Macs For Dummies book cover

Macs For Dummies

Author:
Edward C. Baig
Published: May 31, 2016

Overview

Take a bite out of all your Mac has to offer with this bestselling guide

So, you joined the cool kids club and bought a Mac. Kudos! Now, do you dare admit to your sophisticated Mac mates that you still need some help figuring out how it works? No worries, Macs For Dummies is here to help! In full color for the first time ever, the latest edition of this long-running bestseller takes the guesswork out of working with your new Mac, providing easy-to-follow, plain-English answers to every possible question in the book!

Whether you're trying to figure out the basics of getting around the OS X interface, learning the ins and outs of turning your Mac into a sleek productivity tool, or anything in between, Mac For Dummies makes it fast and easy to navigate your way around your new Apple computer. You'll get the know-how to rocket into cyberspace, browse the Web, send messages, back up files to the Cloud, deal with security issues, get productive with leading Mac apps, and have fun with one-stop shopping for music, movies, and media.

  • Navigate OS X El Capitan with confidence and ease
  • Use your Mac to power your audio and video systems
  • Add your Mac to your home network
  • Troubleshoot common problems when your Mac starts misbehaving

Fully updated to cover the latest hardware and software releases, Macs For Dummies offers everything you need to get your geek on—and make your Mac your minion.

Take a bite out of all your Mac has to offer with this bestselling guide

So, you joined the cool kids club and bought a Mac. Kudos! Now, do you dare admit to your sophisticated Mac mates that you still need some help figuring out how it works? No worries, Macs For Dummies is here to help! In full color for the first time ever, the latest edition of this long-running bestseller takes the guesswork out of working with your new Mac, providing easy-to-follow, plain-English answers to every possible question in the book!

Whether you're trying to figure out the basics of getting around the OS X interface, learning the ins and outs of turning your Mac into a sleek productivity tool, or anything in between, Mac For Dummies

makes it fast and easy to navigate your way around your new Apple computer. You'll get the know-how to rocket into cyberspace, browse the Web, send messages, back up files to the Cloud, deal with security issues, get productive with leading Mac apps, and have fun with one-stop shopping for music, movies, and media.
  • Navigate OS X El Capitan with confidence and ease
  • Use your Mac to power your audio and video systems
  • Add your Mac to your home network
  • Troubleshoot common problems when your Mac starts misbehaving

Fully updated to cover the latest hardware and software releases, Macs For Dummies offers everything you need to get your geek on—and make your Mac your minion.

Macs For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Macs and Windows computers have unique operating systems. They see things differently, and most Mac users would argue that Macs do things better. Macs come equipped with helpful keyboard shortcuts and a short list of procedures to follow if your Mac freezes.

Articles From The Book

29 results

General Macs Articles

What to Do When Your Mac Freezes

You know that frustrating, annoying, sometimes panicked feeling you get when your Mac isn’t doing what you expect? If an application freezes or your computer is generally misbehaving, try these tips to escape with minimal disruption.

  • Use Force Quit when an application is unresponsive. Choose Force Quit from the Apple menu or press Command+Option+Esc keys. Click the name of the deviant application (it probably has not responding next to its name). You typically won’t have to reboot.

  • Restart. If Force Quit doesn’t bail you out, try rebooting the computer. If a frozen Mac prevents you from clicking the Restart command on the Apple menu, hold down the power button for several seconds or press the Control+Command keys and then press the power button. If all else fails, pull the plug, but remember that powering down without logging out should be used only as a last resort.

  • Restart in Safe Mode. Press the power button to turn on your computer, and then press and hold the Shift key the instant you hear the welcome chime. Release Shift when the Apple logo appears. You will see a status bar as the computer boots, after which the words Safe Boot appear in red in the upper right corner of OS X’s login screen. In Safe mode, the Mac unleashes a series of troubleshooting steps designed to return the computer to good health. If Safe Boot resolved the issue, restart the Mac normally the next time.

General Macs Articles

How to Use the Handoff Feature on Your Mac

Sometimes the person you want to share something with is yourself, as in when you start something on one device (be it a Mac, an iPhone, an iPad, or even an Apple Watch) and want to resume on another device. The Handoff feature enables you to do just that, as long as every device is on iCloud, signed in with an identical Apple ID, and on the same Wi-Fi network. Handoff works across numerous apps — Apple’s own Calendars, Contacts, Keynote, Maps, Mail, Messages, Notes, Numbers, Pages, Reminders, and Safari apps — as well as some third-party apps.

On your Mac, start by making sure that the feature is enabled. Go to System Preferences → General and make sure the Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices box is selected.

Then when you come to the Mac on which you’re resuming work, note the icon at the left end of the dock (assuming that the dock is in its default place). Click that icon and you’re good to go. And if you started work on the Mac and now want to resume on an iOS device, you’ll see the Handoff icon on the Lock screen of that device. Swipe up or double-click the Home button to get going, and from the multitasking screen swipe right until you see the Handoff icon. On the bottom of the iOS device, tap the Handoff strip that appears with a message informing you which app and computer you were previously working on, such as Notes from Edward’s MacBook Air.

General Macs Articles

How to Use Speech Recognition in El Capitan

Are you the bossy type who likes to bark orders? Lucky for you, your Mac doesn’t mind taking orders. For people who are physically unable to type or handle a mouse, speech recognition and dictation (spoken commands) may be the only way to get things done on a computer. First, choose →System Preferences  →Dictation & Speech, and then click the Dictation option to turn the capability on or off. Note your options here. You can choose a different language (other than English), select an Enhanced Dictation feature that lets you dictate without an Internet connection, and perform tasks on your Mac (you’ll need to devote some free space on your storage drive). And you can choose a shortcut to start or stop dictation: pressing the Fn (function key) twice does this by the default. You’ll know that you can dictate text or bark commands when you see a small microphone in a rectangle.

You can also choose a word or phrase to enable Dictation. In System Preferences, go to Accessibility →Dictation and select the Enable the Dictation Keyword Phrase option. Then type the word or phrase you’d like to use for that purpose, unless you want to stick with Computer, the default word Apple chose on your behalf.

To check out a list of the commands your computer can understand, click the Dictation Commands button. The list includes such commands as Select Paragraph, Capitalize That, and Redo That. Select Enable Advanced Commands for more listings, including commands in apps (Switch to application name). The Mac can also read aloud descriptions of items on the screen, useful for people who have poor eyesight or are blind. Back in Dictation & Speech preferences, select the Text to Speech tab. You can choose a male or female speaking voice and drag a slider to determine the rate at which that voice speaks. In Accessibility preferences, you can turn on or off the VoiceOver feature and receive VoiceOver training. While you’re here, Mac owners who have a disability of any sort should explore the many Accessibility options available. These tools may help people with poor eyesight or hearing loss, as well as those with physical motor difficulties, using controls for your keyboard, mouse, trackpad, and special switches.