Home > Articles > Home & Office Computing > Mac OS X

Mac OS X Panther: Keeping Things Organized

Brian Tiemann helps you keep your Mac organized by teaching you how to find/create files as well as how to work with CD/DVDs and hard disks.
This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

In This Chapter:

  • Find an Item
  • Create a New Folder
  • Rename a Folder or Document
  • Make an Alias (Shortcut)
  • Change an Icon
  • Set a Color Label
  • Move, Copy, or Delete a Document or Folder
  • Burn a CD/DVD
  • Add a Newly Installed Hard Disk to the System
  • Partition a Hard Disk
  • Set Up Software RAID
  • Assign a Folder Action
  • Add a Second Display
  • Set the Time and Date
  • Enable Automatic Time Synchronization (NTP)

Mac OS X, like all operating systems, is designed to help you organize data. This data is represented using the industry-standard "desktop" metaphor, originally pioneered by the first Macintosh and its precursors. In the "desktop" metaphor, any meaningful grouping of data under a single name—a picture, an audio recording, a shopping list—is represented by a document (also known as a file, a term which will be used interchangeably with document in this book). Documents can be sorted into folders, which are simply containers for documents. Folders can contain other folders as well as documents, and thus you can organize all your information into a hierarchy that resembles a large, ungainly filing cabinet.


Mac OS X gives you the ability to manage these documents and folders, to move them around, change their names, create new ones, and get rid of the ones you don't need anymore. In the context of modern computing hardware, this means that Mac OS X must enable you to manipulate disks—hard disks, CD-ROMs, DVDs, and other such devices that store your documents. In this chapter, you will see how to use the tools that Mac OS X gives you to accomplish these tasks.

As your computing needs grow, so does the need for Mac OS X to adapt to them. Over time, you will probably feel the need to add memory, new hard disks, and even second displays to keep up with the pace of the technology you interact with at home and at work. This chapter discusses how to add a new hard disk to your system and configure it to hold your expanding data; it also covers how to add a second display and configure it to your liking. Finally, because keeping your Mac's internal clock accurate is so crucial to the internal system functions, as well as to applications such as iCal that keep track of your schedule for you, this chapter discusses how to set the time and date, and how to set up your computer to configure them automatically.

Find an Item

See Also

Make an Alias (Shortcut)

They don't call it the Finder for nothing. In addition to its normal navigational tools, the Finder contains streamlined searching functionality that lets you zero in directly on a document or folder that interests you. Finder windows have their shortcut Search bar, but there's a more sophisticated version of it available as well.

The Finder's searching tool lets you define the scope in which to search (which disks, network resources, and folders you want to search in), as well as any number of criteria (such as file name, kind, last-modified date, and so on). The search results appear in a separate window which you can then use to work with the items you find.

Figure 3.1Figure 3.1

  1. Open the Find Dialog Box

  2. Choose File, Find or press Command + F while in the Finder. The Find dialog box appears.

  3. Select the Searching Scope

  4. Use the Search in drop-down menu to define where you want the Finder to look for your items. The Everywhere option uses all available disks and network resources; Local disks uses only the disks physically attached to (or inside) your computer; Home uses only your Home folder.

    The Specific places option brings up a new panel in which you can specify individual disks or folders to search in; drag them from the Finder directly into the window, or use the Add and Remove buttons to edit the list of data sources. You can then include or omit individual sources using the check boxes next to them.

  5. Add Search Criteria

  6. The Find dialog box allows you to specify as many different searching criteria as you want; all the criteria must apply for the results to match. For instance, you can search for items whose filename contains art, whose filename begins with A, whose kind is audio, and whose last-modified date is after last Christmas. You make room for new criteria by clicking the + icon after any criterion line; then use the drop-down menus to define what kind of criteria they are and what sort of comparisons to use. Use the – icon on any criterion line to delete that criterion.

  7. Search for Matching Items

  8. When you're done fine-tuning the search criteria, click Search. The Finder will pop up a new window to show the search results, which appear in the listing as they are found.


    Use the Refresh button (the little round button with the circle-arrow) in the upper-right corner of the result window to perform the same search again, in case the disk contents have changed since your first search.

  9. Explore the Search Results

  10. Click any item in the search results window, and its location on the disk is shown in a path listing at the bottom of the window. You can see the series of folders (in a horizontal layout) you'll have to navigate through to get to the item; if you click the horizontal dividing line just below the horizontal scroll bar and drag it upward, the view changes to a hierarchical, staggered view of the folders.

    You can double-click a file anywhere in the search results window to launch it in its opener application; double-click any folder to open it in a Finder window. You can also drag any file or folder from the results window to the Desktop or another Finder window to move it.

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020