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macOS High Sierra™ For Dummies®

To view this book's Cheat Sheet, simply go to and search for “macOS High Sierra For Dummies Cheat Sheet” in the Search box.


You made the right choice twice: macOS High Sierra (version 10.13) and this book. Take a deep breath and get ready to have a rollicking good time. That’s right. This is a computer book, but it’s fun. What a concept! Whether you’re brand spanking new to the Mac or a grizzled Mac vet, I guarantee that reading this book to discover the ins and outs of macOS High Sierra will make everything easier. The publisher couldn’t say as much on the cover if it weren’t true!

About This Book

This book’s roots lie with my international best seller Macintosh System 7.5 For Dummies, an award-winning book so good that long-deceased Mac clone-maker Power Computing gave away a copy with every Mac clone it sold. macOS High Sierra For Dummies is the latest revision and has been, once again, completely updated to include all the tasty goodness in macOS High Sierra. In other words, this edition combines all the old, familiar features of dozens of previous editions — but is once again updated to reflect the latest and greatest offering from Apple as well as feedback from readers.

Why write a For Dummies book about High Sierra? Well, High Sierra is a big, somewhat complicated personal-computer operating system. So, I made macOS High Sierra For Dummies a not-so-big, not-too-complicated book that shows you what High Sierra is all about without boring you to tears, confusing you, or poking you with sharp objects.

In fact, I think you’ll be so darned comfortable that I wanted the title to be macOS High Sierra Made Easy, but the publishers wouldn’t let me. Apparently, we Dummies authors have to follow some rules, and using Dummies in this book’s title is one of them.

And speaking of dummies remember, that’s just a word. I don’t think you’re a dummy at all — quite the opposite! My second choice for this book’s title was macOS High Sierra For People Smart Enough to Know They Need This Book, but you can just imagine what Wiley thought of that.

The book is chock-full of information and advice, explaining everything you need to know about macOS High Sierra in language you can understand — along with timesaving tips, tricks, techniques, and step-by-step instructions, all served up in generous quantities.

Another rule we Dummies authors must follow is that our books cannot exceed a certain number of pages. (Brevity is the soul of wit, and all that.) So, while I wish I could have included some things that didn’t fit, I feel confident you’ll find what you need to know about macOS High Sierra in this book.

Still, a few things bear further looking into, such as these:

Within this book, you may note that some web addresses break across two lines of text. If you’re reading this book in print and want to visit one of these web pages, simply key in the web address exactly as it’s noted in the text, pretending as though the line break doesn’t exist. If you’re reading this as an e-book, you’ve got it easy — just click the web address to be taken directly to the web page.

Foolish Assumptions

Although I know what happens when you make assumptions, I’ve made a few anyway.

First, I assume that you, gentle reader, know nothing about using macOS — beyond knowing what a Mac is, that you want to use macOS, that you want to understand macOS without having to digest an incomprehensible technical manual, and that you made the right choice by selecting this particular book. And so I do my best to explain each new concept in full and loving detail. Maybe that’s foolish, but … that’s how I roll.

Oh, and I also assume that you can read. If you can’t, ignore this paragraph.

Icons Used in This Book

Little pictures (icons) appear off to the left side of the text throughout this book. Consider these icons miniature road signs, telling you a little something extra about the topic at hand. Here’s what the different icons look like and what they all mean.

tip Look for Tip icons to find the juiciest morsels: shortcuts, tips, and undocumented secrets about High Sierra. Try them all; impress your friends!

remember When you see this icon, it means that this particular morsel is something that I think you should memorize (or at least write on your shirt cuff).

technicalstuff Put on your propeller-beanie hat and pocket protector; these parts include the truly geeky stuff. It’s certainly not required reading, but it must be interesting or informative, or I wouldn’t have wasted your time with it.

warning Read these notes very, very, very carefully. (Did I say very?) Warning icons flag important cautionary information. The author and publisher won’t be responsible if your Mac explodes or spews flaming parts because you ignored a Warning icon. Just kidding. Macs don’t explode or spew (with the exception of a few choice PowerBook 5300s, which won’t run High Sierra anyway). But I got your attention, didn’t I?

new Well, now, what could this icon possibly be about? Named by famous editorial consultant Mr. Obvious, this icon highlights all things new and different in macOS High Sierra.

Beyond the Book

In addition to what you’re reading right now, this product also comes with a free access-anywhere Cheat Sheet that provides handy shortcuts for use with macOS High Sierra, offers my backup recommendations, and more. To get this Cheat Sheet, simply go to and type macOS High Sierra For Dummies Cheat Sheet in the search box.

Where to Go from Here

The first few chapters of this book are where I describe the basic things that you need to understand to operate your Mac effectively. If you’re new to Macs and macOS High Sierra, start there.

macOS High Sierra is only slightly different from previous Mac operating systems, and the first part of the book presents concepts so basic that if you’ve been using a Mac for long, you might think you know it all — and okay, you might know most of it. But remember that not-so-old-timers need a solid foundation, too. So here’s my advice: Skim through stuff you already know and you’ll get to the better stuff sooner.

I would love to hear how this book worked for you. So please send me your thoughts, platitudes, likes and dislikes, and any other comments. Did this book work for you? What did you like? What didn’t you like? What questions were unanswered? Did you want to know more (or less) about something? Tell me! I have received more than 100 suggestions about previous editions, many of which are incorporated here. So please (please!) keep up the good work! Email me at I appreciate your feedback, and I try to respond to all reasonably polite email within a few days.

So what are you waiting for? Go! Enjoy the book!

Part 1

macOS Basics


Find the most basic of basics, including how to turn on your Mac.

Get a gentle introduction to Finder and its desktop.

Make the dock work harder for you.

Find everything you need to know about High Sierra’s windows, icons, and menus (oh my)!

Get all the bad puns and wisecracks you’ve come to expect.

Discover a plethora of Finder tips and tricks to make life with High Sierra even easier (and more fulfilling).

Chapter 1

macOS High Sierra 101 (Prerequisites: None)


check Understanding what an operating system is and is not

check Turning on your Mac

check Getting to know the startup process

check Turning off your Mac

check Avoiding major Mac mistakes

check Pointing, clicking, dragging, and other uses for your mouse

check Getting help from your Mac

Congratulate yourself on choosing macOS High Sierra 10.13, the 14th release of the venerable operating system (OS) formerly known as OS X. Congratulate yourself for scoring more than just an OS upgrade. See, macOS High Sierra includes a few new features that make using your Mac even easier, plus hundreds of tweaks to help you do more work in less time.

In this chapter, I start at the very beginning and talk about macOS in mostly abstract terms; then I move on to explain what you need to know to use macOS High Sierra successfully.

If you’ve been using macOS (formerly OS X) for a while, most of the information in this chapter may seem hauntingly familiar; a number of features that I describe haven’t changed in years. But if you decide to skip this chapter because you think you have all the new stuff figured out, I assure you that you’ll miss at least a couple of things that Apple didn’t bother to tell you (as if you read every word in macOS Help — the only user manual Apple provides — anyway!).

Tantalized? Let’s rock.

Gnawing to the Core of macOS

The operating system (that is, the OS part of macOS) is what makes your Mac a Mac. Without it, your Mac is nothing but a pile of silicon and circuits — no smarter than a toaster.

“So what does an operating system do?” you ask. Good question. The short answer is that an OS controls the basic and most important functions of your computer. In the case of macOS and your Mac, the operating system

Other forms of software, such as word processors and web browsers, rely on the OS to create and maintain the environment in which they work their magic. When you create a memo, for example, the word processor provides the tools for you to type and format the information and save it in a file. In the background, the OS is the muscle for the word processor, performing the following crucial functions:

So, armed with a little background in operating systems, take a gander at the next section before you do anything else with your Mac.

One last thing: As I mention in this book’s Introduction (I’m repeating it here in case you normally don’t read introductions), macOS High Sierra comes with more than 50 applications in its Applications folder. Although I’d love to tell you all about each and every one, I have only so many pages at my disposal.

A Safety Net for the Absolute Beginner (or Any User)

In the following sections, I deal with the stuff that macOS Help doesn’t cover — or doesn’t cover in nearly enough detail. If you’re a first-time Mac user, please, please read this section of the book carefully; it could save your life. Okay, okay, perhaps I’m being overly dramatic. What I mean to say is that reading this section could save your Mac or your sanity. Even if you’re an experienced Mac user, you may want to read this section. Chances are you’ll see at least a few things you’ve forgotten that will come in handy now that you’ve been reminded of them.

Turning the dang thing on

Okay. This is the big moment — turning on your Mac! Gaze at it longingly first, and say something cheesy, such as, “You’re the most awesome computer I’ve ever known.” If that doesn’t turn on your Mac (and it probably won’t), read on.

Apple, in its infinite wisdom, has manufactured Macs with power buttons on every conceivable surface: on the front, side, and back of the computer itself, and even on the keyboard and monitor.

So if you don’t know how to turn on your Mac, don’t feel bad; just look in the manual or booklet that came with your Mac. It’s at least one thing that the documentation always covers.

image You don’t have that little booklet? Most Macs have the power button in the upper-right corner of the keyboard (notebooks) or at the back of the screen (iMacs); it usually looks like the little circle thingy you see in the margin.

Don’t bother choosing Help ⇒ Mac Help, which opens the Help Viewer program. It can’t tell you where the switch is. Although the Help program is good for finding out a lot of things, the location of the power button isn’t among them. If you haven’t found the switch and turned on the Mac, of course, you can’t access Help anyway. (D’oh!)

tip Launch the iBooks app and search the iBooks Store for the name of your Mac plus the word Essentials (for example, “MacBook Essentials,” “iMac Essentials,” or “MacBook Pro Essentials”). Click the Only Show Free Titles check box near the upper-right corner of the iBooks window, and grab the free Essentials e-book with your Mac’s name, by Apple. At around 100 pages, this booklet isn’t in any way comprehensive, but it does include information you won’t find elsewhere, including where to find the power button on your particular Mac.

What you should see on startup

When you finally do turn on your Mac, you set in motion a sophisticated and complex series of events that culminates in the loading of macOS and the appearance of the macOS desktop. After a small bit of whirring, buzzing, and flashing (meaning that the OS is loading), macOS first tests all your hardware — slots, ports, disks, random access memory (RAM), and so on. If everything passes, you hear a pleasing musical tone and see the tasteful whitish Apple logo in the middle of your screen, as shown in Figure 1-1.


FIGURE 1-1: This is what you’ll see if everything is fine and dandy when you turn on your Mac.

Here are the things that you might see when you power-up your Mac:

  • Login screen: You might or might not see the macOS login screen, where you enter your name and password. If you do, press Return after you type your name and password, and away you go.

    tip If you don’t want to type your name and password every time you start or restart your Mac (or even if you do), check out Chapter 20 for the scoop on how to turn the login screen on or off.

    warning You should turn off the login screen only if you’re confident you’ll be the only one touching the machine. With the login screen disabled, your Mac and everything in it is completely available to anyone, which is usually not a good thing.

    Either way, the desktop soon materializes before your eyes. If you haven’t customized, configured, or tinkered with your desktop, it should look pretty much like Figure 1-2. Now is a good time to take a moment for positive thoughts about the person who convinced you that you wanted a Mac. That person was right!

  • Blue/black/gray screen of death: If any of your hardware fails when it’s tested, you may see a blue, black, or gray screen.

    Some older Macs played the sound of a horrible car wreck instead of the chimes, complete with crying tires and busting glass. It was exceptionally unnerving, which might be why Apple doesn’t use it anymore.

    remember The fact that something went wrong is no reflection on your prowess as a Mac user. Something is broken, and your Mac may need repairs. If this is happening to you right now, check out Chapter 20 to try to get your Mac well again.

    tip If your computer is under warranty, set up a Genius Bar appointment at your nearest Apple Store or dial 1-800-SOS-APPL, and a customer service person can tell you what to do. Before you do anything, though, skip ahead to Chapter 23. It’s entirely possible that one of the suggestions there will get you back on track without your having to spend even a moment on hold.

  • image Prohibitory sign or flashing question mark in a folder: Most users eventually encounter the prohibitory sign or flashing question mark in a folder (as shown in the margin). These icons mean that your Mac can’t find a startup disk, hard drive, network server, or DVD-ROM containing a valid Mac operating system. See Chapter 23 for ways to ease your Mac’s ills.
  • Kernel panic: You may occasionally see a block of text in several languages, including English, as shown in Figure 1-3. This means that your Mac has experienced a kernel panic, the most severe type of system crash. If you restart your Mac and see either message again, look in Chapter 23 for a myriad of possible cures for all kinds of ailments, including this one.

FIGURE 1-2: The MacOS High Sierra desktop after a brand-spanking-new installation of macOS High Sierra.


FIGURE 1-3: If this is what you’re seeing, things are definitely not fine and dandy.

tip How do you know which version of the macOS your computer has? Simple:

  1. Choose About This Mac from the image menu (the menu with the image symbol in the top-left corner of the menu bar).

    A window pops up on your screen, as shown in Figure 1-4. The version you’re running appears just below macOS near the top of the window. Version 10.13 is the release we know as High Sierra.

    technicalstuff If you’re curious or just want to impress your friends, OS X version 10.12 was known as Sierra; 10.11 was El Capitan; 10.10 was Yosemite; 10.9 was Mavericks; 10.8 was Mountain Lion; 10.7 was Lion; 10.6 was Snow Leopard; 10.5 was Leopard; 10.4 was Tiger; 10.3 was Panther; 10.2 was Jaguar; 10.1 was Puma; and 10.0 was Cheetah.

  2. (Optional) Click the Displays, Storage, Support, or Service tabs to see additional details about your Mac.
  3. Click the System Report button to launch the System Information application and see even more details.

    The System Information app shows you even more about your Mac, including bus speed, number of processors, caches, installed memory, networking, storage devices, and much more. You can find more about this useful program in Chapter 22.


FIGURE 1-4: See which version of macOS you’re running.

Shutting down properly

Turning off the power without shutting down your Mac properly is one of the worst things you can do to your poor Mac. Shutting down your Mac improperly can really screw up your hard or solid-state drive, scramble the contents of your most important files, or both.

warning If a thunderstorm is rumbling nearby, or you’re unfortunate enough to have rolling blackouts where you live, you may really want to shut down your Mac and unplug it from the wall. (See the next section, where I briefly discuss lightning and your Mac.) If it’s a laptop, you can just disconnect it from its charging cable and continue using it if you like.

To turn off your Mac, always use the Shut Down command from the image menu or shut down in one of these kind and gentle ways:

  • Press the power button for approximately two seconds and then click the Shut Down button in the Are You Sure You Want to Shut Down Your Computer Now? dialog.
  • On keyboards that don’t have a power key, press Control+Eject instead, and then click the Shut Down button that appears in the Are You Sure You Want to Shut Down Your Computer Now? dialog.

    tip You can use a handy keyboard shortcut when the Shut Down button (or any button, for that matter) is highlighted in blue and pulsating slightly. Pressing the Return key is the same as clicking whichever button is highlighted.

The Are You Sure You Want to Shut Down Your Computer Now? dialog sports a check box option: Reopen Windows When Logging Back In. If you select this check box, your Mac will start back up with the same windows (and applications) that were open when you shut down or restarted. I think that’s pretty darn sweet, but you can clear the check box and disable this option if that’s not what you want!

Most Mac users have been forced to shut down improperly more than once without anything horrible happening, of course — but don’t be lulled into a false sense of security. Break the rules one time too many (or under the wrong circumstances), and your most important files could be toast. The only time you should turn off your Mac without shutting down properly is when your screen is completely frozen or when your system crashed due to a kernel panic and you’ve already tried everything else. (See Chapter 23 for a list of those “everything elses.”) A stubborn crash doesn’t happen often — and less often under macOS (formerly OS X) than ever before — but when it does, forcing your Mac to turn off and then back on might be the only solution.

A few things you should definitely not do with your Mac

In this section, I cover the bad stuff that can happen to your computer if you do the wrong things with it. If something bad has already happened to you … . I know, I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, but see Chapter 23.

  • Don’t unplug your Mac when it’s turned on. Very bad things can happen, such as having your OS break. See the preceding section, where I discuss shutting down your system properly.

    Note that this warning doesn’t apply to laptops as long as their battery is at least partially charged. As long as there’s enough juice in the battery to power your Mac, you can connect and disconnect its power adapter to your heart’s content.

  • Don’t use your Mac when lightning is near. Here’s a simple life equation for you: Mac + lightning = dead Mac. ’Nuff said. Oh, and don’t place much faith in inexpensive surge protectors. A good jolt of lightning will fry the surge protector and everything plugged into it, including computers, modems, printers, and hubs. Some surge protectors can withstand most lightning strikes, but those warriors aren’t the cheapies that you buy at your local computer emporium. Unplugging your Mac from the wall during electrical storms is safer and less expensive. (Don’t forget to unplug your external modem, network hubs, printers, and other hardware that plugs into the wall as well; lightning can fry them, too.)

    For laptops, disconnect the power adapter and all other cables because whatever those cables are connected to could fry — and fry your laptop right along with it. After you do that, you can use your laptop during a storm if you care to. Just make sure that it’s 100 percent wireless and cableless when you do.

  • Don’t jostle, bump, shake, kick, throw, dribble, or punt your Mac, especially while it’s running. Many older Macs contain a hard drive that spins at 5,200 revolutions per minute (rpm) or more. A jolt to a hard drive while it’s reading or writing a file can cause the head to crash into the disk, which can render many — or all — files on it unrecoverable. Ouch!

    tip Don’t think you’re exempt if your Mac uses a solid-state drive with no moving parts. A good bump to your Mac could damage other components. Treat your Mac like it’s a carton of eggs, and you’ll never be sorry.

  • Don’t forget to back up your data! If the files on your hard drive mean anything to you, you must back up. Not maybe. Must. Even if your most important file is your last saved game of Bejeweled, you still need to back up your files. Fortunately, High Sierra includes an awesome backup utility called Time Machine. (Unfortunately, you need either an external hard drive or an Apple Time Capsule device to take advantage of it.) So I beg you: Please read Chapter 21 now, and find out how to back up before something horrible happens to your valuable data!

    tip I strongly recommend that you read Chapter 21 sooner rather than later — preferably before you do any significant work on your Mac. Dr. Mac says, “There are only two kinds of Mac users: Those who have lost data and those who will.” Which kind do you want to be?

  • Don’t kiss your monitor while wearing stuff on your lips. For obvious reasons! Use a clean, soft microfiber cloth and OmniCleanz display cleaning solution (I love the stuff, made by RadTech; to clean your display.

    warning Definitely do not use household window cleaners or paper towels. Either one can harm your display. Use a soft clean cloth (preferably microfiber), and if you’re going to use a cleaner, make sure it’s specifically designed not to harm computer displays. Finally, spray the cleaner on the cloth, not on the screen.

Point-and-click boot camp

Are you new to the Mac? Just figuring out how to move the mouse around? Now is a good time to go over some fundamental stuff that you need to know for just about everything you’ll be doing on the Mac. Spend a few minutes reading this section, and soon you’ll be clicking, double-clicking, pressing, and pointing all over the place. If you think you have the whole mousing thing pretty much figured out, feel free to skip this section. I’ll catch you on the other side.

Still with me? Good. Now for some basic terminology:

  • Point: Before you can click or press anything, you have to point to it. Place your hand on your mouse, and move it so that the cursor arrow is over the object you want — such as on top of an icon or a button.

    If you’re using a trackpad, slide your finger lightly across the pad until the cursor arrow is over the object you want.

  • Click: Also called single click. Use your index finger to push the mouse button (or the left mouse button if your mouse has more than one) all the way down and then let go so that the button (usually) produces a satisfying clicking sound. (If you have one of the optical Apple Pro mice, you push the whole thing down to click.) Use a single click to highlight an icon, press a button, or activate a check box or window.

    In other words, first you point and then you click — point and click, in computer lingo.

    If you’re using a trackpad, press down on it to click.

  • Double-click: Click twice in rapid succession. With a little practice, you can perfect this technique in no time. Use a double-click to open a folder or to launch a file or application.

    Trackpad users: Press down on the pad two times in rapid succession.

  • Control-click: Hold down the Control key while single-clicking. (Also called secondary-click or right-click.)

    Trackpad users can either hold down the Control key while pressing down on the pad with one finger, or tap the trackpad with two fingers without holding down the Control key.

    If tapping your trackpad with two fingers didn’t bring up the little menu, check your Trackpad System Preferences pane (see Chapter 5).

    Control-clicking — the same as right-clicking on a Windows system — displays a menu (called a contextual or shortcut menu). In fact, if you’re blessed with a two-or-more-button mouse (such as the Apple Magic Mouse), you can right-click and avoid having to hold down the Control key. (You may have to enable this feature in the Mouse System Preferences pane.)

  • Drag: Dragging something usually means you have to click it first and hold down the mouse or trackpad button. Then you move the mouse on your desk or mouse pad (or your finger on the trackpad) so that the cursor and whatever you select moves across the screen. The combination of holding down the button and dragging the mouse is usually referred to as clicking and dragging.
  • Wiggle (or jiggle): This welcome improvement, introduced in El Capitan (and terrific if I do say so myself) is awesome when you lose track of the pointer on your screen. Just wiggle your mouse back and forth (or jiggle your finger back and forth on the trackpad) for a few seconds and the pointer will magically get much bigger, making it easier to see on the screen. And, of course, when you stop wiggling or jiggling, the pointer returns to its normal size.
  • Choosing an item from a menu: To get to macOS menu commands, you must first open a menu and then choose the option you want. Point at the name of the menu you want with your cursor, press the mouse button, and then drag downward until you select the command you want. When the command is highlighted, finish selecting by letting go of the mouse button.

tip If you’re a longtime Mac user, you probably hold down the mouse button the whole time between clicking the name of the menu and selecting the command you want. You can still do it that way, but you can also click the menu name to open it, release the mouse button, point at the item you want to select, and then click again. In other words, macOS menus stay open after you click their names, even if you’re not holding down the mouse button. After you click a menu’s name to open it, you can even type the first letter (or letters) of the item to select it and then execute that item by pressing the spacebar or the Return key. Furthermore, menus remain open until you click something else.

Go ahead and give it a try … I’ll wait.

remember The terms given in the preceding list apply to all Mac laptop, desktop, and tower systems. If you use a MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, or Apple Magic Trackpad, however, you'll want to add to your lexicon a few more terms — such as tap, swipe, rotate, pinch, and spread. You can read all about them in Chapters 2 and 11.

Not Just a Beatles Movie: Help and the Help Menu

One of the best features of all Macs is the excellent built-in help, and macOS High Sierra doesn’t cheat you on that legacy: This system has online help in abundance. When you have a question about how to do something, Help Center is the first place you should visit (after this book, of course).

Clicking the Help menu reveals the search field at the top of the menu and the Mac Help and New to Mac items. Choosing Mac Help opens the Mac Help window, as shown in Figure 1-5; choosing New to Mac launches Safari and displays a tour of macOS High Sierra.


FIGURE 1-5: Mac Help is nothing if not helpful.

Although the keyboard shortcut for Help no long appears on the Help menu, the same shortcut as always, Shift+⌘  +?, still opens Help.

You can browse Help by clicking a topic in the Table of Contents and then clicking a subtopic. If you don’t see the Table of Contents, click the Table of Contents button, labeled in Figure 1-5.

To search Mac Help, simply type a word or phrase in either search field — the one in the Help menu itself or the one near the top of the Help window on the right side — and then press Return. In a few seconds, your Mac provides one or more articles to read, which (theoretically) are related to your question. Usually. If you type menus and press Return, for example, you get the nine results shown in Figure 1-6.


FIGURE 1-6: You have questions? Mac Help has answers.

As long as your Mac is connected to the Internet, search results include articles from the Apple online support database.

remember Although you don’t have to be connected to the Internet to use Mac Help, you do need an Internet connection to get the most out of it. (Chapter 12 can help you set up an Internet connection, if you don’t have one.) That’s because macOS installs only certain help articles on your hard drive. If you ask a question that those articles don’t answer, Mac Help connects to the Apple website and downloads the answer (assuming that you have an active Internet connection). These answers appear when you click Show All near the bottom of Figure 1-6. Click one of these entries, and Help Viewer retrieves the text over the Internet. This is sometimes inconvenient but also quite smart, because Apple can update the Help system at any time without requiring any action from you.

Furthermore, after you ask a question and Mac Help has grabbed the answer from the Apple website, the answer remains on your hard drive forever. If you ask for it again — even at a later date — your computer won’t have to download it from the Apple website again.

Click Search the Web for More Results (at the bottom of Figure 1-6) to launch Safari and perform a web search for the phrase you typed.

tip macOS also has a cool feature I like to call automatic visual help cues. Here’s how they work:

  1. In the Help menu’s search field, type a word or phrase.
  2. Select any item that has a menu icon to its left (such as the items with Trash in their names in Figure 1-7).

    The automatic visual cue — an arrow — appears, pointing at that command in the appropriate menu.


FIGURE 1-7: If you choose an item with a menu icon, an arrow points to that item in context.

Finally, don’t forget that most apps have their own Help systems, so if you want general help with your Mac, you need to first click the Finder icon in the dock, click the desktop, or use the app-switching shortcut ⌘  +Tab to activate Finder. Only then can you choose Mac Help from the Finder’s Help menu.

Chapter 2

Desktop and Windows and Menus (Oh My!)


check Understanding Finder

check Checking out the parts of a window

check Dealing with dealie-boppers in windows

check Resizing, moving, and closing windows

check Getting comfortable with menu basics

This chapter introduces important features of macOS, starting with the first things you see when you log in: Finder and its desktop. After a quick look around the desktop, you get a look into two of its most useful features: windows and menus.

Windows are (and have always been) an integral part of Mac computing. Windows in Finder (or, as a PC user would say, “on the desktop”) show you the contents of the hard drive, optical drive, flash (thumb) drive, network drive, disk image, and folder icons. Windows in applications do many things. The point is that windows are part of what makes your Mac a Mac; knowing how they work — and how to use them — is essential.

Menus are another quintessential part of the Mac experience. The latter part of this chapter starts you out with a few menu basics. As needed, I direct you to other parts of the book for greater detail. So relax and don’t worry. By the end of this chapter, you’ll be ready to work with windows and menus in any application that uses them (and most applications, games excluded, do).