Mac OS X Snow Leopard

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Dock & Finder navigation

Two distinct features of Mac OS X are the Dock and the Finder. The Dock is a toolbar with icon aliases to applications and folders. The Finder shows all the directories in the computer (the beginning of the directory structure is at the top level of Volumes rather than the desktop).

To open Finder view, click the Finder icon in the dock. - fig.1


Four main finder views: - fig.2-5

fig.2 Icon View
fig.3 List View
fig.4 Column View
fig.5 Cover Flow

Use these Navigation Buttons in Finder: - fig.6


a) Back Button

b) Forward Button

c) Switch to Icon View

d) Switch to List View

e) Switch to Column View

f) Switch to Cover Flow View

g) Quick Look/Slideshow

h) Lists folder options


The dock mainly consists of application aliases, to easily access programs. The rest of the dock (right side) is reserved for Stacks and the trash can. Stacks are folders that make accessing commonly used files easy to get to. Folders containing many files will be displayed in a table and stacks with fewer files will be displayed in an arch. You may also find any minimized windows in this area of the dock. To add an application or stack to the dock just drag and drop the icon into desired position. - fig.7-9




Quick Look:

Quick look is a feature in Snow Leopard that en ables the user to see a preview or even a slide show of files. To activate quick look, choose a file or files and click on the Quick look button in a finder or press the space bar from finder or Desktop. - fig.10



Using the button to List folder options, you can see the commands and options for files and folders. - fig.11


You can also get these options by holding Ctrl.png when clicking the desktop and selecting a file, a folder, or several folders or files.

If you select Show view options from the menu, you can change the view of specific folders, arrangement, information, etc. in the Finder and on the Desktop. Comm.png -J will also bring up the Show view options. - fig.12


Moving Files

Move files by dragging and dropping:

1) Click the file you wish to move and hold the mouse button down.

2) Drag the file to its destination and release the mouse button.

Ways to drag and drop multiple files:

1) Use the mouse to highlight multiple files. To do this, click the first file in a list, hold the mouse button down, and move the cursor to highlight the other files you want to move.

2) Click the first file, hold Comm.png, and click the other files you wish to move, release Comm.png, and then drag and drop the files. - fig.13

Use this for files that are not located next to one another in the Finder window.


3) Click one file on either end of the list, hold down Shift button.png, and then click the last file in the list. This will highlight all files in between those two selected files.

Deselect files:

Hold Comm.png, and click the files you do not want. - fig.14


To move files to a new folder:

1) Use the List Folder Options button in Finder to create a new folder. - fig.15


2) Then drag and drop the files into that folder.

New folder shortcut: Shift comm N sc.png

Connecting to Servers

1.From the Finder click Go > Connect to Server... - fig.16


Shortcut: Comm.png -K

2. Connnect to afp://

3. Use login information that you use to log in to the computer.

4. Choose volume that you wish to access and click OK. That Volume will be added to desktop and may also be accessed through finder.

Note: You may also connect to server in a finder window choose server under "Shared" and click Connect As. - fig.17


Fast User Switching

Mac OS X has user home directories so multiple users can share a system without interfering with anyone else’s personal settings. You can access this login by clicking on the current user name on the top right hand corner of the Menu bar. - fig.18



Remember when using Finder, that when a CD, DVD, or external device is added to the system, it does not mount to the desktop although it will appear on the physical desktop, if it is set to do so. - fig.19, 20


Set External Devices to appear on desktop:

1) In Finder or the Desktop, go to the menu bar and select Finder then Preferences. - fig.21


2) In the window, select the General tab.

3) Click to put a checkmark next to CDs, DVDs, and iPods under Show these items on the Desktop. - fig.22


Ejecting Disks & Devices

Ejecting items from a Mac (such as hard-drives, Firewire devices, USB devices, network volumes) is different from a PC. You must eject the items from the desktop or else they might become corrupted if not properly removed, and you will lose all the information on the disk.

Four options:

1) Click the eject button next to the disk or network drive in the Finder window. - fig.23


2) Drag items to the trash can in the dock. When you start dragging the icon to the trash, it turns into an eject button.

3) Right click volume from desktop and choose Eject "volume name." - fig.24


4) Select item + Comm.png + E

Force Quit

If the program you are running has crashed or has come upon some kind of problem, you can “force quit” instead of restarting the system.

To force quit:

Choose Force Quit from the Apple menu to open its window. - fig.25, 26


Shortcut: Comm.png - option - esc

Note:You can also relaunch Finder through the Force Quit Applications window.

Crashed file backups:

Many programs such as Microsoft Word or InDesign will make backups so your work won’t be lost during a force quit. If the program has this option, restart the program and reopen the file from the program. You should copy the old information and make a new file in case the old file was corrupted. Unfortunately, programs such as Photoshop and Illustrator do not have this function.

Quit from Dock

For several reasons, it may be easier to quit programs from the dock (such as if there are several running and you do not want to go through each to quit from the menu).

1) In the dock, roll the mouse over the program you wish to exit.

2) Hold the mouse button down or right-click and a menu will pop up, choose Quit. - fig.27


Note: You can also use the Force Quit option from the dock if a program is hanging or has crashed (or if you started it accidentally and don’t want it to load).

Activity Monitor

You can use the Activity Monitor in the Utilities folder to keep track of computer usage. For example, Activity Monitor will show that an application is not responding (or crashed). If this lasts for several minutes, then you need to force quit the unresponsive program.

Location: Applications > Utilities > Activity Monitor


To force quit:

1) Open Activity Monitor. My Processes will list the active programs that the current user (student) has open. - fig.29


2) Select the unresponsive application and click on quit process. - fig.30


3) Select Force Quit. The program should now quit, and the light under the application icon should have been removed from the dock.

Adding Ink Jet Printers

1) Open the Print & Fax from within System Preferences. Location: Applications > System Preferences. - fig.31


2) Then click the lock to allow settings to be changed. - fig.32


3) Click the plus at the bottom left of the printers to add a printer. - fig.33


4) Under default, choose the printer you would like to add, and make sure that the printer is on before you do so. - fig.34


5) Once you have added the printer, it will appear in the window. Also, make sure to click the lock again once you are done to prevent settings from being changed. - fig.35



Expose is a desktop navigation tool built into OS 10.6. Navigate through your desktop and use shortcut keys instead of maximizing and minimizing windows.

Expose Shortcuts: F9 f10 f11.png

Note: Shortcuts can be changed in System Preferences.

If there are several windows open, use Expose to navigate these windows quickly, and easily using your mouse. The program even tells you which window is which. - fig.36

  • F9 button.png shows all active windows.
  • Rollover: Highlights window and displays name or web site. - fig.37
  • F9 button.png again returns windows to original positions.
  • F10 button.png shows open windows within a program.
  • Tab button.png navigates between program windows.
  • F10 button.png again returns windows to original positions.
  • F11 button.png goes directly to Desktop. - fig.38
  • F11 button.png again returns open windows to screen.

More navigation:

Although the function is not part of Expose, you can navigate between open programs.

1) Tap Comm.png Tab button.png to switch between open programs.

2) Hold Comm.png, tap Tab button.png to toggle between programs.

a) Multiple Tab button.png taps goes to next program.

b) Use mouse to choose programs in toggle window view.


Spotlight is Apple’s powerful new search tool. You don’t even need to know the exact name of the file you are looking for, just the date created would be enough.

To use spotlight:

1) Click the magnifying glass on the top right corner of the screen. - fig.39


2) Type in a file name or word, and it will find any instance of the phrase in your search. - fig.40


If you are searching for a Word document, and you do not know the title of the document, Spotlight will search the text of documents for a general subject.

You can also search with spotlight from the Finder window. - fig.41


Smart Folders

Spotlight also has a function called Smart Folders that you can use to save searches you make often.

Ways to make Smart Folders:

1) In the Apple Menu (in Finder or the Desktop) go to File then New Smart Folder. - fig.42


Shortcut: Comm.png + option + N

2) After performing a Spotlight search in Finder, hit the “Save” button.

To use Smart Folders:

Smart Folders can be found in the Finder window. Just click to use them, and Spotlight will perform the search automatically. - fig.43


Note: Spotlight constantly updates information in Smart Folders, so the search will stay current.


Dashboard is a new program installed with OS 10.6. It brings up small programs called Widgets. Widgets offer mini controls at the user’s fingertips.

Widget examples:

  • Clock - fig.44
  • Calendar - fig.45
  • Calculator - fig.46
  • Weather information - fig.47
  • Translators
  • Radios

Activate dashboard:

1) Choose the Dashboard icon in the dock. - fig.48


Shortcut: F12 button.png

Add Widgets:

1) Add from system:

  • a) With Dashboard open, click on the “+” on the bottom left hand corner to open the widget bar.
  • b) Click to choose widgets or drag them off the bar. Close the bar or a widget by clicking X. - fig.49

2) Click on More Widgets to get to the Apple website through Safari. Widgets are free from the Apple Store, but third party widgets may cost money.

Archiving & Unarchiving

Create .zip files easily with the Archiving function in Mac OS 10.6.

Create .zip file:

1) Select a file or a multiple files. Right click, and an option to archive the files will pop up in a pull down menu. - fig.50


2) Your files will then be copied into a compressed file that will be named after the folder you compressed or if created from multiple files. - fig.51


3) Rename a file by clicking its name until a cursor appears. - fig.52


Unarchive a file:

1) Double-click the file you want to decompress.

2) After it decompresses, a folder with the same name will appear.

Burning Disks

Mac OS 10.6 also has built-in disk burning capabilities for CDs and DVDs.

1) Pop in a blank disk, and a dialog window will open. - fig.53


2) Click OK, and Finder will open. Notice the blank disk mounted with a burn button next to it.

3) Drag files you want to burn to the disk icon. - fig.54


4) Hit the burn icon to open a dialog window where you can either burn the disk or save the burn folder for another time. - fig.55


Burn Folders:

You can also create burn folders separately.

1) Go to the Apple Menu (in Finder or Desktop) and select File then New Burn Folder. - fig.56


Shortcut: Hold + click in a directory.

2) Drag files to the Burn Folder. - fig.57


3) To burn, put in a blank disk and click on the button next to the Burn Folder in Finder. - fig.58


Disk Utility

Disk Utility is versatile enough to do everything from formatting disks to burning files.

Location: Applications > Utilities > DiskUtility

Create disk image:

Disk image files are helpful for burning disks.

1) Go to the File menu, select New, and then select Blank Disk Image or Disk Image from Folder.... - fig.59


2) Your disk image file will be the same as the folder. In the pull-down menus, choose a location for your file. Keep the format at compressed and encryption none. - fig.60


3) You can burn the disk at any time.

Burning to CD/DVD:

You can burn disks from saved disk images.

1) After creating a disk image, select it in the Disk Utility window. Press burn button or go to the Images menu and select Burn.

If you do not select a disk image, a dialog window will open so you can look for one. - fig.61


2) In the burning dialog window, select your preferences, and click Burn when you’re done. - fig.62


Hit OK in the dialog window when the burn completes.

Format a disk:

You can format any rewritable media through Disk Utility.

1) Insert your rewritable media (CD-RW, DVD-RW, Flash drive, etc.).

2) In disk utility, select the volume you would like to erase from the list on the left.

3) For most disks, except CD-RWs and DVD-RWs, you should select the format from the pull-down menu and name your disk. - fig.63

  • If do not use a PC, choose “Mac OS Extended (Journaled).” Otherwise, choose “MS-DOS File System.”
  • If you use Mac OS 9, check the box to install drivers for that system.

4) For a more thorough erase, press Security Options. Make a selection and press OK. Then select Erase. - fig.64

Press Quick Erase for a less thorough erase. (It will not overwrite the data.)


5) In the dialog window, click Erase. - fig.65


Disk Utility will show you the progress of the erase. - fig.66


Disk permissions

When user permissions become damaged, you can have trouble opening files or applications. You should verify and repair disk permissions after you update the system or install new software.

1) In Disk Utility, select the Macintosh HD from the list on the left hand side of the window. - fig.67


2) Press Verify Test Permissions. Problems will be listed as Disk Utility finds them. - fig.68


If there are problems, press Repair Disk Permissions when verification ends.

3) Disk Utility will then repair all problematic disk permissions and list the corrections. - fig.69