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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 chapters 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. 226.
PersonalDesktop & Screen SaverSets the background image of the desktop and configures the screensaver you useCustomizing the Mac OS X Desktop,” p. 135.
   Using the Mac OS X Screen Saver,” p. 230.
PersonalDockControls how the Dock looks and worksCustomizing the Appearance and Behavior of the Dock,” p. 154.
PersonalDashboard & ExposéConfigures the hot keys and active screen corners for the Dashboard and ExposéManaging Open Windows with Exposé,” p. 106.
   Configuring the Dashboard,” p. 169.
PersonalInternationalControls the language and formats used depending on the language you are working withSetting International Preferences,” p. 227.
PersonalSecurityConfigures FileVault and other security settingsSecuring Your Mac with the Security Pane,” p. 1020.
PersonalSpotlightConfigures how Spotlight searches your MacSearching Your Mac with Spotlight,” p. 118.
HardwareBluetooth (appears only if your Mac can work with Bluetooth devices)Configures Bluetooth services on your MacFinding, Installing, and Using Bluetooth Devices,” p. 847.
HardwareCDs & DVDsConfigures the actions that occur when you insert CDs or DVDsChapter 31, “Understanding and Using Data Storage Devices,” p. 893.
   Using Disks and Discs,” p. 243.
HardwareDisplaysControls the display properties you useFinding, Installing, and Using a Monitor,” p. 858.
HardwareEnergy SaverControls when your Mac sleepsManaging Your Mobile Mac's Power,” p. 329.
HardwareInk (appears only when a tablet device is connected to your Mac)Configures handwriting recognitionUse this pane to configure how your Mac recognizes your handwriting as input if you use a tablet input device.
HardwareKeyboard & MouseSets keyboard and mouse preferencesFinding, Installing, and Configuring a Keyboard,” p. 836.
   Finding, Installing, and Configuring a Mouse,” p. 842.
   Using and Configuring the Trackpad,” p. 329.
HardwarePrint & FaxConfigures printer settings and fax servicesFinding, Installing, and Using Printers,” p. 874.
   Working with Mac OS X's Built-in Fax Capability,” p. 886.
HardwareSoundManages your system sound and alert soundsControlling Your System's Sound,” p. 234.
Internet & Network.MacConfigures your .Mac account and enables you to work with your iDiskChapter 17, “Using .Mac to Integrate Your Mac onto the Internet,” p. 493.
Internet & NetworkNetworkConfigures your network settings for both Internet access and your LANChapter 13, “Connecting Your Mac to the Internet,” p. 337.
   Chapter 33, “Building and Using a Network,” p. 935.
Internet & NetworkQuickTimeEnables you to configure QuickTime for your MacConfiguring QuickTime,” p. 684.
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 sharingMac OS X to the Max: Using Mac OS X to Serve Web Pages,” p. 514.
   Chapter 33, “Building and Using a Network,” p. 935.
   Using a Mac Running OS X to Share an Internet Account,” p. 976.
   Defending Your Mac Against Net Hackers,” p. 1032.
SystemAccountsCreates, configures, and manages user accountsCreating User Accounts,” p. 26.
SystemClassic (appears only when you have a Mac OS 9 startup volume available)Controls your Classic environmentWorking with Mac OS 9, the Classic Environment, and Classic Applications,” p. 218.
SystemDate & TimeManages the time and date settings and the clock for your systemChanging the Clock Display,” p. 135.
   Configuring Your Mac's Date and Time,” p. 238.
SystemSoftware UpdateMaintains your system softwareUsing Software Update to Maintain Your Software,” p. 996.
SystemSpeechManages speech recognition and Text-to-SpeechMac OS X to the Max: Configuring and Using Speech Recognition,” p. 272.
SystemStartup DiskSelects the startup volume that is used the next time you start your MacChoosing a Startup Volume with System Preferences,” p. 244.
SystemUniversal AccessControls options to improve access for physically or mentally challenged usersChapter 9, “Making Your Mac Accessible to Everyone,” p. 261.
OtherPanes to configure third-party hardware or softwareIf you install third-party hardware devices, such as keyboards hardware or or PCI cards, they will often have panes installed in the System Preferences application that you use to configure those devices.Some applications also include a System Preference pane.See the documentation that came with the software.



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