Fall 2000

How to Use a Macintosh

If you have never used a Mac, but are familiar with Windows, this handout will help you get started.

The Apple Menu: How to start a program

All of the commonly used applications and utilities can be accessed from the "Apple" menu, which drops down from the multicolored Apple logo in the upper left-hand corner of the screen. This means you do not have to go digging through layers of folders to find the program you need. Click and hold on the Apple, then scroll down to the application you want and release the mouse button. The program will begin executing. The Apple menu functions similarly to the "Start" button in Windows 9x/NT.* Like the Start menu, the Apple menu is hierarchical - it has secondary menus that pop out to the side from various categories (like word processing or control panels) of the main menu.

The Finder and Program Menu: How to manage the applications

The "Program" menu, also known as the Application menu, is in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. If you pull down this menu, you will see a list of all the programs that are running (i.e., in RAM). You can use this menu to select which program you want to be the active one. (For example, you may want to switch back and forth between a spreadsheet and a word processor.) In this sense, the Application menu is like the task bar in Windows 9x/NT. Of course, you can also switch between applications by clicking on a window belonging to an application that is currently in the background. But if none of the windows are visible, use the Application menu.

When you are actively using the Mac OS for tasks like moving, deleting and copying files, you are said to be in the "Finder". In System 7.x, the Finder's icon is a square computer. In OS 8.x, the icon is a two-toned blue smiley face. When the Finder is active, you will see five menus at the top of the screen: File, Edit, View, Label, and Special. From these you can search for files by title, list files by creation date, empty the trash, etc., etc. In Mac OS 8.x, when you start to search for a file another application called "Sherlock" will come up, but it is really part of the Finder.

To eject a floppy disk, select "Eject disk" from the "Special" menu. You can also do this by dragging the disk icon to the trash. (Don't worry - it won't erase your data.)

The Chooser: How to print and transfer files

Under the Apple menu is a utility called the "Chooser". From this panel, you can connect to printers and other Macs that are on the ethernet. You can change your default printer (click "Laser Writer 8"). You can also copy files to other Macs (for example, you could copy your data to a Mac in the study area to work on your lab report later.) In order for this to work, the other computer must have file sharing turned on.

Special Keys and the mouse: How to copy, paste, etc.

The "command" key, also known as the Apple key or clover, is used instead of control or alt for many functions. It has an outline of the Apple logo, and this symbol: . Hold down the command key, then press another key or click the mouse. Some of the most frequently used key sequences are: -x Cut -c Copy -v Paste -d Duplicate (a file) -n New (document or folder) -p Print -q Quit (an application) The Mac mouse only has one button. Some menus that would be accessed in Windows by right-clicking (context-sensitive menus) can be popped-up on the Mac by "command-clicking". Hold down the -key and click the mouse. However, this is mainly in OS 8.x and very seldom found in System 7.x.

Margie Farrell Fall 2000 * I do not mean to imply that Apple copied this from Windows. It was actually the other way around.