Some How-Tos For Brand New Mac Users

Everybody has to start somewhere, and if you are a brand new Mac user, you may find the following tips helpful.

Using The Trashcan Icon

There are four ways to discard items to the trashcan. One is drag and drop. The second is to right-click on the item and select “Move to Trash” from the contextual menu. For the third one you must be in the Finder window. Choose Finder > Empty Trash from the menu bar. For the fourth one you must also be in the Finder window. Use the keyboard shortcut Command-shift-backspace.

Items remain in the trash can until you purposefully empty it. Empty it by right-clicking on the trash can icon in The Dock and selecting “Empty Trash”. Should you wish to retrieve something from the trash can prior to emptying it, just click once on the trash can icon and when it opens, find the item you want to salvage. You much drag that item back onto the Finder window before you can open it.

If you are particularly concerned about security, then you can make items deleted from the trash absolutely un-recoverable by choosing “Finder > Secure Empty Trash” from the menu bar.

Using The Dock

The Dock is one of the Mac’s great organizational tools. It primarily serves as an application launcher.

To select an item in the Dock, simply click its icon. For example, if you want to listen to some music, click the iTunes icon (the icon with music notes) to open iTunes. When an application is running, the Dock displays an illuminated indicator light beneath the application’s icon. To make any currently running application the active one, click its icon in the Dock to switch to it (the active application’s name appears in the menu bar to the right of the Apple logo).

As you open applications (or open files to launch applications), their respective icons appear in the Dock, even if they weren’t there originally. That means if you’ve got a lot of applications open, your Dock will grow substantially. If you minimize a window, the window gets pulled down into the Dock and waits until you click its icon to bring up the window again.

The Dock keeps applications on its left side, while Stacks and minimized windows are kept on its right. If you look closely, you’ll see a vertical separator line that separates them. If you want to rearrange where the icons appear within their line limits, just drag a docked icon to another location on the Dock and drop it.


When you quit an application whose icon resides in the Dock (such as Safari or Mail), the illuminated activation light disappears, but the icon remains. When you quit an application whose icon doesn’t reside in the Dock (for example, you just finished playing Chess), its icon disappears from the Dock.

Note: Control-click or right-click a Dock item to see a contextual menu of additional choices.


This entry was posted in Beginner Mac Tips, Mac Security Tips, Mac Tips and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.