Is there an on-line OSX instruction book?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by *old-guy*, Dec 4, 2008.

  1. *old-guy* macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    Location:
    Blackburn in North West England
    #1
    Most folk I meet in real life would tend to put me in the "Nice but dim" bracket so please bear that in mind before answering. :)
    I'm still learning all this Mac stuff and, forgive me, but I can't help comparing what I want to do with a Mac with how I would do the same thing with a windows PC. For one thing, I don't like an overcluttered desktop. Some folk have icons filling the screen but I like as few as possible. For example, I'll create a New Folder and rename it Security Stuff, then, every icon on the desktop that has anything to do with security gets dragged to that folder. Same thing for all Setup files, Images, Notepad docs etc etc etc. Luckily for my sanity, I figured out how to do that so I now have a folder on the desktop named "dmg files". I don't know why but it seemed a good idea to save them all at the time.
    My bigest problem right now is how do I get stuff that I use all the time to show on the desktop as an icon that I can double-click on and the programme will open up before my very eyes. When I try to do it now, I seem to start the installing routine all over again.
    Is there a manual that explains all this stuff in words of less than 3 syllables?
    Cheers m'dears
    Steve
     
  2. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus

    xUKHCx

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Location:
    The Kop
    #2
    There is a selection of videos/text tutorials on apples website

    http://www.apple.com/findouthow/mac/#tutorial=switcher
    http://www.apple.com/support/mac101/

    In regards to the issue with starting the installing process again.

    It sounds like you haven't fully installed the program. You need to open the .dmg and copy the application to your applications folder. Then you can great an alias (mac word for windows shortcut) to the program on your desktop by right / ctrl clicking the application and selecting create alias. Or you can put it in your dock.

    I generally used Spotlight to launch an application. Spotlight in Leopard is much better in this regard than Tiger. When I was using Tiger/Panther I used Namely as a really quick application launcher.
     
  3. *old-guy* thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 22, 2007
    Location:
    Blackburn in North West England
    #3
    Alias = Shortcut??? That's handy to know.
    The programmes are definately already fully installed because I am using them every day. What I think is happening, though I'm not sure, is that I am clicking on the wrong icon thinking it is the one that will launch the prog.
    These icons look like small versions of the Real McCoy on top of a small icon that looks a bit like a small, thin hard drive.
    **Goes off to watch the iPorn in the links** :)
     
  4. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603

    MacBoobsPro

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    Jan 10, 2006
    #4
    A .dmg file acts very much like a CD in your drive. You double click it to open it and the contents are inside. If it is an installer application inside you only need to run the installer once. During the install process you will be asked where you wish the program you are installing to be installed. Usually it defaults to the Applications folder. Once it has installed you can delete (or save for future use) the .dmg file. The application you installed should now be in your Applications folder (or wherever you told it to install to).
     
  5. Sky Blue Guest

    Sky Blue

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2005
    #5
    You can drag the application from the Applications folder into the Dock. Then they're always there.
     
  6. *old-guy* thread starter macrumors regular

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    Location:
    Blackburn in North West England
    #6
    Thanks for the replies but let me check to make sure I got this right.
    The .dmg files that i'm saving, if for some reason the actual prog a .dmg file relates to goes belly up, can I just re-install it by using the saved .dmg file?My idea was that the .dmg file was the same thing as the file you get when you download something from the web on a Windows PC. The file that you would scan 4 times for virii, trojans, worms, malware etc before double clicking on to actually install the programme.

    I don't know why but the idea of having things in the dock like Word scare me.
    Yes, Yes, I know it's stupid but if it goes in the dock, all my work will disappear forever. It's much safer sat on the desktop where I can keep an eye on it when not actually in use.

    BTW, I checked out those links and I have one question.
    Why do the people who create/edit/produce these tutorial videos assume that anyone watching them has the very latest version of everything?
    Do Tiger users and Panther users have Leprosy or Galloping **** rot? :)

    OK, technically, that's two questions so I apologise for that error, lol
     
  7. Sky Blue Guest

    Sky Blue

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2005
    #7
    An icon in the dock is just a shortcut like the one you'd put on your desktop. You're not moving the actual installed application.

    (Incidentally, even if you delete the Word app you wouldn't lose your work)
     
  8. i.shaun macrumors 6502a

    i.shaun

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #8
    Click the link in my signature below, and you may find some information that is useful if you're new to macs.


    As for things I can think of when you're new...hmm.


    -Aliases are shortcuts, they point to files as someone mentioned.

    -Your dock (bottom of the desktop) can be customized. You can change the size, and even have a magnifying effect for icons as the mouse moves over it. All this can be found in "System Preferences".


    -The task bar at the top of the screen changes according to what ever program is currently selected or "active". Make sure the program you want is selected before selecting "delete" "save" or something. You can easily tell because the program name is often in bold and the options in the task bar often differ from program to program.


    The items in the "Finder" sidebar & your Dock are Aliases. If you happen to drag one out of the dock, or out of the finder sidebar, and they *Poof* away - don't panic. Select "Macintosh HD/Applications" and you'll see all the actual applications there. You can drag them into the dock to customize which ones you want.


    Changing default programs, icons, formatting external HDDs for mac + windows, these answers are all in my signature below. Also check out the Mroogle search I link to in there. It works 100% better than the macRumors thread search you find on here (i may be exaggerating a bit there, but it does work very well).
     
  9. i.shaun macrumors 6502a

    i.shaun

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #9
    To help your confusion, i'll try to explain DMG files.


    They are basically disk images which fold files, usually applications and related files. I believe they even compress them a bit for easy transfer. Similar to a .zip file In a way I guess..


    When you download an application for mac, they will come in .dmg most of the time. You double-click it, and it mounts to the system as if it were a CD or something. You click the application, and drag it into the "Applications" folder. Sometimes there are installers to double-click, and they do it for you -- but most of the time you just drag it away yourself.



    As someone mentioned, having word in the dock isn't a problem, it is a Alias, as I mentioned as well. If you remove it from the dock, it won't really be gone. If it is running, it won't leave the dock until you quit the program.




    What I like to do with my programs is this:

    Select the programs I use most often, and place them in the dock in the order I see fit. Like so:
    [​IMG]


    I then create a new folder called "Apps" and drag it into my finder sidebar. I drag the default "Applications" folder out. I enter the "Applications" folder, and select every program that I use(and is not in the dock), create an Alias for them, and drag those aliases into my "Apps" folder.

    Now every time I need to open something, I don't have to search through the applications folder looking for them, I simply click my "apps" folder and have a list of Aliases for the programs I use. This is a much more efficient way to work for me.
     
  10. *old-guy* thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    Location:
    Blackburn in North West England
    #10
    re post #8 (thank you)
    Does that mean that when/if I drag an icon from the Finder folder to the Dock, it isn't really the full application that is being moved, just an Alias for the prog I am moving that OSX creates for me as I drag it?
    The full programme file is kept in the Applications folder so even the file in Finder is itself only an Alias.
    OK, I can see that. So with an application such as Word, where do any text files that I write get saved? The dock within an Alias? In the finder folder as part of an Alias? In the Apps folder as part of the Real deal or someplace else?
     
  11. i.shaun macrumors 6502a

    i.shaun

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #11

    The Real applications are in the "Applications" Folder. When you open finder, you see a list on the side of folders, those are the Aliases.

    "Applications"
    "Home"
    "Music"
    "Pictures"

    and whatever else is there by default. They are in the side bar for easy access, clicking on them directs you to the real folder containing your applications. Do not delete the applications from the folder itself.

    The Aliases in the side bar can be dragged off, and they will vanish in a cloud that goes *poof*. Same thing happens when you drag an alias off the dock to the desktop, it will vanish.


    When you enter your applications folder and drag an application to the dock, the application itself isn't placed there, OS X created an alias pointing to the application. Check your "Documents" folder, I think that is where most documents would try to save to by default, but in reality, they could save anywhere.


    You have to be careful when saving things like documents, pictures, or anything. It will often pop up and ask where to save, and the location selected will probably be the last one used. I've done this countless times, saving documents to one folder, then forgetting to change it and saving pictures to the same folder.


    I basically save everything to the desktop now, and sort it out there. I like to keep my desktop clean with few icons, so that is my incentive to sort the downloaded/saved files. At least then I can process everything and make sure they're put where they should be.

    I'm no Word expert, but if it does do a periodic auto-save of your work, it should just write to the same file, updating it each time. It will probably save it in the "Documents" folder, as "Untitled" (unless you clicked "save as.." and created a file with a name. It would then just continue to access that file, updating it with any newly saved information.

    It is similar to windows in that way, even if you deleted the windows application, the documents would remain (of course you probably wouldn't be able to open them properly unless you re-installed word).



    Anything else that needs explaining? Even if it's this all over again lol
     
  12. *old-guy* thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    Location:
    Blackburn in North West England
    #12
    Do you know what strikes me as being funny?
    Folks on forums like this can explain stuff far, far better than the people who are paid to write the User Handbooks.
    Why is that, do you think? Is it simply because one group actually use the product and one group don't?

    Thanks for all the help guys. Just let me assimilate all that I have learned today and then i'll get back to you. :)
     
  13. CarlsonCustoms macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2007
    #13
    Just about anything you need to know can be searched with google with pretty good success. That's how I find most everything myself. (specially with Vista.. bleh)

    Zack
     
  14. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603

    MacBoobsPro

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    #14
    You didn't find the reviews before you bought Vista though :D
     
  15. CarlsonCustoms macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2007
    #15
    Well the apps I need (CS3 package) run WAY better on my q6600 with 8gigs of ram then my 2.0c2d with 3gigs of ram macbook.. so yeah.. vista was a neccessary evil.. and actually its been quite painless


    Zack
     

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