iMac System Preferences: The General Pane - dummies

iMac System Preferences: The General Pane

By Mark L. Chambers

The General pane on your iMac’s System Preferences window (shown in the following figure) determines the look and operation of the controls that appear in application windows and Finder windows. It looks complex, but it’s nothing to sweat over.

Appearances might not be everything, but they’re easy to find on the General pane.
Appearances might not be everything, but they’re easy to find on the General pane.

The settings include

  • Appearance: Open this pop-up menu to specify the color Mavericks uses for buttons, menus, and windows.

  • Highlight Color: Open this pop-up menu to choose the color that highlights selected text in fields, pop-up menus, and drop-down list boxes.

  • Sidebar Icon Size: Select the size of the icons in the Finder window Sidebar, which is the strip to the left of the Finder window that displays your devices and favorite locations on your system. If you have a large number of hard drives or you’ve added several folders to the sidebar, reducing the size of the icons will allow you to display more of them without scrolling.

  • Show Scroll Bars: Use these radio buttons to specify when Mavericks should display scroll bars within a window. By default, they’re placed automatically when necessary, but you can choose to display scroll bars always, or only when you’re actually scrolling through a document.

  • Click in the Scroll Bar To: By default, OS X jumps to the next or previous page when you click in an empty portion of the scroll bar. Select the Jump to the Spot That’s Clicked radio button to scroll the document to the approximate position in relation to where you click.

  • Ask To Keep Changes When Closing Documents: If you select this check box, Mavericks prompts you for confirmation if you attempt to close a document with unsaved changes. If the check box is deselected, Mavericks will allow the unsaved document to be closed without saving a new version.

  • Close Windows When Quitting an Application: If this check box is selected, the Resume feature built in to Mavericks automatically saves the state of an application when you quit. When you launch the application again, Mavericks restores all the application windows and opens the documents you were working on when you quit.

    In effect, you can continue using the application just as if you had never quit. If you deselect the check box, Mavericks will not restore your work, and you’ll have to load your document again; this is the same action taken by earlier versions of OS X.

  • Recent Items: By default, Mavericks displays ten recent applications, documents, and servers within Recent Items in the Apple menu. Need more? Just open the corresponding pop-up menu and specify up to 50 items.

  • Use LCD Font Smoothing: By default, this check box is selected, making the text on your iMac’s LED display appear more like the printed page.