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Macintosh OS X

Basics of Working with Mac OS X

When working in the General Access Labs, it is important for students to log in as themselves. If you sit down at a station and do not have to log in, it means that the previous user did not log out and the machine is still mapped to the previous student's H: drive. You will need to log the previous student out and then log in as yourself.

When you log in, you are connected to the SGS (Student Global Server); drives are mapped for access to your data, and your profile settings are reestablished. The following document covers the basics of working with Mac OS X, including some basic Mac OS X operations.

return to topLogging In to a Mac OS X Station

Before you begin the connection process you want to make sure that the last person logged off. If you see the Mac OS X dialog box, the last person did log out when finished. If you see the standard desktop or a program open, you must log out of the previous user. To do this, refer to the instructions for Logging Out of a Mac OS X Station and then continue with the appropriate section below to log in as yourself.

  1. In the Name text box, type your username
    HINT: This is the same as your email username.

  2. In the Password text box, type your password
    EXAMPLE: uwec?1234

  3. Click LOG IN

return to topNavigating the Mac OS X Environment

There are several ways to get around in Mac OS X in order to find files or open programs. If you have used previous versions of the Macintosh OS, you may already be familiar with some of these concepts. Mac OS X has made some changes, however, so you should familiarize yourself with these updated features of Mac OS X. This section will tell you how to use the the Dock, the Apple menu, and Finder.

Navigating with the Dock

The Dock is located at the bottom of the screen and functions similar to a toolbar or taskbar in Windows. The Dock allows you to open and move between applications with just one click. When you want to move between different applications, simply click the application you want to work on and it will come to the front.

The Dock

Navigating with the Apple Menu

The Apple menu in Mac OS X provides a short list of computer options such as accessing Recent Items, System Preferences, and shutting down the Mac, while also serving as one of several navigation options.

To use the Apple menu, single click the Apple button in the top-left corner of your screen. Apple button

Navigating with Finder

The Finder feature, located both on the Dock and in the Apple menu, is a navigational tool. Opening Finder will allow you to locate and open the programs and files that you want to use.

  1. On the Dock, click FINDER Finder button

  2. From the File menu, select New Finder Window
    You can then navigate to the desired location.

return to topOpening Programs

With Mac OS X, programs are represented by icons, which may be located on the desktop, in folders, or on different drives. If the program icon appears on the Dock at the bottom of the screen, single click the icon to launch the program.

Follow these steps if the program you want does not appear on the Dock:

  1. Double click the hard drive icon on the desktop


  3. Double click the icon of the program you want to use

return to topClosing Programs

You should always close programs before logging out to help protect your data. The following general instructions will work with most Mac OS X programs.

  1. If necessary, save your work
    NOTE: For information on saving your work, see Saving Files.

  2. Press [command] + [Q]
    NOTE: For information about the [command] key, see Keyboard and Mouse Options.
    From the program's menu, select Quit
    Quit Program view

return to topHandling Unresponsive Programs

When a program stops working, or “freezes,” try to quit the program by following these steps:

  1. Press [command] + [option] + [esc]
    From the Apple menu, select Force Quit...
    The Force Quit Applications dialog box appears.

  2. From the scroll box, select the name of the unresponsive program

  3. Click FORCE QUIT
    NOTE: Any unsaved changes in your document(s) will be lost. For this reason, it is always a good idea to save your work often.

  4. To close the Force Quit Applications window, click the red button in the top-left corner of the window

return to topLogging Out of a Mac OS X Station

Remember to log out from your workstation when you are finished using it.  Failure to log out can result in unauthorized access and modifications to your data and files.

  1. From the Apple menu, select Log Out...

  2. In the dialog box that appears, click LOG OUT
    The Mac OS X dialog box appears.

return to topChanging Your Password

If you need help with changing or resetting your password, please contact the LTS Help Desk, 836-5711.


To change your password

  1. From the Apple menu, select System Preferences...

  2. In the System section, click ACCOUNTS
    The Accounts dialog box appears.
    Accounts dialog box

  3. In the Accounts section, select your username

  4. Verify that the Password tab is selected

  5. Click CHANGE PASSWORD ...
    A new dialog box appears.
    Change password dialog box

  6. In the Old Password text box, type your current password

  7. Press [tab]
    NOTE: If the current password you typed is incorrect, you will not be allowed to advance to the next text box.

  8. In the New Password text box, type your desired new password

  9. Press [tab]

  10. In the Verify text box, type your new password again

    Your password is now changed.
    NOTE: This is the password you will use when you log in.

  12. From the System Preferences menu, select Quit System Preferences

Resetting Passwords

If you forget your password, you can reset it online. If you need help with changing or resetting your password, please contact the LTS Help Desk, 836-5711.

return to topShutting Down the Mac

Always shut down your Mac correctly using the Shut Down feature. This tells the Mac to do some small yet important housekeeping chores before it turns off.

WARNING: If you shut down the Mac with the switch, you will lose the contents of the disk cache and perhaps damage any open files.

  1. From the Apple menu, select Shut Down...

  2. In the dialog box that appears, click SHUT DOWN
    Mac OS X will then shut down.

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