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macOS Big Sur For Dummies


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Table of Contents

Introduction 1 About This Book 1 Foolish Assumptions 3 Icons Used in This Book 3 Beyond the Book 4 Where to Go from Here 4 Part 1: macOS Basics 5 Chapter 1: macOS Big Sur 101 (Prerequisites: None) 7 Gnawing to the Core of macOS 8 A Safety Net for the Absolute Beginner (or Any User) 10 Turning the dang thing on 10 What you should see on startup 11 Shutting down properly 15 A few things you should definitely not do with your Mac 16 Point-and-click 101 17 Not Just a Beatles Movie: Help and the Help Menu 19 Chapter 2: Desktop and Windows and Menus (Oh My!) 23 Touring Finder and Its Desktop 24 Anatomy of a Window 25 Top o' the window to ya! 27 A scroll new world 29 (Hyper)active windows 30 Dialog Dealie-Boppers 32 Working with Windows 34 Opening and closing windows 34 Resizing windows and window panes 35 Moving windows 35 Shuffling windows 36 Menu Basics 38 The ever-changing menu bar 38 Contextual (shortcut) menus: They're sooo contextual! 39 Recognizing disabled options 41 Navigating submenus 41 Under the Apple menu tree 42 Using keyboard shortcut commands 44 Chapter 3: What's Up, Dock? 45 A Quick Introduction to Your Dock 46 The default icons of the dock 47 Trash talkin' 48 Opening application menus on the dock 51 Reading dock icon body language 53 Opening files from the dock 54 Customizing Your Dock 54 Adding dock icons 54 Removing an icon from the dock 57 Resizing the dock 58 What should you put on your dock? 58 Setting your dock preferences 60 Chapter 4: Getting to Know Finder and Its Desktop 65 Introducing Finder and Its Minions: The Desktop and Icons 66 Introducing the desktop 66 Bellying up to the toolbar 68 Figuring out what an icon is 71 Identifying your Finder icons in the wild 72 Aliases Are Awesome! 73 Creating aliases 74 Deleting aliases 75 Hunting down an alias's parent 75 The View(s) from a Window 76 Moving through folders fast in Column view 76 Perusing in Icon view 78 Listless? Try touring folders in List view 78 Hangin' in the Gallery (view) 80 What's next on the (View) menu? 81 Finder on the Menu 83 The actual Finder menu 83 Like a road map: The current folder's pop-up menu 86 Going places with the Go menu 86 Customizing Finder Windows 89 Adding folders to the sidebar 89 Setting Finder preferences 90 Digging for Icon Data in the Info Window 93 Chapter 5: Delving Even Deeper into Big Sur's Desktop and Finder 97 Cleaning Up Your Desktop Automatically with Stacks 97 Managing your Stacks 100 Quick Actions: Now Playing All Over Big Sur 101 Getting the most out of Markup 101 Trimming video without launching an app 104 Do It Quicker with Finder Quick Actions 105 Creating PDFs without launching an app 105 Creating custom Finder Quick Actions 106 Four More Cool Big Sur Tricks 107 Shooting screens 107 Dynamic desktop images 109 Recently used apps in the dock 109 Mentions of Gallery view 110 Part 2: How Stuff Works 111 Chapter 6: Having It Your Way 113 Introducing System Preferences 113 The Desktop & Screen Saver System Preferences Pane 116 The Desktop tab 117 The Screen Saver tab 118 The General System Preferences Pane 119 Adjusting the Keyboard, Mouse, Trackpad, and Other Hardware 122 The Keyboard System Preferences pane 122 The Mouse System Preferences pane 128 The Bluetooth System Preferences pane 129 The Trackpad System Preferences pane 129 The Sound System Preferences Pane 131 Changing sound effects 132 Choosing output and input options 132 Chapter 7: Opening and Saving Files 133 A Quick Primer on Finding Files 134 Understanding the macOS Folder Structure 134 Understanding nested folders 136 From the top: The Computer folder 137 Peeking into the Applications folder 138 Visiting the Library folders 138 Let it be: The System folder 139 There's no place like Home 140 Your personal library card 141 Saving Your Document Before It's Too Late 143 Stepping through a basic save 145 Save As versus Duplicate: Different names for the same result 151 Open, Sez Me 153 With drag-and-drop 154 With a Quick Look 155 When your Mac can't open a file 155 With the application of your choice 156 Chapter 8: File and Folder Management Made Easy 159 Organizing Your Stuff in Folders 159 Files versus folders 160 Organizing your stuff with subfolders 160 Creating new folders 163 Navigating with spring-loaded folders 163 Smart folders 164 Shuffling Files and Folders 167 Moving files and folders 167 Selecting multiple icons 169 Playing the icon name game: Renaming icons 170 Renaming multiple icons at once 171 Compressing files 171 Getting rid of icons 172 The Incredible iCloud Drive 172 Chapter 9: Comprehending the macOS Clipboard 175 Introducing the Clipboard 175 Copying Files and Folders 177 Pasting from the Clipboard 179 Big Sur's Universal Clipboard 179 Part 3: Getting Things Done 181 Chapter 10: Five Terrific Time-Saving Tools 183 With a Quick Look 184 Share and share alike with the Share menu 185 Slide into Slideshow (full-screen) mode 186 Spotlight on Finding Files and Folders Faster 187 Using the Find command 187 Using the Spotlight menu and its keyboard shortcut 190 Blast Off with Mission Control 191 The Mission Control pane: It's painless 191 Hot corners are hot stuff! 194 Mission Control's Spaces from 30,000 feet (an overview) 194 Getting around in space(s) 197 Taking Control of Essential Settings 198 Launchpad: The Place for Applications 200 Chapter 11: Organizing Your Life 203 Keeping Track with Calendar 204 Navigating Calendar views 204 Creating calendars 205 Deleting a calendar 206 Creating and managing events 207 Reminders: Protection Against Forgetting 210 Getting started with Reminders 210 To do or not to do: Setting reminders 211 Sharing lists and assigning reminders 213 Everything You Need to Know about Notification Center 213 Tweaking Notification settings 214 Widget management 101 216 Using Notification Center 217 Use Notes for Making Notes 218 Tracking Productivity with Screen Time 221 Chapter 12: Are You Siri-ous? 223 What Siri Can Do for You 224 Working with Siri 226 Making Siri Your Own 226 Chapter 13: Maps Are Where It's At 229 Finding Your Current Location with Maps 229 Finding a Person, Place, or Thing 230 Views, Zooms, and Pans 231 Maps and Contacts 233 Time-saving Map Tools: Favorites, Guides, and Recents 234 Favorites 234 Guides 235 Recents 235 Smart Map Tricks 236 Get route maps and driving directions 236 Get walking directions 237 Get directions for public transportation 237 Get traffic info in real time 238 Flyovers and look arounds 238 Do more on the Info sheet 240 Chapter 14: Apps Born in iOS 241 Taking Stock of the Market with Stocks 241 Adding and deleting stocks, funds, and indexes 243 Details, details, details 244 Charting a course 244 Read All about It in News 245 What are your interests? 246 How News works 247 Managing your news 247 Recording Memos with Voice Memos 248 Recording a voice memo 248 Listening to a voice memo 249 Naming a voice memo 249 Trimming a voice memo 250 Controlling Lights, Locks, and More with Home 251 Part 4: Getting Along with Others 253 Chapter 15: (Inter)Networking 255 Getting Connected to the Internet 256 Your Internet service provider and you 257 Plugging in your Internet-connection settings 258 Browsing the Web with Safari 259 Owning your toolbar 261 Using the Safari sidebar 263 Searching with Google 267 Protect yourself from malice (and ads) 269 Checking out Help Center 270 Audio and Video Calls with FaceTime 270 Chapter 16: Dealing with People 273 Collecting Your Contacts 273 Adding contacts 274 Importing contacts from other programs 276 Creating a basic group 276 Setting up a smart group (based on contact criteria) 277 Deleting a group or smart group 279 Sync + Contacts = your contacts everywhere 279 Chapter 17: Communicating with Mail and Messages 281 Sending and Receiving Email with Mail 281 Setting up Mail 282 A quick overview of the toolbar 283 Composing a new message 284 Sending email from the Contacts app 286 Checking your mail 288 Dealing with spam 289 Mailboxes smart and plain 289 Changing your preferences 292 Sign here, please 293 Mail rules rule 294 Take a (Quick) look and (Slide) show me some photos 296 Markup and Mail Drop 297 Communicating with Messages 299 Chit-chatting with Messages 300 Chapter 18: Sharing Your Mac and Liking It 303 Introducing Networks and File Sharing 304 Portrait of home office networking 305 Three ways to build a network 307 Setting Up File Sharing 309 Access and Permissions: Who Can Do What 311 Users and groups and guests 311 Creating users 312 macOS knows best: Folders shared by default 317 Sharing a folder or disk by setting permissions 318 Useful settings for permissions 322 Unsharing a folder 324 Connecting to a Shared Disk or Folder on a Remote Mac 325 Changing Your Password 328 Changing your account password on your Mac 329 Changing the password of any account but your own on your Mac 329 More Types of Sharing 330 Sharing a screen 330 Sharing the Internet 331 And yet more ways to share 332 Part 5: Getting Creative 333 Chapter 19: The Musical Mac 335 Apple Music and iTunes Match Rock! 336 Introducing Music (the App Formerly Known as iTunes) 337 Working with Media 340 Adding songs 341 Listening to Radio 343 All about Playlists 344 Creating a regular playlist 344 Filtering your library 346 Working with smart playlists 347 Burning a playlist to CD 348 Looking at the Genius playlist 348 Chapter 20: The Multimedia Mac 351 Playing Movies and Music in QuickTime Player 351 Watching TV 353 Using the Books App 354 Buying an e-book or audiobook 355 Shopping for e-books without Apple 357 Reading an e-book 358 Finding and Listening to Podcasts with the Podcasts App 360 You're the Star with Photo Booth 361 Viewing and Converting Images and PDFs in Preview 363 Importing Media from a Camera or Camcorder 365 Chapter 21: Words and Letters 369 Processing Words with TextEdit 370 Creating and composing a document 370 Working with text 371 Adding graphics to documents 374 Font Mania 375 Types of fonts 376 Managing your fonts with Font Book 376 Chapter 22: Publish or Perish: The Fail-Safe Guide to Printing 379 Before Diving In 380 Ready: Connecting and Adding Your Printer 380 Connecting your printer 381 Setting up a printer for the first time 381 One last thing: Printer sharing 383 Set: Setting Up Your Document with Page Setup 384 Print: Printing with the Print Sheet 386 Printing a document 386 Choosing among different printers 387 Choosing custom settings 387 Saving custom settings 390 Preview and PDF Options 390 Part 6: Care and Feeding 393 Chapter 23: Features for the Way You Work 395 Finally, a Dark Mode 396 App Shopping, Improved 397 Using Your iPhone as Your Mac's Camera or Scanner 399 Talking and Listening to Your Mac 402 Keyboard System Preferences pane: You talk and your Mac types 402 Commanding your Mac by voice 404 Listening to your Mac read for you 406 Automatic Automation 409 Script Editor app: Write and edit AppleScripts 409 Automator app: Automate almost anything 410 A Few More Useful Goodies 413 Accessibility System Preferences pane: Make your Mac more accessible 413 Battery and Energy Saver System Preferences panes: For energy conservation and sleep 415 Bluetooth System Preferences pane: Where Bluetooth lives 416 Ink System Preferences pane: Visible to pen-input tablet users only 417 Automatic Login in the Users & Groups System Preferences pane: Don't bother with the login screen 417 Allow your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac 418 Boot Camp Assistant app: Run Windows on your Mac really 418 AirPlay Mirroring 419 Handoff 420 Chapter 24: Safety First: Backups and Other Security Issues 421 Backing Up is (Not) Hard to Do 422 Backing up with Big Sur's excellent Time Machine 422 Backing up by using the manual, brute-force method 426 Backing up by using commercial backup software 427 Why You Need Two Sets of Backups 428 Non-Backup Security Concerns 429 About viruses and other malware 429 Firewall: Yea or nay? 431 Install recommended software updates 433 Protecting Your Data from Prying Eyes 434 Blocking or limiting connections 434 Locking down files with FileVault 434 Setting other options for security 435 Chapter 25: Utility Chest 439 In the Applications and Utilities Folders 439 Calculator 439 Activity Monitor 441 Disk Utility 442 Grapher 447 Keychain Access 447 Migration Assistant 449 System Information 450 Terminal 450 Capturing Your Screen 451 Big Sur screen-shooting 101 452 Big Sur screen-shooting options 453 Big Sur screen recording 454 Chapter 26: Troubleshooting macOS 457 About Startup Disks and Booting 457 Finding or creating a startup disk 458 They call it a prohibitory sign for a reason 458 Recovering with Recovery HD 460 Step 1: Run First Aid 460 Step 2: Safe boot into Safe mode 461 Step 3: Zapping the PRAM/NVRAM 462 Step 4: Reinstalling macOS 463 Step 5: Things to try before taking your Mac in for repair 463 If Your Mac Crashes at Startup 464 Optimizing Storage 465 Part 7: The Part of Tens 467 Chapter 27: Ten Ways to Speed Up Your Mac Experience 469 Use Those Keyboard Shortcuts 470 Improve Your Typing Skills 471 Change Your Resolution 471 Purchase a Faster Mac 473 Add RAM 473 Add a Second Display 474 Use Your iPad as a Second Display 474 Upgrade to a Solid-State Drive (SSD) 475 Get More Storage 476 Subscribe to My Free Newsletter 477 Chapter 28: Ten Great Websites for Mac Freaks 479 The Mac Observer 480 Macworld 480 TidBITS 480 iMore 481 AppleWorld.Today 481 The Wirecutter 481 Apple Support 482 Other World Computing 482 dealmac/dealnews 483 Working Smarter for Mac Users 483 Index 485

About the Author

Bob "Dr. Mac" LeVitus has written the "Dr. Mac" column for the Houston Chronicle since 1996. A devoted Mac enthusiast, he has written or cowritten a long list of how-to books about macOS, iPhone, iPad, Office for the Mac, and GarageBand. He's also a regular contributor to various tech publications.

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