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Macworld Total Leopard Superguide
Become more productive in Leopard with the detailed advice from the experts at Macworld!
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About the Authors
The Macworld Total Leopard Superguide was written by Christopher Breen, Jim Dalrymple, Adam C. Engst, Glenn Fleishman, Dan Frakes, Adam Goldstein, Rob Griffiths, Ted Landau, Joe Kissell, Kirk McElhearn, Dan Miller, Sarah Milstein, Rich Mogull, Jonathan Seff, and Ben Waldie.
When it comes time to release a new version of Mac OS X, Apple realizes that most users don't buy upgrades just because they're available. That's why Apple touts the fact that Leopard includes more than 300 new features—and offers a Web site outlining each one.
Will any one user take advantage of every one of the 300-plus features on Apple's list? Not likely. But that's not really the point. For Leopard to be worth its $129 cover price, you need only find the small subset of those 300 features that appeals to you. For example, most users won't care that you can now view the OS in Russian and Polish—but speakers of Russian and Polish sure will. And almost nobody would buy Leopard just for AutoFS, a new technology that prevents the Finder from spinning its wheels when it loses contact with a remote file serverâ€”but those in the know will certainly include it on a list of reasons to upgrade. In the case of Leopard, much of Apple's marketing power has focused on one feature: Time Machine. And really, I can't argue. Time Machine manages to make backing up your data slightly less boring, and I mean that as a huge compliment. In fact, Time Machine's file-rollback system has already begun to change the way I interact with my files. Within three days of using Time Machine, I discovered that I was tossing items in the Trash more often, confident that if I really needed one of them, I could retrieve it from my backup.
Another game-changing feature of Leopard is Quick Look, which lets you peer into files to see their contents directly from the Finder. It's one of those simple features that will make most Mac users more productive—that is, as soon as we unlearn that reflexive double-click and replace it with a quick tap of the spacebar.
And in my mind, one of the most impressive features of Leopard is one that Apple really isn't touting—mostly because it's kind of embarrassing. The marquee feature of Tiger, 36 long months ago, was Spotlight, the technology that let you find anything on your Mac just by typing a few words in a search box. But that first version of Spotlight was inflexible and slow. Apple has massively upgraded Spotlight in Leopardâ€”and for the better. It's more flexible and a lot faster. Spotlight might have ended up being a bit of a disappointment in Tiger, but it has really come into its own in Leopard.
But the list doesn't stop there. In addition to these big-name features, Apple has also included updates to Mail, iCal, iChat, and numerous other built-in programs that many Mac users rely on every day. If you haven't found a favorite feature or set of features in Leopard yet, keep thumbing through the pages of Total Leopard. I'm confident that you'll find new features that will impress you. And our large collection of Mac OS X tips and tricks will make you a happier, more efficient Mac user.
—Jason Snell, Editorial Director, Macworld
San Francisco, January 2008
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