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The Desktop

Below you see a working Desktop, which probably looks very similar to the one on your Mac. You can store items directly on the Desktop, as shown below—you don’t have to put everything in the Dock that you want to keep handy. The big difference between storing things in the Dock vs. on the Desktop is that the Dock is always available and accessible, no matter which application you are using, whereas the Desktop might be covered up by the window of an application. Keeping that in mind, feel free to store some of your most-used folders, documents, or applications right on the Desktop. It’s best to use aliases for most things you want to keep on the Desktop—see Chapter 23 for alias details.


The folder named Desktop (Mac OS 9) is an “alias,” or an empty icon that goes to get the real thing. If you were using Mac OS 9 and had stored items on the Desktop, you’ll now find those items in this folder. You might not see this folder. It is only useful if you have Mac OS 9 installed on the same hard disk or “partition” as Mac OS X. If you have multiple partitions, each volume will have its own “Desktop Folder” with all of the items that you had left on the Desktop. If you double-click this folder and you get a message that the original item could not be found—don’t worry. Just throw this icon in the Trash basket (see Chapter 17).



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