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

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Table of Contents

Working with Files and Folders

If you’re been reading along, you know how to switch to the Mac’s Finder, how to open a Finder window, and how to change the view in a Finder window . Those skills are going to come in handy here, where I’ll be talking about the basics of managing your files and folders. You can do all these tasks in any view, but you may find it easier to follow these directions in icon view.

Opening a File

The file opens. You can now work on it. Or, if it’s a piece of media, like a book or song that is meant to be read or listened to, you can now read or play it.

Tip: To get a quick preview of a file, select it in the Finder and press the Space bar. You are now using Apple’s Quick Look feature. To close the preview, click the close box at its upper left or press the Space bar again.

Opening a Folder

Depending on the Finder window’s view, either click the folder once or double-click it. The window displays the folder’s contents and the folder’s name in the title bar .

① 	This screenshot shows what’s in a folder called Current Work. Notice the name of the folder in the title bar at the top of the window.

① This screenshot shows what’s in a folder called Current Work. Notice the name of the folder in the title bar at the top of the window.

Making a Folder

  1. Working in a Finder window, select the folder in which you want the new folder to appear.
  2. Choose File > New Folder (or press Command-Shift-N) .
    ② 	A new folder, with the default “untitled folder” name. The name is selected so that you can type a different one.

    ② A new folder, with the default “untitled folder” name. The name is selected so that you can type a different one.

    The new folder appears with its name, “untitled folder,” highlighted.

  3. Type your own name for the folder, and then press Return.

Note: You can carry out most of these tasks directly from the Desktop too; see Where’s My Desktop?.

Moving an Item

Here is an easy way to move a file or folder:

  1. Open two Finder windows.
  2. Drag each window so you can easily see both.
  3. Navigate in the top (or left) window so you can see the folder where the item is now.
  4. Navigate in the bottom (or right) window so you can see the folder where you want the item to go. You can work with the folders in any view—in the figure , the top window is in icon view and the bottom is in column view.
    ③ 	Here are two Finder windows, set up to facilitate dragging Essay #1 into College Work.

    ③ Here are two Finder windows, set up to facilitate dragging Essay #1 into College Work.

  5. Drag the item from one window and drop it in the other.

    If you watch the destination window before you make the drop, you should see a visual indication that you are dropping in a valid area (the indication varies by the window’s view).

Renaming an Item

  1. Click once on the icon and press Return to select the name.
  2. Type the new name.
  3. Press Return.

Warning! Don’t rename system files, applications, or folders that were created for you by OS X or an app. Renaming files or folders in this way may confuse apps and cause problems.

Tip: If you move an item but realize right away that you’ve moved it to the wrong place, working in the Finder, choose Edit > Undo.

Tip: To copy an item to another location so that the original is left where it was, press Option while you drag the item.

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“To duplicate an item in the Mac Finder, select it and choose File > Duplicate. Or, press Command-D.”

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