El Capitan: A Take Control Crash Course
by Scholle McFarland

Price: $10
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Table of Contents


OS X 10.11 El Capitan’s name says a lot. Dubbed for the rock formation loved by climbers and found inside Yosemite National Park, this operating system isn’t a whole new thing, it’s a collection of refinements. El Capitan makes the big changes in 10.10 Yosemite better and offers contributions, both subtle and substantial, of its own.

My assumption is that you’ve figured out whether your Mac can run El Capitan, you’ve loaded the OS on your system, and now you’re ready to go. For detailed help with upgrading, see Take Control of Upgrading to El Capitan.

Together we’ll hit the highlights, from El Capitan’s little changes, to updates to apps and system-wide tools including Notes, Mission Control, Spotlight, Safari, and more. If you’re primarily curious about the new features Apple added to the operating system and the built-in apps, skip straight to What’s New in El Capitan? to find the chapters that interest you the most.

Apple’s OS X updates keep coming fast and furious—every year now—so my guess is you’ve missed a few useful, but not so obvious, tricks. With that in mind, I’ve included information about a few of my old favorites. Finder Tabs let you cut down on window clutter; they’re so simple and useful, you won’t believe you haven’t been using them all along. Finder Tags let you tag your files so that they’re easier to find later. Invest a little time thinking about what you want to keep available in your Dock, and you’ll find it offers one-click access as well as many convenient shortcuts.

Since many people felt disappointed that Siri wasn’t a part of this OS X update, we’ll also look at speech and dictation features, so you can learn just what is possible when you talk to your Mac today. In El Capitan, Apple beefs up dictation with new voice activation and some useful built-in dictation workflows.

Finally, we’ll look at the least you need to know to prepare for trouble: how to set up user accounts to handle problems and how to run Recovery mode when your Mac is on the fritz. Along the way, we’ll take a look at the changes El Capitan has brought to Disk Utility.

Sharing is wired into this ebook, so whenever you run across a tip you love, pass it on! Just use the links at the end of each chapter to send it to friends and colleagues or broadcast it via social media.

By the time you’re done with this Crash Course, you’ll know which OS X features fit the way you work and you’ll be ready to jump in and start using them right away.