Applications and the Applications Folder...

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Captain Pyro, Aug 9, 2008.

  1. Captain Pyro macrumors member

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    Aug 6, 2008
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    The Sunny NE of England
    #1
    Okay, I'm having a bit of a conceptual meltdown moment, but; if you'll excuse the dirty windows terminology, is the Applications folder a place to launch applications from (a 'start' button) or a place to install applications to (x:\programs)?

    Don't think it really matters, but I just realised I'm using both models at the same time...
     
  2. bsheridan macrumors 6502

    bsheridan

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    #2
    The folder is were you install apps to, just drag the app icon to the application folder and that's basically it.

    You can launch from the app folder, but if you're looking for the mac equivalent to a start menu, that'd be the dock at the bottom of the screen. When an app is open, to keep it in the dock after you close it, control click the icon in the dock and click 'keep in dock'.

    b.
     
  3. Captain Pyro thread starter macrumors member

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    #3
    hm, ok.

    My applications folder is pretty much where I have installed things to, and pretty much where I launch things from. I couldn't possibly keep everything I use in the dock, at least partly cos it's got all the iLife stuff in it. In some ways I miss the 'start' concept.

    I guess I'll stay the way I am for a bit then, maybe stacks in Leopard will fix this for me when I get around to going there.

    Am I right in thinking that going to Leopard is best done 'clean' ie, scrub all data from drive and start again?
     
  4. fstfrwrd macrumors regular

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    Jun 6, 2008
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    Belgium
    #4
    When getting my first Mac, I had to learn a lot ... well, basically, 'forget' a lot.
    Mac OS X is so much simpler than a windows OS ever was (or probably will be) but I only learned that after a year of use. At first they seemed quite similar, until you work with the system every day.

    It's amazing how the 'drag and drop' concept works for 99% of the things in OS X.

    So yeah, my advice is to perform a 'clean' transition to Leopard and start all over again.
    You learn from your mistakes and in my experience, it's easier and more motivating to start with a clean slate than to clean up the mess you've made.

    Also, take a look at an app called QuickSilver. It's free and I use it a LOT.
    It's basically an application launcher that saves you a lot of time.
    That can help getting your 'dock issues' out of the way.
     
  5. Captain Pyro thread starter macrumors member

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    #5
    I'll give that a look, thanks.

    What I was considering was having a couple of stacks for bits that get used quite a lot like Office and CS3 where there are a few proggies that I would want to choose between. I know CS3 at least has a general launcher that sort of does that, but if I want Illustrator or Photoshop up I want them up then, not in a few clicks' time.

    Having set mighty mouse to 2 button mode, i just discovered I could right click apps in the dock and get some useful speed shortcuts like open at login, quit and various context specific stuff... Nice touch!
     
  6. i.shaun macrumors 6502a

    i.shaun

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    May 1, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #6
    Alternatively to "Stacks" which I don't have (im running Tiger 10.4.11)

    I created my own folder in my user directory. In that folder I created sub folders for "photos" "files" "applications" and whatever else I wish to place in there.

    The normal photo folder has "photobooth" in there, which I don't want. The "Documents" has Microsoft messenger data, and a few others, which i don't want.

    So I drag my new "photos" "files" and "applications" folder into the finder sidebar to be accessed easily.

    In my photos folder, I store all my photos, as you may have guessed.

    "Applications" is where I store the aliases to all the apps I actually use (including system profiler, system preferences, disk utilit, etc..)

    This way It is much like a programs menu, I click the sidebar icon, and the apps I want are there. The rest of them, if ever needed, are in the real apps folder.

    A lot less clutter this way, same goes with the new documents folder.


    I changed the icons around to make them look better, and stand out in the sidebar more as well.
     
  7. Captain Pyro thread starter macrumors member

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    #7
    okay, I hadn't thought of trying it that way, but it kinda makes sense. I've got a 'Photos' folder too which iPhoto is never allowed anywhere near. It's basically full of work in progress and it's where Nikon Transfer puts things for me. I actually quite like having a Photos folder and a seperate 'Pictures' one (the stock folder) Lightroom and stuff put their libraries here in addition to iPhoto.

    What this machine's real problem is is that it's being a serious work machine and a home computer all at the same time. That's how accidents happen. Hence the other thread about needing to branch out and get another proper mac. Sadly no Mac Pro or even G5/another C2d iMac on the horizon this year though I think. :( Dual G4+10.4.11 and upgrade from there I think, otherwise I'll be waiting around forever for a second desktop or investing too much of my own capital (which I don't really want to do).

    I can always give it to my Mum when I've finished with it! She's still on a 1gig Thunderbird Athlon! :rolleyes:
     
  8. 11800506 macrumors 65816

    11800506

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Location:
    Washington D.C. Area
    #8
    You do realize though that you don't have to keep all of the iLife applications in your dock? To get rid of them all you have to do it just drag them off the dock and then they "poof." You can also drag any application onto the dock from your applications folder. You don't have to open it and right click first. Hope this helps...
     
  9. Captain Pyro thread starter macrumors member

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    #9
    I don't really have a choice about the iLife apps staying where they are sadly as wife would go ape if i chucked them out.

    See other comments about needing a second machine... :p
     
  10. ihabime macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    #10
    I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the simplest solution, just drag your applications folder to the dock. in leopard it works as a stack, in tiger you just right click on it and a menu of its contents comes up.

    If using the full Applications folder is a bit crowded, create a new Applications folder in your home directory and put aliases of your most used programs in it, drag that to the dock and you have a nice substitute for the start menu, that you can customize for each user.

    You can do that for quick access to any folder, Pictures, Documents, etc.
     
  11. PeggyD macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 9, 2007
    Location:
    Covington, WA, USA
    #11
    I created a "frequent applications" folder in a sub-folder in my Documents folder. In here I created a few new folders as well as put some aliases of applications I use often, but not enough to keep in the Dock. In the sub-folders I put aliases of other frequent apps, using them to categorize them. In Leopard, I view as a folder & as a list.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. patrickmacrumor macrumors regular

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    Jun 24, 2008
    #12
    That's what I do too.

    How did you manage to keep Tiger's folder icon?
     
  13. slomo86 macrumors member

    slomo86

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    Turkey
    #13
    I am so glad I read this thread I had no idea you could do this!!!! This is gonna save me LOTS of clutter on my desktop!!! I have all my alias's on my desktop... grrrrr the clutter!!!!
     
  14. PeggyD macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    That's not the Tiger application folder icon, but you could use it. I pasted an icon I liked on my "frequent applications" folder.
     
  15. skwij macrumors 6502

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    Apr 10, 2006
    Location:
    Belleville, ON, Canada
    #15
    Yep, this is what I do too. Just make sure that you drag the folder you want to the RIGHT side of the divider on the dock.

     
  16. patrickmacrumor macrumors regular

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    Jun 24, 2008
    #16
    I was not referring to the "Applications" folder icon, but rather the folder icon itself. In your attached picture, an example would be Utilities.
     
  17. Cameront9 macrumors 6502a

    Cameront9

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    Aug 6, 2006
    #17
    Well, why don't you create a separate account for your wife that she can use all to herself? If you do this you can have whatever you want in the dock, and then when she uses the computer she can flip to her user account (Fast user switching) and have her own dock, settings, etc.

    Just a thought that you might not have considered.
     
  18. PeggyD macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    I'm still not sure what you mean. I pasted a custom icon on the folder I created using Get Info.
     
  19. Captain Pyro thread starter macrumors member

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    #19
    Thanks to all for the suggestions, some really useful ideas there. I'd already done something similar to making a folder of aliases to frequently used apps but hadn't realised I could stick that in the dock too. I have an almost pathological hatred of 'stuff' on the desktop!

    This machine represents my first contact with OsX, previously I'd used various versions of 7, 8, & 9 (all provided to me as opposed to run by me) but I've been in Windows land for years. I have lots of experience configuring and administrating XP et al, but only really application using experience of Apples until very recently.

    What can I say? It's a shared machine and I really don't have the right to make Big Bad Administrator changes. Adding an extra user account now isn't really an option for me. It's a bit of a mess, but it's set up the way it is and tweaks are my only real option for now.

    Sadly (?) the 20-odd months it's been running have proved that OsX doesn't need reinstalling every 6 months to keep performing well :p (unlike XP on any machine I've ever used in anger). It multitasks and handles memory in a way that any PC I've ever played with could only dream of. I can only imagine what an 8 way MacPro might do.

    I'll take all the ideas and see what works for me, but I'm really looking forward to having an :apple: all to myself! :D
     
  20. patrickmacrumor macrumors regular

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    Jun 24, 2008
    #20
    Besides "Games" in your photo, the icon looks like a folder icon on Tiger. Folder icon on Leopard is different. I have to find the icons somewhere on the net. The only thing I don't like with Leopard is it's default icon for folders.
     
  21. PeggyD macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 9, 2007
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    Covington, WA, USA
    #21
    I thought you were referring to the frequent applications folder icon. I, too, can't stand the Leopard default icons. I think I got that plain folder icon from a collection from InterfaceLift but I might have copied from one of my Macs running Tiger. I used CandyBar to set it as the default for folders.
     
  22. patrickmacrumor macrumors regular

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    Jun 24, 2008
    #22
    Thanks PeggyD.

    To the OP: Sorry for hijacking your thread.
     
  23. mrkgoo macrumors 65816

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    Aug 18, 2005
    #23
    I don't know what it is, but I have a pathological condition where I love hearing about the 'switcher' experience.

    My brother has recently received his first MacBook, and it's interesting to see how he transitions. The concept of spotlight as an app launcher is foreign to him, as is searching. My Desktop is typically empty aside from the harddrive icon (which I never click on, but use as a quick way of seeing drive space) and any temporary files I may be working on.

    My brother has a row of aliases on the Desktop (along the bottom), I guess trying to emulate the task bar (he wants to keep clutter from the dock).

    I find it very interesting how subtle changes in any OS lead any user into differing ways of organising/thinking/working etc.

    Just curious - what is wrong with having all the photos in the Pictures folder? Or a Microsoft User Data folder in the Documents area? My brother was kind of the same - hung up on really organising files in his own folder structure that was separate to the default folders on the Mac. It makes me think back to when I switched - I used to have folders representing different 'events' for my photos - then when I discovered iPhoto, I was ecstatic. I threw away the concept of organising files, leaving it up to the app, and concentrated on enjoying my media. Same for iTunes.
     
  24. patrickmacrumor macrumors regular

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    Jun 24, 2008
    #24
    It's sometimes very hard to let go, and trust a computer to do some stuffs for you. I, too, use to create my own folder on C:\ on Windows. Then I started to let everything being put into the My Documents folder. Now, I only have one folder to backup.

    I still rely on my own folder structures for photos. I have a folder names Photos in the Documents folder. I use iPhoto but only using references to these sames photos. I do it mainly because I backup my files to two external drive. One using SuperDuper! to clone my MacBook, and the second to a FAT32 drive. I do this mainly to have access to the importants files even if my MacBook is out for repairs. If this happens, I can still access these imprtant files from a Windows computer. I have a few Windows computer, but only one Mac.
     
  25. ashawley macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2007
    #25
    Surprised nobody mentioned this, but I find myself having become a Spotlight fan for launching apps.

    I too was a long-time windows user, and got tired of the opening apps from Finder that weren't on my dock.

    Then I got into Spotlight. I swear, I can open apps faster from Spotlight than even those on my dock (those large 24" iMac screens are hard to navigate). :)

    Anyway, just a thought

    Command+Space, start typing. When the app comes up hit enter. As you use it more, it gets to know you better. And you don't have to move to that darned mouse. :)
     

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