Chapter 3

Working Your Way through Windows, Dialogs, and Menus

In This Chapter

Checking out windows and how they work

Making choices with dialogs

Navigating with menus

Windows are (and have always been) an integral part of Macintosh computing. Windows in the Finder (or, as a PC user would say, “on the Desktop”) show you the contents of the hard drive, optical drive, flash (thumb) drive, network drive, disk image, and folder icons; windows in applications do many things. The point is that windows are part of what makes your Mac a Mac; knowing how they work — and how to use them — is essential.

Anatomy of a Window

Windows are a ubiquitous part of using a Mac. When you open a folder, you see a window. When you write a letter, the document that you’re working on appears in a window. When you browse the Internet, Web pages appear in a window . . . and so on.

For the most part, windows are windows from program to program. You’ll probably notice that some programs (Adobe Photoshop or Microsoft Word, for example) take liberties with windows by adding features (such as pop-up menus) or textual information (such as zoom percentage or file size) in the scroll-bar area of a document window.

Don’t let it bug you; that extra fluff is just window dressing (pun intended). Maintaining the window metaphor, many information windows display different kinds of information in different panes, or discrete sections.

And so, without further ado, the following list gives you a look at the main features ...

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