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Setting Your Preferences

The System Preferences utility is an important tool you use to control how your Mac OS X system works and looks. If you have read through other parts of this book, you have already used some of the panes it contains to work with various parts of the system. Table 8.1 provides a summary of each pane and tells you where in this book you can learn more about it.

Table 8.1. System Preferences Utility Panes
Area Pane What It Does Learn More About It
Personal Desktop Sets the background image of the desktop Customizing the Mac OS X Desktop,” p. 99.
Personal Dock Controls how the Dock looks and works Customizing the Appearance and Behavior of the Dock,” p. 115. (Chapter 5)
Personal General Sets interface colors and scrollbar behavior Setting General Preferences,” p. 186.
Personal International Controls the language and formats used depending on the language you are working with Setting International Preferences,” p. 187.
Personal Login Items Enables you to set the items that open when you log in Chapter 2, “Getting Started with Mac OS X,” p. 17.
Personal My Account Enables you to change your password, login picture, and Address Book card Configuring User Accounts,” p. 26.
Personal Screen Effects Configures Mac OS X's built-in screensaver Saving Your Screen,” p. 188.
Hardware CDs & DVDs Configures the actions that occur when you insert CDs or DVDs Chapter 23, “Understanding and Using Data Storage Devices,” p. 687. “Using Disks and Discs,” p. 202.
Hardware ColorSync Synchronizes color among devices you use Synchronizing Color Among Devices,” p. 682.
Hardware Displays Controls the display properties you use Finding, Installing, and Using a Monitor,” p. 660.
Hardware Energy Saver Controls how your Mac sleeps Managing Your Mobile Mac's Power,” p. 866.
Hardware Keyboard Sets keyboard preferences Configuring a Keyboard,” p. 641.
Hardware Mouse Configures the behavior of your mouse or trackpad Configuring a Mouse,” p. 644.“Using and Configuring the Trackpad,” p. 871.
Hardware Sound Manages your system sound and alert sounds Controlling Your System's Sound,” p. 193.
Internet & Network Internet Sets preferences for your Internet configuration such as a default e-mail application and home page Configuring the Internet Pane of the System Preferences Utility,” p. 251.
Internet & Network Network Configures your network settings for both Internet access and your LAN Chapter 10, “Connecting Your Mac to the Internet,” p. 233. Chapter 25, “Building and Using a Network,” p. 721.
Internet & Network QuickTime Enables you to configure QuickTime for your Mac Configuring QuickTime,” p. 506.
Internet & Network Sharing Controls access to your computer from the network and the Internet, and enables you to configure Mac OS X's built-in firewall, and to set up Internet account sharing Using Mac OS X to Serve Web Pages,” p. 389. Chapter 25, “Building and Using a Network,” p. 721. “Defending Your Mac Against Net Hackers,” p. 803. “Using a Mac Running OS X to Share an Internet Account,” p. 757.
System Accounts Creates and manages user accounts Creating User Accounts,” p. 22.
System Classic Controls your Classic environment Installing, Configuring, and Running the Classic Environment,” p. 166.
System Date & Time Manages the time and date information for your system Working with the Date and Time,” p. 197.
System Software Update Maintains your system software Using Software Update to Maintain Your Software,” p. 774.
System Speech Manages speech recognition and Text-to-Speech Controlling Your Mac's Speech,” p. 198.
System Startup Disk Selects the startup volume that will be used the next time you start your Mac Choosing a Startup Volume with System Preferences,” p. 203.
System Universal Access Controls options to improve access for physically or mentally challenged users Improving Access to the System,” p. 192.



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