OSX Basic Beginner Tips

General Information

This tutorial hopes to simply identify some basic stuff for new users of Mac OS X. I recently got a mac, having no previous experience with one. My personal opinion is that it would have been nice to have a guide with certain tips to help get started, even though the general help application is fairly decent. These are completely random tips, but if you’re new and have no idea what you’re doing, this may help. Some are fairly obvious, but it never hurts to have things documented.

Requirements

  • None, other than having a Mac with OS X.

Tips

  • To view system specifics (CPU speed, RAM, etc.) just click the blue apple in the upper left, and select “About This Mac.” Alternatively, you can use Finder to go into Applications/Utilities and select “System Profiler.”
  • You can access the terminal under the aforementioned Utilities folder which is under Applications. You’ll find that most of the same commands you can use on a linux/bsd machine will also work on your Mac, simply because it basically is BSD.
  • One thing that perplexed me in the absolute very beginning was how to delete a file. All you have to do in order to delete is click and drag whatever it is you want removed down to the trash can in the lower right. Similarly, that same tactic will work to move files between directories.
  • Most everything you need to change (about the actual OS, not independent programs), as far as preferences go, can be found under System Preferences on the dock. Using this you can change the actual appearance, things like Exposé, and other similar items that are built into OS X. This should have been obvious, but somehow I missed it the first time I was looking for it: the power options (like shutting the screen off, turning the HD off) are under the energy saver.
  • You can enable FTP and similar items under the “Sharing” tab on System Preferences. FTP will allow other computers to access the local HD, provided that they have the user and password.
  • While not important, you may sometimes want to take a screenshot. There may be other methods, but the program “Grab,” found in Utilities, will work just fine in order to take a screenshot.
  • When programs freeze, and it will happen occasionally, you can end them by doing a Force Quit. The easiest way to do this is by simply pressing option-command(apple)-escape, and then selecting the program you need to escape.

This is obviously designed for those that are complete beginners, but it may help someone so hopefully this wasn’t written in vain.

It should be updated if I think of anything else a beginner might need to know. :)

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