Mac OS X Tiger/Appendix D


This Appendix contains the top 30 questions people ask when using Mac hardware and software. It's a good idea to read through this section before you use your Mac, as it will clarify some of the things you are likely to need answers to at first.

The QuestionsEdit

I don't like the Apple mouse. How can I use my own mouse with my Mac?Edit

If you'd prefer to use a non-Apple mouse, as many Mac users do, Apple is happy to accommodate you. Simply plug your mouse into your Mac and it will be automatically recognized, multiple buttons, scroll wheel, and all. You can use a PS/2 mouse with a PS/2 to USB adapter. Some mice require special software to work properly.

How do I right-click?Edit

You can perform the equivalent of right-clicking in OS X by either holding down the mouse button, or by pressing Ctrl and clicking at the same time. If you have a Mighty Mouse (the mouse that ships with all modern Macs) you can also configure this for right clicking. Have a look in "Keyboard & Mouse" under System Preferences. Also, if you have a laptop Mac, you can do a right-click by clicking the touchpad with two fingers while properly configured.

How does my CD/DVD Drive Work?Edit

Apple often uses slot loading optical drives that aren't commonly used by other computer makers. The way of interacting with the drives is also different from most others. If your drive looks like a thin slot, insert a disc and push it into the computer. The drive will catch onto the disc and read it. To eject the disc, press and hold the Eject key in the upper right-hand corner of your keyboard for a second.

If your drive is of the tray variety, press and hold your Eject key, or F12 on some keyboards, to open and close it. There is also an eject button next to the tray drives on some Macs, but this only works when a disc is already in the drive. If you are using a non-Apple or old Apple keyboard, you don't have an eject key. Right-click the disc's icon and choose "Eject" instead.

A Program has crashed and won't quit! What do I do?Edit

Forcing an application to quit is called "Force Quitting" it. To do this, press ⌘⌥⎋ (Apple/Command-Option-Escape), choose the name of the crashed application from the list, and click the pulsating blue "Force Quit" button.

How do I empty the Trash?Edit

The simplest way is to choose "Empty Trash" from the Finder menu (shortcut: ⇧⌘⌫). The Finder must be the frontmost application for this menu to appear in the menu bar. You can also press and hold the trash icon, and a menu will appear with an "Empty Trash" option.

Why can't I cut files using Finder?Edit

If you were a Windows user you may wonder why OS X doesn't allow you to "cut" files and then paste them somewhere else in Finder. Apple has chosen to disable this feature for various reasons. The easiest alternative is to move the file(s) by dragging and dropping using the "spring-loaded folders" feature.

Where can I get support?Edit

There are many resources available where you may seek help. First, basic questions may be answered in your Mac's, or an application's help files. New computers come with 90 days of telephone support and one year of limited parts coverage. AppleCare extends that coverage to 3 years of telephone support and parts coverage. There are also numerous communities that will assist you with your Mac (usually in the form of forums), including Apple's very own "Discussions" area of the support section on their site. More resources can be found on Apple's support site, or third party documentation, which can usually be found through search engines. You may also receive free support at any one of Apple's Genius bars (with appointment). Some technicians may also be able to assist you, at a price.

How do I select multiple items on some web forms?Edit

Under Windows, you may be used to holding down the "shift" or "control" keys to select multiple items. In Mac OS X, use the Command key instead of Control to select items that aren't next to each other. Holding Shift allows you to select a number of items that are all together. The Control key is normally used to display a contextual menu when using a single-button mouse. If you have a two button mouse, you can right-click to achieve the same thing.

Where can I find a program for...Edit

Finding software for Macs can be hard at times since it's not used as much as Windows in many contexts. Fortunately there are sites like and which have databases of the newest versions of most OS X software. Another good resource is . If you can't find the software you need there, ask on a forum.