The Reminders App Notification Center in Mountain Lion

The Mac Notification Center is new in Mountain Lion. It’s been part of the iOS for years (well, at least a year or more). The item on the right in the following figure should look familiar to those of you who use an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

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Notification Center displays communications from apps that support it. You can make it appear regardless of what application is currently active by clicking its menu bar icon (shown in the margin) or swiping from the left edge to the right on your trackpad.

You manage notifications in the Notifications System Preference pane. Choose Apple→System Preferences, click System Preferences’ Dock icon, or click the little gear near the bottom of Notification Center, which is a shortcut that opens the Notifications System Preference pane.

On the left are all the apps on your hard disk that support the Notification Center protocol. To specify settings for an app, click it in the list. When you’ve selected an app, here’s what you can do:

  • To have an app’s notifications not appear in Notification Center: Either deselect the Show in Notification Center check box or drag the app down to the Not in Notification Center section of the list.

  • To change how apps are sorted in Notification Center: Choose Manually or By Time from the Sort Notification Center pop-up menu. Choose Manually if you prefer to arrange the order the apps appear in Notification Center by dragging them up or down; choose By Time to sort them with the most recent ones at the top.

  • To specify the alert style for the app: Your choices are Banners, Alerts, or None. Alerts stay onscreen until you dismiss them; Banners appear in the upper-right corner of the screen below the Notification Center icon and fade away a few seconds after they appear.

  • To see the number of new notifications for the app on its Dock icon: Select the Badge App Icon check box.

  • To hear a sound when receiving notifications: Select the Play Sound when Receiving Notifications check box.

  • To specify the number of recent items the Notification Center displays for the app: Click the Show in Notification Center pop-up menu and choose 1, 5, 10, or 20 recent items.

Here’s a look at the Notification Center itself:

  • To temporarily turn off all alerts and banners: Open Notification Center, scroll to the top, and then click the Show Alerts and Banners switch so it’s ON.

  • To respond to a notification: Open Notification Center and click the notification to launch its app, or click its banner before it disappears.

  • To repeat a notification in 9 minutes: Click the Snooze button.

  • To close all notifications for an app: Hover over the right side of the app’s name and click the little x when it appears.

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