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Take Control of Using Mountain Lion
Make the most of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion!
Learn to function effectively with OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, whether you want to embrace recently added features (such as Notifications, Launchpad, gestures, and Mission Control) or want to strike a balance between old and new options. Most importantly, you'll get a thorough grounding in Mountain Lion's new "modern document model" that gives you three ways to save documents: the old way, the new way, or the new way with iCloud.
Written by Mac expert and former professor Matt Neuburg, this ebook also discusses how you can tweak Mountain Lion to best meet your needs—with details on customizing the menu bar, Finder windows, Dock, Launchpad—and much more.
You'll become comfortable with these important Mountain Lion features:
You'll learn how handle these core customizations:
Plus you'll find the answers to these customization-related questions:
Chockablock with information, the ebook also teaches you how to:
iPad & Kindle
About the Author
Matt Neuburg is a TidBITS contributing editor and the author of several books about Apple software, including Programming iOS 4. He has been programming computers for 45 years, and has written popular Mac and iOS freeware such as MemoryStick and the TidBITS News app.
Table of Contents
Read Me First
Every couple of years, Apple plunges its users into a new world with a major revision of Mac OS X. This time, it’s Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8). So, what’s new in Mountain Lion? What’s all the fuss about? This book gives you a hands-on guided tour, while pointing out the adjustments, tweaks, and customizations you can and should make in the System, the Finder, and more. It was written by Matt Neuburg, edited by Tonya Engst, and published by TidBITS Publishing Inc.
If working with computers teaches us anything, it’s that things change. Change is exciting! So I’m sure you’re excited about the prospect of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion. Mountain Lion, to make a sweeping generalization, is a better 10.7 Lion. It has some completely new features, such as the Notification Center and the availability of iCloud in Open and Save dialogs, along with various small tweaks, such as the way certain System Preference panes have been reorganized. But it inherits most of its look and feel from Lion, including Lion’s eye-catching animations and its ways of drawing windows styles and interface widgets. Mountain Lion also improves certain features introduced in Lion; for example, Auto Save is much friendlier than in Lion, with new options and menu items that make it easier to use and understand.
My goal in this book, as in my previous Take Control introductions to new systems, is to make you productive. Your computer isn’t a mere interface display; it’s a tool for getting things done. Now that you’ve upgraded to Mountain Lion, that tool might feel unwieldy at first. I want to get you past that feeling as fast as possible. You don’t just want to look at Mountain Lion; you want to use it. And you certainly don’t want it to use you; you don’t want what’s new and unfamiliar to keep you from getting back to work comfortably and quickly.
That’s what this book is for. What options, settings, choices do you need to tackle, what new techniques and possibilities, what ways of thinking and working and understanding do you need to know about, in order to start using Mountain Lion comfortably and efficiently, so you can stop gaping at your computer and get back to using it? This book will show you.
Since I don’t know what system version you were using previously, and because Mountain Lion is so closely related to Lion, I emphasize in this ebook not only new Mountain Lion features but also aspects of Mountain Lion that were new in Lion. I hope that this will help all readers, of whatever background, to become familiar with Mountain Lion quickly and easily.
This book describes many areas of 10.8 Mountain Lion worth exploring and understanding, some of which will be more immediately important to you than others. Naturally, I think that sooner or later you should read this entire book, but I also understand that you’re eager to get working with Mountain Lion and that you might want to know what’s most important to know and do right now, and come back to the rest of the book later.
Tip: If you have Take Control of Upgrading to Mountain Lion, follow all the instructions in “Perform Post-installation Tasks” there, too. (If you don’t have it, don’t worry.)
There’s a lot to know about that’s new in Mountain Lion! Read Know What’s New. Many changes listed in that chapter aren’t mentioned elsewhere in this book. Then follow the links there to learn about and explore new Mountain Lion features. In particular:
Several changes near the beginning of the Start Saving chapter have corrected information (because the existing explanation was incomplete) or expanded advice (because Apple made an important change in Mountain Lion 10.8.2). In particular, read the sidebar Is Quitting the Same as Closing? and the emphasized text “What happens to the original document?”.
Other modifications that might interest you are these:
Take Control of Using Mountain Lion is the sixth edition of an ebook I originally wrote in 2003, then called Take Control of Customizing Panther. Fast-forward to 2012, and although Take Control of Using Mountain Lion still covers customization, it also looks more fully at understanding and using this newest iteration of Mac OS X.
If you’ve been reading this ebook through its previous incarnations, or feel that you already know a great deal about previous Big Cat versions of Mac OS X, take note of the important Know What’s New chapter, a few pages ahead; it summarizes new goodies, methods of working, and other changes in 10.8 Mountain Lion, and helps you locate the related new info in this book.
You might be familiar with Lion, in which case Mountain Lion will appear to you as a readily usable minor update, or you might be a Leopard or Snow Leopard user making the big jump past Lion to Mountain Lion, which means you need to know what’s new in both Lion and Mountain Lion. For this reason, I’ve structured this ebook similarly to the previous edition, Take Control of Using Lion, and I’ve called out features that are new either in Lion or in Mountain Lion.
Note: You won’t get the full Lion experience unless you use finger gestures with a trackpad or a similar modern mousing device. Although this ebook will work nicely for you no matter what your input device, I wholeheartedly describe finger gestures for trackpads (and Apple’s Magic Mouse) throughout.
Like previous editions of this ebook, this one is sold with a companion ebook with the word Upgrading in its title, intended to be read before this one. You certainly don’t need Take Control of Upgrading to Mountain Lion to use this book, and if you’ve already been using Mountain Lion for a while you likely don’t need it at all. However, many people do buy these two books together.
There are lots of great ways to read our ebooks on these devices. For more details, please read our latest Device Advice.
Feel free to ask us if you have a question about this title!
How could we not publish such kind words? If you'd like to send us your comments (good or bad, though we hope they're all good), just click the Feedback link on the cover of your copy of the ebook. Be sure to let us know if we can publish your comment. Thanks!
October 8, 2013 -- Honestly, we aren't sure of our update plans. For a while, we hoped that Matt would create an update, as he has for every version of Mac OS X since 10.4 Tiger. However, Matt is engrossed in writing a book about programming in iOS right now, so although he is not opposed to the idea of creating an update, it appears that he is unlikely to start one in the near term. And, when talking to Matt, we've been brainstorming ideas for crafting a different sort of ebook about using Apple's operating system, because some of the material that Matt has been covering for the past decade in his various "using," "customizing," and "exploring" titles seems like it could use freshening… if you've read a few of his ebooks, surely you don't want to read what is largely the same content again, even if we have meticulously updated it to describe Apple's latest.
Fortunately, you can learn about Mavericks from other Take Control titles. For example, we are excited about marking Apple's debut of iBooks on the Mac with Take Control of iBooks. And, Joe is going to pay extra special attention to his chapter about what to do after you install Mavericks in Take Control of Upgrading to Mavericks.
And, perhaps we'll end up with an ebook that feels like an update to this one. Perhaps not. If you'd really like to see an update to this ebook, or have additional ideas about what an update might be like, please get in touch.
—Tonya J Engst
August 1, 2012 --
We have just held the second TidBITS Presents live event using Google+ Hangouts, this one dedicated to Mountain Lion. Joe Kissell and Matt Neuberg, authors respectively of Take Control of Upgrading to Mountain Lion and Take Control Using Mountain Lion, each gave live presentations and answered questions from viewers. Why are we telling you about it after the event is over? Because the Internet never forgets: although you won't be able to ask questions, you can view and listen to the event in its entirety on our TidBITS Presents page.
—Michael E. Cohen
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