the cursor over the box. Then click and, with the mouse button held down, move the mouse. As you drag the mouse, the size of the window doesn't change, but a dashed outline appears showing how moving your mouse changes the size of the window. When you release the mouse, the box will be the size of the dashed outline.
It would be nice if you could resize a window from any corner of the window -- but you can't. You can achieve the same result by using the grow box to resize the window to the desired size and then moving the entire window. Click on the window's title bar (drag bar) at the top of the window and, with the mouse button held down, drag the mouse until the window is in the desired location on the Desktop. Finally, release the mouse button.
You can also use a window's zoom box to resize the window. See "Making a window as large as it can be" in this section.
A window on the Desktop usually has a zoom box -- it's the small square located in the very upper-right of the window. The zoom box acts as a sort of toggle switch. The first time you click on the zoom box, the window enlarges to a size big enough to display everything in the window. If the window holds so many items that this isn't possible on a monitor of the size connected to your Mac, the window enlarges to fill almost the entire screen. Now, if you click the zoom box again, the window returns to its original size -- that is, to whatever size the window was before the first click on the zoom box.
To close the frontmost, or active, window, click its close box. A window's close box is the small square located at the very top-left of the window. Alternately, you can choose File-->Close Window (or press Command Key+W) to close the frontmost, or active, window.
If you want to close a window that isn't the active window (only the active window has detailed highlighting in its title, or drag, bar and in its scroll bars), click anywhere on the window you want to close to make it active. The window moves to the forefront and becomes the active window. Now click on its close box or choose File-->Close Window (or press Command Key+W).
To close all of the windows that are open on the Desktop, hold the Option key down and then click on the close box of the frontmost window. Not only does the active window close, but all other windows on the Desktop close as well. You can also perform this trick by holding down the Option key and choosing File-->Close All (or holding down the Option key and pressing Command Key+W).
If you use the Launcher to hold your frequently used icons, then you probably don't want to use the close-all feature. Closing all the windows on the Desktop has the effect of closing the Launcher as well.
To keep your Desktop nice and tidy, you may want to close one window "behind you" as you open another window. For instance, if the window that displays the contents of a hard drive is open and you double-click on a folder in that window, a second window appears to display the contents of this folder. If, in opening the folder window, you want the hard drive window to close, hold down the Option key while double-clicking on the folder. If you prefer using menus, then click on the icon to be opened, press and hold down the Option key, and then choose File-->Open Window.
Before you can work with anything in a window, you need to make it active, or current. You can make any window active simply by clicking on it. It's that simple.
If you move or copy a file or folder from one window to another, you must make the window that holds the item to copy active. You don't have to worry about making the target window -- the window that is to receive the item -- active. To figure out how to move and copy files and folders, take a look at Part II.
If you click on a window that belongs to a program that's running, you find that you're no longer working on the Desktop. Instead, the menus in the menu bar change, and you are working in the program. To return to the Desktop, click on any exposed area of the Desktop to make it active. Alternatively, you can choose Finder from the application menu, the "nameless" menu that always appears at the very right end of the menu bar.
When you change the size of a window, you may have to move the window to a different part of the Desktop. Arrange the window so that you can see or use the contents of a different window that is obscured by the first.
The active window is the frontmost window. You move this window by clicking on its title bar (drag bar) -- the horizontal strip that runs along the top of the window and holds the window's title. With the mouse button held down, drag the mouse. As you do that, a dashed frame of the window moves, too. When this dashed frame is at the desired location for the window, release the mouse button. The window then jumps to this new area.
If you have several windows open on the Desktop, chances are that at some point you may want to peek at something in a window that's partly buried, or obscured, by other windows. If you also want to work in that window, you can simply click on any exposed part of it to make it active. If you instead only want to take a look at part of it without inactivating the current window, you can move it without activating it. You may want to do this if you want to keep the currently active window active (so that you can continue to see everything in the window) and at the same time you want to see a little more of what's in a window that's partially buried by other windows.
If any or all of the inactive window's title bar is exposed (unsurprisingly, that's the part of the window that displays the window's title), you can move that inactive window without activating it. If the title bar isn't exposed, the following trick won't work.
In the following figure, I'm moving the inactive Apple Extras window down and to the left -- as you can see from the dashed rectangle. Note that the Apple Extras window is still inactive -- the Hard Drive window, with its detailed highlighting, remains the active window.
Remember: You move an inactive window in the same manner as an active window -- with one exception. To move the inactive window, hold the command key down while dragging the window.
Having just a few windows on the Desktop can make a real mess of your work area. Now, what if you want to view the contents of a window that's obscured by one or more other windows? You can make it active, or you can close some of the windows. Or, better still, you can "roll up" a few windows so that the obscured window comes into plain view.
The WindowShade feature of the Mac OS is the technology that does the window-rolling. To roll up a window (as you would roll up a real window shade if you snapped it), double-click on the window's title bar. You can click anywhere on the title bar except the close box or the zoom box (the small squares located at either end of the title bar). When you double-click the title bar, the content area of the window disappears and all that remains visible is the title bar. Don't worry, though -- you don't lose any information. To return the window to its original size, just double-click on the title bar again.
In the following figure, I have two windows rolled up: the Hard Drive window (which is inactive) and the Sound Control Panel window (which is active).
If the WindowShade feature isn't working on your Mac, then you need to turn it on. To do that, choose the WindowShade control panel from the Control Panels folder in the Apple menu. As you can see in the following figure, the WindowShade control panel allows you to turn the WindowShade feature on or off.
(The online version of this Part has been abridged.)