100 Tips #44: How To Customize The Finder Sidebar

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Waaaay back in Tip #9, I said we’d take a closer look at the Finder sidebar. Let’s do that right now.

A Finder window has the Toolbar at the top. (We looked at how to customize it in Tip #11.) This is where you have controls for what you’re doing with the Finder, as well as (optionally), shortcuts to specific things like files or applications.

Today we’re looking at the sidebar to the left. It’s the place for shortcuts to locations. Here, you can put folders, drives or volumes that you want swift access to from everywhere.

100 Tips #42: How Do User Accounts Work?

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Mac OS X has a system of user accounts, similar to that found on Windows machines. Setting up user accounts on your computer is a good idea for all sorts of reasons.

Each account is a separate, ring-fenced section of the computer’s system. Stuff that User A does won’t affect stuff belonging to User B. So at their simplest level, accounts are a useful way of keeping every person’s work or activity separate. They are a good idea on family computers for that reason.

100 Tips #37: How To Maximise Windows On OS X

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On a Mac, the green “Maximise” button (found alongside the yellow “Minimise” button and the red “Close” button in the top-left corner of every window) doesn’t do what you’re used to its counterpart doing on a Windows PC.

In current versions of OS X, “Maximise” really means “display the contents of this window in the most efficient way possible,” – and different applications will interpret that in different ways, and in different circumstances. The results can be frustratingly unpredictable, especially for newcomers who aren’t used to a Mac.

100 Tips #36: How To Rename Files Or Folders

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This is one of those simple little things that’s so obvious, and so simple, that it’s easy for newcomers to miss.

How do you rename a file on a Mac? If you’re coming from Windows, you’ll be accustomed to right-clicking on it and choosing the “Rename” menu item, but it’s not there on OS X.

100 Tips #35: What is Exposé?

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Exposé is an OS X feature designed to help you move around many documents and applications quickly and easily.

All you have to do is push a button (or move your mouse in a particular way, or drag your fingers on the trackpad), and all your open windows, from all your open applications, will be displayed on screen at once, shrunk down so that you can see them all.