Menulets: The Missing Manual

See the little menu-bar icons in Figure 3-9? Apple calls them Menu Extras, but Mac fans on the Internet have named menulets. Each is both an indicator and a menu that provides direct access to certain settings in System Preferences. One lets you adjust your Mac’s speaker volume; another lets you change the screen resolution; another shows you the remaining power in your laptop battery; and so on.

These little guys are the direct descendants of the controls once found on the Mac OS 9 Control Strip or the Windows system tray. Menulets from left: Eject, VPN, Text Input, Remote Desktop, PPP, Ink, iChat, Classic, Bluetooth, AirPort, Volume, Battery, and Date & Time.

Figure 3-9. These little guys are the direct descendants of the controls once found on the Mac OS 9 Control Strip or the Windows system tray. Menulets from left: Eject, VPN, Text Input, Remote Desktop, PPP, Ink, iChat, Classic, Bluetooth, AirPort, Volume, Battery, and Date & Time.

To summon the various menulets, you generally visit a certain pane of System Preferences (Chapter 8) and turn on a checkbox called, for example, “Show volume in menu bar.” Here’s a rundown of the various Apple menulets that you may encounter, complete instructions on where to find this magic on/off checkbox for each:.

  • AirPort status lets you turn your AirPort card on or off, join existing AirPort wireless networks, and create your own private ones. To find the “Show” checkbox: Open System PreferencesNetwork. From the Show pop-up menu, choose AirPort. (It’s available only if you’ve installed Apple’s AirPort software.)

  • Apple Remote Desktop is a program, sold separately, that lets teachers ...

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