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Switching to Mac


Welcome to the Mac world. Things probably look a little strange around

here. There’s no Start menu down at the bottom of the screen. Menus

stay up at the top no matter which application you’re using. And those

green, yellow, and red buttons in window corners don’t do exactly the

same things they did on your old PC.

The differences are more than visual. Moving from Windows to OS X

means rewiring your muscle memory and learning to do old things in new

ways. The basic stuff you do dozens of times a day—opening and closing

programs and files, managing windows—are all done differently on a Mac.

Switching can feel like you’ve been transported to a country where the

language sounds vaguely familiar, but is definitely not your native tongue.

This book will be your guide and interpreter.

In this guide, we’ll give you a quick orientation to your new comput-

ing landscape and its principal parts (the Finder, the Dock, the Menu

Bar). We’ll show you how to work with files and programs and how to get

started with OS X’s built-in applications. We can also help you make the

move, transferring your old files to your new system and setting things

up so they look and work the way you want them to. We’ll even show you

how to run Windows on your Mac (if you must) or to share files, screens,

backup drives, and routers between your new Mac and Windows PCs.

Think of us as a friendly new neighbor: eager to welcome you and

happy to do whatever we can to help you settle in.

—Dan Miller, Executive Editor, MacworldJuly 2010





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table of contents

Navigate Your Mac8 The Finder

The Finder is the naviga-tion portal for your Mac and will help you keep files and folders organized, locate applications and other items, and move around your system efficiently.

15 The DockUse this handy feature to access apps quickly and keep your desktop free of clutter.

20 The Menu BarThe Apple’s menu bar con-tains all the basic commands for your Mac and its apps.

Get Oriented22 Work with Files

Get the lowdown on handling all types of files, including how to open, preview, and rename them.

31 Search Your MacIf you’re a little lost, use the Mac’s sophisticated search features to find your way.

40 System PreferencesCustom-tailor your Mac to suit your needs with these preference settings.

Transfer Files46 How to Transfer

Plan on transferring files from a PC to a Mac? Here’s everything you need to know about safely migrating general data.

50 Import Specific DataCheck out this section for advice on transferring other information, such as e-mail messages, contacts, photos, and music.

Work with Applications56 Install, Uninstall, and Update Programs

Working with software is different—and easier—on a Mac. Learn how to add and remove programs in OS X.

60 Meet OS X’s Included Apps

Get the scoop on all of Apple’s applications, from Web browsing in Safari to goofing off with your Web-cam in Photo Booth.

79 Replace Windows Software

If you’re seeking Mac equiv-alents to staple Windows software, check out these noteworthy substitutes.

Table of Contents

table of contents


Work with Windows Computers82 Share Files

If you’re still working with PC users, you need to know how to share Windows and Mac files across operating systems.

88 Share DrivesFollow these steps to get started on sharing drives between a Mac and a PC.

90 Share ScreensIt’s surprisingly easy to view and control a Mac screen from a PC and vice versa. This section will show you how.

Run Windows on Your Mac

94 How It WorksDid you know that you can actually run Windows on a Mac? Here’s how to pick the best tools and setups.

95 Use Boot CampBoot Camp is an Apple utility that lets you install a copy of Windows on your Mac. See how it works and decide if it’s the solution for you.

97 Use a Virtualization Program

Other Windows-on-a-Mac solutions include the virtual-ization programs VirtualBox, Fusion, and Parallels. Learn how they differ and pick the best one for your tasks.

101 Migrate Your PCMpove your old PC pro-grams and files directly into a virtual version of Windows running on your Mac.

Troubleshoot Your Mac104 Back Up Your Mac

Regular backups are the most important part of a troubleshooting plan. Time Machine, Apple’s included backup program, makes safeguarding data a snap.

109 Mac Troubleshooting Tools

If your applications freeze or your computer crashes, don’t panic. Try these rem-edies one at a time to get your Mac going again.

116 Security and the MacMacs are more secure than PCs, but nothing is perfect. Lock down your data with these tips and tools.


John Rizzo is the publisher of MacWindows.com and the author of Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server for Dummies (Wiley, 2009).

A former Macworld Senior Editor and the founder of Mac OS X Hints (www.macosxhints.com), Rob Griffiths helps run Many Tricks (www.manytricks.com), a software company for Apple products.

Chris Breen is a senior editor for Macworld. He offers troubleshoot-ing advice in Macworld.com’s Mac 911 blog (macworld.com/mac911).

Glenn Fleishman writes for Wi-Fi Net News (www.wifinetnews.com) and is the author of Take Control of iPad Networking & Security (TidBits Publishing, 2010, www.takecontrolbooks.com).

Senior Editor Dan Frakes covers iPod, iPhone, iPad, and audio gear for Macworld and runs Macworld.com’s Mac Gems and Mobile Mac blogs. He occasionally “switches” in the other direction, using Win-dows on his Mac.

Adam Goldstein is the author of AppleScript: The Missing Manual and a coauthor of Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual (Pogue Press and O’Reilly Media, 2005). He runs GoldfishSoft (www.goldfishsoft.com), an OS X shareware company.

Joe Kissell is the senior editor of TidBits (db.tidbits.com) and the author of Take Control of Running Windows on a Mac, fourth edition (TidBits Publishing, 2010, www.takecontrolbooks.com).

Harry McCracken, the former editor of PC World, is a two-way switcher: he uses both a MacBook Pro and a Windows netbook every day. He runs the Technologizer blog (www.technologizer.com).

Senior contributor Kirk McElhearn writes about more than just Macs on his blog, Kirkville (www.mcelhearn.com).


WinDoWs to MAC supERGuiDE

Editor Heather Kelly

President and CEO Mike Kisseberth VP, Editorial Director Jason Snell Executive Editor Dan Miller

Managing Editor Jennifer Werner

Staff Editor Lynn La Copy Editor Gail Nelson-Bonebrake

Art Director Rob Schultz Designers Lori Flynn, Carli Morgenstein

Production Director Nancy Jonathans Prepress Manager Tamara GargusMacworld is a publication of Mac Publishing, L.L.C., and International Data Group, Inc. Macworld is an independent journal not affiliated with Apple, Inc. Copyright © 2010, Mac Publishing, L.L.C. All rights reserved. Macworld, the Macworld logo, the Macworld Lab, the mouse-ratings logo, MacCentral.com, PriceGrabber, and Mac Developer Journal are registered trademarks of International Data Group, Inc., and used under license by Mac Publishing, L.L.C. Apple, the Apple logo, Mac, and Macintosh are registered trademarks of Apple, Inc. Printed in the United States of America.



Also from the editors of Macworld

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Get more insider tips and troubleshooting advice from Macworld’s team of experts. Our Superguide series offers useful insights and step-by-step instructions for the latest Mac hardware and software.

Whether you’re a new user or feel like you’ve just scratched the surface of your poten-tial, these books will give you the advice you need

to become a Mac pro.Each of the books is avail-

able in three different formats: as a downloadable PDF for im-mediate access; on CD for easy offline storage; or as a full-color bound book printed on high-quality paper.

Go to macworld.com/superguide-offer to order

any of the Superguide books or to down-load a free preview.

Enter the code MWREADER6 to get a discount

on your next order.


Hey, Where Is Everything?Most major Windows features have equivalents on your new Mac.

If you used this in Windows...

look here in OS X... For more information see…

Start menu Apple menu and Applications folder

Navigate Your Mac chapter

Taskbar Dock Navigate Your Mac chapter

System Tray Right side of menu bar

Navigate Your Mac chapter

Explorer Finder Navigate Your Mac chapter

Preview Pane Quick Look Get Oriented chapter

My Network Places Sharing preference pane

Work with Windows Computers chapter

Control Panel System Preferences Get Oriented chapter

My Documents Home folder Get Oriented chapter

Search Spotlight Get Oriented chapter

Gadgets and Sidebar (Vista and Windows 7)

Dashboard Work with Applications chapter

Backup (XP) and Backup and Restore Center (Vista and Windows 7)

Time Machine Troubleshoot Your Mac chapter

Recycle Bin Trash Navigate Your Mac chapter


Navigate Your Mac

Getting acquainted with any new

operating system can be difficult.

Leaving the familiar world of the

Windows PC is a bit disorienting, and those

who switch to the Mac often find themselves

facing strange terms, unfamiliar interface ele-

ments, and a host of seemingly inexplicable

features. But OS X’s built-in navigation tools

take the stress out of getting around your

new system.

Adjusting to OS X is less like learning

how to drive than it is like figuring out the

controls in a new car. This chapter will guide

you through some common OS X interface

elements that help you find files and folders,

and will get you navigating your Mac like a

pro. Before you know it, you’ll go from clue-

less newbie to confident power user.

Table of coNTeNTs

8 The Finder

15 The Dock

20 The Menu Bar


application menu

finder window


Home folder


Menu barfast User switching menu

spotlight menu

Internal hard drive

external hard drive


search field

Navigate Your Mac


The finder

The Finder is the space where you interact with your Mac—it is your computer’s metaphorical face (and the Dock represents it with a smiling blue face). When you look at your desktop (see “The Big Picture”) or at

a window showing your files and folders, you’re looking at the Finder. You’ll use the Finder for many of your day-to-day tasks. For instance,

it’s where you create new folders; review information about the size of files; move, duplicate, and delete files; burn files to CD-R or DVD-R discs; browse your Mac’s hard drive; and even find files through the Finder’s Spotlight search feature (you’ll read more about that in the Get Oriented chapter.

Some features in the two operating systems, such as Windows Vista’s Search and OS X’s Spotlight, are practically identical. Keyboard com-

The big Picture Here’s a quick look at your desktop’s components—items we’ll refer to again and again in the pages of this book.

Navigate Your Mac


mands you know from Windows tend to work in OS X too, as long you hold down the 1 key instead of Control. Even Alt-Tab application switch-ing is nearly identical, except that you use 1-Tab instead.

The Main finder WindowYou can navigate all the files, folders, and applications on your Mac from a Finder window. To open a new window, click an empty part of your desktop, click File in the menu bar, and select New Finder Window (or press 1-N). You’ll also get a new Finder window whenever you click the Finder icon in your Dock, double-click a folder icon, or double-click your hard drive’s icon on the desktop.

OS X gives you four different ways to browse your files in a Finder win-dow—the icon, list, column, and cover flow views (see “Pick a View”). You control a window’s view by using the Finder’s View menu or by clicking the small View icons at the top of a Finder window.

IcoN VIeW In icon view, you can arrange thumbnails of your files and folders as you please, just as if you were working in real space. This is particularly handy for a folder of photos, for instance. To change the size of the icons, drag the icon size slider at the bottom of the Finder window to the left or right.

lIsT VIeW You can also choose list view, which shows a list of files and folders on alternating white and light blue rows. Next to each folder is a disclosure triangle. Click the triangle and you’ll see the contents of the folder without having to open it. This view is useful for sorting your files according to a specific criterion—for example, alphabetically, by date, or by file size. Click the header once to sort by that attribute; click twice to reverse the order. You can also add other columns of informa-tion in the View Options window (View ▶ Show View Options or 1-J).

colUMN VIeW If you need to navigate a large hard drive, column view may be the best option. In one open window, you can get to any spot on your hard drive with a few clicks. In this view, each column corresponds to a location on your hard drive. Click a folder and its contents appear in the next column to the right. If you click a file or a program icon, information about that file or program appears in the next column.

coVer floW VIeW When you click the Cover Flow button in the Finder, previews of your files appear as glossy graphics in the top section of the window; the same files are shown in a list in the bottom section. Cover flow view is great when you need to sift through a folder of photos, videos, or even text files, and it offers a more detailed preview—you can

Navigate Your Mac


page through PDFs and text files, and play movie and audio files (see “Press Play”).

The finder sidebar The sidebar is the light blue list of disks, shared drives, locations, and searches that appears on the left edge of all your Finder windows (see “On the Side”). If you click an icon once in the sidebar, that item will launch (if it’s an application) or open (if it’s a folder, file, or device). Items in the Finder’s sidebar are arranged by category—Devices, Shared, Places, and Search For. Hide or reveal a category’s items by clicking the disclosure triangle next to the category name. Click and drag any item away from the sidebar to make it disappear in a puff of smoke. If you want to rearrange items in a category, just click and drag an item up or down. You can also select Finder ▶ Preferences, click Sidebar, and then select or deselect items to add or delete them from the list there.

DeVIces Items in this category include your computer; its hard drives; any external drives or peripherals you have connected; your iDisk

Pick a View There are four ways to view Finder windows in OS X: icon view A, list view B, column view C, and cover flow view D. Choose one by clicking the appropriate view button at the top of the Finder window.

a b

c d

Navigate Your Mac


(if you have a MobileMe account and have it mounted or if you use local iDisk syncing); and any connected CDs, DVDs, or iPods. Using the sidebar’s Devices category, you can quickly eject disks or hard drives by Control-clicking (equivalent to right-clicking in Windows) a device in the sidebar and selecting the Eject option in the contextual menu. If the device you want to eject has any open files or is in use, you’ll get an error message. You can’t eject your Mac’s startup disk either.

sHareD This category includes other computers or storage de-vices on your network. Not only do Macs show up here, but also any Windows, Linux, or Unix computers that Apple’s Bonjour networking technology recognizes. Other shared items will display in this section if you use the Finder’s Go ▶ Connect To Server command to con-nect to them. If any computers on your network are missing from this category, you may need to relaunch the Finder. To do so, hold down the Option key, then click and hold the Finder icon in the Dock, and choose Relaunch Finder from the menu that appears. This will update the Finder’s display.

Places This category lets you access folders and files with a single click. By default, folders such as your Home folder (represented by the house icon with your user name next to it), Applications, Documents, and Desktop will be here. To add a folder or file to this section, select it and drag it to the sidebar position you want. Alternatively, you can select an

Press Play In Snow Leopard, you can pre-view text files, PDFs, movies, and music from within the Finder.

Navigate Your Mac


item in the Finder, press 1-T, and it will appear in the sidebar under Places as well. The Finder sidebar also appears to the side of Open and Save dialog boxes, making it a great way to save files into folders you use often.

searcH for This section contains smart folders—saved Finder searches. These include both the Finder’s default smart folders, such as Today (files you’ve used today) and All Movies (all your video files), and any that you’ve created.

Create a smart folder by selecting File ▶ New Smart Folder. Click the plus sign (+) underneath the search field. Then, from the pop-up menu, select Other. In the list that appears, select File Label. In the Finder window, click the red square and then click Save. In the dialog box that appears, name the folder, select the Add To Sidebar option, and then click Save.

on the side The Finder’s sidebar has four sections: Devices A, Shared B, Places C, and Search For D.





Navigate Your Mac


The finder ToolbarAt the top of each Finder window is a toolbar. It’s visible all the time, unless you hide it by pressing 1-Option-T (this also hides the sidebar). By default, the toolbar contains a number of useful buttons, as well as the search field. Click the back and forward buttons to navigate to fold-ers you’ve visited recently. Click any of the four View buttons to set your Finder view. Click the Action menu (labeled with a gear icon) to quickly create a new folder, make a file alias, move something to the Trash, and more. Click the Quick Look button (labeled with an eye icon) to view the contents of a file, or to turn a bunch of images into a slideshow.

To quickly jump to another folder in your hierarchy, control-click or right-click on the window’s title bar above the toolbar. You’ll get a list of parent folders.

You can customize the toolbar by choosing View ▶ Customize Toolbar. There are about a dozen buttons you can add for actions you perform often, such as ejecting disks or getting information about files. You can also add your favorite files, folders, or programs to the toolbar. Drag an item up to the toolbar to a position and then wait a second. The cursor will change to a green plus sign. Release the item or move it to a different location, and it will be added to the toolbar. Once you’ve added an item to the toolbar, just click to open or launch it; you can also drag files, folders, and applications onto the toolbar.

You can change the size of toolbar icons, as well as whether their names display; you can even forgo icons in favor of text. Do this from the Customize Toolbar dialog box or by 1-clicking the button at the top right of the window. Keep clicking while holding down the 1 key to cycle through the six possibilities.

Navigate Your Mac


Master the finderalthough you can access most Finder commands from the Finder menu bar, using keyboard shortcuts for common actions will save you a lot of time.

If You Want to Do This… ...Press This

open a new finder window 1-N

create a new folder 1-Shift-N

Get more information about a selected file or folder


switch to icon view 1-1

switch to list view 1-2

switch to column view 1-3

switch to cover flow view 1-4

show view options for a folder 1-J

create an alias of an item 1-L

Move the selected item(s) to the Trash 1-Delete

select multiple files and folders even if they aren’t next to one another


select multiple files and folders that are next to one another


bring up a contextual menu with additional options


create a copy of the item you’re dragging Option-drag

create an alias of the item you’re dragging but leave the original where it is


start a search 1-F

Jump to your user folder 1-Shift-H

Jump to the applications folder 1-Shift-A

Get help with the finder 1-Shift-?

Navigate Your Mac


Meet the Dock The Dock gives you one-click access to applications such as iTunes A, as well as folders b and files. The white dots under icons show which programs are running c. Drag files you no longer need to the Trash d. Right-click or Control-click the divider bar E to see more Dock options.

a b d


The Dock

The Dock in OS X is your one-stop shop for opening and switch-ing between programs, managing window clutter, and accessing important files. By default, the Dock sits at the very bottom of your

screen and displays applications on the left side of the divider and mini-mized windows, stacks, and the Trash on the right (see “Meet the Dock”).

Putting applications in the Dock allows you to get to them with just one click instead of having to access your Applications folder. Once you’ve filled the Dock with your preferred applications, you can use it to execute basic commands like Open, Close, Force Quit, and more.

add and remove ProgramsThe Dock comes prestocked with the programs Apple considers most important, but you’re not restricted to just these programs. Whenever you launch a program, its icon appears on the Dock. When you quit the program, that icon will vanish—unless you add it permanently. If you want a program’s icon to remain in the Dock even when it’s not running, click and hold the program’s Dock icon and select Options ▶ Keep In Dock from the pop-up menu.

To add an icon for an application that is not running currently, open your Applications folder and drag the program’s icon to any spot to the left of the Dock’s divider bar, then release the mouse button. Items added in this manner will remain in your Dock at all times. You can move an icon by dragging it to another spot on the Dock. Note that if you move a running application to another spot on the Dock, it will become a permanent Dock resident without requiring that you set the Keep In Dock option.


Navigate Your Mac


look Inside When you right-click or Control-click the Dock’s Mail icon, you’ll get options to com-pose a new message or note or to fetch new mail, as well as quick access to all open Mail windows.

There are two ways to get rid of unwanted items in your Dock. The fun method is to click and hold the icon you’d like to remove, and then drag it off the Dock. When you release the mouse button, the icon vanishes in a puff of smoke. (Don’t worry: removing an icon from your Dock does not remove it from your system.) You can also remove an item from the Dock by right-clicking or Control-clicking the icon and selecting Remove From Dock from the contextual menu.

Work with applications in the DockClick any application’s Dock icon once, and it will bounce a single time and then launch the app. (When an icon bounces multiple times, that means the program needs your attention.) A white dot with a blue halo underneath an application icon indicates that the program is currently running. If you’re not sure which application an icon represents, hover your cursor over the icon, and the application’s name will appear above it. You can quickly switch between open applications by clicking their icons in the Dock.

You can also use the Dock to open a file in an application other than its default by dragging the file onto the application you want to use. However, if that application doesn’t recognize the file type, it won’t open the file.

To close a program via the Dock, click and hold or control-click any icon in the Dock to open a contextual menu. If the program is running, you’ll see the option to quit. When an application freezes, the contextual menu will also offer an option to force-quit that program. (If you don’t see it, Option-Control-click to access it manually.)

Navigate Your Mac


When you Control- or right-click an application’s Dock icon, many pro-grams offer other useful shortcuts (such as program-specific commands or a way to switch between open files). For instance, the contextual menu for Mail lets you retrieve your e-mail messages and start a new message or note (see “Look Inside”). If you want to see where an item is stored, choose Options ▶ Show In Finder from the contextual menu, and a Finder window will appear with the item highlighted.

Manage clutter with the DockIf you have several different windows open for a single application, as well as windows for other programs, things can get a bit messy. To clear up some space, click and hold a Dock’s icon and you’ll immediately see all open windows for just that program. Choose the window you want, and everything else will slide back into place.

If you don’t want to quit a program but you’d like to hide one of its win-dows, you can use the Dock as a temporary holding space. To minimize a window, click the yellow button at the top left of the window, double-click its title bar, or press 1-M. When you do, the window will shrink down and appear on the right side of the Dock. To get the window back, just click it in the Dock.

store and Trash files and folders in the DockIf you regularly need fast access to certain documents or files, you can place them on the Dock too. First drag a folder or file from the Finder to the right side of the Dock’s divider bar, and then drop it into position.

Snow Leopard gives you several ways of navigating folders stashed in the Dock. When you click a folder, you’ll see a stack—a visual representa-tion of the folder’s contents. Once you’ve clicked a stack to open it, you can use the keyboard to navigate through it. To select a particular file, type the first couple of letters of its name. You can also move through a stack with the arrow and Tab keys.

There are three ways to view items in a stack: fan, grid, and list (see “Three Ways to Stack”). Fan view shows your files as a curving column of icons. This is a good option if the folder contains just a few items. If you have many items, a better option is grid view, which gives you a pop-up window filled with icons. This option works particularly well with a folder of images, as the icon will show a preview.

If the grid gets too crowded, list view is your best bet. It’s a neat, navi-gable column of all the file names and folders in that stack. You can even drill down into a stack’s contents in list view by hovering the cursor over

Navigate Your Mac


Three Ways to stack The items in a stack can be viewed as a fan A, grid b, or list c.

a b


subfolders. You can drill down through stacks in grid view as well. Click a folder icon to switch the view to that folder.

To switch between these views, Control-click the stack’s Dock icon and choose Fan, Grid, or List from the View Content As section. You can control the sort order, selecting from Name, Date Added, Date Modified, Date Created, and Kind. You also have the option of viewing a stack as a folder or as an icon that shows the most recent stack item.

If you want to open more than one item in a stack, just hold down the Option key; each time you click an item, it will open in the Finder while the stack remains open. If the Finder isn’t the frontmost application, the windows will open in the background.

If you click and hold a stack, you can choose the Open In Finder com-mand from the contextual menu to see all of the contents in one Finder window. To jump one level up—exposing the folder containing the stack items—hold down the 1 key as you click the stack.

To delete something from your Mac, click a file (or group of files) to select it and drag it onto the Trash icon on the Dock’s far right side. Click the Trash icon to see what’s in it. Empty the Trash by Control-clicking

Navigate Your Mac


its icon and selecting Empty Trash from the contextual menu. Once you do that, the files are gone for good. You can also eject a CD or DVD, or unmount an iPod, a media card, a digital camera, or an external hard drive by dragging its icon to the Trash.

customize the DockIn addition to choosing what applications and files you’d like to appear on it, you have a few other ways to personalize your Dock.

cHaNGe THe sIze To resize your Dock, position your cursor directly over its divider bar. The cursor will change into a horizontal bar with arrows pointing up and down—this is the Dock-resizing cursor. Now click and drag—up to make the Dock bigger, down to make it smaller. (Press and hold the Option key while you do this, and the Dock will stick to preset sizes that make your icons as sharp as possible.)

You can also do this via the Dock preference pane. Click the System Preferences icon in the Dock (it looks like three gears), and select the Dock button from the Personal section of the System Preferences win-dow. Adjust the Size slider to your preferred size.

seT THe MaGNIfIcaTIoN When you pass your cursor over the Dock, the icon you’re pointing at gets bigger. If you’ve made your Dock tiny, you might find this magnification helpful, but it can be distracting. To disable it, click the Apple menu in the upper left corner of your screen and choose Dock ▶ Turn Magnification Off. You can also disable it by opening the Dock preference pane and deselecting Magnification. If you want to keep the magnification effect but tone it down, open the Dock preference pane and adjust the Magnification slider by moving it to the left.

MoVe THe Dock You can move the Dock to the left or right side of the screen. To find these options, go to the Apple menu and select Dock, or open the Dock preference pane and, next to Position on Screen, select Left, Bot-tom or Right. You can also Control-click the Dock’s divider bar, choose Posi-tion On Screen in the contextual menu, and then select the side you want.

HIDe THe Dock To hide your Dock and make it pop into view only when you hover the cursor over the Dock location, click the Apple or con-textual Dock menu and choose Dock ▶ Turn Hiding On. You can also go to the Dock preference pane and select the Automatically Hide And Show The Dock option.

MasTer MINIMIzING You can also customize how windows are minimized from the Dock preferences window. You can use the neat-looking Genie Effect (default), which magically sucks the window into the Dock, or the faster Scale Effect, which just shrinks the window.

Navigate Your Mac


The Menu baras familiar as OS X may feel in many ways to a Windows user, the

Mac’s Finder has a fundamental difference. In Windows, menus are attached to application windows. But OS X has a menu bar

affixed permanently to the top of the screen. The specific items that appear on that menu bar may change, depending on what application you’re using. But many of its elements (particularly those on the right side) stay the same in all apps.

apple Menu The small gray Apple icon always appears in the upper left corner of your screen. More than just a reminder that you’re using an Apple computer, this icon contains a menu with a number of useful commands, including Shut Down, Restart, Sleep, Force Quit, and Log Out, as well as options to get important information about your system and access System Prefer-ences and Dock settings, and links to recently used applications.

application Menu The application menu always displays the name of the currently selected application. When you click it, you’ll see program-specific options such as preferences, controls for hiding or quitting the application, and an About item that shows the version number (as well as other information in some cases).


Get Oriented

Going from a Windows PC to a Mac

is a bit like moving from a cramped

old apartment into your dream

house. For all the promise of major long-term

gain, you’ll have to deal with at least some

short-term pain: boxes to pack and unpack,

new neighbors to get acquainted with, and a

house to turn into a home.

The PC-to-Mac transition presents the

same kinds of opportunities and challenges.

Now that you’re settling into your new envi-

rons, it’s time to really get to know your way

around and learn the essentials.

Here’s a quick guide to the most impor-

tant steps to turn that house computer into

your home computer.

Table Of cOnTenTs

22 Work with Files

31 Search Your Mac

40 System Preferences

get oriented


Once you know your way around the Finder, the next challenge is managing the files you create, moving between applications, and working efficiently with your programs. We’ll show you how to

open and save files, manage unwieldy windows, and much more to help boost your general productivity on your Mac.

locate Your filesNow that you know how the Finder works, you can use it to access your files. But where is everything? Although you can store files almost anywhere on your Mac, OS X comes with a basic organizational scheme already in place that you’ll do well to follow. Here is a primer on OS X’s file organization system.

Your Hard DriveIf you double-click the hard-drive icon on your desktop, you’ll see a win-dow containing four folders: Applications, Library, System, and Users.

applicaTiOns As the name implies, this is where OS X stores applications, and any application stored here is available to all users on your Mac. Apple-provided applications automatically install themselves here, as do many third-party ones, and you can choose to install other programs in this folder as well. Most applications don’t have to reside in this folder to run, but it’s a good idea not to move anything already installed in this folder. Occasionally, software updates depend on finding the standard programs in their default locations.

librarY The Library folder holds some special things that are avail-able to all users of your Mac. Printer definitions live here, as do all the standard desktop images (the ones listed in the Desktop & Screen Saver preference pane). You’ll occasionally need to open the Library folder, unlike the System folder. For example, if you want to install fonts for all users to share, you put them in the Library folder’s Fonts folder.

sYsTem The inner workings of OS X reside here: for instance, the default system fonts, as well as the drivers for devices like video cards and printers. In short, you want to stay out of this folder. Thankfully, OS X has taken some measures that prevent you from changing items in this folder accidentally.

Work with files

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Your User folder Inside your folder, you’ll find nine preset folders that keep your system organized.

Users Apple designed Mac OS X with the idea that many people would be using it, each with his or her own account. OS X keeps your things private by tucking them into your own space inside the Users folder. If you open that folder, you’ll see a folder for each user account you’ve created. Your own user or Home folder is marked with a special icon that looks like a house, and has the name you assigned it when installing the OS or creating your account after installation. OS X has reserved this folder for your files (among other things).

Your User folderInside your user folder is a collection of subfolders, each with a custom icon that makes it easy to identify (see “Your User Folder”). Apple created these folders to provide users with an easy-to-understand system for keep-ing track of their files. These are the folders you’ll be frequenting the most.

You don’t have to use OS X’s preset folders. You can create new folders inside any existing folders or on your desktop. But there is one important rule to keep in mind in here: Do not rename or delete any of the preset folders in your user folder. If you do, you may run into trouble later, as many programs assume that these folders exist in their default loca-tions with exactly these names.

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DOcUmenTs, mOvies, mUsic, picTUres These folders are fairly self-explanatory. Feel free to store your files in them. Programs place files in these folders, too—iTunes uses the Music folder and many programs write files to the Documents folder, for example.

librarY This folder stores application and system files specific to your user account. This is where OS X keeps all of your applications’ preferences, the support files they require, and so on.

siTes The Sites folder holds files related to OS X’s built-in Web server.pUblic You can use the Public folder to share your files with other

users on your Mac—anything you place in that folder will be visible to other users, and they’ll be able to copy items from it. Other users can give you a file by placing it in the Drop Box folder inside the Public folder.

DeskTOp As the name implies, this folder holds any objects that you place on your desktop. If you use the Finder to create a new folder in your Desktop folder, it will immediately appear on the desktop.

DOWnlOaDs This folder helps keep your desktop clean by acting as the default destination for all downloaded files. It is conveniently repre-sented by a stack in your Dock. Simply click the stack once to see all recently downloaded songs, documents, and programs.

Use Your filesNo matter what applications you use, you’ll spend a lot of time in OS X opening and modifying files. For the most part, this is a fairly simple pro-cess. Take a few minutes to play around with opening, previewing, saving, and doing other basic tasks with your files.

Open a fileOpening a file is easy—just double-click its icon in the Finder or on your desktop. You can Control-click or right-click a file and select Open, or select Open With and choose an application from the contextual menu. Another option is to open the application first and then choose File ▶ Open and navigate to the file you want. Finally, you can drag a file onto the desired application on the Dock or in the Finder.

preview a fileSometimes you want to view a file without going to the trouble of open-ing it in its related application. In Snow Leopard, there are two ways to do this. The first is the Quick Look feature (see “Take a Peek”). To open a file in Quick Look, click the file once and press the spacebar (you can also

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Control-click and select Quick Look from the contextual menu, or select it in the Finder and click the eye icon). A new window will open and display the file’s contents. This window is scrollable (for multiple-page documents), resizable, and movable. The double-arrow icon at the bottom of the screen switches the view to full-screen mode. If you’re viewing an image, a camera icon lets you add the file to your iPhoto library.

You also have full Finder control in this window and you can use all the normal Finder menus and keyboard shortcuts, like pressing 1-O to open a document after checking it out in Quick Look. If you have more than one file selected, Quick Look will show the first file in the selection, and you can use the left- and right-arrow keys to move through your files. Alternately, click the four-panel icon in the Quick Look toolbar (or press 1-Return) to view an index page showing thumbnails of every selected file.

You can use Quick Look with nearly any kind of file. Text files, movies, Adobe Photoshop images, PDFs, image files, and MP3s all appear (and wth movies and audio files, play) in the Quick Look window. If you use a third-party program with a proprietary file format, however, you may not be able to use Quick Look on its files.

You can also preview most files directly from their Finder icons in the icon, column, or cover flow Finder views. Flip through a PDF or text docu-ment, listen to an MP3, or preview a movie, all by clicking its icon.

Take a peek To quickly see a large version of an image, document, video, or PDF without launching an extra program, select the file you want to open and press the spacebar.

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learn about a fileWhen you save a file, OS X stores not only the file’s contents but also infor-mation about the file—such as its permissions, its creation and modification dates, and which application to open it with. To see this information, click the file in the Finder and choose File ▶ Get Info, right-click or Control-click and select Get Info from the contextual menu, or select the file and press 1-I. The resulting window is filled with information about your file. Click the disclosure triangle next to the Open With header to see its default application.

change a file’s Default applicationTo open a file in an application other than the one assigned to it, Control-click or right-click the file in the Finder and select Open With from the contextual menu. You’ll see a list of applications compatible with that file type (see “Opening State-ment”). To choose an application that’s not on the list, select Other and use the Choose Applica-tion dialog box to locate the appropriate app.

You can also choose to always have an applica-tion other than the default app open a particular type of file. Choose a file in the Finder and select File ▶ Get Info (or press 1-I). In the Open With section of the Info window, select the default application you want from the pop-up menu, and then click the Change All button.

save a fileApple gives you a strong hint that it would like you to save your docu-ments in particular locations, as evidenced by the Documents, Movies, Music, Pictures, Public, and Sites folders within your user folder, also known as your Home folder. But you’re welcome to create a folder and save files just about anywhere you like.

Opening statement To open a file in an application other than its default, Control-click it and select the Open With menu.

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However, you do sometimes have to respect Apple’s folder sugges-tions. For example, if you want to share files with another user, you should place those files in your Public folder, the only folder in your user folder that other users can access. However, you should not save files in folders that OS X uses—the Library and System folders, for example. The con-tents of these folders are for the system’s use, and you should tinker with them only if you know what you’re doing.

When you’re ready to save an open file, go to File ▶ Save As. At first glance, the Save dialog box doesn’t seem to offer many options for where to save your file—click the Where pull-down menu, and you’ll see just a handful of options, including mounted volumes, folders that appear in a Finder win-dow’s sidebar, and the folders you’ve accessed most recently. To save the file to one of these locations, just select it from the list and click Save.

If you want to save your file to a different location, click the blue triangle next to the Save As text box. This switches the dialog box to its expanded view, which offers many more ways to navigate to specific loca-tions on your Mac’s hard drive.

The expanded dialog box contains a search field, a quick way to track down a buried folder. When you enter a search term and press Return, the Mac will start searching for all related items on your computer. You can limit or expand your search to specific parts of your system by clicking a location in the gray toolbar that appears below the Search field.

The Save dialog box also offers a New Folder button. This is handy when you’re working on the first document of a new project and would like to create a folder to hold all the project’s files. Just navigate to where you want this new folder, click New Folder, and give the folder a name. Click Create and the new folder will appear in the location you specified. Select the newly created folder in the Save dialog box to save your file within it.

name Your files Before naming your file, keep these limitations in mind: OS X prohibits file names longer than 256 characters. File names can’t include colons (:) or begin with a period (.). You should also avoid using a forward slash (/), because OS X will interpret this character as a separator in a file path.

If a Windows user will be viewing your document, you’ll need to take further precautions when naming files. Windows won’t accept file names containing any of the following characters: commas (,), question marks (?), slashes (\ and /), colons (:), asterisks (*), angle brackets (< and >), or the pipeline (|).



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Work with extensionsFile extensions are the three letters that follow the period at the end of file names—.doc, .txt, and .mp3, for exam-ple. A file extension tells the Mac (and other computers) what format the file is in. For instance, the .doc extension tells a Mac and a Windows PC that any Microsoft Word–compatible application can open that file.

OS X doesn’t always display a file’s extension, but it’s there. To view the extension, select the file and press 1-I to produce the Get Info window, and then click the triangle next to the Name & Extension heading if necessary. In most cases, you’ll see the file’s name followed by an extension. If you’d like the extension for a file to always appear as part of the file name, make sure the Hide Extension box is unchecked (see “Hiding the Extension”).

If a file will remain on a Mac, you don’t need to worry about file extensions; Macs don’t need them to recognize the file type. But if a file will be making its way to a PC, make sure its file extension is visible. Windows sometimes has trouble recognizing file types without extensions.

more file TricksThere are many more ways to work with your files using the Finder. You can cre-ate shortcuts, get more information, and get a full-size preview.

create shortcuts for Your filesOS X gives you multiple ways to quickly access your files, folders, and applications and keep your system organized and clutter-free. Here are your shortcut options.

Hiding the extension Exten-sions are invisible by default. To see a file’s extension, select that file in the Finder, press 1-I, and open the Name & Extension sec-tion A of the Info window. Be sure to turn off the Hide Exten-sion option B before sending the file to a Windows user.

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aDD sHOrTcUTs TO THe DOck You can add a shortcut for a file, folder, or application by dragging that item to the Dock and holding it there for a moment. A space will open up; let go of the item and a short-cut to it appears. That shortcut will remain there until you delete it.

Use THe siDebar The Places section of the Finder’s sidebar is a collection of quick links to the folders Apple assumes you’ll use most. To add an item, drag it to this section of the sidebar, wait for the blue line to appear, and then release the mouse.

If you run the same searches frequently, you can save them in the Search For section of the sidebar. After you create a search in the Finder (see the “Search Your Mac” section), click the Save button, and you’ll see an Add To Sidebar option. You can also remove searches by dragging them off the sidebar, or rearrange them by clicking and dragging them to a new location on the sidebar.

There are a couple of ways to customize the sidebar and fill it with the shortcuts you want. To add or remove files, folders, or applications, you can use the Finder’s Sidebar preferences. Select Finder ▶ Preferences, and then click Sidebar. Here you can specify which items show up in the sidebar. Alternatively, just drag items into or out of the area. Note that you can add drives only to the Devices section, and you can add applications, folders, and files only to the Places section.

creaTe aliases If you want to store a shortcut somewhere other than in the Dock or in the sidebar, you can create an alias. An alias is a small file that points to something on your Mac (it’s similar but not identi-cal to a Windows shortcut). Double-clicking an alias does the same thing as double-clicking the original item—folders and documents open, and applications launch. Use aliases to get easy access to files and applica-tions while keeping the originals in one place (applications in the Applica-tions folder and documents in your Documents folder, for example).

To create an alias, simply select the file you’d like an alias of, and then select File ▶ Make Alias (or press 1-L). You can also create an alias by holding down the 1 and Option keys and then dragging a file to a new location—a small arrow in the corner of the drag icon indicates that you’ll create a new alias when you release the mouse. Every alias icon has a small arrow at its bottom left. If you no longer need the alias, delete it. This won’t harm the original file or folder, since the alias is just a pointer to it.

As you use your Mac, you’ll begin to see how incredibly useful aliases can be. Say you want to keep your favorite recipes together in one spot, but you also like to keep your large recipe collection organized in fold-ers by both year and style of food. You could create a new folder called

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Favorite Recipes and copy your favorites into it, but that would take more disk space—and if you ever edited the original recipe, your copy wouldn’t reflect those edits. Instead, create a new folder and put aliases of your favorite recipes in it. Aliases take up almost no space, and you don’t have to worry about ending up with multiple versions of the same file.

learn more about a fileThere may be times when you want to know more about a file than its name, size, and modification date. In those cases, you can pull up an instant dossier called the Info window. Just select the file and choose File ▶ Get Info or press 1-I. From the Finder, you can also click the Info icon (a blue circle labeled with an “i”) in the toolbar.

The Info window shows information about the file you selected, includ-ing its creation and modification dates, its location on your hard drive, its label color, the application it opens in by default, the language files it may support (for applications), and who has permission to open it. Info even provides a preview when appropriate.

Delete filesWhenever you drag an item to the Trash icon on the Dock, select an item (by clicking its icon once) and then press 1-Delete, or Control-click an item and select Move To Trash, your file goes into OS X’s Trash (the equivalent of Windows’ Recycle Bin). You can see what’s in your Trash at any time by clicking the Trash’s Dock icon. If you need to open a file from the Trash, drag it to an appropriate application on the Dock. You can also click the Quick Look button (the eye icon) for a preview.

Remember that files don’t disappear until you empty the Trash. To do this, select Finder ▶ Empty Trash, or Control-click the Trash icon in the Dock and choose Empty Trash from the contextual menu. If you throw away some really top-secret stuff, you’ll want to empty the Trash in a spe-cial way—select Finder ▶ Secure Empty Trash. When you do, OS X writes meaningless data over the space on the drive that the files occupied. This ensures that no one, not even someone with special recovery tools, can retrieve your files.

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search Your mac

spotlight is the Mac’s central search tool. It provides a quick and easy way to locate and open files, documents, and applications scattered around your hard drive. With Spotlight, you can track

down the e-mail message you sent to Jim about the latest movie night, or locate a Microsoft Word document whose name you’ve forgotten, simply by searching for a unique word or phrase. Once you learn its tricks, it’s a great tool to use anytime you feel a little disoriented on your Mac.

spotlight basicsAlthough you can access Spotlight’s searching power from many parts of OS X—including Mail, Preview, iCal, and other programs—most Spotlight queries start in the Spotlight menu.

HOW spOTliGHT WOrks When you first start up a new Mac, Spotlight indexes your system, scanning your files and creating a database containing their names, their content, and other information about them. From then on, every time you add a file to your Mac—whether you’re creating a new word processor document, receiving an e-mail, or saving a bookmark—Spotlight immediately indexes that file, adding information about it to the database.

action shortcut

Display the spotlight menu 1-Space

Go to the next item down arrow

Go to the first item in the next category 1–down arrow

Go to the previous item up arrow

Go to the first item in the previous category 1–up arrow

view the location of a file Hover the cursor over the file name

spotlight shortcutsSpotlight is all about productivity. To become a search whiz, learn these shortcuts for the Spotlight menu.

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Furthermore, if you modify a file and save it, Spotlight records the changes; if you delete a file, Spotlight removes its information from the database.

If you have multiple users on your account, don’t worry about others using Spotlight to access your private files. Assuming your files are tucked away in your Home folder, another user logged into your Mac won’t see your files in the results. In addition, you can exclude certain folders from the Spotlight index by changing Spotlight’s system preferences.

sTarT a basic searcH To start a new search, click the Spotlight icon on the right side of the menu bar, or press 1-Space to call up the Spotlight menu. Then type in one or more keywords—don’t worry about capitalization (see “Meet the Spotlight Menu”). Spotlight starts presenting matches as soon as you begin typing, looking for those search terms in your files’ names, content, and hidden information called metadata. As you fill in more of your search query, Spotlight updates its results.

The Spotlight menu sorts results into categories such as Documents, Folders, Images, and Messages, as well as other, more application-spe-cific groupings like Contacts (if you use Apple’s Address Book or Micro-soft Entourage), Events & To-Do’s (from iCal), and Webpages (Safari book-marks and history). Within each group, results appear according to when

meet the spotlight menu Click the Spotlight icon A in the OS X menu bar to access the search field B. As you type, Spotlight suggests pos-sible results, indicating its best guess with the Top Hit heading C.




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they were last viewed or saved, so the things you’ve worked on recently will be at the top of the list. The menu also highlights the Top Hit—the result that Spotlight considers most relevant.

If the item you’re searching for turns out to be the Top Hit, you can open it by pressing Return. To launch a different file, use the arrow keys to navigate to it and press Return, or click it. Some programs are extra smart when it comes to Spotlight queries. If Preview is your default PDF reader, for example, select-ing a PDF in a Spotlight search will open the document and your Spotlight query will be entered in its search box. Pressing return will force Preview to draw up the first occurence of the word or term. Its sidebar will also show a list of other pages where the search term appears, if applicable.

cHanGe spOTliGHT’s preferences If you’d like to prioritize certain types of files over others, or if you want to exclude certain sec-tions of your computer entirely, you can do so by choosing Spotlight Preferences from the bottom of the Spotlight menu (or navigating to the Spotlight pane in System Preferences).

The Spotlight menu displays categories according to their order in the Search results section of Spotlight’s preference pane. You can drag cat-egories around to alter this order, or choose to not display certain groups at all by unchecking them in the list.

To exclude certain folders or volumes, go to Spotlight’s preference pane and click the Privacy tab. Drag the folder you want to exclude to this list, or click the plus sign (+) and select it. To exclude an external volume, first connect the drive, then add it to the list. If you need to search that external hard disk down the line, connect it, remove it from the Privacy list, and then wait while Spotlight reindexes the device.

By default, pressing 1-Space activates the Spotlight menu. Likewise, pressing 1-Option-Space brings up a Finder search window. To change this, go to the bottom of the Spotlight preference pane and click inside the text field of the shortcut you want to change. Then type your new shortcut. You can also click the pop-up menu to select one of the default shortcuts or a function key. If you want to eliminate the shortcuts com-pletely, remove the checkmarks from their boxes.

search TipsIf your search involves multiple terms, or if you need to narrow your results to dig up a particularly elusive file, it pays to know how to put together a good search query. By mastering a few simple tricks, you can limit your search to specific types of data, exclude terms, and more, giving you a better shot at locating exactly what you need.

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Use pHrases Every Spotlight query is an AND search by default. This means the program looks for files containing all the words you type. For instance, if you enter time machine, Spotlight seeks out anything that contains both the words time and machine. That means the search will turn up any files that mention Time Machine, as well as e-mails from your IT administrator discussing the best time to swing by and fix your machine.

You can narrow down the search results by using quotes—this speci-fies that the words must appear next to one another. So if you type "time machine" Spotlight will only look for files that contain an exact match for the search string in quotes (see “Smart Phrasing”).

By the way, you don’t have to close the quotes around your phrase; typing only the first set of quotation marks tells Spotlight that the words following it are together. However, if you want to add more search terms after the phrase, you’ll need to use the closing quotes.

aDD bOOlean OperaTOrs Boolean searching uses logical opera-tors (AND, OR, NOT) to refine a search.

For instance, if you type "time machine" OR morlocks, you’ll see references to Snow Leopard’s backup tool, as well as any files related to H. G. Wells’ fictional species. To find files that include the term time machine but make no mention of H. G. Wells, input "time machine" NOT Wells. Whenever you perform a Boolean search, make sure to type operators in all caps.

smart phrasing Type time machine into Spotlight to find every file containing both words (left). Add quotes around the words to limit your search to that exact phrase (right).

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limiT YOUr searcH WiTH keYWOrDs To help limit searches to certain file types or time periods, use one of the many useful keywords that Spotlight understands. Place the appropriate keyword before your search term, and separate them with a colon.

For example, if you generally know the name of the file you’re looking for, you can limit your search to just file names by using the name: key-word. Typing in name:machine, for instance, will prompt Spotlight to find only files that contain the word machine in the name (though your search results may also turn up bookmarks, iCal events, and other such items).

You can also find a file using the author: keyword if you know the name of the person who created the file. Furthermore, typing date:today will bring up any files you created, read, received, or opened today (Spotlight also understands more specific parameters such as an exact date or a range of dates). One of the most useful ways to narrow down a search, however, is by using the kind: keyword. This allows you to distill a large query by restricting your list of results to a certain file format, such as PDF.

searcH meTaDaTa In addition to scouring your files’ names and contents, Spotlight also peruses metadata—information generated by the program or device that created the file. To view what metadata a file is storing, select it in the Finder, press 1-I to open a Get Info window, and click the triangle next to More Info (see “Metadata Check”). This will bring up the basic metadata for your file, which varies depending on the file type.

You’re not limited to the metadata you see here, however; you can also add your own keywords to any file. In the Get Info window, click the triangle next to Spotlight Comments. In the text field that appears, enter any keywords that might help you in future searches, such as the project to which the file is related or the last name of someone associated with it. For example, adding the comment dream house to any files related to the purchase and remodeling of your new home will allow you to find all of those files in one shot.

search with the finderFinding the files you need isn’t always a simple case of typing a few words or doing a keyword search. Sometimes you must use multiple cri-teria to narrow down the results; other times you may want to run a broad search—for example, every music file on your hard drive that’s encoded at 320 KBps. For larger or more complex searches, open up a Finder window and run your query from there.

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Open a finDer searcH WinDOW To access Spotlight via the Finder, you can open up a generic Finder window and use the search box at the top; press 1-F to convert any open Finder window to a search window; or press 1-Option-Space to open a brand-new search window. You can also access the Finder window after you’ve started a query in the Spotlight menu by choosing Show All at the top of the menu.

Define THe searcH’s scOpe The Finder’s search bar contains several options for tailoring your results (see “Finder Search”). You can

metadata check For this image file, the Get Info window displays the camera model used and its focal length. For infor-mation the file doesn’t automatically track, you can add your own search terms in the Spotlight Comments field A. Here we’ve indicated that this file is part of a budget presentation.


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click the File Name button located just below the search box, which forces Spotlight to search only for file names rather than names and con-tents. Or you can click This Mac to change the target from the folder you were in when you started searching to your entire Mac.

If your computer is connected to other Macs, click the Shared button to search any networked machines as well.

aDD criTeria On the right side of the search bar, you’ll see a plus-sign button. Clicking it brings up two pull-down menus; the first is set to Kind by default and the second to Any. However, there are many more options to choose from, such as Created Date, Last Opened Date, or Name. Or, from the Kind drop-down menu, choose Other to call up more options, including Authors, Email Addresses, Recipients (those people who received the file), Layers (the names of Photoshop layers), and much more. Click the checkbox next to an item if you want it to appear in the main pull-down menu in the future so you can easily access it again. As you select different options, the second menu changes dynamically to allow you to set the appropriate parameters (such as dates, numbers, and so on).

If you’re looking for a particular type of file, keep the first menu set to Kind, then use the Any menu to select from Image, Document, Movie, and more. You can access more file types by choosing Other from the Any menu, then entering a kind of file, such as Excel, in the text field.

cOmbine mUlTiple QUeries Sometimes a search requires more than one set of criteria to summon up the results you want. Finder-window searches allow you to specify as many parameters as you’d like. Say you want to search for all Word documents you’ve created or modified in the last month. To do this, leave the first menu set to Kind, then choose Other from the Any menu. Type Word in the text field; this will limit the search to Microsoft Word documents. Click the plus sign in the search bar to add another search parameter. Set the first two pull-down menus to Last Modified Date Is Within Last, enter 1 in the box, and select Months from the last menu. Spotlight will display all the Word files you created or updated within the past month.

aDD HiDDen bOOleans You can use Booleans by typing them in, of course, but if you’re more visual by nature, you can also use a hid-den feature in the Finder’s search window to create Boolean searches—without ever typing AND, OR, or NOT.

In the Finder search window, click the plus sign and use the pull-down menus to set up your first condition. At this point you would typically click the plus sign again to add your second condition. But to add a Boolean search term to your next condition, Option-click instead. The plus sign

a b

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will turn into an ellipsis (...), and you’ll get a new conditional pull-down menu with options for Any (OR), All (AND), or None (NOT). Now just add conditions to this new indented section to create a Boolean search. Just remember that you can only Option-click after you have created at least one criterion for your search.

save searcHes fOr laTer If you plan to search for the latest Word files once a month so you can back them up, you can preserve the searches you run regularly as smart folders.

To save your current search as a smart folder, click the Save button in the search bar, enter a name for the folder, and select a location in which to save it. Enable the Add To Sidebar checkbox if you want to make your smart folder a permanent fixture in the Finder window. From now on, whenever you open this smart folder, Spotlight will run the search again and update the results with any new files that fit the criteria. If you want to change your search, or add or remove criteria, simply open up the smart folder, click the Action button (the gear icon), and select Show Search

finder search When you press 1-F from the Finder, you’ll get a new search window with advanced search tools. From here you can tell Spotlight where on your Mac or network to look A and limit its search to file names or file contents B. Click the plus-sign button C to add new search criteria, which you then configure using the pull-down menus D.


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Criteria. Note that several default smart folders appear in the Search For section of the Finder’s Sidebar, including Today, All Documents, and All Images. You can use the existing folders as they are, or modify them to suit your needs.

sTrinG iT all TOGeTHer Thanks to its broader keyword capa-bilities and new mix of search options, Spotlight is more powerful and flexible than ever before. So say good-bye to the days of misplaced e-mails and lost documents. Now that you know the ins and outs of Snow Leopard’s all-powerful search technology, you’ll be able to locate anything you need, anytime you need it.

Troubleshoot a forgetful spotlight Sometimes Spotlight just can’t find what you’re looking for, even though you know the file exists. This problem occurs when Spotlight’s indexes get out of sync. To set things right, try rebuilding the indexes, which forces Spotlight to scour your drive again and get the right search results.

Open the Spotlight pane in System Preferences. Click the Privacy tab, then drag your hard drive to the list of locations you don’t want Spotlight to search. Wait a few seconds, then select the drive and click the minus-sign (–) button. By dragging the drive into this list, you force Spotlight to erase the index; when you remove it from the list, Spotlight notes that the drive is again available for indexing and starts chugging away at that task.

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system preferences

no two Mac users are exactly alike. Thankfully, Mac OS X offers countless ways to customize your Mac’s settings so they bet-ter reflect your personal tastes (including the colors you see and

the sounds your Mac makes), and your setup’s specifics (such as your network settings and security preferences).

These settings are easy to access. OS X stores them in a single pro-gram—the System Preferences utility. For people familiar with Windows, System Preferences is like the Control Panels item in the Start menu. It’s your main portal for everything from selecting a screensaver to controlling outside access to your Mac’s files.

preference basicsThe System Preferences utility resides in your Applications folder. However, there are a couple of ways to access it more quickly. You can select System Preferences from the drop-down Apple menu or click the System Prefer-ences icon in the Dock (it looks like a group of gears).

Within the System Preferences window, you’ll see rows of icons divided into general categories. Each of these icons represents a preference pane that provides access to a specific group of related settings. When people talk about the Sound preferences, for instance, they’re referring to the preference pane that appears when you click the Sound icon in the Sys-tem Preferences window (see “Sound Off”).

When you click a preference pane’s icon, the System Preferences win-dow displays that pane’s settings. In the Appearance pane, for example, you’ll find options for changing OS X’s accent color, text highlight color, scroll-arrow position, and more. Some panes include more than one screen. For example, if you click the Desktop & Screen Saver icon, the resulting screen will feature two tabs at the top—one for Desktop prefer-ences and another for Screen Saver preferences.

After you’ve chosen your settings, click Apply (if required), and then click the Show All button at the top of the window to return to the full list of preference panes.

To locate a specific preference fast, you can do a Spotlight search of all available system preferences. Press 1-F and type in a keyword—the System Preferences window will go dark and a glowing circle will appear



get oriented


around any match-ing results. Or you can use the Spotlight search bar at the top of the System Prefer-ences window to find where a particular setting is located. You can also jump directly to a group of settings by choosing the preference pane’s name from the View menu.

If you’re looking for preferences for a specific program—such as Safari or iPhoto—you’ll find those within the program itself. Open the application, click its name in the menu bar, and then select Preferences. You can also usually access a program’s prefer-ences by pressing 1-comma (,).

Keep in mind that the Finder, although always running, is also a program, and you access its prefer-ences in the same way. The Finder’s preferences include settings for which items appear in the sidebar, whether filename extensions are visible, and whether your hard drive and discs show up on your desktop.

sound Off Each icon in the System Preferences window represents a preference pane that contains a group of related settings. For example, clicking the Sound icon A opens the Sound preference pane, which contains Sound Effects, Output, and Input tabs b. Click the tabs to switch between groups of settings.

get oriented


customize Your systemMany preference panes are easy to navigate and figure out. Others you’ll rarely if ever need to meddle with. Here are a few of the more helpful sys-temwide preferences you can customize and how to make them work.

cOmmOn basic seTTinGs To change your desktop background, go to the Desktop & Screen Saver icon in the System Preferences win-dow. To have your Mac go to sleep after a period of inactivity, click the Energy Saver icon. To set up right-clicking a multibutton mouse, go to the Mouse icon. The Network icon will allow you to configure your network settings. To set up your printer, click Print & Fax. Set the time and cus-tomize the menu-bar clock in Date & Time. To tell OS X how often to check for updates, click the Software Update icon.

keYbOarD The Keyboard preferences pane has two tabs, Key-board and Keyboard Shortcuts. In the Keyboard tab, you can set general options for how your keyboard functions, including a button to change your modifier keys (Control, Tab, and so on). In the Keyboard Shortcuts pane, you can enable and disable services—handy scripts that automate tedious tasks—and set up keyboard shortcuts. Shortcuts are grouped by category (Dashboard & Dock, Screen Shots, Universal Access, and so on) on the left; select a category and the relevant shortcuts appear on the right. You can also temporarily disable individual shortcuts by unchecking their boxes. The Services tab allows you to assign keyboard shortcuts to individual services.

lanGUaGe & TexT The Language & Text preference pane has four tabs: Language, Text, Formats, and Input Sources. The Text tab is where you set symbol and text substitutions. Substitutions will automatically replace one text string with another as you type. For example, if you type (c), it automatically becomes © in certain programs, including Pages, TextEdit, and iChat. Substitutions is similar to Office’s Au-toCorrect feature and to utilities such as TextExpander (macworld.com/1672). Some programs require you to turn on Substitutions from within them. For most programs, you can do this by selecting Edit ▶ Substitutions, and then selecting Text Replacements from the sub-menu.

In addition to turning existing text substitutions on or off, you can add custom substitutions from the Text pane by clicking the plus-sign icon below the list. When you’re adding your own substitutions, you can paste text from the Clipboard (1-V) instead of typing it. Pressing Option-Return instead of just Return inserts a line break in the substi-tution text.

get oriented


Universal access The Universal Access preference pane is where you control the host of features Apple has included to make using a Mac easier for people with physical disabilities, such as hearing problems and impaired vision. For example, you can change the size and contrast of a system’s display text, or convert stereo audio to mono audio in both channels for people who hear better through a single ear.

One of the most advanced features is VoiceOver, a screen reader that narrates whatever is on your Mac’s screen. When you first turn on VoiceOver in the Seeing pane, it will prompt you through a Quick Start tutorial. You can open the VoiceOver Utility from the Seeing pane and customize its settings.

accountsMac OS X lets you create separate identities—known as user accounts—on your Mac. User accounts are great if you have multiple people who want to work on the same computer but who have unique needs. Each user controls his or her own settings, desktop space, and system prefer-ences. And each user controls access to his or her files.

To create an account, go to the Accounts preference pane and click the plus sign below the list of current accounts. In the sheet that drops down, enter a user name, an account name (which doesn’t have to match the user name), and a password. From the New Account pull-down menu, select which type of account the new user should have. When you’ve finished, click the Create Account button at the bottom of the sheet.

aDminisTraTOr If you’re the only user on your Mac, you have an administrator (or admin) account. Your Mac set up this account for you when you installed OS X. An admin account lets you install software in the root-level Applications folder, change preferences that affect the entire system, and create and delete other user accounts.

sTanDarD A standard account lets the user work with the Mac freely, install applications in his or her Home folder, and modify some benign System Preferences settings—the desktop pattern and alert sound, for example. However, a standard user can’t perform the system-level tasks that admins can.

manaGeD WiTH parenTal cOnTrOls You can further restrict an account by applying Parental Controls settings; this makes it a managed account. With parental controls you can control access to certain system settings and programs, manually select the people with whom kids can exchange e-mail and chat messages, set time limitations for computer use, and identify which Web sites users can visit (see “You Can’t Do

get oriented


That”). To add parental controls to an account, click the account name and turn on the Enable Parental Controls option. Open the Parental Controls preference pane and select the account name from the column on the left. The Parental Controls settings for a particular account are divided into five screens: System, Content, Mail & iChat, Time Limits, and Logs.

sHarinG If you want to just share files with someone on another computer, Snow Leopard offers a sharing-only account. Someone using a sharing-only account can remotely access folders you designate (in the Sharing preference pane). But this type of user cannot sit at your Mac and log in—the account can only be accessed across a network.

GUesT Another option is a guest account. This type of account lets someone use your Mac temporarily without giving him or her access to your account or requiring that you set up a fresh account. It doesn’t require a password and doesn’t provide administrator access (you can further limit what the user can do by applying Parental Controls). Once the guest user logs out, all data and settings in the guest account’s Home folder are deleted—the account is wiped clean for the next guest.

You can’t Do That Parental controls let you establish which Web sites your children can visit (left). Select the Customize button to give the OK to certain sites (right).


Transfer Files

If you’ve been using a Windows PC and

are now making the move to a Mac, you

will likely have files—documents, PDFs,

photos, music, and videos—that you want to

bring with you. And if you’ve had that PC for

a while, you could have many, many giga-

bytes of stuff to move.

The first step is getting all of that informa-

tion from one computer to another. There

are a variety of ways to do this, as well as

tools and services to make the big move

less traumatic.

Once you have all of your data in its new

home, you’ll have to import it into the proper

programs. In this chapter we’ll walk you

through both steps of the process.

Table oF conTenTs

46 How to Transfer

50 Import Specific Data

Transfer files


How to Transfer

You probably have a PC filled with files you’ll want to keep on your new Mac. The trick is getting those files from one hard drive to another. You have a few options for accomplishing this task.

let someone else Do It Before you even purchase a new computer, take some time to think about your transferring strategy. Do you want to bring over all of the data on your PC or do you want to start fresh with just the basics? Do you have the time to tackle the job yourself or do you want help?

If you’re willing to invest $99 in having someone else handle the moving-to-the-Mac process, you can have the staff at your local Apple store transfer all of your files for you by signing up for the Apple One to One service (apple.com/retail/onetoone). This service is only available when you first purchase a Mac. Your Apple retail store will transfer your files, install Apple software, and help you get oriented when you pick up

Move It for Me Detto’s Move2Mac will handle the transferring of files, folders, and more from your Windows PC to your Mac.

Transfer files


your fully loaded Mac. The program also includes training options.

Before beginning the One to One pro-cess, be sure to discuss exactly what you want with the Apple employee. For example, he or she will import all your photos into an iPhoto library by default, which might not be the best solution if you plan to use other photo editing and management software.

Another option to consider is Detto Technologies’ Move2Mac service for $40 (www.detto.com; see “Move it for Me”). This Apple-recommended migration utility not only transfers your files (via network or external drive, moving items from Win-dows’ My Documents to the correspond-ing folders in OS X), but also moves your Outlook e-mail, calendar, and address book; browser favorites; and even wallpa-per preferences—putting your information in the equivalent locations and programs on your Mac.

Use an external Hard DriveThere are several different methods for transferring files from a PC to a Mac. One of the easiest is to use an external USB hard drive (see “Moving Day”). If you don’t already have an external drive, there’s no better time to buy one: they’re cheap, and you’ll probably want one to use with OS X’s Time Machine backup utility (see the Troubleshooting Your Mac chapter).

For data-transfer purposes, make sure the drive is formatted with Windows’ FAT32 file system, so both your Windows PC and your Mac can read it and write to it. After you’re done copying files over, use OS X’s Disk Utility (Applications ▶ Utilities) to reformat the drive with Apple’s HFS+ so you can use it with Time Machine.

To transfer files via your USB drive, connect it to the PC, drag your data onto it, and then disconnect it. Now attach the drive to your Mac, and drag the data onto the Mac’s hard drive using the Finder (see the Navigate Your Mac chapter for more on the Finder). Your Home folder, which appears in the Finder’s left pane and is equivalent to My Documents, is a good place to copy personal files; it has folders called Documents, Movies, Music, and Pictures.

Moving Day An external hard drive offers an easy way to move files and can later serve as your backup drive.

Transfer files


over the network You can also shuttle files from your old PC to your new Mac using a wire-less or wired network; however, the process can be a hassle depending on your setup. Here’s one way to do it:

On your Windows PC, select Run from the Start menu, type cmd, and then click OK. In the subsequent command line, type ipconfig.

Make a note of the IP address that appears. Next, use Windows’ Explorer to navigate to a folder containing files you’d like to transfer to the Mac. Right-click it, choose Properties, and click the Sharing tab. Select Share The Folder On The Network (Windows may demand confirmation that you know what you’re doing), and then choose a Share name. Click OK.

On your Mac, go to the Finder and select Connect To Server from the Go menu. In the text field that appears, type a server address in this for-mat: SMB://ip address/share name. (For example, if the IP address is and the share name you chose is windowsstuff, you’d type SMB:// When you click OK, your shared folder in Windows should show up in the Finder, letting you drag its con-tents onto the Mac.

Make a Direct connectionSimilarly, you can hook up your PC and Mac directly with an Ethernet cable (see “Networking from a Mac”). Once both computers are turned on and connected, go back to the Finder on the Mac, click the Go menu,

networking from a Mac To find a networked PC from your Mac, connect both computers with an Ethernet cable, open the Finder, click Go ▶ Connect To Server, and enter the IP address and share name of the PC.

Transfer files


then click Connect To Server. You can enter the same information that you would if connecting over a network: SMB://ip address/share name. Click OK and the Windows folder will appear in the Finder.

other optionsIf none of these options will work for you, there are a few less graceful workarounds. You can put your files on a CD, DVD, or memory stick and transfer them manually. You can drop them onto a shared server or e-mail them to yourself. If you use the online backup and syncing tool DropBox (www.dropbox.com), you can install it on your Mac and download all of your files from there.

Transfer Directly to Virtual WindowsIf you want to transfer your existing PC setup—including files, settings, and even programs—directly to a virtual version of Windows on your Mac, consider using the transfer utilities that come with virtualization software. For more details, see the Run Windows on Your Mac chapter.

Transfer files


Import specific Data

These days, most common PC file types will work just fine on the Mac, without any need for conversion or special software. Just make sure you’ve installed the Mac versions of any special PC

software that you use regularly. Snow Leopard has a logical file structure already built in. If you look in

your user folder, you will see folders for Documents, Movies, Music, and Pictures. When you are starting out, it is probably a good idea to adhere to this prefab structure.

Here are some specific kinds of data and tips on how to import it for use with popular Mac programs.

e-mail MessagesGetting your old e-mail messages from your PC onto your Mac is easy if you’ve been using a POP3 or IMAP account that leaves messages on the server. Just launch Mail on your Mac (it’s the postage-stamp icon in the Dock). The first time you do so, a setup assistant will walk you through the process, asking for any necessary information. Apple’s account setup allows many people to start using Mail by simply typing in an e-mail address. Mail is aware of all the major ISPs’ IMAP, POP, and SMTP server settings. Once Mail walks you through the process of add-ing your account, it will download all of your old mail.

Moving Mail Mail’s Import helper can bring your data over from a number of popular programs.

Transfer files


If your e-mail account doesn’t store your messages on a server, but keeps them on your computer instead, transferring them to a new machine can be tough. Where and how those e-mails are stored depends largely on which e-mail client you use. Our best advice is to perform a Google search using the name of your old e-mail client and the phrase “transfer e-mail.” OS X’s Mail app can import mail in mbox format (choose File ▶ Import Mailboxes), so, if your old e-mail client can export in that format, you should be able to make the transfer (see “Moving Mail”).

contactsSnow Leopard’s contact application is called Address Book. You can import all of your existing contacts into Address Book from a PC software such as Outlook. First you will need to export all contacts from the Win-dows application as vCards, as text files containing tab-delimited or CSV (comma-separated values) files, or as LDAP Interchange Format (LDIF) files. Move the file or files from the PC to your new Mac.

Next, open Address Book on the Mac. Go to File ▶ Import and select the appropriate file type (see “Add Addresses”). Navigate to the exported contacts and click Open. If you e-mail vCards to yourself from a PC, you can double-click the attachments in Mail to add them to Address Book.

PhotosHow you import your photos depends on what applications you plan on using to manage and edit them on your Mac. Apple’s photo manage-ment software, iPhoto, is part of the iLife suite. iPhoto stores its library of pictures in a bundle, a folder that looks like a file in the Finder.

If you will primarily be using iPhoto, start by copying your folders of photos over from a PC onto your Mac. Then open iPhoto, go to File ▶

add addresses Standardized address card formats make it easy to import the information from a PC to your Mac.

Transfer files


Import To Library, and select your photo folder (see “Picture Porting”). If you import your photos all at once, they will be in one library bundle. Alterna-tively, you can split your photos into folders and import these folders one by one into multiple libraries. Another option is to create individual albums in iPhoto, then drag and drop folders onto the proper albums.

If you plan on mostly using other photo software, skip the iPhoto import, as the consoli-dated library will only make accessing images confusing.

calendar eventsIf you decide to use Apple’s included calendaring application, iCal, to manage your schedule, you can import existing calendars from your PC. iCal can import iCal, vCal, and Entourage data. Most PC calendar apps allow you to export your schedule in the iCal or vCal format. Once that information is on your Mac, open iCal, go to File ▶ Import, select the appropriate file type, navigate to the exported file, and click Import.

browser bookmarksYou can bring over your bookmarks manually and import them into the browser of your choice on your Mac. However, the most efficient way to port over your bookmarks is with the free Xmarks plug-in (www.xmarks.com). This tool can sync bookmarks from Microsoft Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Opera on a PC over to Chrome, Firefox, Opera, or Safari on your new Mac.

Windows Media Files (WMV) Many Windows media formats will transfer and play back seamlessly on a Mac. One big exception is music and video in Microsoft’s Windows Media formats. For these files, we recommend Telestream’s Flip4Mac WMV Player (macworld.com/5453), which lets you play them

Picture Porting You can migrate your photos into an iPhoto library with the File ▶ Import To Library command.

Transfer files


in QuickTime. The basic player is free; there’s also a $29 Flip4Mac WMV Player Pro that can export your files to a Mac-compatible format.

iTunes Importing the media from a PC’s iTunes library and maintaining your playlists and metadata information (such as ratings and last-played dates) is not hard to do. However, it does require a modicum of preparation. What used to be a complex procedure is now relatively

simple with iTunes 9, so make sure you’re running the latest version of iTunes on both systems.

PreP YoUr Pc First you need to make some preparations on the Windows side. Open iTunes’ preferences (Edit ▶ Preferences) and click the Advanced tab. Check both Keep iTunes Media Folder Organized and Copy Files To iTunes Media Folder When Adding To Library. These set-tings will ensure that all your media files end up in the main iTunes Media folder, which you will later copy to your Mac.

Next, choose File ▶ Library ▶ Organize Library. Check Consolidate Files, then click OK. This moves any files that weren’t in the right folder, and makes sure the Library file has the correct pointers to their locations. If the Upgrade To iTunes Media Organization option is not dimmed, check this too; it sorts your files into separate subfolders according to type (music, movies, podcasts, and so on).

MoVe YoUr iTUnes FolDer When your files are ready—those two steps may take a while if you have a big library—it’s time to copy the iTunes folder. Depending on the version of Windows, this folder will be in one of the following locations by default:

Windows 7: your user name\My Music\iTunesWindows Vista: your user name\Music\iTunesWindows XP: Documents and Settings\your user name\My

Documents\My Music\iTunesNow copy the entire iTunes folder to an external hard drive (OS X

should be able to read FAT or NT File System [NTFS] volumes created on a PC), or copy it across your network to your new Mac (the former method will be much faster). In either case, you’ll want to copy the iTunes folder to the Music folder in your user folder on the Mac. If there is already an iTunes folder, that means you’ve launched iTunes at least once on the Mac. If there’s no music in it, you can just replace the folder. However, if you’ve already added music, you won’t be able to merge the libraries; from the iTunes Media folder in the iTunes folder, move the Music folder

Transfer files


to your desktop. Add the files in that folder back into iTunes after you’ve completed the import process. (Note that you’ll lose any playlists, play counts, and the like associated with those files, however.)

laUncH iTUnes Once you’ve copied the iTunes folder to the Mac, you can launch iTunes. Since iTunes uses the same file format for both Mac and Windows, the program will be able to read your iTunes Library file and it will show your music, videos, podcasts, and so on with playlists, ratings and play counts.

TroUblesHooT What if your music isn’t stored in the default loca-tion on Windows? In that case, you’ll have a database and library files in the iTunes folder in the regular location, and an iTunes Media folder elsewhere—perhaps on an external hard drive. After performing the pre-requisites (changing settings and consolidating), copy the iTunes folder to an external hard drive, and then copy your iTunes Media folder into that iTunes folder. Copy all of that to your Mac, and launch iTunes. As before, it should work fine.

There’s one more possibility: you have a large library on an external hard drive, and you want to leave it there. While Macs can read from and write to some Windows-formatted hard drives, they can’t write to NTFS disks without additional software. If you’re switching to the Mac, it’s best to use a Mac-formatted (HFS+) hard drive. So you’ll need to copy your music files from your Windows-formatted hard drive to a Mac-formatted drive to make sure everything runs smoothly.

Launch iTunes on your Mac, open its preferences (iTunes ▶ Prefer-ences), and then click the Advanced icon. Click the Change button next to iTunes Media Folder Location, navigate to the iTunes Media folder on your external hard drive, click Choose, then OK. iTunes will now look to that drive for your content, and everything should be working correctly. If not, choose File ▶ Library ▶ Organize Library and consolidate the library, as described above, to fix any problems.

DeaUTHorIze YoUr Pc Finally, if you’re switching completely from your PC to your Mac, deauthorize your PC as one of the five computers you’ve authorized to play protected iTunes Store content.


Work with Applications

While most files can make the move

from Windows to Mac, programs

typically aren’t so adaptable. Soft-

ware by its very definition works with only one

operating system—and unless you plan on

spending all your time in a copy of Windows

on your Mac, you’ll need to replace your

Windows applications with Mac equivalents.

Unfortunately, while many Windows programs

have Mac versions, sometimes you’ll end up

using a product that looks entirely different

from what you used on your PC.

For those apps that don’t come in both

flavors, you should almost always be able to

find something comparable on a Mac. Here

are the basics to get started with OS X’s es-

sential apps—as well as information on how

to handle additional software.

TAble of conTenTs

56 Install, Uninstall, and Update Programs

60 Meet OS X’s Included Apps

79 Replace Windows Software

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Install, Uninstall, and Update Programs

Apple supplies you with most of what you need to get started with your Mac. Of course, everyone is different, so it might not come with everything you want. Luckily, there’s a thriving community of

software developers ready to fill in whatever is missing. Here’s a guide on how to install, uninstall, and update software on your Mac.

Install softwareNew software can end up in different locations on your computer and can come in a couple of different formats.

Where To InsTAll APPlIcATIons By default, OS X stores applications in the Applications folder. They’re available to anyone using your Mac—even someone working in a different user account. You can use parental controls to restrict apps for certain users. You can also store applications in the Applications folder inside your user folder (represented by a house icon) or Home folder. Only those people logged into this ac-count can use an application stored in this folder.

For the most part, though, you can put applications anywhere you like—the Mac will launch applications you’ve placed on the desktop, for example, or stored somewhere else on your hard drive. However, if an installer places files in the Applications folder, you should leave them there—some applications and suites (Microsoft Office, for example) expect to find certain support files in this folder. If you move these files, the applications may not run properly.

Certain types of applications aren’t installed in your Applications folder. Be sure to follow the instructions in any Read Me or installation docu-ments, which the download often includes.

hoW To InsTAll APPlIcATIons Most software you purchase on a disc—a CD or DVD—come with an installer application. Just double-click the installer, and it will walk you through the steps for installing the software. Instead of providing an installer, some discs display an icon of the program, along with instructions telling you to simply drag the icon to your Applications folder.

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Software downloaded from a Web site often comes in the form of a disk image—a file with a .dmg file extension. This is like a virtual hard drive. To begin installing, just double-click the .dmg file, and a virtual removable drive icon will appear on your desktop and in the sidebar (see “Image Is Everything”).

Now double-click the disk image, and you’ll find your application or its installer inside. You can install the application the same way you would install an application that came on a disc. When you’re done, eject the disk image by clicking the Eject button next to its name in the Finder win-dow’s sidebar or by dragging it to the Trash.

You’ll occasionally come across an installer that isn’t a .dmg file. Instead, it will have a .zip or .sit extension, indicating that it’s a compressed file. Your Mac can automatically expand .zip files, but to expand .sit files, you’ll need a copy of SmithMicro’s free StuffIt Expander (macworld.com/1625).

cleAn UP Once you’ve installed an application downloaded from the Web, you may wonder what to do with the installer program. If it’s a freely available installer, or an update that you can download anytime from the publisher’s Web site—you can safely toss it in the Trash. However, you may want to hang on to some installers—for instance, if you’ve purchased a piece of software on the Internet and you can only download it for a limited time. You might even want to burn it onto a CD for safekeeping.

Image Is everything A downloaded application will usually appear on your desktop as a .dmg file A. When you double-click this file, the Finder will mount a disk image B, bringing you to the program’s installer C. In many cases, you can simply drag the program icon into your Applications folder D. To eject the disk image, click the Eject button E.


b c



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Uninstall softwareWhen you want to uninstall a piece of software, check the original disc or download package for an uninstaller, or find out whether the installer has an uninstall feature. If it has one of these options, use it. In most cases, however, you can delete an application simply by dragging it to the Trash and selecting Empty Trash from the Finder menu.

Unlike Windows, which scatters countless support files and drivers in different places on your hard drive, OS X stores most support files inside the application bundle, so when you delete an application, all of these files also get deleted.

The exceptions to this are preference files, which almost all applica-tions create and store in the Library folder. However, these files do no harm if you leave them where they are.

Update softwareMaking sure that you’re always using the most recent versions of applica-tions is a very smart thing to do. However, some caution is prudent—

The latest and Greatest Software Update keeps watch for new versions of OS X apps and lets you know when they’re available.

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it’s a good idea to check Mac-related Web sites to make sure other people aren’t experiencing problems with the update before you install it.

To stay up-to-date with Apple’s applications, use the Software Update program, which you can access from the Dock or the Apple icon in the menu bar. Unless you deactivate the Check For Updates option, Software Update will regularly check with Apple over your Internet connection to see whether updates for any Apple software are available. When it learns of new updates, it presents a list of them (see “The Latest and Greatest”).

Updates to non-Apple applications won’t appear in Software Update. Some programs do check for updates on their own—Microsoft Office, for example, includes a stand-alone application that automatically looks for updates via your Internet connection.

Many other applications don’t automatically look for updates but do offer a command—found either in the application’s main menu or in its Help menu—that checks for updates.

If neither of these options is available, you can check for updates on your own. Two Web sites, VersionTracker (www.versiontracker.com) and MacUpdate (www.macupdate.com), provide links to the most recent ver-sions of many Mac applications.

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Meet os X’s Included Apps

You can hit the ground running with your Mac’s numerous installed applications. From standard programs for checking your e-mail, to creative tools such as editing photos, the Mac has its bases cov-

ered. Here is an overview of its essential software collection.

safariAs the amount of news, information, and entertainment from the Internet increases, a Web browser such as Apple’s Safari has

become a necessity, keeping you informed and up-to-date. Access YoUr hoMe PAGe By default, when you launch Safari or

open a new browser window, you’ll see Safari’s Top Sites page, which includes the pages you visit most often based on usage statistics (see “Top of the Heap”). You can also add your own sites to Top Sites, delete

Top of the heap The Top Sites page shows previews of your most-visited Web pages.

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unwanted pages, and rearrange thumbnails. If you want Safari to open to a specific Web page, an empty page, or a set of bookmarks instead of the Top Sites page, you can open Safari’s General preferences and choose a new option from the New Windows Open With setting.

oPen MUlTIPle PAGes And TAbs Like most applications, Safari lets you have multiple windows open simultaneously. Just select File ▶ New Window to open a new browser window. To open a link in a new browser window that will appear behind the current one, hold down 1 as you click the link (1-Option if you have tabs enabled).

If open windows start cluttering your screen, use tabbed browsing, which you can enable in Safari (Preferences ▶ Tabs). Tabbed browsing lets you open pages in separate tabs that appear below Safari’s Book-marks bar. You can also 1-click a link to open it in a new tab.

Use bookMArks Bookmarks give you a way to save frequently visited sites without searching for or typing the address each time. To get started with bookmarks, go to the site you want to bookmark, and choose Bookmarks ▶ Add Bookmark, or click the plus-sign (+) button to the left of the URL address bar. In the dialog box that appears, enter a name for the bookmark and select where you’d like to store it (see “Back for More”). You can add it to the Bookmarks bar (which appears at the top of every browser window), to a Bookmarks folder (which you access by selecting Bookmarks ▶ Show All Bookmarks), or to the Bookmarks menu (the pull-down menu that appears when you click Bookmarks).

back for More Click the plus-sign button A to turn the current page into a book-mark. You can give it a new name B and then determine where it goes C. For easy access, put it in the Bookmarks bar D.




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If you have multiple tabs open that you’d like to go back to later, you can save them as a group of bookmarks. Select Bookmarks ▶ Add Book-mark For These X Tabs (X is the number of tabs you have open), and then name the bookmark.

VIeW rss feeds RSS feeds are automatically generated news-feeds that you subscribe to. If Safari can find an RSS feed for a site, an RSS button appears in the address bar. Click this button, and the page changes to show you the site’s headlines.

You can use the options in the right pane to choose how much of the article is visible in the list, how the list is organized, and how far back in time the articles go. Bookmark this page for quick access to the RSS feed.

seArch YoUr broWsInG hIsTorY Safari lets you search your history by keyword. That means it will search the URL, the title bar, and, most important, the actual content of the pages you’ve visited.

You can access the history search field from the Top Sites view, from your Bookmarks pane, or by selecting History ▶ Show All History. When you click the search box, you get a view of Web pages identical to the cover flow display in iTunes or Mac OS X’s Finder (see “Search the Past”). Type a term in the search box, and Safari whittles down the displayed pages to match your results.

MailJust about everyone uses e-mail, and many of us have multiple e-mail accounts. Apple’s Mail program helps you check those

accounts, organize messages, and fight spam. Not sure where to start? Here’s how to tackle some of the most common Mail tasks.

search the Past A search of your history in Safari displays results in cover flow view.

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seT UP YoUr AccoUnT The first time you launch Mail, it will prompt you to create a new account. A setup assistant will help you with this process, asking for any necessary information. Apple’s account setup allows many people to start using Mail by simply typing an e-mail address. After that, Mail takes care of everything else for you.

If you’ve entered information for an e-mail account that Mail can’t con-figure automatically, you’ll have to set it up manually. Mail gives you clear examples of the information you should enter, so you won’t get confused. For further help, check your ISP’s Web site. To add another account, choose File ▶ Add Account to launch the New Account assistant.

send And deleTe MessAGes To send a message, select File ▶ New Message (or press 1-N). Enter the recipient’s e-mail address in the To field, enter a subject, type your message, and then click Send at the top of the New Message window. To send an e-mail to multiple recipients, place a comma between each address in the To field.

There are a couple of options for deleting messages in Mail, depending on how you’ve set up your account. Open Mail’s Accounts pane (Pref-erences ▶ Accounts) and click the Mailbox Behaviors tab to view your account’s Trash options. Use these options to have Mail store deleted messages in the Trash folder in the list of Mail’s mailboxes. You can also choose how often those messages are permanently deleted—never, after one day, after a week, after a month, or when you quit Mail. Once you’ve deleted messages from the Trash, they’re pretty much gone.

check one or MUlTIPle AccoUnTs If you have one account provided by your employer and another that you use at home, you can use Mail to check both at the same time. Open Mail’s Accounts pane, click the first account you’d like to check, and then click the Advanced tab. Turn on the Enable This Account option. Do the same thing for each account you want to check. The next time you click the Get Mail button, Mail will download messages from every enabled account. If you’ve enabled multiple accounts, but you just want to check one of them, choose Mailbox ▶ Get New Mail and select the account you’d like to retrieve messages from.

check rss feeds Like Safari, Mail can check your RSS feeds. When you choose File ▶ Add RSS Feeds, Mail can update and locate feeds you want to keep track of. New items in the RSS list show up similarly to new mail messages, with the total number of unread stories displayed on the folder. Clicking an RSS item opens a new window with a short teaser. Click the Read More button to open the full story in Safari.

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Add InforMATIon To icAl And Address book One con-venient feature of OS X is that you don’t have to leave Mail and open Address Book to add new contacts. Instead, open an e-mail from the person you’d like to add. Control-click his or her name and select Add To Address Book from the contextual menu, or just press 1-Shift-Y.

Mail also simplifies the process of getting other important contact information and event details out of e-mail messages and into your cal-endar or address book. If someone sends you an e-mail with a street address in the body, hover the cursor over that address, and Mail high-lights it with a gray box. Click the arrow that appears to the right of the text, and Mail gives you the option of adding that address to a new or existing contact in Address Book.

Clicking a date or time will give you the option of creating a new event in iCal, opening the date in question so you can check your schedule, or copying the text (see “Fill It In”).

orGAnIze YoUr e-MAIl And Use sMArT MAIlboXes Like most e-mail programs, Mail lets you create folders, called mailboxes, to organize your e-mail messages (see “Mail Call”). To create a new mailbox, click the plus-sign button at the bottom of the mailbox list (or choose Mailbox ▶ New Mailbox).

Dragging one message at a time into a mailbox can be tedious, how-ever. A much easier option is to set up a smart mailbox—a mailbox that automatically groups messages that meet certain conditions.

fill It In When Mail detects a date in your e-mail message, it gives you the option of creating a new event in iCal (left). It then opens a small iCal window that you can fill in (right).

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To create a smart mailbox, choose Mailbox ▶ New Smart Mailbox. In the sheet that appears, use the pop-up menus to set up a condition. For instance, if you have your siblings in an Address Book group called Fam-ily, you could choose Sender Is Member Of Group Family. You can add more conditions by clicking the plus sign, or delete conditions by clicking the minus sign (–).

keeP noTes And creATe To-do’s When you click the Note but-ton in the toolbar (or press 1-Control-N), a New Note window appears. Notes can handle colored text, graphics, and attachments, so you can keep everything you need close at hand. You can also create additional mailboxes to further organize your notes, and you can group notes into smart mailboxes or folders.

Mail’s To Do feature makes it easy to stay on top of important tasks. If an e-mail message or note contains action items, Mail lets you designate these as to-do items. You can create to-do items by highlighting text

Mail call The junk-mail filter in Mail detects possible spam messages and places them in the Junk mailbox A. You can organize messages in folders or create smart mailboxes B. When you click an e-mail in any mailbox’s message list C, Mail highlights other related messages.




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within a note or message and clicking the To Do button in the message’s or note’s toolbar. You can also make a to-do item from scratch by clicking the To Do button at the top of the main window (or press 1-Option-Y). Like notes, to-do items appear in their own mailbox. They also appear in iCal’s To Do pane. This integration is great because it doesn’t force you to switch back and forth (or require that you remember to add something to your calendar later).

ical Apple’s calendar application, iCal, helps you manage your schedule and provides space for jotting down one-time or re-

curring events. You can view those events in Day, Week, or Month format (see “Make a Date”). For instructions on how to import calendars from your PC, see the Transfer Files chapter.

creATe And edIT neW eVenTs To add an event to iCal, press 1-N or double-click the desired day. In the resulting window, enter an event name, set the time—or turn on the All-Day option for events that don’t have a specific time—and add any other details you’d like. You can even attach files to the event—so you don’t forget to bring your agenda, for example. Click Done to close the window and add your new event to the calendar.

Make a date iCal helps you keep track of your schedule. You can switch between Day, Week, and Month views (the latter is shown here) A. Enter the details of your appointments in iCal’s Info pane B.



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If you want to edit an event that’s already on the calendar, double-click its title to open an editable Info pane. (If the pane that pops up doesn’t let you edit its contents, open iCal’s Advanced preferences and turn on the Open Events In Separate Windows option.)

iCal also offers a To Do list (integrated with Mail’s), where you can check off items as you complete them. To display this pane, choose View ▶ Show To Do List.

MAnAGe MUlTIPle cAlendArs iCal lets you create multiple calendars. To create a new calendar, click the plus sign in the lower left corner of the window. A new entry will appear under the Calendars head-ing (if you don’t see it, choose View ▶ Calendar List).

You can assign any color you want to a calendar by selecting the calendar’s name and pressing 1-I. Click the pull-down list of colors and choose a new color, or choose Other to designate your own color. Now, when you create a new event, you can assign it to a specific calendar by opening the Calendar pull-down menu in the event’s Edit pane.

ichatiChat is an instant-messaging client that lets you fling messages back and forth in real time. It’s an easy way for coworkers or

friends to communicate from across an office or across the country.GeT sTArTed To use iChat, you’ll need an account. To get a free

screen name that you can use for iChat, open Accounts in iTunes’ Prefer-ences and click the plus-sign button. In the dialog box that appears, click Get An iChat Account to be taken to Apple’s Web site. Alternately, you can sign up for a free AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) account at www.aim.com.

iChat lets you set up buddies (people you regularly chat with or would like to chat with), and then it shows you when they’re available. To add a buddy, click the plus sign at the bottom of your Buddy List (or go to Bud-dies ▶ Add Buddy) and enter his or her screen name. To start a chat, just choose a buddy who’s logged in to iChat or another compatible instant-messaging client, double-click your buddy’s name, start typing, and press the Return key to send your message. Your buddy types a reply, and you’re on your way.

Typing isn’t all iChat lets you do. If a buddy’s name has a telephone icon next to it, that means he or she can have an audio chat over iChat. A video camera icon means your buddy can carry on a live video chat.

cArrY on MUlTIPle And GroUP chATs If you’re chatting with multiple people at once, you can cut down on the clutter by using tabbed chats. Open Preferences ▶ Messages, and enable the Collect Chats In A

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Single Window option. When you start a second conversation, your chat window will expand and display the name and icon of each buddy you’re conversing with in a blue-tinted pane to the left of the message window. While you’re chatting with one person, new replies from others will show up as speech bubbles next to their icons in the side pane—clicking a person’s icon causes his or her bubble to vanish and brings you into an active chat window with that person (see “A Quick Chat”).

iChat offers more than just one-on-one chats. You can initiate group text chats that include as many participants as your computer can handle—a fast Mac can manage over a dozen participants.

To create a group chat, choose File ▶ New Chat, and type the names of the buddies you want to invite in the chat box. You can also drag screen names from your buddy list into the text box. When you type a message, an invitation will go out to the entire group.

shAre fIles, PhoTos, VIdeos, And More You can also share files via iChat. Just drag a file into iChat’s text field and press Return, and when your buddy accepts the file, it’s on its way. This is particularly useful when you want to send a file that exceeds your ISP’s file-size limit.

Want to show off your vacation photos or give a Keynote presentation over a video chat? To help you share visual information with others, iChat provides iChat Theater. This feature lets you display an iPhoto slideshow, a Keynote presentation, a QuickTime movie, or anything else that works with Quick Look as part of your video chat. To get started, choose Share

A Quick chat iChat lets you see whether your buddies are online A and whether they are available for an audio, video, or text-only chat. If you’re chatting with more than one person at a time, you can consolidate the conversations into a single chat window B.


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A File With iChat Theater or Share iPhoto With iChat Theater from iChat’s File menu. Select one or more files or an iPhoto library, event, or album, and then click Share. Next you’ll be asked to invite someone to the video chat. If you are already engaged in a video chat, you can also drag a group of files into the iChat video window and drop them on the Share With iChat Theater section. A Quick Look preview of the files will appear on your desktop—closing it removes the file from iChat Theater.

PreviewNeed to open an image file but don’t want to add it to iPhoto or use an image editor? Preview lets you view and edit PDF and JPEG files without opening Acrobat.

edIT Pdfs In Preview you can add notes; highlight and strike through text; add text boxes; and use ovals, arrows, or rectangles to call attention to specific sections of the page. You can even add links to other pages in a document or to Web sites. Best of all, other PDF readers—including both Mac and Windows versions of Adobe Acrobat Reader—can display all of these annotations.

To get started, open a PDF and click the Annotate button at the top of the window. A small toolbar appears at the bottom of the window with all of the annotation options (see “Mark Up”). To delete extraneous pages or change the order of pages, press 1-Shift-D to display the sidebar (if it’s

Mark Up You can use the Annotate toolbar A to add notes B, arrows C, text D, and more to your PDFs.





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not already visible), and then select a page and press Delete. To move a page, select it and drag it to the desired location.

If you’re finding the sidebar difficult to navigate, choose View ▶ Sidebar ▶ Contact Sheet (or press 1-Option-1). The main document window will disappear and you’ll get rows of thumbnails instead. Use the zoom slider to fit more or fewer thumbnails on a row.

To merge PDFs, open the PDF files, making sure the sidebar is visible. Drag a page from one document’s sidebar to another, and drop it in the appropriate location. To add an entire document, drag the file’s proxy icon (the icon in the title bar) to any location in the other document’s sidebar.

edIT IMAGes To crop an image, open it and then click the Select but-ton in the toolbar. Click and drag to create the area you want to crop.

Once you’ve made your selection, choose Tools ▶ Crop or press 1-K. If you like what you see, save the file; if not, press 1-Z to go back to the original image. You can then resize your image (choose Tools ▶ Adjust Size) or change its resolution. To maintain the image’s proportions, make sure to select the Scale Proportionally option. To make an image smaller without losing quality, keep Resample Image selected.

To adjust image color, brightness, and exposure, open the image in Preview and then choose Tools ▶ Adjust Color (see “Pretty Pictures”). The

Pretty Pictures You don’t need an image editor to make basic corrections to a photo. Preview lets you resize images, make color corrections, and sharpen photos.

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tools in this palette let you tweak your picture’s color balance, brightness, saturation, and sharpness, and even add a sepia tone. Move the different sliders to see what your picture will look like if you save your changes.

QuickTime PlayerQuickTime Player is Snow Leopard’s tool for playing back audio and video files. Double-click a compatible video file to

launch it. In the window that appears, you’ll see your video, overlaid with the title bar and the playback controls (see “Play It Again”).

Within the control toolbar, you’ll find a play button and reverse and forward buttons that rewind or fast-forward video, respectively. At the bottom is a slider for scrolling through a movie. On the left side is a vol-ume slider and on the right is a button to access chapters (it appears only if the file has chapters), a Share button, and a button to toggle in and out of full-screen mode.

Once you begin playing a movie, the title bar and controls fade away (after a few seconds if your cursor is over the video, or immediately if you move your cursor away from the video). What you’re left with is a video playing in a borderless window with slightly rounded corners.

shAre VIdeos The Share button allows you to encode and send your video to iTunes, a MobileMe Gallery, or YouTube. If you choose iTunes, you can pick iPhone & iPod, Apple TV, or Computer as output

Play It Again Use the floating toolbar to control your video’s playback in QuickTime Player.

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options, displaying the resulting file size for each. You can select only one, and if QuickTime determines that your file isn’t large enough to create an Apple TV or Computer version, those options are grayed out.

The final choice in the Share pop-up menu is Trim. Select it and Quick-Time changes the control window to display thumbnails of your video on a timeline. From there, you can drag the ends in to shorten the video to a smaller clip. However, you can’t use the feature to remove unwanted por-tions—commercials, say—from a video and retain the rest.

record YoUr screen QuickTime also lets you capture video of your Mac’s screen—useful for showing a family member how to do some-thing in OS X, for example. Select File ▶ New Screen Recording and a floating window appears. To pick your settings, click the small white arrow in the lower right corner. A pop-up window appears, letting you choose the audio source, the quality (medium or high), and where QuickTime should save the movie.

When you’re ready, click the red button to begin recording. When you’re done, simply stop recording—either by clicking the Stop Recording item in the menu bar or by pressing 1-Control-Escape.

Image captureThis photo-savvy program can grab a quick shot from your camera, control scanners, and more.

Once you fire up the application, you can connect anything from an iPhone to an SLR, browse images on the memory card, and then down-load only the ones you want. You can have multiple devices connected at once and choose among them, and even share their images with other users on your network.

GrAb A QUIck shoT Have you ever come home from an event and wanted to quickly e-mail one or two photos from the day? Connect your camera or card reader and launch Image Capture (if it’s not already open). You’ll see thumbnails of all the images on your camera.

Click the shot you want, use the Import To pop-up menu to specify where to save it, and then click the Import button. (Don’t be tempted by the glowing blue Import All button; that downloads the entire camera roll.) You’ll get the full-resolution photo—along with any metadata and GPS coordi-nates—in the destination you chose. If you want multiple images, 1-click the desired ones and choose Import. This is also a great way to download your iPhone videos, which appear alongside the still photos in Image Capture.

sorT YoUr PIcTUres Image Capture also lets you change how you sort the images on your device. Click the list view icon at the bottom

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of the Image Capture window to gain access to a whopping 17 columns of data, including Name, Date, File Size, Aperture, Shutter Speed, ISO, and Focal Length. Once you’ve sorted your photos, you can switch back to icon view; your pictures will retain the order you’ve set.

sPeed UP scAnnInG TAsks To start a scan, click the device’s name in Image Capture (see “Scan It”). Simply turn on the Detect Separate Items option and then press Scan. You can place a couple of snapshots on the flatbed surface, because Image Capture works with the scanner’s software to detect separate images when scanning. When the scanner is finished, you’ll get a preview of your snapshots, each outlined with a border. To refine your scanner settings—including resolution, color, size, rotation, and file format—click the Show Details button. Once the final scan is complete, you’ll end up with individual files for each snapshot.

shAre deVIces oVer A neTWork If you have multiple Macs run-ning Snow Leopard on your network, you can also give them access to a USB-connected camera or memory card. To share your images over the network, connect your iPhone, card reader, or compatible digital camera to your Mac, open Image Capture, and then turn on the Share Device option at the bottom of the left column (Device is the USB-connected camera, card, or iPhone). If you don’t see this option, click the small up arrow. Next, go to another Mac on the network and open Image Capture. Your device should appear under the Shared heading.

scan It You can use Image Capture to control a scanner attached to your computer or network. Image Capture can scan two images at once. When it’s done, you’ll end up with two separate image files.

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Address bookAddress Book is Apple’s program for creating, sorting, and stor-ing personal contacts. The Address Book window is divided into

three panes. From left to right, there’s a list of groups, a list of contacts within the selected group, and then the selected contact’s information. For instructions on how to import your existing contacts from a PC, see the Transfer Files chapter.

Add A conTAcT To add a contact to your address book, click the plus-sign button under the Name column, and enter your contact’s in-formation. Address Book also offers a Note field for jotting down miscel-laneous information—the name of your boss’s dog or her favorite restau-rant, for instance (see “Getting to Know You”).

Work WITh GroUPs Groups are a handy way to communicate with all the members of your book club, orchestra, or volunteer fire brigade. You can also set up smart groups, collections of contacts that match conditions you set up. For example, you could create a smart group that includes anyone within your zip code or any contacts you have who are from other countries.

Address book And oTher ProGrAMs A variety of Apple programs rely on Address Book. For example, the e-mail addresses you access in Mail are stored in Address Book. Likewise, you can use Mail to send an e-mail message to all the members in a group by dragging (or typing) the group’s name into the message’s To field. Address Book is

Getting to know You Address Book provides a host of fields for entering personal information.

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also where iChat stores your buddies’ contact information. You can open Address Book from iCal to invite contacts to an event. And if you have an iPhone or iPod (other than the shuffle) connected to your Mac, you can sync your Address Book contacts with it and take them on the road.

iTunesiTunes is Apple’s music player, but it can do so much more. It is your Mac’s central hub for purchasing music, iPhone or iPad

apps, movies, and TV shows through its iTunes store. You can also listen to the radio and Podcasts, share music, and create mixes in iTunes. If you’re already using iTunes on your PC, you can import all of your media and playlists.

sTore YoUr fIles The first time you launch iTunes, the program creates an iTunes Music folder in your user folder/Music/iTunes. By default, iTunes downloads purchased files and copies all imported media files to this folder. However, you don’t have to store your files in iTunes’ designated folder.

If you want to move your iTunes Music folder from your Home folder to another location, such as an external hard drive, copy your iTunes Music folder to the desired location on the secondary hard drive. Next, you need to tell iTunes where to find the relocated folder. Open your iTunes prefer-ences (iTunes ▶ Preferences) and click Advanced. There, find the iTunes Media Folder Location section and click the Change button (see “Stash

stash Your songs The Advanced tab in iTunes’ Pref-erences menu controls how the program manages your media. If you’ve moved your iTunes Media folder or created a new folder, click the Change button A to tell iTunes where to place any new music or video files it imports.


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Your Songs”). Navigate to the iTunes Media folder on the secondary hard drive and click Choose, and then OK. This will tell iTunes not only where to find your old files, but also where to store your new files.

MAnAGe fIles YoUrself Want to use your own method for orga-nizing your media files? iTunes is willing to respect that, too. The trick is to set the program so it doesn’t copy files to the iTunes Music folder when you drag them into your iTunes library. Instead, iTunes will leave the files where they are on your hard drive. This lets you keep some files in your local iTunes Music folder and others on an external drive or in another location on your startup volume.

To make the change, open iTunes’ Advanced preferences and deselect the Copy Files To iTunes Media Folder When Adding To Library option. Now when you drag files into iTunes, the software will simply add pointers to those files instead of copying them. However, music you rip via iTunes or media you purchase from the iTunes Store will still end up in the stan-dard location (the iTunes Music folder within your user folder).

nAVIGATe YoUr lIbrArY Once you’ve decided where to store your files, you almost never need to think about folder structures or file names again. That’s because iTunes provides a simple, attractive interface for quickly sifting through your growing library—regardless of where those files live on your system. In fact, iTunes offers three ways to navigate your music and video collection—list, album, and cover flow view.

MAsTer The iTUnes sTore When you’re in the mood for some-thing new, one of the first places to go is the iTunes Store, where you can browse albums, purchase songs, and even write reviews. To access the store, open iTunes and click the iTunes Store entry in the source list (you must have an Internet connection). The store is a great way to discover new music, rediscover old favorites, and keep track of beloved artists.

other ApplicationsYour Mac also comes with plenty of less essential apps that prove just as handy. Here are a few worth noting due to their obvious usefulness.

fronT roW This app lets you navigate the media content on your Mac—including music, music videos, TV shows, mov-ies, photos, and podcasts—in a full-screen interface. What’s more, you can use an Apple Remote to make selections, so you don’t even have to get up from the couch. To have Front

Row automatically launch when you insert a DVD, open the CDs & DVDs system preferences and make sure that the Open Front Row option is selected in the When You Insert A Video DVD menu.

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PhoTo booTh Photo Booth captures photos and video through your Mac’s built-in camera. It includes a collection of image-altering effects you can use to distort your photos. Just

click the Effects button to see the collection of 24 effects and apply them to your photos. You can eliminate the countdown Photo Booth performs before taking a picture by holding down the Option key before you click the red camera button. And to eliminate the flash that automatically goes off, hold down the Shift key. If you want to skip the flash and the count-down, combine these actions.

dAshboArd Dashboard is a neat OS X feature that makes basic computing tasks easy and quick. It can save you the step of launching an extra application or heading out on the Web to look up a bit of information. To launch it, click its Dock icon (a

circular black gauge) or press F12. Your desktop will dim and a collection of mini-applications called widgets will appear.

Once you’ve switched over to the Dashboard layer, click the plus-sign icon in the lower left corner to call up the Widget Bar, where you’ll see an alphabetical, graphical list of all the widgets installed on your Mac. When you click More Widgets (either from the Dock or from the Dash-board layer), you’ll be taken to Apple’s Dashboard widgets page. There you can check out and download additional widgets (all of which are self-installing).

dIcTIonArY Snow Leopard ships with a handy Diction-ary program that includes not only a standard dictionary, but also a reference of Mac-related terms, a thesaurus, and more. You can navigate to Dictionary pages you’ve previ-

ously viewed via the back button in your toolbar. If you don’t want to launch Dictionary, you can also access its power by typing a word into Spotlight’s search field (the definition will be one of the search results) or via a Dashboard widget.

fonT book When you have a lot of fonts, finding a specific one can be hard. You can use Font Book to classify fonts in many ways, including by project, kind (Classic, Fixed Width, and so on),

or end destination (such as a Web site). You can also control which fonts are available in a particular application. You can preview a typeface in Font Book and install or disable it (or an entire type family) by clicking a button at the bottom of the Font Book window. To import a font you’ve just downloaded, double-click its icon in your computer after you finish saving it to your hard drive. Font Book will open and display a preview of your recently acquired font. Then click the Install Font button.

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sTIckIes Need to leave notes for yourself but don’t have a scrap of paper handy? The Stickies application is basically a pad of virtual adhesive notes. You can place a new note anywhere on your desktop, and then add

text or drag in URLs from your Web browser. If you want access to Stickies but don’t want to clutter up your screen, you can also store them in Dashboard.

TeXTedIT If you need to write a letter or read a document, Apple’s text editor, TextEdit, is here to help. While TextEdit doesn’t offer the wealth of bells and whistles that you’ll find in a dedicated word processing program, it does get the job

done. For the most design flexibility when creating documents, select Make Rich Text from the Format menu. This format offers more control over how the document looks; you’ll find alignment controls (for right- or left-aligned, justified, or centered text), tabs, indent controls, settings for editing line spacing, and customizable styles.

You can also create tables and embed images in Rich Text docu-ments. TextEdit supports Apple’s built-in spelling checker, which looks for spelling errors as you type. Best of all, TextEdit can open most text documents—including Web archives and Microsoft Word documents. And you can save your TextEdit document in Word or HTML format.

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replace Windows software

Many Windows programs have Mac versions. Unfortunately, in some cases they’re entirely different from their PC counterparts. Not to fear: There are plenty of impressive OS X apps from both Apple and

third-party vendors. Here are some options in the most important categories.

Web browsersMost leading Windows browsers—including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, and Apple’s own Safari—are available in more or less identical Mac versions. If you’ve been using Internet Explorer (the one Windows browser you won’t find on the Mac), give Safari or Firefox a try on the Mac—both are impressive and markedly faster than IE. Another useful tool is the free Xmarks plug-in (www.xmarks.com), which can sync your bookmarks from Internet Explorer or Firefox on a PC over to Safari or Firefox on your new Mac.

Microsoft officeOffice 2008, Microsoft’s Mac suite, has fewer applications and fewer features overall than Office 2007 for Windows—and its user interface only

The Word on Pages Pages ’09, the word pro-cessor in Apple’s iWork ’09, isn’t as feature-rich as Microsoft Word, but it’s easy to use and creates slick designs.

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roughly approximates the Windows version’s. The Home and Student edi-tion is $150. If you want to spend less and you don’t use some of Office’s more advanced features, consider Apple’s own iWork ’09 (macworld.com/5454). This suite, which bundles the Pages word processor, Num-bers spreadsheet, and Keynote presentation for a reasonable $79, is slick but less full featured than Office.

e-mail and calendaringAll Macs come with Apple’s more than respectable Mail and iCal pro-grams—and the new versions in Snow Leopard can even connect to the Microsoft Exchange servers many businesses use. That’s good news given that there’s currently no version of Outlook for OS X (Microsoft plans to release one in 2010, but Office 2008 comes with a different, skimpier e-mail and calendar package called Entourage).

Personal financeOn the Mac, finance mainstay Quicken is stuck on the antiquated 2007 version, which isn’t a native Intel application. Intuit says a new edi-tion will appear in February 2010. If you can’t wait, check out the $40 Moneydance (www.moneydance.com) or the free online app, Mint.com (www.mint.com).

creative AppsOne of the best thing about Macs is that they come with Apple’s innova-tive iLife suite (apple.com/ilife) of photo, video, music, and Web tools. Even if you’ve never used it, it’ll probably feel familiar—Windows apps have adopted many of its features. Try iLife before you buy anything else; if you’re not satisfied, you may want to spring for meatier third-party alter-natives such as Adobe’s $100 Photoshop Elements 8 photo editor (www.adobe.com) and Roxio’s $100 Toast Titanium software for CD, DVD, and Blu-Ray burning (www.roxio.com).

UtilitiesDisk Utility is an essential tool for formatting, partitioning, and other-wise wrangling hard drives. Its Repair Disk Permissions feature can fix a remarkable percentage of mysterious Mac problems. Two solid third-party packages cater to hard-core utility fans: Micromat’s $98 TechTool Pro (www.micromat.com) and Alsoft’s $100 Disk Warrior (www.alsoft.com).


Work with Windows Computers

These days, moving to a Mac doesn’t

mean abandoning the world of Win-

dows for good. Most likely, you’ll be

dealing with a Windows PC in some form

or another, whether it be the very same

machine you left for your Mac, or someone

else’s. And while both platforms have built-in

tools for cross-platform communication, get-

ting those tools to work to their full potential

requires a bit of tinkering and know-how.

Whatever the case may be, coexistence

is possible. This chapter will show you how

to work with a Windows computer from your

Mac, including how to share files, drives,

screens, and more.

Table of ConTenTs

82 Share Files

88 Share Drives

90 Share Screens

Work With WindoWs Computers


share files

sharing files from one Mac to another Mac is simple: You enable file sharing in the Sharing preference pane, and that’s it. But trying to share files between a Mac and a PC requires a few more steps—and

trying to access a PC’s files from a Mac is more challenging still. Here’s how to get started with sharing files across these two operating systems.

access shared Mac filesWhen you want to share files between two Macs, select which folders you wish to make accessible in your System Preferences’ Sharing pane, and set permissions for them. Configuring your Mac to let Windows users access its folders is a bit more complex, however.

When You’re on anoTher MaC Start by opening the Sharing preference pane. Click the lock icon at the lower left and enter your administrator password to unlock it. Then select the File Sharing check-box and click the Options button. Select the Share Files And Folders Using SMB (Windows) checkbox.

In the list of users below that checkbox, put a checkmark next to the account you want to share (see “Sharing Is Caring”). Enter that account’s password in the Authenticate dialog box and click OK. Repeat these steps for any other accounts you wish to share, then click Done.

By default, OS X will share the Public folders for each user you just enabled. You can select other folders to share if you like: Click the plus-sign (+) button under the Shared Folders list and select the folder or drive you want to share.

You can define access permissions for each shared folder in the Users section. If you’re the only user who will be sharing files between systems, you should already be on the list, with Read & Write privileges already selected for you.

If you have multiple users on your network, however, and you aren’t too picky about who has access to your Mac’s files, select Everyone from the Users list and set permissions: Read & Write, Read Only, or Write Only (Dropbox). To control access user by user, click the plus-sign button at the bottom of the Users section and either select each person from your Address Book or click the New Person button and enter a name and password. Now the Mac folders you’ve just shared should be accessible from your Windows PC.

Work With WindoWs Computers


When You’re on WindoWs XP Click the Start menu and select My Network Places. If you don’t see the Mac listed under Local Network, click the Folders icon in the toolbar. In the Folders column on the left, look for the Mac under My Network Places. (It may be under Entire Network/Microsoft Windows Network/Workgroup.) Double-click the Mac entry and enter the user name and password for the account you want to access.

When You’re on WindoWs 7 Click the Start menu and select Computer (or go to any Windows Explorer window.) In the sidebar, click the disclosure triangle next to Network. You should see your Mac’s name there. When you click it, all the shared folders will appear in the right pane (see “The Mac in Windows Explorer”).

access shared PC filesThe process of setting up a Windows PC to share its files with a Mac is fairly easy, but the procedure differs depending on which version of Win-dows you’re using.

sharing is Caring After selecting file sharing using SMB for Windows, select what account you would like to share.

Work With WindoWs Computers


When You’re on a MaC Go to the Finder and click the disclosure triangle next to Shared in the sidebar. Click the PC and enter the user name and password for its Administrator account. You should then see the shared folders.

If the PC doesn’t appear in the Mac’s sidebar, select Go ▶ Connect To Server (or 1-K). In the Connect To Server dialog box, enter smb://ip address or smb://computer name (to find out the PC’s IP address or computer name, see the “Know Your IP Address” section). If that doesn’t work, try adding the port number :139 to the end of the IP address (smb://ip address:139).

When You’re on WindoWs XP If you haven’t set up file sharing, open the Start menu and select My Network Places. Click Set Up A Home Or Small Office Network in the left column. When the Network Setup Wizard appears, click through the screens until you get to the one for File Sharing And Printing. Select Turn On File And Printer Sharing and click Next. Windows will then ask to restart the PC to implement your changes.

By default, the Shared Documents folder is available to other users on the network. To share another folder, right-click it in any Windows Explorer window and select Properties from the shortcut menu. Open the Share tab and select the options you want.

When You’re on WindoWs 7 First, create a password for the

The Mac in Windows explorer Once you’ve successfully set up file shar-ing, your Mac should be available in the Network section of the Windows Explorer sidebar.

Work With WindoWs Computers


Administrator account: Go to the Start menu and open the Control Panel in icon view. Click on User Accounts, then select Create A Password For Your Account, and follow the instructions there.

If you haven’t previously set up Windows 7 for file sharing, open the Control Panel (in icon view) and select Network And Sharing Center. There, click Choose Homegroup And Sharing Options, then select Change Advanced Sharing Settings. In the subsequent window, turn on Network Discovery, File And Printer Sharing, Public Folder Sharing, and Password Protected Sharing. In the File Sharing Connections section, enable 128-bit encryption, and in the Homegroup section, keep the default setting. When you’re done, click Save Changes.

To share specific folders, go to any Windows Explorer window and right-click the folder you want to share. Click Share With and choose Specific People from the drop-down menu. In the File Sharing dialog box, select a user to share with (or create a new user) and set the level of access (Read or Read/Write).

ensure Visibility by having a Common routerOf course, to make sure that your computers can share files properly, all machines should already be successfully connected to a home net-work through a router so that they are visible to one another.

In the past, the biggest problem with sharing a router between PCsand Macs was the configuration software; most routers shipped withWindows utilities only. Now that most routers are configured through abrowser interface like Safari or Firefox, however, that problem no lon-ger exists.

Apple’s own routers are one of the most glaring exceptions: You need AirPort Utility to configure the AirPort Express, the AirPort Extreme, and the Time Capsule. Fortunately, Apple offers AirPort Utility for Windows, which lets you configure those routers from any Windows PC.

Encryption was the other issue that once made it hard for Macs and PCs to share routers. At one point in time, the two platforms had different password requirements, and you had to use a password of exactly five or 13 characters if you wanted Macs and Windows PCs to use the same password.

Luckily, the newer WPA encryption standard avoids that issue alto-gether; Windows, OS X, and most routers support it. The only exception is that if you’re using Windows XP Service Pack 1 (SP1), or earlier, you still have to use an older encryption scheme. Upgrading to SP3 will allow you to move up to the more-secure WPA.

Work With WindoWs Computers


Know Your iP addressTo share the resources of a Mac or PC with another Mac, you often need to know its computer name or IP address. Here’s how to find out both.

find a MaC’s iP address To view your IP address on a Mac, open the Network preference pane. Your IP address should appear under Sta-tus. For your computer name, open the Sharing preference pane. At the top you’ll see your computer’s name, which you can change by clicking the Edit button located on the right (see “What’s in a Name?”). You can copy and paste this IP address if needed.

find a PC’s iP address in WindoWs XP Go to Start ▶ Control Panel (Classic view), double-click Network Connections, and then click the name of the active connection; you’ll find the IP address in the Sup-port tab. For the computer name, go to Start ▶ My Computer, click View System Information, and then open the Computer Name tab.

find a PC’s iP address in WindoWs 7 Go to the Control Panel (Category view), click View Network Status And Tasks in the Network And

What’s in a name? Click the Edit button to change the name of your computer as it appears on local networks.

Work With WindoWs Computers


Internet section, and then click the name of the active connection. In the Status dialog box, click Details; the IP address is next to IPv4 Address. To find the computer name, go to Start ▶ Computer. The computer name is at the lower left of the window next to the computer icon.

share Your PrinterIf a Windows PC wants to print from your Mac-connected, Bonjour capable printer (which allow other computers to locally discover and connect to it), you can easily share that printer with the PC. Just make sure the PC has Bonjour for Windows installed (http://support.apple.com/kb/dl999).

First, go to the Sharing preference pane. Check the Printer Sharing option and select the printer you want to share. Then select the File Shar-ing checkbox if you want to share a file. If you do not want to share a certain file, delete it using the minus-sign (–) button at the bottom. After, click Options, check the Share Files And Folders Using SMB (Windows) option, and then click Done. In the Users pane, select the name of the PC that will share the computer and enter the password.

If you are on a Mac and you want to add a shared printer that’s con-nected to a Windows PC, click the Print & Fax icon. To add the printer, click the plus sign at the bottom of the left pane. Press the control key while clicking any icon on the toolbar, and then, from the pop-up menu that appears, click Customize Toolbar. From that dialog box, drag the Advanced icon (a gear) into the toolbar. Then click Done.

When you click the Advanced icon, you will be able to choose Win-dows from the pop-up menu. Type the printer’s address in the URL field. In the Name field, type the name for the printer and choose the relevant driver from the Print Using menu. Click Add and you’re finished.

Work With WindoWs Computers


share drives

There are three especially efficient ways to share a single hard drive between Macs and PCs: using a USB thumb drive, using a network-attached storage (NAS) device, or using an external hard

drive connected to your Mac.

format a usb hard driveMacs and PCs both have USB ports to which you can connect a remov-able hard drive—the only sticky issue is formatting. If the drive is format-ted for the Mac, Windows won’t recognize it. You can fix that by installing Mediafour’s $50 MacDrive (www.mediafour.com) on the Windows system; this enables Windows to use a Mac-formatted drive natively.

If the drive is formatted in the Windows NTFS format, it will mount on the desktop when you plug it into the Mac, but you won’t be able to copy files to it. To fix this, install Paragon Software Group’s $40 NTFS for Mac OS X (www.paragon-software.com), or try these two programs (you must install them together): Tuxera’s NTFS-3G, community edition for Mac 2010.1 (free; www.tuxera.com) and MacFuse (www.code.google.com/p/macfuse).

Both Mac OS X and Windows can read and write natively to a third format: FAT32. But FAT32 can’t store files larger than 4GB, you can’t boot a Mac from it, and it’s slow. If you want to use FAT32 on a shared USB drive, use Mac OS X’s Disk Utility to erase and reformat the drive in MS-DOS (FAT).

Connect Your Computers to an nas deviceMacs and Windows PCs can use almost any NAS drive over a wired or wireless network. Apple’s Time Capsule is actually one of the best choices for shared backup and is formatted as a FAT32 drive. Both Macs and PCs can back up to the same Time Capsule drive, as well as read and write to it. For file transfers, it supports the SMB protocol—used by Windows and Linux systems—as well as the Apple Filing Protocol (AFP).

The Time Capsule installer CD-ROM includes Windows versions of AirPort Utility and the Bonjour Printer Wizard, so the PC can set up and manage the Time Capsule and any printer attached to it. No Windows version of Time Machine exists; any Windows backup program should do.

Most non-Apple NAS devices are also formatted as FAT32, but you should check before you buy. You may be able to reformat an NTFS NAS device later. Non-Apple NAS devices usually support SMB file sharing

Work With WindoWs Computers


only. If you can’t see such a device in the Finder, try typing its network address, smb://ip address, in the Connect To Server dialog box.

share an external driveThe third way to share storage between Macs and PCs is to plug a USB or FireWire drive into the Mac, and then have the PC back up to it over the network using file sharing (see “Back It Up”). The only difference between this and file sharing is that you must specify the external drive on the Mac while the drive is connected.

To do so, open the Sharing preference pane. Select File Sharing in the left column. Click Options, make sure Share Files And Folders Using SMB (Windows) is selected, then click Done. Back in the Sharing pane, click the plus-sign button under the Shared Folders column. In the left pane under Devices, select your Mac, select the external USB drive, and then click Add. You can now set the read and write privileges for the shared drive.

back it up If you want to back up important data, you can do so by connecting an external drive to your Mac and sharing files through a PC.

Work With WindoWs Computers


share screens

Viewing what’s on the screen of another computer—or even con-trolling that other computer remotely—can be handy for trouble-shooting, looking up documents, or running a program you can’t

run locally.As with file sharing, remotely accessing a Mac from another Mac is

relatively straightforward. The tools are built into OS X, and you turn on this feature in the Sharing preference pane (click the Screen Sharing option in the Service pane).

Setting up screen sharing between a Mac and a Windows PC takes a bit more work and requires some third-party software. The biggest problem: Macs can’t share screens with PCs running Windows 7 Home Premium edition.

remotely access a Mac’s screen on a PCTo connect to a Mac from a PC, you’ll need to install a VNC client in Win-dows. There are a number of free clients you can choose from, including TightVNC (www.tightvnc.com).

After you’ve downloaded and installed a VNC client on your PC, go back to your Mac and open System Preferences. Choose Sharing, and select the Screen Sharing checkbox.

Screen sharing is now enabled for remote users signing in with the Mac’s administrator name and password. To enable others to share the Mac’s screen, make sure Screen Sharing is still selected and click Com-puter Settings. Select Anyone May Request Permission To Control Screen and, if you wish, VNC Viewers May Control Screen With Password. If you select the latter, enter a password in the box. Finally, click OK.

Back in the Sharing pane, under Screen Sharing: On, you’ll see a note that displays an IP address in the form of vnc://ip address. Make a note of that address.

Back on the PC, give your VNC client that address (but without the vnc://). If you have trouble connecting, check your client’s encoding settings: If they’re set to ZRLE, try switching to Hextile. In TightVNC, you’d do that by launching the VNC Viewer, clicking the Options button, and then selecting a different encoding setting from the Use Encoding drop-down menu.

Work With WindoWs Computers


remotely access a PC’s screen on a MacTo remotely control a Windows machine, you first need to install Microsoft’s free Remote Desktop Connection Client 2 for Mac (macworld.com/5879) on your Mac (see “Share a PC’s Screen”).

Unfortunately, Remote Desktop Connection doesn’t work with Windows 7 Home Premium edition; it only works with Windows 7 Professional, Ulti-mate, and Enterprise editions, as well as Windows XP. If you want to share the screen of a PC running Home Premium, you’re out of luck.

aCCess WindoWs XP Open Control Panel (in Classic view), double-click the System icon, and open the Remote tab. Select Allow Users To Connect Remotely To This Computer. If you’re using XP Home edition, select the checkbox for Allow Remote Assistance Invitations, then click on the Advanced button and select the checkbox for Allow This Computer To Be Controlled Remotely.

If you’re logged in as the administrator and you have a password, enter that password and click the Apply button. If not, either click the Select Remote Users button to add new users, or create new user accounts.

aCCess WindoWs 7 Open the Control Panel (Category view), then System And Security. Under System, click the Allow Remote Access link. In the System Properties’ Remote tab, select Allow Connections From Computers Running Any Version Of Remote Desktop. If you’re the administrator of the Windows system, click the Apply button. If not, click the Select Remote Users button to specify which users can log in to control the PC; you may want to create a new user account just for remote control.

Back on the Mac, launch the Remote Desktop Connection app. In the Computer field, type the PC’s IP address or computer name and click

share a PC’s screen By installing Remote Desktop Connection on a Mac, you can remotely control a PC running Windows XP or Windows 7 (but not the Home Premium edition).

Work With WindoWs Computers


Connect. Supply the user name, password, and domain. In XP, the default domain is Workgroup, but in Windows 7, use the computer name (see “Windows Desktop on Your Mac”). Now your Windows system’s desktop will appear as just another window on your Mac.

Windows desktop on Your Mac Once connected, you can work inside your virtual Windows PC through a Mac window.


Run Windows on Your Mac

These days, buying a Mac doesn’t

mean you have to leave Windows

behind. In 2006, Apple started building

Macs with Intel processors. Among the other

benefits of that switch: You can run Micro-

soft’s operating system on Apple’s hardware.

This flexibility is one of the Mac’s most

significant competitive advantages over Win-

dows PCs. And it’s a huge help, particularly

at work, if you’ve got Windows programs

that you just can’t live without and that

aren’t available in Mac versions. It can also

be handy for maintaining compatibility with

Windows-using coworkers.

This chapter will get you started running

Windows on your Mac.

Table of conTenTs

94 How It Works

95 Use Boot Camp

97 Use a Virtualization Program

101 Migrate Your PC

Run WindoWs on youR mac


How It Works

There are two different ways to run Windows on a Mac: Boot Camp and virtualization.

OS X itself includes Boot Camp, a utility that lets you install a copy of Windows (which you supply) on your Mac. You can then boot into either operating system. Windows will run just as fast on any PC with comparable specs, and all Windows-compatible applications and peripherals will work. Boot Camp works by providing a few drivers that Windows needs to use the Mac’s hardware inside its window.

One disadvantage of Boot Camp is that you have to boot into one operating system or the other; you can’t press 1-Tab to switch between your open Windows and Mac apps.

To do that kind of fast switching, you need to use virtualization soft-ware, which lets you create a virtual PC within OS X. The best options are Parallels Desktop, VMware Fusion, and VirtualBox. These programs let you run Windows in an OS X window, either in full-screen mode or side by side with your OS X apps. They also have tools to help you transfer your old copy of Windows to your new Mac—applications, settings, and all. The $80 VMware Fusion lets you do it via a wireless or wired network; Parallels $100 Switch to Mac Edition includes a similar feature, except that it does the transfer over a bundled USB cable.

Virtualization has its downsides: You’ll see a performance hit (particu-larly when you’re running games), and battery life on notebooks can suf-fer. While most peripherals work in both operating systems, some won’t. Still, a Mac running Snow Leopard and a virtualized copy of Windows delivers the best of both computing platforms on one machine.

Run WindoWs on youR mac


Use boot camp

Keep in mind that Boot Camp support isn’t as important as it once was. You might need Boot Camp if you want to play cutting-edge

3D games, run really CPU- and graphics-intensive appli-cations, or have a piece of hardware the virtualization apps don’t support. Otherwise virtualization is the best solution.

Install boot campWhen installing Boot Camp, the first thing you do is make sure you have the most recent version of Boot Camp Assistant (www.apple.com/support/bootcamp). Then run the assistant and let it partition your hard drive into two pieces—one for OS X and another for Windows (see “Divide and Install”). It’s important to back up your disk before partitioning your drive, to protect against data loss (see the Troubleshoot Your Mac chapter).

Divide and Install To set up Boot Camp on a Mac, you must partition your hard drive. Boot Camp Assistant will walk you through the process.

Run WindoWs on youR mac


The partition size you specify in Boot Camp Assistant will depend largely on what you plan to do with Windows; if you’re installing big apps or you’ll be using big data files in Windows, size the partition so it can handle the data. You won’t lose any of your existing data in the partition-ing process, and if you change your mind later, Boot Camp Assistant can merge your split disk back into one, deleting the Windows data while keeping your OS X files intact.

The next step is to install Windows on your system. You’ll be prompted to insert your Windows installation CD, and then the installer will start. You can install the Windows XP version with Service Pack 2 or later, Win-dows Vista, or Windows 7.

After installing Windows, you’ll need to insert your Mac OS X installa-tion disk to install any Mac drivers on the Windows side. You’ll be guided through the process and then prompted to restart your system.

software and Hardware supportPretty much anything that runs on Windows will now run on your Mac, without any emulation or simulation.

The main downside is that you have to reboot your machine to run your Windows software. So if you’re involved in a project in OS X and want to run a Windows application that virtualization software can’t handle, you have to save your work, shut down your Mac, reboot, do whatever it is you wanted to do in Windows, and then repeat the whole process to get back to OS X.

The other bummer is that it’s trickier to share files between Windows and OS X in Boot Camp than in the virtualization apps. You’ll need a FAT32-formatted drive, or access to a file server to which both Windows and OS X can connect. The other alternative is to purchase Mediafour’s MacDrive for Windows, which will let Windows read from and write to your Mac partition (www.mediafour.com). MacDrive works quite well but will set you back $50.

Thanks to the Mac drivers for including Windows on the OS X installa-tion CD, all your Mac-specific hardware—Bluetooth, AirPort, and even the built-in iSight camera—will work perfectly in Windows.

Run WindoWs on youR mac


If you plan on switching between operating systems frequently, you’ll need to install virtualization software instead of relying on Boot Camp. This section will help you figure out which program will

serve you best.

The optionsWhich virtualization software you go with depends mostly on how you plan to use it. Here are the top three contenders. You can test these rec-ommendations by downloading a copy of each app and trying it for free.

VIRTUalbox (free; www.virtualbox.org). This is the best—meaning the only—solution if you don’t want to spend any money and you have no need for fancy graphics or gam-ing capabilities. It has OpenGL acceleration for Linux and

Use a Virtualization Program

out of the box The free VirtualBox is the best Windows virtualization option for new Mac owners on a tight budget.

Run WindoWs on youR mac


OpenSolaris, as well as multiprocessor support and basic 3D graphics (see “Out of the Box”).

However, VirtualBox (mmm) is the slowest of the three applications and is missing some amenities that make the others easier to use. Most noticeably, VirtualBox doesn’t have easy installation wizards, which makes it harder to set up and configure than Fusion or Parallels. It also doesn’t support some features (such as drag and drop or shared Clip-boards). The HD video playback is less than stellar.

fUsIon ($80; www.vmware.com). If you need to use several different operating systems or if you want a program that’s easy to use but not dumbed down, with the fit and finish of a good Mac app, Fusion (mmmm) is the best choice. It is polished and offers good OpenGL 2.0 support, it works well with multiple

monitors, and it has excellent Windows media playback.On the downside, Fusion offers no OpenGL 2.0 in Windows 7 and can’t

utilize more than four CPU cores. Depending on what type of file you are working with, some operations can be slow.

PaRallels ($80; www.parallels.com). Parallels (mmmm) is best if you want speed and the highest total feature count. Parallels is the most feature-rich of the current crop of virtualization pro-grams; it has good DirectX and OpenGL support; and it offers Multi-Touch support.

The program does have some cons, including sometimes unreliable upgrades, an unfinished feel in spots, and a more complex interface than the other applications. It also defaults to a fully integrated—and less secure—OS X and Windows mode.

Pick the Right application for YouYour choice of virtualization app depends almost entirely on why you want to run another operating system on your Mac. You can’t pre-dict exactly how well each app will work in every situation. But read through the following scenarios and find the one that best describes your needs.

YoU neeD soMeTHIng easY To Use Of the three programs, Fusion comes out ahead in usability. It has a polished feel, and while it has plenty of features, they’re all relatively straightforward to find and use (see “Fusion at a Glance”).

Parallels includes more features, but they’re harder to find and con-

Run WindoWs on youR mac


figure. Parallels also defaults to a “fully shared” Windows installation. That is, the default view is Coherence mode, in which the two OSs freely share Windows and OS X files and folders. This could have security implications. Fusion is more conservative in that its default setup isn’t fully shared.

Fusion software updates are more reliable than Parallels updates. When VMware releases a new version of the program, you can feel confi-dent that it will generally work without problems. If you choose Parallels, install upgrades with caution—wait a bit for any bugs to get worked out.

YoU WanT To PlaY gaMes You’ll get the best Windows gam-ing experience running in fully native Windows with Boot Camp. If you’d rather not reboot to play, Parallels 5 is your best bet. There’s one caveat: Although most games’ visuals will look the same in Fusion and Parallels, when there are exceptions, Fusion looks best.

Parallels 5 can run complex, modern games like Call of Duty 4 (www.callofduty.com) with the graphics complexity turned way down, and has only minor problems with older games. Fusion plays most of the older games too, with only minor differences in graphics.

YoUR WInDoWs aPP Is a cPU Hog Parallels supports the most virtual CPUs (eight), so it would seem to be the logical choice for CPU-intensive applications. Fusion can actually use more CPU power than

fusion at a glance When you run Fusion, your Mac will retain its normal navigation features while you’re working in Windows.

Run WindoWs on youR mac


OS X assigns it. If you play a Windows HD video file on a single-CPU Windows machine, for example, CPU utilization can exceed 100 percent (see “Power Player”). But for now, Fusion is limited to four virtual CPUs, compared with Parallels’ eight.

YoU alReaDY InsTalleD WInDoWs VIa booT caMP Both Fusion and Parallels can see and use the Boot Camp Windows installa-tion as a virtual machine; VirtualBox cannot.

YoU WanT To WaTcH HD WInDoWs VIDeo fIles Both Parallels and Fusion handled a 1080p high-definition test file well in all versions of Windows. Fusion uses slightly less computing power while providing equally good playback, but both programs are worth considering for HD video playback. VirtualBox still has issues running HD video in anything other than Windows XP Pro.

YoU WanT To Use a PRogRaM baseD on oPengl In WInDoWs oR lInUx All three virtualization programs offer some form of OpenGL acceleration, but only Parallels offers it in Linux and all recent versions of Windows. Parallels also has the fastest OpenGL acceleration, and does a good job with the visual effects in Ubuntu Linux.

Power Player Fusion can use more CPU power than Snow Leopard assigns it, but Parallels can support eight virtual CPUs.

Run WindoWs on youR mac


Migrate Your Pc

If you are switching from a PC to a Mac, and plan to run Windows, chances are you’ll want to bring information over from your old version of Windows directly to the new one. Thankfully, virtualization applications make it easier to convert an actual

Windows PC into a Fusion virtual machine—perfect for people who have just bought their first Mac and want easy access to the setup, programs, and documents they were accustomed to using on their Windows PC.

Before moving everything over and filling up your hard drive, consider transferring the files you’ll use in OS X first. For details, see the Transfer Files chapter.

Fusion has the built-in Migration Assistant for Windows application. To migrate the contents of a physical Windows PC over to a Mac, install and launch PC Migration Agent (part of the assistant) on your PC. It will pres-ent you with a four-digit number code. Connect the PC to the Mac over a network (see “A Networked PC”). An Ethernet connection is preferable, but it is possible to do the migration over a wireless connection. Launch Fusion’s Migration Assistant, and, when prompted, enter the code you got from the PC.

a networked Pc You can easily browse the contents of a PC located on the same network from your Mac’s Finder.

Run WindoWs on youR mac


Fusion will then begin gathering information from the PC and start copying the system across the network. It should successfully move everything—all your files and programs, along with user accounts you created on the original PC. Your programs should even retain their set-tings. The setup should work just as it did on the physical PC, though it’ll run a touch slower in the virtual environment.

Parallels has a similar feature called Parallels Transporter. This tool will guide you through the process of migrating everything from a physical PC into a Parallels virtual machine, including the operating system itself as well as applications, files, folders, and settings.

It’s also possible to migrate your Boot Camp partition into one of these virtual setups. Check your virtualization software’s documentation for details.


Troubleshoot Your Mac

Most of the time, your Mac is the

picture of health—it crunches

numbers, plays music, and tack-

les the most difficult tasks without so much

as a hiccup. But many things can go wrong

with such a complicated system. This chap-

ter covers backing up your information, basic

troubleshooting, and tips for keeping your

Mac and data safe.

Table of conTenTs

104 Back Up Your Mac

109 Mac Troubleshoot-ing Tools

116 Security and the Mac

TroubleshooT Your Mac


back Up Your Mac

no matter how much you trust your Mac, you should be vigilant about backing up your data. Having a backup system in place will allow you to quickly recover recent versions of your files or

even move everything to a new computer. Luckily, Apple includes a tool on every Mac running OS X called Time Machine that makes it a snap to back up your system.

Time Machine is Apple’s attempt to turn the complex and sometimes confusing world of backup and restoration into a simple, visual operation using a unique 3D interface. For regular backups, it’s really your best bet.

Once activated, Time Machine works behind the scenes to automati-cally create time-based snapshots of your Mac, letting you instantly retrieve archived versions of files, folders, and programs by month, week, and time. When your Mac’s not connected to your external hard drive, Time Machine keeps tabs on changes made to files until the next time you can back up.

How Time Machine WorksTime Machine copies the files on your computer to a des-tination you designate—such as an external hard drive or a second drive inside your Mac. Then, once every hour, the

program runs again, updating your backup to include whatever files have changed since last time.

With each hourly backup, Time Machine takes a snapshot of your entire system. If you look through the folders on your backup disk, you’ll see what appears to be a complete copy of all your files for each of numerous backup sessions. To some extent that’s an illusion; Time Machine copies to your backup disk only the files and folders that are different from the ones in your previous backup. Using a bit of Unix magic known as hard links, Time Machine can store just one copy of a file or folder but make it appear to be in several places at once. That way, your disk doesn’t fill up with multiple copies of files that haven’t changed.

Time Machine keeps the last 24 hourly backups, the last 30 daily back-ups, and as many weekly backups as there is space for. You can count on it to keep the first backup of any given day for an entire month. Even after a month, it preserves the first backup of each week until your disk is

TroubleshooT Your Mac


nearly full. Only at that point does the program begin purging files from your oldest weekly backups.

set Up Time MachineYou can often set up and turn on Time Machine with a single click. But you may need to do some manual configuration to get it to work the way you want.

cHoose a Hard drive Time Machine stores your backups on an external hard drive. You’ll need to make sure the hard drive you choose has enough available space to hold your backup.

Begin by finding out how much space is currently occupied on your startup disk. Select your hard drive disk in the sidebar of a Finder window and choose File ▶ Get Info. (You can also right-click or Control-click the drive’s icon on your desk-top and press 1-I.) In the General section of the resulting window, next to the word Used, you’ll see how much space your data is using (see “Size It Up”). If you plan on backing up other drives in addition to your startup drive, add that num-ber to your total. Now, multiply that

number by 1.2; the result is the minimum amount of disk space Time Machine can work with. However, more space is always better because it enables Time Machine to retain older backups. Ideally, your backup disk should have at least 1.5 times as much space free as is occupied on your startup disk.

Time Machine works best when it has an entire disk, or at least a parti-tion on a disk, all to itself. So if you have a suitably large drive that’s com-pletely blank or that you can erase, that’s ideal. You can use Disk Utility (in /Applications/Utilities) to erase a disk if needed.

size it Up Select your drive in theFinder and press 1-I to see howmuch space it has available.

TroubleshooT Your Mac


Make a connecTion When you first plug in a hard drive that’s suitably formatted, Time Machine will display an alert asking if you want to use that disk for backups. Click Use As Backup Disk to turn on Time Machine and set it to use that destination. If no alert appears, or if you want to choose a different volume, open the Time Machine preference pane and click the Select A Backup Disk button (which switches to Select Disk after you make your initial selection). Select the volume you want to use and click Use For Backup.

rUn aUToMaTicallY or ManUallY Time Machine ordinarily runs in the background, updating your backup disk once per hour. This isn’t always convenient for mobile Mac users. To disable automatic operation temporarily, move the slider to Off in the Time Machine preference pane. You can force Time Machine to do an immediate backup by Control-clicking the Dock’s Time Machine icon and choosing Back Up Now from the contextual menu. Note that you do not need to turn off Time Machine before disconnecting or unmounting its destination disk. Time Machine stops automatically and will resume backing up to the destination disk once it is available again.

Use Time Machine to recover from Problems After the initial setup, you probably won’t give Time Machine much thought. It works invisibly in the background. But when something goes wrong, it’s ready to spring into action to help you recover lost files.

QUicklY resTore files When you need to retrieve something from your backup, click the Time Machine icon in the Dock. You’ll be transported to the Time Machine interface (see “Time Warp”), which shows the front-most window in the foreground and a line of archived versions of that window stretching back in time. Simply use the time-line along the right side of your screen or the back arrow to “flip back” through time and find the files you want to restore. To immediately jump backward to the last time a selected file changed, highlight the file and click the back arrow once. If you click the arrow without select-ing a file, Time Machine takes you to the last time an item in that folder changed. Time Machine will search your backups and automatically stop at the point where the file was last modified. Select the file or folder, and click the Restore button to import that version of the file to the present.

resTore froM aPPle PrograMs Apple’s Mail, Address Book, and iPhoto ’08 include enhanced support for Time Machine. That means you can go back in time to find a particular e-mail message, contact, or photograph without having to worry about where the underlying file is

TroubleshooT Your Mac


actually stored. To search for an item in these programs, first navigate to a view where the item would normally appear—for example, type a name or keyword in the Search box, or select a particular mailbox or album. Then click the Time Machine icon in the Dock and navigate to the point in time where the item reappears. Click Restore to bring it to the present, or, in Address Book and iPhoto, click Restore All to copy all your contacts or photos from the time of that backup to the present.

Note that iPhoto places restored photos in a new, untitled album, while Mail places restored messages, notes, and to-do items in a new mailbox called Recovered Items, that is inside a Time Machine mailbox in the On My Mac portion of the mailbox list.

resTore an enTire disk Although it’s more time-consuming, Time Machine can also return your entire disk (including OS X itself) to its state at some point in the past.

First, start up from your Snow Leopard installation DVD (you can choose the DVD as your startup volume by holding down the C key as you restart). After the language-selection screen, choose Utilities ▶ Restore System From Backup. Click Continue, select your Time Machine backup disk, and click Continue again. If the disk contains backups for more than one computer, select the one you want from the Restore From

Time Warp Use the scale along the side to jump to a specific date, orclick the back arrow to jump to the last time a selected item was modified. When you find the file you want, click Restore.

TroubleshooT Your Mac


pop-up menu. Then select the particular backup you want to restore (most likely the one at the top of the list) and click Continue. Select your internal disk, click Restore, and confirm your choice. Note that Time Machine assumes the drive to which you’re restoring is blank. If it isn’t, you can erase it before restoring your backup by choosing Utilities ▶ Disk Utility and clicking the Erase Disk button on the Erase tab.

is TiMe MacHine enoUgH? If you’re serious about protecting your data, it’s best to have some sort of off-site backup—for example, using an online backup service or storing a bootable duplicate at your sister’s house.

Also keep in mind that even though Time Machine backs up every file on your disk to another hard drive, you can’t start up your computer from your Time Machine backup. That means if your internal hard drive is dam-aged or corrupted, you’ll have to spend hours restoring your data before you can get back to work. You can use other programs, such as Shirt Pocket’s $28 SuperDuper (www.shirt-pocket.com), to create a bootable duplicate of your hard disk. (For instructions, go to macworld.com/2596.) You must store the duplicate on its own drive or partition in order for it to be bootable.

TroubleshooT Your Mac


Mac Troubleshooting Tools

switching to a whole new computer and operating system means you no longer know exactly what to do when you experience problems. Luckily, many issues that Mac users encounter actu-

ally have simple fixes. Before heading to the Genius Bar or rushing into more-complicated troubleshooting techniques, try these tried-and-true remedies for common Mac problems.

Don’t attempt any fix that seems beyond your Mac knowledge level. The Genius Bar’s staff at Apple stores are well-trained, professional troubleshooters. See “Seek Outside Help” at the end of this section for more information.

force-QuitIt happens to all Mac users sooner or later. You’re about to select a menu command when suddenly your cursor turns into a beach ball that just spins and spins. OS X offers several ways to force-quit a program. You can go to the Apple menu and select Force Quit (or press its keyboard equivalent: 1-Option-Escape). This brings up a list of all your currently open applications. Typically, the name of the frozen application will be followed by the phrase “not responding.” Select the program’s name and click Force Quit (see “Use the Force”).

You can also force-quit an application from the Dock. Click and hold the frozen application’s Dock icon. When the menu pops up, the item that normally reads Quit should say Force Quit. If it still just says Quit, hold down the Option key to make the Force Quit command appear.

On rare occasions, you may need to quit a program—such as the Dock—that doesn’t have a Dock icon or doesn’t appear in the Force Quit window. In that case, launch Apple’s Activity Monitor (in /Applications/Utilities). From its list, select the frozen application. Click the Quit Process button in the toolbar. In the dialog box that appears, click Force Quit.

relaunchJust as unwelcome as the application freeze is the application crash. In this case, you’re not trying to force a program to quit; you’re trying to

TroubleshooT Your Mac


prevent it from quitting on its own. When an application crashes, you typically see a dialog box informing you that the application has “unex-pectedly quit.” As with application freezes, the good news is that these crashes rarely bring down an entire Mac—they usually affect just the one application. The “unexpectedly quit” dialog box includes a Reopen but-ton. Click this button to launch the application again. With luck, the crash will not recur.

Update ProgramsIn order to keep your Mac running smoothly, it’s important to always install the latest software and operating system updates from Apple. Luckily, Apple makes staying on top of new updates a snap. To check for updates from Apple, select Software Update from the Apple menu. You can set Software Update’s Preferences settings to schedule regular checks for new software. Once a week is the recommended setting.

Does a third-party program consistently crash when you try to perform a particular action, such as saving a file? If the symptom doesn’t occur with any other applications, check to make sure that you have the very latest version of that application and that it doesn’t have any known con-flict with the version of OS X you’re using. Check the company’s Website for details. Oftentimes you’ll find a new version that fixes some bug (or some conflict with other software) that is causing the symptom.

If a program gives you a dialog box asking whether you want to check for updates, accept the offer. Some software comes with a separate update utility that can launch on a schedule—say, once a week. For example, look for the Microsoft AutoUpdate program in your Applications folder if you want to check any of your Office programs right away or set

Use the force When a stuck application brings your Mac to a screeching halt, try force-quitting and starting fresh.

TroubleshooT Your Mac


up a schedule. For a program that doesn’t offer this sort of help, use your Web browser to check for an update, by going either to a site such as VersionTracker (www.versiontracker.com) or to the company’s Website.

restartIf the crashes persist, or if the program misbehaves in other ways, it’s time to move on to a time-tested set of potential fixes. To begin, choose Restart from the Apple menu. It’s amazing how often this can eradicate whatever was bothering your Mac. If your system is so gummed up that you can’t get Restart to work, press and hold your Mac’s power button until the machine shuts off. As a last resort, you can pull the computer’s power cord.

reinstall ProgramsIf the misbehaving software is still acting up and is the latest version, your copy of it may be corrupted. In that case, it might help to reinstall the software, by either downloading it from the Web or pulling out your original CD.

Unfortunately, reinstalling won’t fix problems involving a program’s support files. For example, numerous programs place files in your user folder/Library/Application Support. Simply replacing the main program won’t replace these support files. Sometimes even using an application’s installer won’t do it.

If the program came with an uninstall utility, use it to uninstall the program, then reinstall it again. Otherwise, you may need to search for support files (in Spotlight, search for items that contain the application’s name) and remove them before you reinstall the software.

log in as a new UserIf you’ve installed new programs and you’ve tweaked preferences, one of the changes you’ve made to your system may be causing problems. Find out by logging in as a different user. (It’s best to start with a clean slate. When your computer is running smoothly, set up a separate troubleshoot-ing account using the Accounts preference pane. Leave this account untouched and unused until things start to go awry.)

If an application keeps crashing on launch, log in to your trouble-shooting account by selecting Log Out your user name from the Apple menu, and then selecting the account from your login screen. Launch the troublesome application. Does it launch successfully now? If so, you’ve discovered a critical piece of information. You now know that the cause

TroubleshooT Your Mac


of the crash is almost certainly some file within your Home directory—the folder that holds all the files for your usual user account. (Your Home directory is labeled with a house icon and your user name.)

If you use a different account and the crash still occurs, you’ve learned that the source of the problem is probably outside your Home directory. As you’ve presumably already tried reinstalling the application to no avail, the problem is most likely in the /System/Library or /Library folder—or perhaps one of the invisible Unix folders. Fixing problems like these can be tricky. For most users, this will merit a visit to the Genius Bar.

repair Your diskIf it doesn’t appear that a single application is causing your troubles—for example, if all applications crash on launch—and you are confident in your computer tinkering skills, try using Disk Utility (/Applications/Utilities) to repair the drive. Open the utility, click the First Aid tab, and then click Repair Disk.

Unfortunately, if the problem drive is your startup disk (which is almost always the case), you’ll run into an immediate dilemma: The Repair Disk button will be dimmed and you won’t be able to select it. To get it to repair your current startup drive, you’ll have to jump through some hoops. There are several ways to deal with this issue.

click verifY disk The Verify Disk button usually works when Repair Disk doesn’t. Click it if you can (see “Verification Station”). If the results say that everything is OK, you can bypass Repair Disk. Unfortu-nately, the process of using Verify Disk for the startup drive is still a bit buggy; you may find that the program stalls and never gives results.

sTarT UP froM anoTHer drive You can start up from your Snow Leopard install DVD. Insert the DVD and click the Utilities button, and then Restart. Once your system restarts, you will have additional Utilities options and you can choose Repair Disk for your normal startup drive.

Alternatively, you can start up from a secondary bootable drive if you have one with Disk Utility installed. If First Aid reports that it successfully made repairs, run the utility again. Occasionally, a successful repair uncov-ers yet another problem requiring a fix. When the results indicate that no further repairs were necessary, you’re done.

skiP rePairing PerMissions Most of the time, Disk First Aid includes the option Repair Disk Permissions. This is a different and entirely separate procedure from Repair Disk. Essentially, Repair Disk Per-missions returns the Unix permissions that Mac OS X installs for all files to their default values. This can remedy cases when you can’t open, move,

TroubleshooT Your Mac


or delete files because of insufficient authorization. Otherwise, it will likely have no beneficial effect. (To learn more about exactly what repairing permissions does, see macworld.com/3563.)

check console logs Launch OS X’s Console utility (/Applications/Utilities). If you don’t see a list of logs in the left column, click the Show Log List button in the toolbar. From the list on the left side, locate the CrashReporter folders (in your user folder/Library/Logs and in /Library/Logs). Here you’ll find a .crash.log file for every application that has ever crashed on your Mac.

In the log file with the name of your problem program, you can look for a clue to the cause of the crash—for example, a reference to a plug-in that may be causing a conflict. Look carefully at any section with a header including the word Crashed. The output in the All Messages item under Database Searches may also provide a clue as to the cause of a crash.

verification station If you can’t pin your problems on a particular applica-tion, take a trip to Disk Utility.

TroubleshooT Your Mac


Snow Leopard has added a Diagnostic Information section to Console that includes diagnostic messages and user and system diagnostic reports. For more advice on using Console, see macworld.com/3302.

do a safe bootIf your Mac crashes when you turn it on, hold down the Shift key at startup until you see the words Safe Boot appear on screen. In Safe Boot mode, the Mac performs checks and makes repairs much as it does when you run Disk Utility’s Repair Disk feature. It also deletes the dynamic loader shared cache, a known cause of some “blue-screen” startup crashes.

Even if you don’t do anything else, a safe boot may restore your Mac to its old self with the next normal restart. Otherwise, assuming the safe boot succeeded, you’ve at least temporarily bypassed the startup crash and you can now do further troubleshooting, modifying or moving files. After you’re done troubleshooting, restart normally.

disconnect Peripherals If you’re still having problems with your computer, try disconnecting all USB and FireWire devices (except your Apple-supplied keyboard and mouse), and then restart the Mac. If the Mac can start up, there may have been a conflict between OS X and one of the disconnected devices. You may be able to reconnect all the devices and use them, but if you leave them connected, your Mac may fail to start up the next time you try. The only way to cure this problem is by updating the device’s driver software or firmware. Check the company’s Website for details.

reset PraM Restart the Mac yet again. This time immediately hold down the key com-bination 1-Option-P-R until the Mac chimes a second time. This resets the information in the Mac’s parameter RAM (PRAM) to its default values, which can solve certain startup problems. PRAM is a special area of RAM that retains data even after the Mac shuts down. PRAM stores various system parameters, such as time-zone settings and volume.

reinstall os X If the above steps haven’t paid off, bring out your OS X Installation DVD and start from scratch. Make sure you have a backup of any important files first. If you can’t back up your system and you need something from it, skip to the next step.

TroubleshooT Your Mac


seek outside HelpIf you’ve tried all these fixes with no luck, it’s time to enlist the help of the outside world. It’s likely that you are not the first or only person to have experienced your problem, so chances are good that you’ll discover solu-tions online. Start with a Google search. If you can type in the exact text of your error message or otherwise summarize your problem using a few keywords, you’re especially likely to get helpful results from Google.

Your next stop should be the support sites for the products that are giving you trouble. For OS X in general, or for any Apple products, there’s no substitute for searching Apple Support (www.apple.com/support). After you type in your search terms, the results will typically take you to articles in Apple’s Knowledge Base and threads in Apple’s Discussions section. The Discussions threads are often more fruitful, as they include tips from readers for fixing problems that Apple may not yet have officially acknowledged.

If you still need help, you can go to the source by visiting one of Apple’s Genius Bars. The Genius Bar is incredibly popular, so make an appointment before you go. You can schedule your visit via Apple’s Website (www.apple.com/retail/geniusbar). Arrive a few minutes early and check in with the concierge. In most cases, the Genius Bar will call you up within minutes of your appointed time.

If you don’t have an Apple Store nearby, you can still find old-fashioned telephone support at 800/275-2273. It’s free for 90 days for most products, and for two years if you purchased AppleCare. If you prefer, you can avoid waiting on hold by placing your phone request at the Apple Expert page (www.apple.com/support/expert). Apple will call you at an agreed-upon time. Apple also offers online chat help for a few products, notably MobileMe (macworld.com/4609).

TroubleshooT Your Mac


security and the Mac

one of the reasons many people switch to Macs is for increased security. And while it’s true that Macs are significantly more secure than Windows machines, it doesn’t mean they’re perfect.

There are still dangers, and the best defense is knowledge and vigilance. Here are some common Mac security problems and solutions.

MalwareWhen you say “computer security,” most people think of viruses, worms, and other forms of malware. They also think, “Mac users don’t have to worry about those.” For the most part they’re correct, but that could always change. So it pays to keep your eyes open for credible reports of new Mac security problems and to change your computing habits accordingly.

While malicious software has long been a near-daily annoyance for Windows PCs, Mac users have become accustomed to not having to worry about malware. Let’s be completely clear: there are absolutely no technical barriers preventing worms or viruses from infecting the Mac platform. But despite the opportunities, no widespread malware for Macs has appeared; your risk of infection is essentially zero.

The Mac OS contains a built-in system that detects malicious software and attempts to protect users from inadvertently damaging their comput-ers (see “Are You Sure?”). OS X’s File Quarantine tool checks files that are downloaded from the Internet via Mail, Safari, or iChat. A warning reveals which application downloaded the offending file, from what site, and at what time. File Quarantine offers the option to continue opening the file, to cancel, or to view the source Web page.

In Snow Leopard, Apple has set up File Quarantine to also check files against known malware, pulling from a list of malware definitions on your computer that Software Update keeps current.

If you try to open an infected file, Snow Leopard presents a warning saying that the file will damage your computer and suggesting that you move the possibly dangerous file to the Trash. If you are using Safari and have enabled Open “Safe” Files After Downloading (Preferences ▶ General), you will automatically be prompted with this dialog box when the download completes and the file opens (but before any malicious code can execute).

TroubleshooT Your Mac


Until attacks on Macs start to appear, there’s little reason for the average Apple user to invest in antivirus software. However, if you’re a corporate user on a network with Windows users, or you regularly down-load software from risky parts of the Internet, try using an e-mail service that filters for viruses since e-mail is the most common vector of attack. All major services, including MobileMe, Google Mail, Hotmail, and Yahoo, filter for malware, as do many Internet service providers.

One of the most important steps in keeping your Mac safe is making sure it’s always up-to-date. Mac OS X security updates include fixes not only for OS X security holes, but also for the various tools Apple provides with each Mac. Make sure your Mac’s Software Update preference pane is set so that your Mac checks regularly for new software. Checking weekly should be sufficient for most people. But if you’re in a higher-risk category—if you regularly visit unfamiliar Websites or use personal file sharing or Web sharing, for instance—you should check daily.

Unsecure connectionsWhen you connect with the outside world, you potentially open yourself up to intruders and snoops. Defend your information with these tricks.

sTaY safe on PUblic Wi-fi When you’re on a public network, it’s possible for outsiders to snoop on your network traffic by looking for strings of characters that might be passwords or account numbers. Unfortunately, public hotspots rarely use Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) encryption, and even the few that do aren’t necessarily secure.

To stay safe when joining unknown networks, you can secure your indi-vidual activities. For example, you can protect your e-mail by using a Web service or an e-mail application that supports SSL/TLS (Secure Sockets Layer/Transport Layer Security), or turn on iChat encryption to protect

are You sure? Snow Leopard checks downloaded files and warnsyou if they pose a potential threat to your Mac.

TroubleshooT Your Mac


quick conversations. A better option is a virtual private network (VPN) connection, which protects your entire network.

A VPN client connects to a VPN server or gateway, creating an encrypted tunnel between the two. Most VPNs use a protocol called IPSec, although some still use an older, less secure standard called PPTP. Many companies offer VPN access for their mobile workers (check with your IT department). You can also “rent” access to a VPN that will protect your surfing, e-mail, and other connections over the local network, such as WiTopia’s service ($40 per year; www.witopia.net).

TUrn on YoUr fireWall You can also turn on Snow Leopard’s firewall when using unsecured Internet connections. To turn on your fire-wall, open the Security preference pane (see “New Firewall Settings”).

Select the Firewall tab and you’ll see a simple On/Off setting. To con-figure the firewall, click the Start button and then the Advanced button. Your options now include Block All Incoming Connections, Automatically Allow Signed Software To Receive Incoming Connections, and Enable Stealth Mode. You can also configure individual firewall rules.

Block All Incoming Connections allows access to all nonessential ser-vices and applications. It prevents file sharing, remote access, and other

new firewall settings Snow Leopard’s firewall settings give you a good amount of control over incoming connections.

TroubleshooT Your Mac


optional services. Use this option if you really want to block everything—for instance, when you’re on potentially hostile networks, such as those in hotels or public hotspots.

The Automatically Allow Signed Software To Receive Incoming Con-nections option gives signed software (apps with a valid certificate) access to the network. If you want to make your computer invisible to unapproved traffic, select Enable Stealth Mode.

You can disable this option if you want better control over which applica-tions accept network connections. You can also choose whether to allow file sharing for individual programs. Click the plus sign (+) to add a program and choose Allow Incoming Connections or Block Incoming Connections from the drop-down menu on the right. You should switch your OS X fire-wall to Block All Incoming Connections and Enable Stealth Mode when you are traveling. When you return home, you can switch back to more lenient settings or turn the firewall off.

cHeck YoUr sHaring seTTings Make sure you only open the ports that need to be open. Open the Sharing preference pane (see “Cau-tious Sharing”). Here you’ll see a checklist of sharing options such as File Sharing (which lets other users access files on your Mac), Screen Sharing (which lets them see your screen), and Remote Login (which lets other people access your Mac using SSH). Turn off any services that you don’t need by removing the checkmarks from the boxes next to their names. Also, to make sure that your Mac thwarts hackers’ attempts to sniff out open ports, turn on your firewall.

There’s also an easy way to instantly turn off all network services without disabling them one by one: In the Security preference pane, select the Firewall tab, then click Advanced and select Block All Incoming Connections. Even if you have enabled services in the Sharing preference pane, in iTunes, or in other programs, the firewall will now block incoming access. Enable this option before you use public networks; it should keep you safe.

Phishing scamsMac users are just as vulnerable to e-mail scams as PC users. Remember that legitimate banks and online vendors would never send you an e-mail asking you to confirm account information or reveal a password or other personal data. When in doubt about where a link in an e-mail message leads, check its real destination before clicking it. If you’re in Mail, just hover your cursor over the link for a moment, and a dialog box showing the true URL will pop up.

TroubleshooT Your Mac


data TheftIf your computer is stolen or someone gains access to it over an unsecure network, they can easily access all of your private data. Here are some simple ways to protect your information.

seT UP accoUnTs One of the easiest things you can do to keep out snoops and to protect the files on your computer is to require users to log in. OS X lets you set up separate user accounts for everyone who uses your Mac, giving you precise control over how much access each account has and who can access your Mac at all (for more information about setting up accounts, see the Get Oriented chapter).

disable aUToMaTic login By default, OS X logs you in when you turn on your computer. This is convenient, but it also leaves your Mac and its files vulnerable to anyone who pushes the power button. Forcing your Mac to ask for a password on such occasions can increase your security and make your data harder to access.

cautious sharing Thwart snoops by keeping only essential services turned on in the Sharing preference pane.

TroubleshooT Your Mac


Open the Security pane in System Preferences and click the General tab. If necessary, click the lock icon at the bottom of the window and authenticate with your administrator password. Then turn on the Disable Automatic Login option (see “Not So Fast”). This will ensure that the auto-matic login feature is disabled for all user accounts.

Pick sTrong PassWords Always pick a good password. Avoid using any of the following: your name or nickname; the names of your spouse, kids, or pets; your birth date, anniversary, or spouse’s or kids’ birthdays; any part of your address or telephone number; your favorite sports teams; or anything else that someone who knows you well might be able to guess, or that could be found in public records. Also avoid obvious choices such as “password.” It’s important to try to use different passwords for each account and to change them periodically. If you use one password for all your accounts, a thief only has to guess it once to access everything.

encrYPT daTa Finally, you should consider encrypting any truly sen-sitive data on your hard disk. This ensures the privacy of data by making it essentially impossible for anyone else to read it. The FileVault feature encrypts the entire contents of your user folder.

To activate FileVault, go to the Security preference pane and click the FileVault tab. If you haven’t already done so, click Set Master Password and specify a password that you can use to unlock FileVault if you forget your regular login password. Make sure the password is secure but memorable, as there’s no way to recover it if you forget it. Then click Turn On FileVault.

Once FileVault is on, logging out will encrypt all your files, and logging in will decrypt them again. One flaw is that Time Machine doesn’t work well with FileVault, and will back up only FileVault-encrypted home direc-tories when the user logs out.

Macs running WindowsUnder ordinary circumstances, a properly configured Mac doesn’t present much of a security risk. Sharing a network with Windows systems doesn’t change that; the Mac is still relatively safe.

Under some circumstances, however, even a properly configured Mac, with an educated user, can compromise the security of the Windows sys-tems to which it’s connected. But that risk is easy to manage with a few simple precautions.

infecTing oTHers Macs rarely experience viruses or other forms of malicious software, but they can act as vectors for infections targeting Windows systems. It’s not that the Mac is infected and used to attack the

TroubleshooT Your Mac


PC. Rather, the Mac may host an infected file; because of the networked relationship, a vulnerable PC that trusts that Mac might then become infected. For a Mac to act as a vector that spreads infections to Windows machines, three conditions must be met:

First, the Mac must access and share the infected file—via e-mail, instant messaging, shared storage (a flash drive, for example), or some similar mechanism. Second, the Windows system must be vulnerable to the malware, and its security defenses must fail to protect it. And third, the file must evade network security filters. Typically, this is relevant only on corporate networks, which might have tools to filter Web traffic or to scan e-mail and file servers for viruses.

Because those three things need to happen, Mac-to-PC infections aren’t common. Still, you can take a number of measures to prevent them. The first and best defense is to make sure your Windows systems are properly secured, with up-to-date security software.

If you’re on a Mac, it’s a good idea to send and receive e-mail through a server or service that filters e-mails for viruses. Such services are updated more frequently than desktop antivirus apps, protect you from the few pieces of malware that do attack Macs, and don’t require maintenance on your part.

not so fast Disable automatic logins so only authorized people can access your Mac.

TroubleshooT Your Mac


Many Mac security products—including Intego’s VirusBarrier X6— provide some protection against Windows malware (see “A Better Bar-rier”). Finally, if you exchange lots of files with PC users over a network, you should install a Mac-based antivirus app that scans for Windows mal-ware. Mac security products from Intego (www.intego.com/virusbarrier), Kaspersky (macworld.com/5880), Sophos (macworld.com/1304), Symantec (macworld.com/5881), and Trend Micro (macworld.com/5882) all scan for Windows malware. Whatever application you use, make sure it’s configured to scan e-mail, downloaded files, and files from portable and shared storage.

virTUalizaTion You can infect neighboring PCs if you run Windows programs on your Mac using virtualization software (see the Run Windows on Your Mac chapter for details on how to set up virtualization software). And a Mac running Windows is as vulnerable as any PC.

Both VMware Fusion and Parallels Desktop for Mac enable you to share the file system, the network, and even the desktop between OS X and Windows. So if your Windows virtual machine is exploited, the data on your Mac could be exposed. You could even infect your own machine

a better barrier You can configure a Mac security program like Intego’s VirusBarrier X6 to watch out for Windows malware.

TroubleshooT Your Mac


by downloading a file to your Mac and then accessing it on your hard drive from the Windows virtual machine.

Your best—actually, your only—option is to implement the same security measures on a Windows virtual machine that you would on a PC. Make sure that you have Windows antivirus software installed on it, and that it’s configured to scan any file you open in Windows, not just e-mail attachments and downloaded files. If you don’t want the Windows antivirus program to slow down your Mac while it checks all the files on your system, you can disable or limit file sharing between the two OSs in your system settings.

coMPliance There’s one other security concern, but it’s relevant only to corporate networks. Some companies have policies in place requiring all systems on the network to be manageable using centralized security tools—also called endpoint security tools. That means you have to make sure your Mac can be managed with these tools.

Most major endpoint security tools (which come from many of the same companies that make desktop antivirus apps) offer at least basic Mac support. If you’re bringing a Mac into a new company, check with the IT department to get approval and to have the necessary client soft-ware installed.

Congratulations, you finally did it! You decided to switch from a Windows PC to a Mac. In addition to being excited, you’re probably feeling a little over-whelmed at the prospect of making the transition and learning a new operating system from scratch. Where is every-thing located? What’s the best way to transfer your files from your PC? And what should you do if your Mac runs into a few hiccups?

Inside this book, you’ll find answers to all those questions and more. After all, when it comes to switching to an Apple

computer, there is no better team of experts to help you make the big move than the writers and editors at Macworld, the world’s foremost authority on everything Mac.

This book will explain the ins and outs of your Mac’s operating sys-tem, OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard). We’ll walk you through the basics, like working with files and using Apple’s built-in applications. You’ll learn how to search your Mac efficiently and pick up helpful tips on customizing your preferences to make your Mac fit your needs. You’ll also get the lowdown on transferring your data to your new Mac from a PC, and learn what software can replace any favorites you left behind on your Windows machine. Finally, just in case you hit a few bumps on the road with your Mac, you’ll find instructions on how to troubleshoot your Mac like a pro.

We know moving can be a pain. Let us help you keep your files, as well as your sanity, intact during the transition. After a little time spent reading this guide and getting settled with your new computer, you’ll feel like a lifelong Mac user.