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Macintosh OS X

Working with Files: Additional Options

Working with files is an important part of managing documents. For the basics of working with Mac OS X files, see Working with Files. This document explains some additional options:

return to topViewing Options

You have several options for displaying files in a folder. The View options within a folder will allow you to select settings that best suit your needs. You can adjust the file display or the file arrangement.

File Display

Mac OS X usually lists files as icons. However, it can also display this information in lists or columns. The toolbar of any folder contains buttons for you to easily change your folder view.

View buttons

  1. Navigate to the desired folder

  2. Click the desired view option

Button Name
View as Icons button Icons This is the default view option. Your files will be displayed as icons.
View as List button List Your files will be displayed in a list. The list will include the filename and size, the date last modified, and what kind of file it is.
View as Columns button Columns Your files will be displayed in columns. The various columns will be arranged in a hierarchical structure, so you can easily navigate backward or forward one level.

File Arrangement

In addition, you can choose to arrange your files in order based on one of the following:

To change the way your files are arranged, click the header (e.g., date modified) that you want to use for your arrangement order. The files are sorted from newest to oldest. To reverse the order, click the header again.

return to topSelecting Multiple Files

For each of the following options, you can work with more than one file at a time. For instance, if you want to delete ten files, you can delete all ten at the same time. To do this, you must select the files together.

Selecting Contiguous Files

  1. Click the first file you want selected

  2. Press [shift] + click the last file you want selected
    All the files in between the first and last file are selected.

Selecting Non-Contiguous Files

  1. Press and hold the [command] key
    NOTE: For more information about the [command] key, see Keyboard and Mouse Options.

  2. Select each of the files separately

  3. After you have made all your selections, release the [command] key

return to topRetrieving File Information

This section will tell you how to find information about a file without having to change the folder viewing options. Use these steps to retrieve general information about a file or to check your permissions for a file.

Retrieving General Information

  1. Click the file icon

  2. From the File menu, select Get Info
    Press [control] + click the file » Get Info
    A dialog box appears with general information about the file.
    Get Info dialog box

Checking Your Permissions

If you are unable to open a file or folder, you may not have permission to open it. However, this section will explain how you can change permissions for an item.

  1. Click the file icon

  2. From the File menu, select Get Info
    Press [control] + click the file » Get Info
    A dialog box appears with general information about the file.

  3. Click the small arrow next to Ownerships & Permissions
    A new list of options appears.
    Ownership & Permissions dialog box
    NOTE: The first Access item shows the owner's permissions, the second shows any group permissions, and the third shows permissions for everyone else.

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