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Lesson 3. Introduction to Mac OS X > Notice gray vs. black commands

Notice gray vs. black commands

When commands in a menu are gray instead of black, that indicates an important visual clue that the Mac is giving you.

1.
Click on an empty spot on the Desktop.

2.
Now take a look through the Finder menus and notice the shortcuts for different actions, or commands. Notice how many commands are gray.

If a command is gray, that means you cannot use that command at the moment. Often this is because you have not selected an item first, an item to which the command should apply. For instance, you can't use the command to close a window unless an open window is selected.

3.
So open a Finder window and select a folder (click once on it).

4.
Now look at the File menu again, and notice how many more commands are available.

5.
Find the keyboard shortcut to “Open,” but don't choose it. Click somewhere off the menu to make the menu go away.

6.
Make sure the folder is still selected. Now use the keyboard shortcut to open it.


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