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Mac OS® X Snow Leopard™ Bible by Mark Hattersley, Galen Gruman

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Chapter 8. Working with Mac OS X Applications, Utilities, and Widgets

Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard is much more than an operating system. It's chock-full of tools that enable you to do all sorts of things, from managing your address book to taking photographic snapshots. These tools come in three forms: applications, utilities, and widgets.

What distinguishes the three types of tools from each other comes down essentially to complexity. Technically, all three types are software programs. However, an application usually is software that you use to perform a task unrelated to managing your computer, such as surfing the Web or playing DVDs. A utility usually is a tool to manage the computer itself, such as one that manages color profiles or formats disk drives. And a widget usually is a very simple program that gives you quick access to a feature, such as translating text or weather information.

But these are arbitrary distinctions, and Apple may have classified some tools differently in Mac OS X than you might have. In the end, what really matters about the labels application, utility, and widget is where you find the tools on your Mac. Mac OS X stores them, respectively, in the Applications folder, the Utilities folder, and the Dashboard (for widgets). All three locations have tools that Apple includes with Mac OS X 10.6 ...

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