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

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

Using the Dock

The Dock, as shown in Figure 2.5, provides one-click access to applications, folders, documents, and the Trash.

Figure 2.5

Figure 2.5 The Dock enables you to access applications, folders, and files with a single click.

The Dock is an important part of your desktop. It is organized in two general sections. The area to the left of the application/document separation line (the white, dashed line that looks like a highway dividing line that is a few icons to the left of the Trash icon) contains application icons. On the right side of this line are icons for documents, folders, and minimized Finder or application windows and the Trash/Eject icon.

When folders appear on the Dock, by default they become stacks. When you click a stack, it pops up into a fan or appears as a grid (depending on how many items are in the folder) so that you can work with items it contains; an example is shown in Figure 2.6.

Figure 2.6

Figure 2.6 When you click a folder icon on the Dock, it expands on the desktop.

This has many purposes, including the following:

  • Shows open applications (some applications are installed on the Dock and you always see their icons there). Application icons also provide information about what is happening with those applications. For example, when you receive email, the Mail application's icon changes to indicate the number of messages you have received since you last read messages.
  • Enables you to open applications, folders, minimized windows, and documents quickly by clicking the related icon.
  • Enables you to quickly switch among open applications and windows by clicking the icon for the item you want to bring to the front.
  • Gets your attention. When an application needs your attention, its icon bounces on the Dock until you move into that application and handle whatever the issue is.
  • Enables you to control an application and switch to any windows open in an application. When you perform a secondary click on the icon of an application, a pop-up menu appears. When the application is running, this menu lists commands as well as all the open windows related to that application. When the application isn't running, you see a different set of commands, such as the Open command you can use to open the application.
  • Enables you to customize its appearance and function. You can store the icon for any item (applications, folders, and documents) on the Dock. You can control how the Dock looks, including its size; whether it is always visible; where it is located; and which applications, folder, and documents appear on it.

Two icons on the Dock are unique and are always on the Dock: the Finder and the Trash. When you click the Finder icon (anchored on the left end of a horizontal Dock or at the top of a vertical one), a Finder window opens if none is currently open. If at least one Finder window is open, clicking the Finder icon brings the Finder window you used most recently to the front.

The Trash icon stores the folders and files you delete. When the Trash contains files or folders, its icon includes crumpled paper so that you know the Trash is full. When you select an ejectable item, such as a DVD, the Trash icon changes to the Eject symbol. You can drag a disc or other ejectable item onto that icon to eject the disc, disk, or volume.

Unless an application is permanently installed on the Dock (in which case the icon remains in the same position), the icon for each application you open appears on the right (or bottom) edge of the application area of the Dock.

Unlike open applications, open documents don't automatically appear on the Dock. Document icons appear on the Dock only when you add them to the Dock manually or when you have minimized a document's window.

When you minimize a window, by default, the window becomes a thumbnail that moves onto the Dock. Minimized windows are marked with the related application's icon in the lower-right corner of the Dock icon so you can easily tell from which application the windows come.

When you quit an open application, its icon disappears from the Dock (unless you have added that application to the Dock so that it always appears there). Minimized windows disappear from the Dock when you maximize them or when you close the application from which a document window comes.

Using the Launchpad

The Launchpad provides one-click access to your applications. Click the Launchpad icon on the Dock (it is located just to the right of the Finder icon). The Launchpad fills the desktop and icons appear on the current page, as shown in Figure 2.7. To move to a different page, drag to the left or to the right or click on a page's dot at the bottom of the screen. As you drag, the page "flips" to the next page or to the previous page; if you click a dot, you jump to its page.

Figure 2.7

Figure 2.7 The Launchpad provides quick access to any application.

To open an application, click its icon. The Launchpad closes and you move into the application on which you clicked.

To access applications stored in a folder, click the folder. It expands so you can see the icons it contains. Click the icon you want to use.

Using the Dashboard

The Dashboard contains widgets, which are small, single-purpose applications. The Dashboard is always running, so its widgets are always available to you. You can open the Dashboard in the following ways:

  • Press Fn+F12 (default if you are using an Apple keyboard).
  • Click the Dashboard's icon on the Dock (it looks like a gauge).
  • Double-click the Dashboard's icon in the Applications folder.
  • Open Mission Control and move all the way to the left.

When you open the Dashboard, the widgets that are configured to open when it is activated appear. You can then use those widgets or see their information.

When you finish using widgets, close the Dashboard again by pressing Fn+F12 (Apple keyboards) or by clicking the right-facing arrow in the lower-right corner of the window.

Using Mission Control

Mission Control is a tool that enables you to see and access anything on your desktop. When you open Mission Control, thumbnails are displayed at the top of the screen for the following items, as shown in Figure 2.8:

  • Dashboard.
  • Your desktops, named as Desktop X, where X is a sequential number; spaces are collections of applications and windows that you can create.
  • Applications open in Full screen mode.
Figure 2.8

Figure 2.8 Mission Control shows you everything that's happening on your Mac.

In the center part of the screen, all the windows open in the applications are shown on the current desktop. Windows are organized by application and the application's icon and name appear with its group.

To open Mission Control, open the Launchpad and then click the Mission Control icon, or, if you use a mobile Mac or Apple Wireless keyboard, press F3. To change what you are viewing, click its thumbnail. If you click a desktop, its windows appear in the center of the screen, and you can click on one to move into it. If you click the Dashboard, it opens. If you click an application in Full Screen mode, you move into it.

To move into a specific window, open the desktop in which it resides by clicking it and then click on the window into which you want to move.

Mission Control helps you manage screen clutter from open windows. It has three modes:

  • Hide all open windows. This mode is useful when your desktop is so cluttered that you are having a hard time finding anything. Press the keyboard shortcut (the default is Fn+F11 if you are using an Apple keyboard). All the windows are moved off the screen, leaving an uncluttered desktop on which you can work. At the sides of the screen are the edges of the windows that have been moved off to the side. Press the keyboard shortcut or click anywhere in the shaded borders of the desktop to cause the windows to slide back onto the visible part of the desktop where you can use them again.
  • Open Mission Control to reduce all open windows to thumbnails. This technique (which you learned about earlier) is useful when you have a lot of open windows and want to move into a specific one. You can reduce all your windows to thumbnails and then move into the window you want to use by clicking it. Press the keyboard shortcut (Fn+F9 by default), and all the windows in the current desktop appear. If you have more than one desktop defined (you learn how in Lesson 5), click the desktop on which the window you want to use appears and then click on the window you want to use.
  • Reduce an application's windows to thumbnails. This mode is similar to the previous one, except that instead of showing all the open windows as thumbnails, it shows only the windows in the current application as thumbnails. Use this mode when you are working with multiple windows within the same application and want to jump to a specific one. Press the keyboard shortcut (Fn+F10 by default) to shrink all open windows for the current application so that they all fit on the desktop. The windows that are currently open appear as thumbnails toward the top of the screen. If you have closed windows (such as documents you are no longer using), they appear as smaller thumbnails toward the bottom of the screen. When you point to a window, it is highlighted in blue to show it will become active when you click. To move into a window, click it. The window becomes active (if you click the window for a closed document, it opens) and moves to the front so that you can use it, and the rest of the open application windows move into the background.
  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

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.

Overview


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.

Surveys

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.

Newsletters

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.

Security


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

Children


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

Marketing


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.

Choice/Opt-out


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.

Links


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