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Personalise your Mac

The first thing we will do is adapt our system to our personal wishes. Click once on the Apple logo, left in the Menu Bar. Move the mouse to System Preferences and then release (use the left side of the mouse / left button).

System Preferences
You now get a Window full of symbols. These are the heart of all settings on your Mac. So it is important that you know where to find them!

Control panel
System Preferences can be compared to the Control Panel in Windows.

We start with the Mouse. Adjust the speed of your rodent as you like it. He doesn't run that fast by default.

Scroll direction
Also pay attention to how this setting feels (MacMiep herself cannot handle the default setting).

Secondary click = right click
This refers to the right mouse button. The Mac mouse is a 1-button mouse by default!
You can activate the right mouse button here:

Note: A right click can be replaced by a Control * click with a one-button mouse.
(Ctrl * key at the bottom left of the keyboard)

More Gestures
The mouse has even more functions. Just try what is possible. Take a good look at the video on the right to see what is meant.

Mouse - the movie

Magic Trackpad and MacBook Trackpad
Owners of a MacBook or a Magic Trackpad can configure their Trackpad here. The videos show you how to do the finger movements and - importantly - how many fingers to use.
First start adjusting the Tracking speed:

Right-click with the Trackpad
MacBooks only have a 1-click button, unlike many PC notebooks; the trackpad IS the button.
To activate the right-click: activate 'Secondary click: click with two fingers'.
This means that you put two fingers on the trackpad, then press the trackpad to get a right-click:

NOTE: Pay close attention to the videos to see what is meant.

Working with your fingers
In MacOS you can use a Trackpad, but also the Mouse in various ways, for example to zoom in or out:

Swiping with three fingers to switch between (full screen) apps is also possible:

Do try it out! If you don't like it, you can always go back.

Other mouse breeds
You can also use mice from other manufacturers without any problems, even together with the original Apple mouse. MacMiep has a very small mouse with a USB Bluetooth dongle. She thinks the original Apple mouse is too big and too heavy.

Satisfied? Click the button with the 12 small squares to return to System Preferences.

The Dock
Now choose 'Dock & Menu Bar'. The Dock is that bar with icons at the bottom of your screen.

What is the Dock?
It's kind of a go-there-quick thing; you click on the icon of a program or document and it opens.
The Dock is always directly accessible, from any program. You can choose which side you want your Dock on. You can also make it disappear with the Automatically show / hide option. Only when you get close to it with your mouse will the Dock come up. This way it won't get in the way when you have your screen filled up with documents.

Dock - the movie

Choose your favourite warning signal from Sound Effects.

Get rid of that noise
Also uncheck (if desired) 'Play user interface sound effects':

Your Mac will now no longer make annoying bleeps and whizzes while copying files and the like.

Here you can choose which image you want as Desktop picture.

and Screen Saver
Under Screen Saver, choose the video that will run when your Mac is not being used for a while:

However, letting your Mac sleep uses much less energy!

Close System Preferences
On the Mac, all programs and documents open in a Window. At the top left of a Window you see three buttons. MacMiep calls them "the traffic light".

red is "close window"
yellow is "place window in Dock" (disappear in the Dock for a moment so you can quickly access it again when needed)
green is "set window to maximum size" (usually screen size).

NOTE: for the colourblind among us: red is on the left, yellow in the middle and green on the right.

Closing a Window
To close the Window of - in this case - System Preferences, click on the red button in the traffic light.

Switch from right to left
Switchers will have to switch from right to left:

red = close window.
green = maximise window
yellow = minimise window, but not in the Taskbar: in the Dock

Closing a Program
Many apps stop when you click the red button. If not, you can go to the Menu bar and click on the program name. In the drop-down menu you will see 'Quit program' at the bottom:

Stop a program without using the mouse
However, it is easiest to use the key combination 'Command - Q'. Command keys are next to the space bar on your keyboard:

Press the Q key and the Command key simultaneously.

NOTE: For almost every action you can do with your mouse, there is an equivalent on the keyboard, the so-called 'key combination' or 'shortcut'. With shortcuts you can a. Work faster and b. it is more ergonomic. There are shortcuts that consist of two, three or - very occasionally - four keys. More later..

So much for System Preferences
We've been introduced to System Preferences, which strongly determine the look and feel of your Mac

The Preferences that have not yet been covered will be discussed in the next chapters.

Overview of all System Preferences
For a complete overview of all System Preferences, go to all MacOS preferences.
Beginners should better skip that chapter at first.

The next chapter is:
all MacOS preferences
working with Finder

Disclaimer: MacMiep is independent. This means she writes what she wants, based on 30 years of Mac-experience. She doesn't get paid for stories (positive or negative) on this website. MacMiep is not interested in your data. However, she does use Google'\]'s services. Google is indeed interested. Are you happy with MacMiep? Please support your local cat shelter.