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Introduction > HOW TO USE THIS BOOK


This book is user friendly, even more so than the Mac. There are no commands to type, no menus to select, and no dialogs to maneuver. Simply hold with one hand and turn pages with the other. Or, if you are already using the other hand to prop yourself up on a moving subway, turn pages with your nose. (Operating this book while driving is not recommended.)

However, the user interface of this book is a bit different than other Mac books. You don't need to read the beginning of a chapter to know what's going on later in the chapter. Read this book like you browse the Web: jump directly to the information you can use and skip the rest.


If you have a particular annoyance, search the index rather than the table of contents. This book has an extensive index that's better suited for the hunt-and-peck user who needs a quick solution. For example, if you need to figure out a way to freeze the panes in Microsoft Excel, you could spend 20 minutes reading through Chapter 4, or you could look under "Excel" in the index, find the sublisting for "freezing panes," note the page number, flip to the page in question, and get your answer.

Go ahead; take advantage of this book. That's what it's here for.


What you'll find in Mac Annoyances are small bits of problem-solving information, mostly unrelated to each other. These bits are arranged into big clumps (called chapters, I believe), such as Email, Microsoft Office, and iLife. Some of these chapters are then subdivided into sections devoted to a specific application, such as Apple's Mail application, Microsoft Word, and iTunes.

This book is organized into the following clumps, er, chapters:

Chapter 1, Mac OS X

Learn how to deal with the Finder's quirks, fix networking hassles, and make your Mac's look and feel fit your needs instead of the other way around.

Chapter 2, Email

This chapter includes tips for dealing with spam, attachments, and other hazards. Look for sections on Mail, Entourage, Eudora, and AOL.

Chapter 3, Internet

Read this chapter to eliminate infuriating hassles with web browsing, improve Google and Sherlock searches, and beef up instant messaging with iChat and AIM.

Chapter 4, Microsoft Office

Office is the mother of all Mac annoyances. Sure, it's a powerful software suite, but only if you can figure out how to make it work for you. This chapter shows you how to get along with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Virtual PC.

Chapter 5, iLife Music and Video

Here, we get to the fun stuff, the iApps: iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, and GarageBand. (I would have called it iBand, but for some reason Apple didn't bother to ask me.) It's even more fun to get around these annoyances.

Chapter 6, iPod

iTunes becomes a lot more fun with iPod. That fact that this is the shortest chapter is a tribute to iPod's low annoyance factor.

Chapter 7, Mac Hardware

Apple's beautiful hardware is a pleasure to use, especially when it's working as expected. But if it isn't, check out this chapter, which has topics ranging from how to make your Mac faster to deleting annoyances with keyboards, mice, and displays. You'll also find tips for specific PowerBook and iBook models.


As mentioned earlier, this book is designed to be portable. One way we accomplished this was to leave out chaff. It's all meat (with apologies to our vegetarian readers). There are no annoying instructions on how to use a menu or what Icon View means. I attempt to tell you what you need to know to accomplish the task, but I assume you're a competent Mac user who knows what a toolbar is. Trimming out this stuff means you won't break your back carrying this book.


If you're fairly new to Mac OS X, there are a few books that I'd highly recommend. The first is the perennial favorite, Mac OS X: The Missing Manual (O'Reilly), written by David Pogue. This book will help you get up to speed on the ins and outs of Mac OS X, and it's been the best-selling Mac book three years running.

Another useful book to throw in your computer bag is the Mac OS X Panther Pocket Guide (O'Reilly), written by my editor, Chuck Toporek. There's a lot of useful information packed into this little book, including a listing of the differences between Mac OS 9's Control Panels and Mac OS X's System Preferences, keyboard shortcuts, and a Task and Setting Index, which you can use to configure your Mac. And at $9.95, it's a steal.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the pages of this book aren't filled with Unix code or instructions on how to grep a regular expression in a bash shell (whatever that means). (Actually, I do know what that means, but the eyes of the average Mac user glaze over when I try to explain it.) To get around certain problems, I do, however, occasionally suggest that you type a few short lines of code in Terminal, an application that lets you get at Mac OS X's Unix command-line interface. Don't worry; no hacker skills required.


If you are interested in learning Mac OS X's Unix side, O'Reilly has some other great books you should check out, including Learning Unix for Mac OS X Panther and Mac OS X Panther for Unix Geeks. For more information about these books, point your web browser to http://mac.oreilly.com/.


If you do know what you are doing Unix-wise, you may use the few bits code that I've provided in this book in your own programs and documentation. If you are reproducing a small amount of code, you do not need to contact O'Reilly Media for permission. Answering a question by citing this book and quoting example code does not require permission.

However, incorporating a significant amount of example code from this book into your product's documentation does require permission. Selling or distributing a CD-ROM of examples from O'Reilly books does require permission.

The publisher appreciates, but does not require, attribution. An attribution usually includes the title, author, publisher, and ISBN. For example: "Mac Annoyances, by John Rizzo. Copyright 2005 O'Reilly Media, Inc., 0-596-00723-X."

If you feel your use of code examples falls outside fair use or the permission given above, feel free to contact us at permissions@oreilly.com.


The following typographical conventions are used in this book:

Italic is used for filenames, URLs, paths (such as /Applications/Utilities), and for emphasis.

Constant Width Bold is used in examples and tables to show commands or other text that should be typed literally by the user.

Constant Width Italic is used in examples and tables to show text that should be replaced with user-supplied values.

Forward slashes (/) are used in pathnames to show the location of a document, application, or folder. For example, /Applications/Utilities indicates that the file is located in the Utilities subfolder of the Applications folder. A tilde (~) represents your home folder. So ~/Library means the Library folder in your Home folder. There's no folder called "Home," by the way. This is what we call the folder that is named after your username.

A carriage return () at the end of a line of code means we didn't have enough room on the page to print it on one line; that is, you should not enter these as two lines of code, but as one continuous line.

Arrows (→) describe menu commands. For example, File → Open means selecting Open from the File menu.

The cloverleaf symbol () signifies the Command, or Apple key, on your keyboard (look to the left or right of the spacebar for the key).

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