How to Open, Scroll, and Close Mac OS X Snow Leopard Windows - dummies

How to Open, Scroll, and Close Mac OS X Snow Leopard Windows

By Mark L. Chambers

Mac OS X Snow Leopard windows are generally opened automatically when the Finder opens a window to display the contents of your hard drive. Once a window is open, you can scroll it to see all the contents. And closing a window when are finished working in it is as simple as clicking a button.

Opening a window

Some programs let you open new windows on the fly; for example, to display a new Finder window on your Mac, choose File→New Finder Window or press Command+N. From here, you can reach any file on your Mac or even venture to the Internet.

You’re ready to navigate with this Finder window.
You’re ready to navigate with this Finder window.

The Command key usually has both an Apple and a rather strange-looking symbol on it (often called the Spirograph.)

Scrolling a window

Often, more stuff is in a document or more files are on your hard drive than you can see in the space available for a window. Guess that means it’s time to delete stuff. No, no, just joking! You don’t have to take such drastic measures to see more in a window.

Just use the Mac Snow Leopard scroll bars to move through the contents of the window. You click the scroll bar and drag it — for the uninitiated, that means clicking the bar and holding down the mouse button while you move the mouse in the desired direction. Alternatively, you can click in the empty area above or below the bar to scroll pages one at a time.

You can use the scroll bars to go anywhere in a window.
You can use the scroll bars to go anywhere in a window.

Depending on the type of application you’re using, you might be able to scroll a window with your arrow keys as well — or perhaps use the Page Up and Page Down keys to move through a window.

Closing a window

When you’re finished with a document or you no longer need a window open, you can close it to free that space on your Desktop. To close a window in Mac OS X Snow Leopard, move your mouse pointer over the Close button; it’s the red circular button at the top-left corner of the window. An X appears on the button when you’re in the zone. When the X appears, just click the mouse.

In the Apple universe, a standard mouse sports only one button; heck, current MacBooks don’t have any buttons at all! (You tap the trackpad with one finger to click.) If you’re using an Apple Mighty Mouse, a trackball, or an über-mouse with a right mouse button, a right-click usually acts the same as holding down the Control key while you click with a one-button Apple mouse or trackpad.

Most Mac applications don’t want you closing windows willy-nilly if you’ve changed the contents without saving them. For example, try to close a document window in Word or Pages without saving the file first. The program asks you for confirmation before it closes the window containing your Great American Novel. Most programs also have a Close command on their File menu. (Here’s another indicator: Most programs display a black dot in the center of the program’s Close button to indicate that there are unsaved changes.)

To close all windows that are displayed by a particular program, hold down the Option key while you click the Close button on one of the windows. Whoosh! They’re all gone.