The original 1984 Mac didn’t make jaws drop because of its speed, price, or sleek looks. What amazed people most was the simplicity and elegance of the user interface. At some point in every Apple demo, the presenter copied a graphic drawn in a painting program (MacPaint) and pasted it directly into a word processor (MacWrite), where it appeared neatly nestled between typed paragraphs of text.
We take this example of data exchange for granted today. But in those days, that simple act struck people like a thunderbolt. After all, if this little computer let you copy and paste between different programs, it could probably do anything.
Today, the Mac is even more adept at helping you move and share your hard-won data. Mac OS X offers several different ways to move information within a single document, between documents, between different programs, and even between the Mac and Windows computers. This chapter leads you through this broad range of data-exchange mechanisms.
You can’t paste a picture into your Web browser, and you can’t paste MIDI music information into your word processor. But you can put graphics into your word processor, paste movies into your database, insert text into GraphicConverter, and combine a surprising variety of seemingly dissimilar kinds of data.
The original copy-and-paste procedure of 1984—putting a graphic into a word processor —has come a long way. Most experienced Mac users have ...