Read Me First: A Take Control Crash Course
by Tonya Engst

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Table of Contents

Where in the World Are the Preferences?

The system preferences that I talked about in the previous chapter (Using System Preferences) apply to the logged-in user account as a whole—or even sometimes to the entire Mac, but seldom to individual apps. Later in this book, I talk about the Settings app for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch—see Where Is the iOS Settings App?—but many of those settings apply to the entire device. Where might you go to adjust a Mac app’s settings? And how can you find settings in iOS apps?

Let’s look first at specifying settings for a Mac app. If you read instructions telling you to, for example, “open Calendar’s settings,” or “choose Calendar > Preferences,” you should open the Calendar app, click the Calendar menu on the menu bar, and choose Preferences .

① 	Working on the menu bar, display the Calendar menu and choose Preferences.

① Working on the menu bar, display the Calendar menu and choose Preferences.

Or if you read “choose Calendar > Preferences > Advanced,” you’d do the same thing, plus make sure the Advanced button is selected at the top of the window .

② 	Once you’ve opened the preferences window, click the button that goes with the pane you want to view. In this case, Advanced is selected in the toolbar at the top of the window.

② Once you’ve opened the preferences window, click the button that goes with the pane you want to view. In this case, Advanced is selected in the toolbar at the top of the window.

Finding Preferences

If you don’t see the name of the app on the menu bar (next to the Apple menu; see The Menu Bar, Left to Right), you’ll need to activate the app to find its Preferences menu item. Try:

Or…

Look in the Status Menu

If an app has a status menu (see The Menu Bar, Left to Right), check the menu for a command to activate the app or open its preferences . The Preferences command may be accessible from the status menu via a gear icon .

③ 	A Preferences command on a status menu.

③ A Preferences command on a status menu.

④ 	Click the gear icon (red circle) to display a submenu with the Preferences command.

④ Click the gear icon (red circle) to display a submenu with the Preferences command.

Tip: If you see “Action menu” in a set of instructions, look for the gear.

Or…

Look for a Gear

In Mac apps with funky or modern interfaces, you may need to track down a gear icon to open the preferences.

This approach is more common in iOS apps . A few apps have (some or all) of their settings in the Settings app (see Where Is the iOS Settings App?), but most require you to find the settings screen within the app.

⑤ 	In the Kindle iOS app, the settings gear icon is at the lower right… today, anyway.

⑤ In the Kindle iOS app, the settings gear icon is at the lower right… today, anyway.

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“To open the preferences for the active Mac app without taking your hands off the keyboard, press Command-Comma.”

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