New To OS X And Have A Few Basic Questions

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by dpc01, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. dpc01 macrumors newbie

    Dec 8, 2011
    So I recently purchased a MacBook Air, which is the first OS X device I own. I've been fiddling around with it and want to clarify one thing.

    When I open Finder I can see a list of "favourites." Are the folders that are listen under favourites on the sidebar basically the same as the folders you'd see when you open My Documents on a PC? Also, under favourites I see a folder or tab (not sure what you'd call them) that has the name that I gave the comp when I first turned it on to setup. When I go into that folder I see a list of all the folders that are in the sidebar as well as a new public folder. So I'm thinking that that folder (the one that has the name that I gave my PC) is actually the equivalent of My Documents on a PC.

    I'm in the process of manually transferring over all my files over and want to make sure I organize them properly.

    I'd appreciate any clarification at all.
  2. tmoerel macrumors 6502

    Jan 24, 2008
    Actually the folder with the name of the computer is actually your harrddisk/ssd. Same as C:/ on a PC
    The equivalent of My Documents is the Document folder.
  3. johnhurley macrumors 6502a


    Aug 29, 2011
    Congrats on your purchase and it looks like you are asking the right questions. Really it is up to you to decide how to organize things on your new machine.

    Most people "fall into" the the idea of working in the default directory structure of mac os x ( /Users/some_user_name ) and then a set of directories under there.

    You can work outside the box and organize things how you wish. For example /Some_mount_point_or_directory_at_the_base_path/some_other_sets_of_intermediate_directories/some_kind_of_structure ... hey it is unix and you can do the way that you wish. Then you could create symbolic links from pseudo-directories in your /Users area over to where you really set things up ... if you wish ...

    Maybe you want to get a book or two on mac os x and read them and keep thinking about things for a while? I like mac os x lion the missing manual as well as mac os x lion for dummies ... these authors have seen a whole bunch of people migrate over and have lots of things pretty well organized that otherwise it may take a really long time to figure out.

    Most important have fun!
  4. vitzr macrumors 68030


    Jul 28, 2011
  5. antonis, Dec 8, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2011

    antonis macrumors 68020


    Jun 10, 2011
    Well, the good thing with Mac is that you don't need to read any book to start with. Especially for a switcher that won't mess with command line at the beginning. It is a unix, indeed, but you don't have to get into this if you don't want to.

    So, to answer the specific questions:

    Under the favorites section of your sidebar (that is the left side of the finder window) you can drag any folders you want to have fast access to. Finder already has added some useful folders like documents etc. Later on, you can add anything else you want fast access. Just drag it from the main area to the sidebar under favorites and it will stay there. Press command key and drag it out and it's gone (it's gone from favorites, not from the disk of course).

    As said above, the windows "My Documents" is called "Documents". It should be under favorites by default. If not, you can add it as I described above.

    The folder with your username (not the computer name) under favorites, will take you to your home folder. Under your home folder you should see the "Documents", "Public", "Downloads", "Desktop" etc. All these are folders that belong to the user your are logged in with. Therefore they are located in your home.

    The most commonly used are:
    "Applications" will contain any applications installed for your user only.

    "Desktop" will contain your desktop's files. Anything you add here is the same as dragging it on your mac's desktop area.

    "Documents" covered above.

    "Downloads" will contain anything you download from the internet (or anything else you need to keep there as temporary).

    "Public" anything you put there will be publicly available to other users or machines connected to your mac.

    ...and many more like "Music", "Pictures" etc.

    Again, these are just folders created by default to help you organize your data easily. You are not binned to use them, but I'd strongly recommend to do so at least for the start, until you get more comfortable with the OS X.

    Also, mind that if you want to work with folders outside your home (i.e. adding an application to your main /Applications folder available to entire system) you'll need to enter your credentials (username/password). That way you are free to decide which data you want to be available only to you, and which data you want them to be available to the entire system. (e.g. I keep my photos,music,documents on my home folder, available only to me while I install the applications on the main /Applications folder meaning they are available to all users on my mac).
  6. dpc01 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 8, 2011
    Thank you all very much; you all answered my question. I really appreciate the clarification. I'm really OCD and need my files to be organized perfectly and this was really bugging me.

    I've picked up a few books, but haven't had a chance to read them.

    I've played around for about a week and have learned a lot of things just by trail and error – and lot's of Google searches. Hopefully, I'll get a few hours free this weekend to read the books.

    But wow; after spending an hour on my MBA, I now know why everyone is switching over the Macs.

    Thanks again.
  7. Mal macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    Nope. The folder he's referring to (based on the description of the contents and the fact that it has the name he picked out) is his Home folder. It is close to the equivalent of the My Documents folder, though the Documents folder contained therein is really closer. They have slightly different functions.

    OP, the folder you're referring to is where you should save everything, in the subfolders you saw (or you can create your own subfolders as well). The folders in the sidebar are the same ones as in that folder, just shortcuts to accessing them from just about anywhere. The other posts here and the link from GGJStudios will also be helpful for you.


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