wee's thread in which he asks stupid newbie questions...

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by weeag, Feb 13, 2006.

  1. weeag macrumors regular

    Dec 27, 2005
    Hello all!!!

    Well, I finally turned from the dark side after 20 years in the depths of windoze... I got my new bundle of joy on Wednesday, February 8, 2006 (he's almost a week old!!). He's a PowerMac G5 2.0.

    Since I'm transitioning from windows I am having some difficulty doing some of the basic things that I became custom to. This is where you come in!

    You all get to help me explore, understand and make my new mac the most productive and fun piece of equipment I have ever owned (FYI - I'm a graphic designer/photographer/web designer).

    This will be an ongoing list of random questions from me as I have issues. It is my hope that this will help others as well. I look forward to joining the mac community and being educated by everyone.


    1) How in the world do I set up Finder so I can look at thumbnails??? In XP you have the option to view files as thumbnails or in a 'filmstrip' which gives you a row of thumbnails and a large space above it that enlarges the image. This is VERY handy as a photographer. Is there something similar or, dare I say, better? (Yes, I know that I can set up the view as columns, but that only shows one thumbnail at a time - if I've got hundreds of photos I need to be able to see them all at once to find what I need.)

    2) What do the 'Home' and 'End' keys do? In XP they jump to the beginning and end of a line in a document, now I have to hit the 'apple' key and the forward or back arrow. It's kinda annoying - is there a way to change the key functions?

    3) Is there a way to minimize all open windows at once? (Like 'Show Desktop' in XP)

    4) Is there a way to make dashboard widgets always seeable?

    Ok, that's it for now.

    To be continued...

  2. yankeefan24 macrumors 65816


    Dec 24, 2005
    ok, welcome to MR.

    1. do not believe you can
    2. home and end dont really do much either.
    3. you can hide all of the applications (apple-h) but you have to do them one by one
    4. no, simply no.

    it may seem like Mac is bad, but you will love it. Maybe someone can answer your questions in more detail, instead of my basic ones.
  3. prostuff1 macrumors 65816


    Jul 29, 2005
    Don't step into the kawoosh...
    I dont have an answer to this question but i am sure others do

    I dont really have an answer for this question but the up and down arrows pretty much do the same thing. Just hold one of them down long enough and they will take you to the end of a document

    Expose is great!! go to system preferneces>Dashboard&Expose. From there you can set hotcorners for a show desktop function. You can also press the F11 key on your keyboard. Hotcorners is one of the things that i love on the mac.

    Yes. just press the F12 button to activate dashboard. Once in dashboard activate the widget, then click and hold on it, move it around a little, then press the F12 button again and the widget should come with you to the desktop.

    Hope that helps a little. Others should be able to answer the first two better
  4. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus


    Mar 10, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    1) Open the Finder window containing the images. Be sure you are in View -> as Icons (cmd-1 (cmd = apple key)), then use View options (cmd-J) to set icon size and show info and, most important, icon preview... :) [see attachment]

    3) Two ways:
    a) Use cmd-tab to get to Finder, then use File -> Hide Others or the shortcut opt-cmt-H
    b) Use Expose to show Desktop. I think the default is F11, and you can set Active Screen Corners to react to mouse movement in Expose pref pane.

    Attached Files:

  5. mduser63 macrumors 68040


    Nov 9, 2004
    Salt Lake City, UT
    1. Set the view to thumbnail view. There are several ways to do so, including clicking on the little button that has 4 squares on it in the Finder toolbar. Command-1 also works.

    2. Home and end generally seem to scroll all the way to to the top (home) or bottom (end) of a window. At least that's why I sometimes use them for. Command-right arrow and command-left arrow move to the beginning and end of the line as you've noticed. Command-A and command-E do the same thing in many applications.

    3. My favorite way is using Exposé with a hot corner set up. I just flick my mouse down to the bottom left corner of my screen and all the windows move out of the way and show me the desktop. Another flick of the mouse and they're all back. You can set this behavior up in the Exposé section of System Preferences. F11 also activates Show Desktop by default. The other way is to hide all open applications (except Finder). You can do this by holding down command and option and clicking on the desktop. Note that this also works for hiding all applications but one. Command-option click on the dock icon of the app in question to do so.

    4. Not officially, although it's sort of possible with Dashboard developer mode enabled. Search the web for more information about that. I know of the technique, but I haven't actually tried it. I keep Dashboard set up as my top-right hot corner, so it's always just a flick of the mouse away.
  6. roadapple macrumors regular

    Oct 21, 2004
    1) You can also use the built in slide show option right in finder. Highlight the files you would like to see, then ctrl click (or right click) the group and select slideshow. The index sheet option is pretty cool.
  7. quigleybc macrumors 68030


    Jun 17, 2005
    Beautiful Vancouver British Columbia, Canada
    Home and end don't do anything most of the time.

    However, if you're using MS word, or Excel, they behave as they did in Windows.
  8. jeremy.king macrumors 603


    Jul 23, 2002
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    I would think as a photographer you should be using iPhoto or Aperture, rather than Finder, to manage your photos...


  9. spinne1 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 12, 2005
    Hermitage, TN USA (near Nashville)
    (Among other things) Home and End take you to the beginning or end of a web page. Very handy after reading a long forum post if you want to get back to the top.
  10. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    that's cool, didnt know that before

    it's also possible to use Preview to view a bunch of thumbnails and have one enlarged at the same time, sort of like the filmstrip thing the OP described. Select a number of files, then use the apple key plus O (thats the letter) and you'll see the thumbnails displayed in a drawer that you can navigate using either use the arrow keys or the mouse
  11. weeag thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 27, 2005
    Wohoo! You guys are great! Sorry for the delayed response, was watching the Olympics.

    Sweet - that's exaclty what I was needing!

    Tried this one and it no workie...

    Perfect! That's what I was needing. Now, if only they could be made a little bigger, I've got a 21" set at 1600x1200 - the thumbnails are a bit small.

    Yeah - that is pretty cool!

    Yeah... I didn't even try it there - I see now that it does work. Too bad not for other apps though :(

    AHA! You see, this is what I get being new to a mac. On windows the programs available were to slow or cumbersome to try and use to quickly view photos, so I always used explorer. Although I do have Photoshop which has 'Bridge' - but all these seem slower than just going into Finder. I just need a rough view as in a contact sheet form of what the photos are, I'll open it in Photoshop to get a good view of it.

    These both seem like exactly what I need.

    Ooooo, that works pretty well too! Though, I really just need something to quickly look at thumbs for finding a certain picture. Although, this is really handy for quickly looking at photos in detail and deleting bad ones. Thanks!

    Ok - You all are awesome! Looks like this first set of questions are answered. Stay tuned as more will probably be coming soon!

  12. weeag thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 27, 2005
    Oh! I just though of another one!

    I'm the only person to use my computer. How do I turn off having to enter passwords for installing new programs?
  13. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus


    Mar 10, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    Edit: Ok, it's not even 7 AM here and I've been up all night with a couple of small jobs... I completely misread your question... :eek:

    If your main account is an admin account most programs will not need your password to install, and those who ask for it, does this for a reason. This is actually one of the main security measures that make OS X a much more secure OS than, let's say, Windows... (;))

    My old answer was for for logging in without having to give your password: System Preferences -> Accounts -> Login Options -> Check the "Automatically log in as:" box and choose your account. :)
  14. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    Also, you can set your username to be blank. You'll still be asked for a password when e.g. doing something with sudo in Terminal, but you don't need to enter anything for it.

    I don't think I would recommend that though - I prefer the security of having a password.
  15. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    That's a security measure. Any program that alters system files will require your user password. It's a feature MS are building into Vista. You aren't actually the root user on OS X if you were logged in in "Single User Mode" as it is called it's possible for programs to install themselves without your knowing.

    Most programs won't require your password though.

    As for your small thumbnails, you can make the icons up to 128x128 by hitting apple-J and moving the slider. I would recommend iPhoto at least, it's a good fast (if you've got '06 which I think you would) photo management app that provides a great deal of control over how you view your images.
  16. weeag thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 27, 2005
    I did see that you can increase the icon size, I have done so but have a large screen and they are a still a bit small.

    After more recommendations though I'm going to play around with iPhoto and see how that works.
  17. mokeyjoe macrumors member

    Feb 14, 2006
    Preston, UK
    Hey, another new Mac user! I've only had mine a couple of weeks but I'll share some of what I've found out.

    1. Already been answered.

    2. Don't know, they're not on my iBook Keyboard :/ I guess not much in that case. I think I read somewhere they take you to the top and bottom of the page but that might not be right.

    3. Expose! I was a bit puzzled by this at first, unsure of how I'd use it but I find I use it more and more now. Definitely one for a hot corner. If you have a multi-button mouse you can also set it up on a mouse button - which is useful. At least I can on my Mighty Mouse.

    4. Yes there is. Its one of the first things I thought of too. There are three ways to do as far as I can tell:

    DIY: There is a command line command which enables 'developer mode' letting you drag them onto your desktop but I can't remember it. But they'll always float above other apps.

    Freeware: Preference pane, http://www.ego-systems.com/Products/widgetsprefpane.html, This'll do the same plus give you some options in System Preferences. But they'll still sit above your other apps.

    Pay: Too expensive really ($20) but very, very good if you're serious about this feature is Amnesty, http://www.mesadynamics.com/amnesty.htm . I bought it anyway and don't regret it. You can put stuff on the desktop as floating, regular, or embedded widgets. You can also resize, rotate, and alter the opacity of them. You can still use dashboard just the same (and drag widgets from Dashboard). It is expensive though - but then I use it a lot.

    Anyway, so far my favourite feature is Spotlight, one which I had not considered a selling point previously. But you can type in anything - apps, emails (or even text in emails), address book entries, tunes, photos etc and it comes up with them instantly. I'm impressed. Its such an incredible leap in functionality, and has made me realise why I need to upgrade my PC to Vista when its out.

    Anyway, one feature I wish was there is one that I found useful in Gnome. I managed to get a program for Windows that did it too (Alpha XP). That is an 'Always on Top' option for any windows. Anyone know anything similar for OS X?
  18. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    If you select a group of photos and then do the slideshow trick in Finder, there's an option to see all the pictures - a little like a contact sheet.
  19. mokeyjoe macrumors member

    Feb 14, 2006
    Preston, UK
    Further to my previous post - I found the home/end keys on my iBook! (fn + arrows). See told you I was new!

    They do take you to the top and bottom of pages.
  20. weeag thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 27, 2005
    OK!! New Question!!

    How do I add new commands to the Context Menu?
  21. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus


    Mar 10, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    What kind of commands...?

    One way is to make a workflow in Automator and save it as a Finder plug-in...
  22. weeag thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 27, 2005

    Oh, good question... Well, since I'm a photographer it would be to have the option to rotate a photo while looking at it in Finder (as opposed to opening it iPhoto, rotating it and then saving it). On my XP machine you could make commands like this in photoshop (called 'droplets') save them somewhere, and then have a command in the context menu to call the droplet and perform the specified task.

    Maybe the context menu is not the best thing for this... how would it work to automate it?
  23. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus


    Mar 10, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    Fairly easy in Automator, see attacment, I would make one for rotating left (counter clockwise) and another for right, and then save both as plugins for Finder. Then you can select one or more images and rotate them 90°.

    Attached Files:

  24. weeag thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 27, 2005
    Great! That's just what I needed. Thanks!
  25. weeag thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 27, 2005

    Hey all! Got another question...

    What is up with Mac's alt-tab feature? In XP when I hit alt-tab I can cycle through various open windows within a program (like three or for Word documents, email messages or photoshop images). In OSX all I can do is switch to the program running and not individual windows with in it.

    Now I know I can do the 'expose' thing (I think that's what it is called) and click on the window I want, but is there a better alternative to OSX's command-tab? And what about minimized windows on the dock... how can I cycle through them as well (as expose doesn't show them)?

    Thanks family!

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