Cheat Sheet

OS X Mountain Lion For Dummies

From OS X Mountain Lion For Dummies by Bob LeVitus

You made a smart decision when you chose OS X, the Mac Operating System XX as in the Roman numeral ten. Whether you've purchased a new Mac with OS X Mountain Lion preinstalled or have upgraded from a previous version of OS X, you'll find new features in OS X Mountain Lion that make your Mac easier to use and improvements that make you more productive.

What Not to Do with Your Mac

Treat your Mac and OS X Mountain Lion with care. Presumably, you use your Mac for many things, such as e-mail, IM, web surfing, loading photos and movies, listening to music, playing games, and maybe even working. To keep your work and leisure projects safe, never do any of these things with your Mac:

  • Never shut off your Mac by pulling the plug. Always use the Shut Down command from the Apple menu in Mountain Lion (or press the Power button, and then click the Shut Down button).

  • If you're using a laptop, you can usually get away with pulling the plug while it's running. The only caveat is that if your battery is totally depleted, damaged, or missing entirely, you could suffer directory damage or data loss by pulling the plug. Just use the Shut Down command, and you'll sleep well.

  • Never bump, drop, shake, wobble, dribble, drop-kick, or play catch with a hard drive while it's running Mountain Lion. Don't forget: Your desktop Mac has a hard drive inside it, too.

  • Never get up from your Mac without saving your work. Just before your behind leaves the chair, your fingers should be pressing Command+S (which is the keyboard shortcut in OS X Mountain Lion that saves your work). Make it a habit.

  • Never keep only one copy of your important documents. Make at least two backup copies and keep one of them in another physical location. Period.

  • Never clean your monitor with Windex (or another product not designed to be used on a video display). And nix the paper towels or tissues, too. Use a soft cloth (microfiber is best) if you want to avoid scratching the display.

  • Never pay attention to anyone who says that PCs are just like the Mac. Yeah, right. And Kia is the Asian cousin of BMW.

Best Informational Websites for Macs and OS X Mountain Lion

Want to know how to find out about all things Macintosh? Hop onto the web to check these Apple-related sites and stuff your brain with information about your Mac and OS X Mountain Lion:

  • Alltop aggregates information from dozens of great Mac-oriented websites and makes it easy to skim headlines and story summaries. You can even build your own custom version that contains only sites you want to see.

  • The Apple support site and Knowledge Base are treasure troves of tech notes, software update information, troubleshooting tips, and documentation for most Apple products.

  • CNET Downloads, the site formerly known as VersionTracker, is the place to go to find freeware, shareware, and software updates for OS X. If this site doesn't have it, it probably doesn't exist.

  • MacInTouch is the preeminent Mac news and information site, full of tips, hints, and troubleshooting information. Many users consider MacInTouch (along with MacSurfer and MacFixit) a must-read every day.

  • TidBITS bills itself as "Apple news for the rest of us," but there's much more to TidBITS than just the news. You can also find thoughtful commentary, in-depth analysis, and detailed product reviews, written and edited by pros who really know the Apple ecosystem.

Handy Keyboard Shortcuts for OS X Mountain Lion

Make your work go faster by using these OS X Mountain Lion keyboard shortcuts that work in the Finder — and in many work in other OS X Mountain Lion programs , as well. Make these shortcuts second nature — print out this chart and tape it to your monitor and refer to it while using OS X Mountain Lion.

Command Keyboard Shortcut
Add Selected Item to Sidebar Command+T
Close All Windows Option+Command+W
Close Window Command+W
Copy Command+C
Cut Command+X
Dashboard F12 (fn+F12 on laptops)
Duplicate Command+D
Eject Disk Command+E
Empty Trash Shift+Command+Delete
Find Command+F
Get Info (on selected item or items) Command+I
Go to All My Files Shift+Command+F
Go to Applications Folder Shift+Command+A
Go to Desktop Shift+Command+D
Go to Home Folder Shift+Command+H
Help Shift+Command+?
Hide Current Application Command+H
Log Out Current User Shift+Command+Q
Make Alias Command+L
Minimize Window Command+M
Mission Control: All Windows Control+Up Arrow (F3 on Apple keyboards)
Mission Control: Application Windows Control+Down Arrow (Control+F3 on Apple keyboards)
Mission Control: Show Desktop F11 (fn+F11 on laptops) (Command+F3 on Apple keyboards)
Move to Trash Command+Delete
Empty Trash Shift+Command+Delete
New Finder Window Command+N
New Folder Shift+Command+N
New Smart Folder Option+Command+N
Next Window Command+`
Open Command+O
Open Inspector Option+Command+I
Paste Command+V
Quick Look (at selected item) Command+Y or Spacebar
Select All Command+A
Show Original (of selected alias) Command+R
Show View Options Command+J
Show/Hide Sidebar Option+Command+S
Show/Hide Dock Option+Command+D
Show/Hide Status Bar Command+/
Turn VoiceOver On/Off Command+F5 (fn+F5 on laptops)
Turn Zoom On/Off Option+Command+8
Undo Command+Z
View Window as Icons Command+1
View Window as List Command+2
View Window as Columns Command+3
View Window as Cover Flow Command+4
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