Master essential Mac skills!

Expand or refresh your Mac know-how with
Take Control of Mac Basics by Tonya Engst!

Take Control of Mac Basics
Nov 27, 2017

Take Control of Mac Basics

Master essential Mac facts, concepts, and skills!

NOTE: This book replaces Tonya’s earlier title, Read Me First: A Take Control Crash Course. This new book offers far more detail and is up to date with the latest versions of macOS.

When we learn a new language, it’s helpful to start with the basics, such as vocabulary and grammar. If we were to dive in without knowing these things, we’d have a hard time becoming fluent. In the same way, Take Control of Mac Basics is a primer for your Mac, giving you the basic facts and concepts you need, then moving on to explain how to put them to use in order to become “fluent” in macOS.

But Take Control of Mac Basics is also meant for anyone—whether beginner, intermediate, or beyond—who wants to fill in any missing gaps in their knowledge of the Mac. Providing a carefully arranged and cross-referenced guide to the Mac, Take Control of Mac Basics brings together dozens of essential Mac topics in one place. Drawing on her years of experience as the former editor in chief of Take Control, author Tonya Engst presents a wealth of information in an easy-to-use format.

After you read this book, you’ll be able to:

  • Get Your Bearings: Find out the names of the interface elements on your Mac screen and learn what you can do with them, including the menu bar, Apple menu, application menu, Siri, Spotlight, Notification Center, Finder, Finder windows, Dock, and Desktop. You’ll also be introduced to each built-in app and utility on your Mac, and get expert advice on how to locate, install, and update additional apps.

  • Use the Finder: Become confident with using the folders available to you on your Mac and with filing your files in both default and custom folders that work well for you. You’ll find lots of tips for working on the Desktop, customizing the views in your windows, resizing windows, and understanding Mac paths.

  • Manage Customization: Discover the many ways you can make your Mac work better for you, including making it easier to see, less of a power hog, more beautiful to look at, and easier to share with a child by creating separate accounts. Also learn how a wide variety of settings in System Preferences can improve the way you carry out essential tasks, such as copy/paste between your Mac and your iPhone, speaking through headphones on a FaceTime or Skype call, and viewing recent text messages or upcoming calendar events.

  • Run Apps Effectively: Understand the best methods for getting in and out of apps, having apps launch on their own, quitting apps, dealing with frozen apps, opening new files, saving files, and more.

  • Master Essential Tasks: Build your expertise with core Mac tasks and technologies including printing, copy and paste, keyboard shortcuts, connecting to a Wi-Fi network (in certain cases even if you don’t know the password), Universal Clipboard, Mission Control, AirPlay, Sleep, Shut Down, what to do if you need to enter a Unix command in Terminal, how to think about backups, and more.

This book is based on macOS 10.13 High Sierra, which Apple released in 2017. This book is compatible with earlier versions of macOS, but the newer the version, the more it will match what the book presents.

Take Control of Mac Basics is based on an older book called Read Me First: A Take Control Crash Course, which contained information about core Mac skills useful to Take Control readers. Take Control of Mac Basics expands greatly on that idea, adding invaluable content that is pertinent to anyone interested in other Take Control titles.

Update Plans

November 28, 2017—As this book is currently up to date, we do not yet have any plans for a revised version.

Posted by Joe Kissell

  1. What’s Basic about Using the Mac?

    You can now watch MacVoices #17219, “Tonya Engst Takes Control of Mac Basics.” In this video podcast, author Tonya Engst and MacVoices host Chuck Joiner consider what Mac features are basic enough to fit into the 140-page Take Control of Mac Basics ebook. Tonya also shares several interesting tips, and describes what happened behind the scenes as she created her book.

    Posted by Joe Kissell (Permalink)

The Author

Tonya Engst co-founded the TidBITS online publication in 1990 with Adam Engst. She also co-founded the Take Control Books series with Adam in 2003 and saw the series through its early years, working with many talented authors and editors to add hundreds of titles and to create a process that could easily produce PDF and EPUB/Mobipocket formatted ebooks from the same WYSIWYG manuscript. Tonya was editor-in-chief of the Take Control series from 2003–2017.