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OS X Mavericks: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

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Sharing Across Accounts

It’s all fine to say that every account is segregated from all other accounts. It’s nice to know your stuff is safe from the prying eyes of your coworkers or family.

But what about collaboration? What if you want to give some files or folders to another account holder?

You can’t just open up someone else’s Home folder and drop it in there. Yes, every account holder has a Home folder (all in the Users folder on your hard drive). But if you try to open anybody else’s Home folder, you’ll see a tiny red icon superimposed on almost every folder inside, telling you, “Look, but don’t touch.”

Fortunately, there are a couple of wormholes between accounts (Figure 13-12):

  • The Shared folder. Sitting in the Users folder is one folder that doesn’t correspond to any particular person: Shared. Everybody can freely access this folder, inserting and extracting files without restriction. It’s the common ground among all the account holders on a single Mac. It’s Central Park, the farmers’ market, and the grocery-store bulletin board.

    Top: In other people’s Home folders, the Public folder is available for your inspection. It contains stuff that other people have “published” for the benefit of their coworkers.Middle: In the Public folder is the Drop Box, which serves the opposite purpose. It lets anyone else who uses this Mac hand in files to you; they, however, can’t see what’s in it.Bottom: Inside the Users folder (to get there from a Home folder, press ⌘-) is the Shared folder, a wormhole connecting all accounts. Everybody has full access to everything inside.

    Figure 13-12. Top: In other people’s Home folders, the Public folder is available for your inspection. It contains stuff that other people have “published” for the benefit of their coworkers. Middle: In the Public folder is the Drop Box, which serves the ...

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