Graphics in Mac OS X

Now you’re talking. If you want to see dilated pupils and sweaty palms, just say “graphics” to any Mac OS X junkie.

Yes, graphics is one of the big deals with Mac OS X, thanks to its sophisticated Quartz graphics-processing technology. Everywhere you look in Mac OS X, you’ll find visual effects that would make any other operating system think about early retirement. For example, how many of these effects have you noticed?

  • Menus don’t roll up when you release them—they fade away.

  • Menus are slightly transparent.

  • You can set the bars in Excel graphs to be slightly transparent, so that they don’t block other bars in 3-D graphs.

  • When you paste files into windows in icon view, their icons fade into view.

  • When you open an especially long message in Mail, its text fades in from white.

Graphics Formats in Mac OS X

Mac OS X understands dozens of Mac and Windows graphics file formats. Better yet, its Preview program (Section 9.1.16) can open such graphics and then export them in a different format, making Preview an excellent file-conversion program.

You can confidently double-click graphics files—from a digital camera, scanner, or a Web download, for example—in any of these formats:

  • PICT files. For almost 20 years, the PICT file was the graphics format Mac fans were most familiar with. It was the graphics format used by the Macintosh Clipboard, and it was the format created by the Shift-

    -3 keystroke (see Section 13.10).

    Unfortunately, no other kinds of computers could open these ...

Get Mac OS X: The Missing Manual, Second Edition now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.