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Setting Your Preferences

The System Preferences application 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 Application Panes
CategoryPaneWhat It DoesWhere You Can Learn More About It
PersonalAppearanceSets interface colors, scrollbar behavior, the number of recent items, and font smoothingSetting Appearance Preferences,” p. 209
PersonalDesktop & Screen SaverSets the background image of the desktop and configures the screen saver you useCustomizing the Mac OS X Desktop,” p. 121; “Using the Mac OS X Screen Saver,” p. 212
PersonalDockControls how the Dock looks and worksCustomizing the Appearance and Behavior of the Dock,” p. 138
PersonalExposéConfigures ExposéManaging Open Windows with Exposé,” p. 98
PersonalInternationalControls the language and formats used depending on the language you are working withSetting International Preferences,” p. 210
PersonalSecurityConfigures FileVault and other security settingsSecuring Your Mac with the Security Pane,” p. 897
HardwareBluetoothConfigures Bluetooth services on your MacFinding, Installing, and Using Bluetooth Devices,” p. 735
HardwareCDs & DVDsConfigures the actions that occur when you insert CDs or DVDsChapter 24, “Understanding and Using Data Storage Devices,” p. 781; “Using Disks and Discs,” p. 227
HardwareDisplaysControls the display properties you useFinding, Installing, and Using a Monitor,” p. 744
HardwareEnergy SaverControls how your Mac sleepsManaging Your Mobile Mac's Power,” p. 982
HardwareInkConfigures handwriting recognitionInstalling and Using an Ink Device,” p. 731
HardwareKeyboard & MouseSets keyboard and mouse preferencesFinding, Installing, and Configuring a Keyboard,” p. 722;

Finding, Installing, and Configuring a Mouse,” p. 728;

Using and Configuring the Trackpad,” p. 988
HardwarePrint & FaxConfigures printer settings and fax servicesFinding, Installing, and Using Printers,” p. 759; “Working with Mac OS X's Built-in Fax Capability,” p. 772
HardwareSoundManages your system sound and alert soundsControlling Your System's Sound,” p. 217
Internet & Network.MacConfigures your .Mac account and enables you to work with your iDiskUsing a .Mac iDisk and HomePage to Create and Serve Your Web Pages,” p. 426; “Working with Your iDisk,” p. 228
Internet & NetworkNetworkConfigures your network settings for both Internet access and your LANChapter 10, “Connecting Your Mac to the Internet,” p. 263; Chapter 26, “Building and Using a Network,” p. 821
Internet & NetworkQuickTimeEnables you to configure QuickTime for your MacConfiguring QuickTime,” p. 648
Internet & NetworkSharingControls access to your computer's services from the network and the Internet and enables you to configure Mac OS X's built-in firewall and set up Internet account sharingUsing Mac OS X to Serve Web Pages,” p. 446;

Chapter 26, “Building and Using a Network,” p. 821;

Defending Your Mac Against Net Hackers,” p. 911;

Using a Mac Running OS X to Share an Internet Account,” p. 857
SystemAccountsCreates, configures, and manages user accountsCreating User Accounts,” p. 24
SystemClassicControls your Classic environmentInstalling, Configuring, and Running the Classic Environment,” p. 186
SystemDate & TimeManages the time and date settings and the clock for your systemChanging the Clock Display,” p. 121; “Working with the Date and Time,” p. 221
SystemSoftware UpdateMaintains your system softwareUsing Software Update to Maintain Your Software,” p. 874
SystemSpeechManages speech recognition and Text-to-SpeechControlling Your Mac's Speech,” p. 223
SystemStartup DiskSelects the startup volume that is used the next time you start your MacChoosing a Startup Volume with System Preferences,” p. 228
SystemUniversal AccessControls options to improve access for physically or mentally challenged usersUsing the Universal Access Pane to Make Your Mac More Accessible,” p. 216



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