Chapter 6. Data: Typing, Dictating, Sharing & Backing Up

The original 1984 Mac didn’t make jaws drop because of its speed, price, or sleek looks. What amazed people 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 these examples of data input and data exchange for granted today. But in those days, that little stunt 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 enter, move, and share your hard-won data. OS X offers several ways to move information within a single document, between documents, between programs, and even between the Mac and Windows computers. This chapter leads you through this broad cycle of data: from entering it with the mouse and keyboard, to moving it around, to backing it up.

The Macintosh Keyboard

All through this book, you’ll find references to certain keys on Apple’s keyboards. “Hold down the key,” you might read, or “Press Control-F2.” If you’re coming from Mac OS 9, from Windows, or even from a typewriter, you might be a bit befuddled. (The reader email generated by previous ...

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