By Mark L. Chambers

Although the Help window and the online forums can take care of just about any Mac question you have about the basic controls and features of OS X, you may want to turn to other forms of help when the going gets a little rougher.

Apple currently provides voice technical support for OS X. You can find the number to call in your Mac’s printed manuals or online in the Support section of the Apple website. However, exactly when you qualify for voice support and exactly how long it lasts depends on different factors, such as whether you received OS X when you bought a new machine or whether you purchased a support plan from Apple.

You can also refer to helpful Mac-savvy publications and resources, both printed and online, for help. Some favorites include

  • Macworld and TechRadar, both in oh-so-slick online versions
  • CNET, an online resource for the latest updates on all sorts of Mac third-party applications

You can also find local resources in any medium-size or large town or city. A shop that’s authorized by Apple to sell and repair Mac computers can usually be counted on to answer a quick question over the phone or provide more substantial support for a fee. If you can reach an Apple Store, the Genius Bar is a useful resource.

You may also be lucky enough to have a local Mac user group that you can join. Its members can be counted on for free answers to your support questions at meetings and demonstrations. To find a group near you, visit the Apple User Groups site, and use the locator.