X Review X Features X Bugs

Navigation Tabs


Comparison: Mac OS X to Mac OS 9

Posted Friday April 6, 2001


More than any previous upgrade to the operating system, Mac OS X is a big change. There are many new and improved features, several features that have been left out or will be added in the future, and many things that will take some time to get used to.

This chart attempts to list most changes and compare the feature differences of Mac OS X with the previous version, Mac OS 9.1. I have divided the changes into five categories: Core Operating System, User Interface, Operating System Features, Finder Features, and Miscellaneous Features. This is not a complete list of every feature in either operating system, and it probably is not an exhaustive list of the differences between the two. It is a list of differences I have noticed during my reading of "Inside Mac OS X - System Overview", literature on Apple's web site, and the manual that came with Mac OS X, as well as my experience installing and using Mac OS X on two Macintosh computers for a couple of weeks.


Feature Mac OS X Mac OS 9.1
Core Operating System
Protected Memory Each application runs inside its own area of memory which cannot be accessed by other applications. It is possible that an errant applications could crash, but the system and all other applications remain unaffected. The result should be that you never have to restart the system if an application crashes. Just restart the application. Mac OS X has not crashed on me yet. All applications access a shared memory space. If an application crashes it can cause other applications and/or the operating system to crash.
Multitasking The operating system provides processing time to applications as needed resulting in a smooth, responsive computing experience. It is possible for one application to monopolize the processor and slow down or even halt the system and other applications.
Memory Management Nearly unlimited memory is automatically allocated to each application. There is no need to adjust an application's memory and "out of memory" errors should be a thing of the past. Virtual memory is always on and it is very fast. According to Apple, Mac OS X virtual memory does not use the same "scratch disk" method that Mac OS 9 does, so adding more RAM does not automatically limit your free hard disk space. Memory must be allocated to each application manually and it often happens that an application needs more than it is allowed. In this case, the application may crash or the user must quit the application and increase its allotment in the Get Info window. When virtual memory is on, it creates an invisible "scratch disk" file on your hard disk that is at least as big as the amount of RAM you have installed. That part of your hard disk is then no longer available for storing your files.
Multiprocessing The operating system automatically gives processing power from one or more processors to any application that needs it. Applications must be specifically designed by developers to take advantage of more than one processor.
User Interface
Menus Menus appear as semi-translucent light gray and white pinstriped boxes with a true drop shadow around the left, right, and bottom edges. Menu options can change dynamically as modifier keys are pressed while the menu is selected. Selecting a menu does not effect other system processes, in fact, you can watch a QuickTime movie play through the menu.

Menus appear as solid light gray boxes with a single pixel black line on the bottom and right as a drop shadow. Menu options and modifiers keys can change only when a modifier key is pressed before the menu is selected. Selecting a menu stops most other system processes.

Windows Windows appear as a white square with a rounded gray and white pinstriped title bar, and a true drop shadow around the left, right, and bottom edges. Windows which are not front-most, have a smaller true drop shadow and semi-translucent title bars. Window controls include three round, colored, gem-like buttons at the top-left corner of the title bar, which show symbols (x, -, +) for their functions (close, minimize, zoom) when the mouse rolls over them, and a grow box at the bottom-right corner of the window for changing the window's size. The Finder includes a clear, oval button at the top-right of the title bar to toggle the toolbar. Windows may be moved by dragging the title bar only. The Close button displays a dark spot in the center providing feedback when a document has not been saved.

Windows can be layered independently from other windows in that application. In other words, you can have a Finder window on top of a TextEdit window, which is on top of another Finder window. Clicking on any window of an application that is not front-most does not bring other windows of that application to the front, only the window clicked comes to the front.

This can be very useful. For instance, if I have three web pages open in three different windows in my browser and the HTML source files for those three pages open in an HTML editor, I can view the source and the web page side-by-side without hiding or moving any of the other four windows.

Windows appear as a white square with a gray border and title bar, and a 1 pixel black line on the bottom and right as a drop shadow (which turns gray if the window is not front-most). Window controls include a square at the top-left corner of the title bar for closing windows, two squares at the top-right of the title bar with markings to denote their functions (zoom and minimize), and a grow box at the bottom-right corner of the window for changing the window's size. Windows may be moved by dragging any edge.

Windows layer in relation to other windows in the same application. Multiple windows from different applications can not inter-mix. Clicking on any window of an application that is not front-most brings other windows of that application to the front, maintaining the same ordering, except the clicked window will always be the front-most.

Toolbar The Finder and several other applications (Mail, AddressBook, OmniWeb, etc.) include an optional, customizable toolbar for quick access to frequently used commands. Any developer can take advantage of Apple's toolbar with minor effort to provide a consistent user interface across all applications.

The toolbar is very easy to customize. In the Finder, choose "Customize Toolbar" from the View menu, and the front-most window converts to a toolbar modification palette. Many common tools and commands are available to drag to and from the toolbar, but you can drag any disk, folder, application, or file to the toolbar for quick access as well. Other applications that implement the toolbar have a similar customization interface.

The Finder has no toolbar, and any application developer wanting a toolbar for their application must develop it on their own resulting in a dissimilar toolbar user interface across applications.
Save A semi-translucent, gray and white pinstriped "sheet" slides out from the title bar and stays attached to the document being saved until dismissed. The sheet moves with the window if the window is moved and allows activity with other documents in that application and other applications. The Save sheet has been simplified, showing only a field for the document name, a pop-up menu of common, favorite, and recent places to save the document (including iDisk), "Cancel" and "Save" buttons, and a disclosure button for displaying advanced features including access to any folder on any disk, a "New Folder" button, and an "Add to Favorites" button. There are two styles of the Save dialog box that are used depending on how an application was developed. The older style appears as an immovable white square that completely blocks access to any application or document. It includes a field for the document name, access to any folder on any disk, and "Eject", "Desktop", "New Folder", "Cancel", and "Save" buttons. The newer style appears as a gray square with a title bar that allows movement of the dialog. You can switch to another application, but cannot edit other documents in the same application. It includes a field for the document name, access to any folder on any disk, "New Folder", "Cancel", and "Save" buttons, and a couple of pop-up menus for quick access to disks and recent folders.
Controls Buttons, scroll bars, tabs, pop-up menus, and sliders look like polished jewels with a true drop shadow. Default buttons draw your attention to them by throbbing softly. Buttons, scroll bars, tabs, pop-up menus, and sliders have a bevelled, gray-scale look. Default buttons are designated by a 3 pixel wide grey bevelled edge.
Trash The Trash is a shiny steel wire basket that has crumpled papers in it when full. It is located only in the Dock as the right-most item, and is always accessible from any window or application.

There seems to be no way to turn off the warning when emptying the Trash.

The Trash is a metallic garbage can that can be placed anywhere on the Desktop. The Trash can be covered by any window of any application and thus hidden from use until uncovered. However, an alias to the Trash can be placed in any folder on any disk.

Choosing Get Info for the Trash provides an option for warning (or not) when emptying the Trash.

Appearance Color (for the overall look of buttons, menus and windows) Blue and graphite are available. Azul, Bondi, Copper, Crimson, Emerald, French Blue, Gold, Ivy, Lavender, Magenta, Nutmeg, Pistachio, Plum, Poppy, Rose, Sapphire, Silver, Sunny, Teal, Turquoise, and Black & White are available.
Highlight Color (for selected text and lists) Graphite, Silver, Blue, Yellow, Orange, Green, and Purple are available. Azul, Bondi, Green, Plumb, Poppy, Purple, Teal, Yellow, and Gray are available, as well as Other which allows any color to be selected from a color picker.
Choice of System Fonts and Sizes 12 point Lucida Grande is used for lists and objects in the Finder, 14 point Lucida Grande is used for menus and headings, and 11 point or smaller Lucida Grande is used for explanatory text and labels. Any font at any size can be used for lists and objects in the Finder, 12 point Charcoal, Chicago, Capitals, Gadget, Sand, Techno, or Textile can be used for menus and headings, and 9 point Geneva is used for explanatory text and labels.
Desktop Pictures Decorate your desktop with any single graphic. Decorate your desktop with any single graphic, or automatically display a graphic from a folder when the system starts up.
Desktop Patterns This feature can be approximated by creating a desktop picture with the pattern or solid color you want. Decorate your desktop with a solid color or repeating pattern. The system ships with many patterns, but you can create any pattern you like.
Scroll bars Besides the Aqua look, scroll bars have a single arrow at each end, a scroll indicator (scroll box) that is proportional to the size of the window contents, interactive (live) scrolling, and an option to jump to the next page or scroll to the clicked spot when clicking in the gray bar. Scroll bars may have a single arrow at each end, both arrows at the bottom or right, or both arrows at both ends of the scroll bar. The scroll indicator (scroll box) may be fixed in size or proportional to the size of the window contents, the interactive or static behavior of scrolling is inconsistent across applications.
Icons Icons can be displayed in the following sizes: 16x12 (mini), 16x16 (small), 32x32 (large), 48x48 (huge), and 128x128 (thumbnail). In addition, the operating system can scale icons to any size between the smallest and largest sizes.

Icons have a photo-realistic look with a slightly different look for each application genre. For instance, the icons for utility applications have a serious, mostly gray-scale, front facing look, while productivity applications generally have more color and a slanted tilted perspective, and games are very colorful and fun.

Hard disk icons look like internal (bare metal) hard disks, the icon for my external FireWire drives looks like the physical drive on my desk, CDs icons look like actual CDs, and audio CDs display the Compact Disk Digital Audio logo on the icon.

Icons can be displayed in 16x16 (small) and 32x32 (large) sizes.

Icons have an illustrated, cartoonish (iconic) look with few distinctive traits per application genre. Historically, productivity applications were in the shape of a diamond with a tool representing the application's use, but very few applications use that style today.

Internal and external hard disk icons look like external beige hard disks, CDs icons look like cartoon style CDs, and there is no difference between audio and data CD icons.

 

Operating System Features
Apple Menu A menu that contains system level options like System Preferences, Sleep, Restart, Shutdown, etc. that can be accessed while in any application. It also contains menus of recently used applications and files.

The Dock is a replacement for most of the customizable launching features that the Mac OS 9 Apple menu has.

A menu that can be customized by the user to allow quick access to disks, applications, files, and folders to categorize items.

Some system-level options are available in the Finder's Special menu that can only be accessed while the Finder is the front-most application.

Application Menu Each application now has its own menu (listed by its name) that has options that affect the application like Quit, Hide, Preferences, etc.

The Dock shows all running applications.

There is no option for showing the icon of the current application in the menu bar.

The menu at the top-right corner of the screen lists all running applications, and has options for hiding and showing applications. It also shows the icon for the current application.

Commands that are specific to the application are dispersed throughout the File, Edit, and Application menus (and sometimes other menus).

Shared Application Services Applications can provide their services to other applications via the Services menu in the Application menu. For instance, you can select a text URL in TextEdit and choose "Open URL" from the Services menu. OmniWeb will then startup (if it is not already running), open a new window, and display the web page at the selected URL. This feature does not exist.
Control Strip Mini configuration applications called Dock Extras (or "docklings") can be added to the Dock. Apple has shipped a battery monitor, monitor resolution and size switcher, and AirPort signal strength meter. Other developers are already shipping others including audio CD player, clock, and system and alert volume control. A floating palette providing quick access to mini configuration applications such as audio CD control, monitor resolution switching, sound volume, and remote access commands.
Audio CD Burning Apple will ship an update to Mac OS X that includes this feature in April. The ability to write data and audio CDs.
DVD Movie Playing Apple will ship an update to Mac OS X that includes this feature this spring. The ability to play DVD movies on the Mac.
System Sounds This feature does not exist. Plays sound effects for menus, windows, controls, clicking, dragging, dropping, etc.
Smoothed Fonts All text is smoothed (anti-aliased) everywhere in the system all the time. The option exists to smooth text everywhere in the system, and you can choose to only smooth text greater than a specific size.
Talking Alerts This feature does not exist. The text displayed in an alert dialog is spoken by the computer.
Voiceprint Password This feature does not exist. Log in to your computer using a spoken phrase instead of typing in a password.
Shutdown Items This feature does not exist. Place any Finder object(s) in the Shutdown Items folder in the System Folder, and the object(s) will be launched before the computer shuts down.
Folder Actions This feature does not exist. Automatically run an Apple Script when a folder is opened or closed, an item is added to or removed from an open folder, or a folder window is moved or resized.
File Encryption This feature does not exist. Password protect and encrypt individual files to ensure the files' security.
Menu Bar Clock Options These options do not exist. You can change the font and size and apply a color to the menu bar clock. Several options for playing system sounds or "clock chimes" exist as well.
Customize Function Keys This feature does not exist. Assign an action to each function key on the keyboard.
Customize Recent Items Recently used applications and documents are always displayed in the Apple menu, and recently used folders are displayed in the Go menu. There is no way to control how many of each will display and no way to turn off any of these features. Recently used servers are included in the Connect to Server window. Separately control how many (0-99) recently used documents, applications, and/or servers to display in the Apple menu. Recently used folders are accessible from open and save dialog boxes.
Minimizing Windows Minimized windows shrink to a thumbnail in the Dock in a sweeping animation dubbed "the genie effect" (see it here). Thumbnails swoop back to their original size and place by clicking them in the Dock. Apple even included a slow-motion version of the effect when you hold down the shift key while minimizing a window. Minimized windows collapse in-place to display only their title bar.
iTools Integration The iDisk from your iTools account is accessible from the Finder's Go menu, from an icon in the Finder toolbar, from open dialogs and save sheets, and from aliases saved on disk. The iDisk from your iTools account is accessible from the Chooser and from aliases saved on disk.
Screen Savers Apple has included an extensible screen saver application with several nice screen savers. Screen saver modules from other developers like epicware and illumineX are already starting to show up on the web. This feature does not come with Mac OS 9. You could however, buy a separate screen saver program.
Printing Many USB printers are automatically detected and selected by the system and are ready to print with no user interaction. Use Print Center to add network and other printers to the Printer List. Printing is controlled from a "sheet" that is attached to the printed document allowing access to other documents and applications. All printers are available in the sheet's Printer List. This provides a consistent user interface that can still be customized by printers and applications. Select the correct printer icon from the Chooser, and print from any application. The print dialog blocks access to other documents and applications, and the print dialog interface differs from printer to printer.
Fonts The following TrueType, PostScript, and OpenType fonts ship with the system: American Typewriter, Arial, Baskerville, Big Caslon, Brush Script, Capitals, Apple Chancery, Charcoal, Chicago, Comic Sans, Copperplate, Courier, Didot, Futura, Gadget, Geneva, Georgia, Gill Sans, Helvetica, Herculanum, Hiragino Kaku Gothic, Hiragino Maru Gothic, Hiragino Mincho, Hoefler Text, Lucida Grande, Marker Felt, Monaco, MT Extra, New York, Optima, Osaka, Palatino, Papyrus, Sand, Skia, Symbol, Techno, Textile, Times, Trebuchet, Verdana, VT100, Webdings, Zapf Dingbats, and Zaphino.

The operating system provides support for TrueType, Type 1 PostScript, OpenType, and legacy bitmap fonts.

The system recognizes and makes available fonts stored in different parts of the file system or on a network volume.

The following TrueType fonts ship with the system: Apple Chancery, Capitals, Charcoal, Chicago, Courier, Gadget, Geneva, Helvetica, Hoefler Text, Monaco, New York, Palatino, Sand, Skia, Symbol, Techno, Textile, and Times.

The operating system provides support for TrueType fonts. Support for PostScript fonts requires additional software like Adobe Type Manager.

Multiple Language Support A single installation of Mac OS X has the ability to run programs localized for different languages, display text in multiple languages, and allow you to choose your preferred language order. For instance, most of your programs may display text in Spanish if that is your primary language, but you may have some programs that were not written to display text in Spanish. Those programs would display text in your next preferred language assuming they were written to support that language. A single installation of Mac OS 9 has the ability to run programs localized for a single language, and display text in one language (some fonts support some characters from multiple languages). You must buy and install a separate copy of the operating system localized for a different language in order to use applications written for that language and support that language's character set better.
Unicode The operating system has full support for Unicode to provide a consistent character set across every language and computer platform. The operating system has some support for Unicode so that applications can preserve and display Unicode characters.
Multihoming Multiple network addresses and interfaces can be used simultaneously. For instance, a computer can access an AirPort network for internet access, while accessing a wired ethernet network for printing at the same time. This feature does not exist.
Networked Multiple Users Log in from any computer on a network and access all of your software and preferences. This feature does not exist.
FTP Access Allow other people to access to your hard disk(s) from any other computer on the internet using FTP. Support for FTP access requires additional FTP server software.
Web Sharing A single button interface to Apache, one of the most powerful web servers, is used to serve web pages to the internet or local network. A simple proprietary personal web server is used to serve web pages to the internet or local network.
UNIX Command Line The full UNIX command set is available from the terminal application, providing access to UNIX applications running in a POSIX-compliant BSD environment. This feature does not exist.
Remote Login Telnet to your Macintosh from a remote machine and issue UNIX commands. This feature does not exist.
PDF The portable document format (PDF) is a native file type. All applications (except Classic) can preview and save their files as PDFs. Support for PDF requires additional software like Adobe Acrobat.
WebDAV Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning allows collaborative editing and managing of files on remote web servers from within any application. This feature does not exist.
File Names Names of files, folders, and disks can be up to 255 characters in length. The Finder will allow you to type more than 255 characters, but will produce an alert message upon finalization of the name change, telling you to shorten the name.

Names that are too wide to view in the Finder or a list are truncated in the middle.

Names of files and folders can be up to 31 characters in length, and disk names can be up to 27 characters in length. The Finder will produce a beep if you type more characters than are allowed.

Names that are too wide to view in the Finder or a list are truncated at the end.

Screen Capture Apple's Grab application provides menu choices for capturing a selected area, window, the entire screen, or the entire screen ten seconds after clicking a button. Once the image is captured, it is displayed in a window which can be saved to disk as a TIFF file or copied to the clipboard. The Grab application provides screen capture capabilities to other Mac OS X applications via the Shared Application Services menu. Several keyboard commands are available to capture a selected area, window, or the entire screen:

  • Command-Shift-3: Captures the entire screen to a PICT file
  • Command-Control-Shift-3: Captures the entire screen to the Clipboard
  • Command-Shift-4: Captures a selected area to a PICT file
  • Command-Control-Shift-4: Captures a selected area to the Clipboard
  • Command-Shift-Caps Lock-4: Captures the clicked window to a PICT file
  • Command-Control-Shift-Caps Lock-4: Captures the clicked window to the Clipboard
Finder Features
Labels This feature does not exist. Customizable categories and colors that can be applied to any Finder object (file, folder, disk, etc.). This allows you to easily distinguish and classify objects, and you can sort for, search by, and script actions for objects by Label.
Pop-up Windows This feature does not exist.

You can approximate some of this behavior in the Dock by dragging a folder to the Dock, but you don't get the quick pop-up (and back) effect, so most of the usefulness of the feature is lost.

A window style that displays a tab with the window name and icon at the bottom edge of the monitor in the Finder. The window can be accessed (popped-up) by clicking once on the tab or by dragging an item onto the tab. The window closes back to the tab when an item is double-clicked, dragged out of it, or dropped on an application in it, or when you click outside of the window.
Spring-loaded Folders This feature does not exist. Automatically open disks and folders by dragging a Finder object and holding it over a disk or folder. Continue this process to navigate deep into a folder structure leaving you in the final folder when you drop the object.
Grid Spacing Options Only wide grid spacing is available. Tight and Wide options are available for grid spacing.
Arranging Icons (manually) Arrange icons in a window by name only. You can keep files arranged by name, date modified, date created, size, kind, or label (even though there is no way to apply a label to a finder object). Arrange icons in a window by name, date modified, date created, size, kind, or label.
Copying Files from Audio CDs All tracks on audio CDs are listed as AIFF files. Copying tracks from a CD to disk creates an AIFF file, playable in QuickTime Player, iTunes, or a Finder window. This feature does not exist.
Toggle Snap-to-Grid on the Fly This feature does not exist. Holding down the Command key as you drag items temporarily toggles the "snap-to-grid" view option.
Older or Newer File Replacement Notification When moving or copying an item to a directory where a differently dated item of the same name already exists, a dialog is displayed stating only that a file of that name already exists, do you want to replace it. When moving or copying an item to a directory where a differently dated item of the same name already exists, a dialog is displayed stating whether the existing item is older or newer than the one you are attempting to put there, do you want to replace it.
Get Info The Show Info menu item displays a single Show Info window. The Show Info window updates to reflect the information for objects as they are clicked in the Finder. A separate Get Info window can be displayed for as many Finder objects as desired.
View as Buttons This feature does not exist. In addition to viewing a window as Icons or a List, Buttons allow each item in a window to be viewed as a square button with an icon in the middle and the name beneath. Opening the item requires only a single click.
Undo Undo is available for copy, move, and rename commands. This feature does not exist.
View as Columns In addition to viewing a window as Icons or a List, Column view displays two or more list-like columns side by side. Clicking a folder in a column displays the folder's contents in the column to the right. You can scroll horizontally to move up or down the folder structure on the disk. If you select a file in a column, a preview of the file is displayed in a column to the right. You can even play movies or sounds right there in the Finder. This feature does not exist.
Back Button Because Finder windows can behave like a browser in that you stay in the same window as you double click folders, there is a Back button that you can include in the toolbar. The Back button takes you back in the history of the current window (not necessarily the same as the directory path). This feature does not exist.
Don't Show Disks on the Desktop This option keeps disk icons off of the Desktop. Disks will still be available from a Finder window This feature does not exist.
Force View Similarity All newly opened windows will have the same view options as the first window. For instance, you can set the view options of the current window to View as List and every folder you open from that window will display in List view. This feature does not exist.
Hide Status Bar You can hide the panel in every window that displays how many items are in the current folder and how much space is available on the hard disk. This feature does not exist.
Unique Icon Size and Folder Background Each folder can have a different icon size and can display a color or a picture as the window background. This feature does not exist.
Folder Structure The folder layout is designed for multiple people to share a single computer. "Computer" is the top level of the hierarchy, followed by the hard disk(s) and Network, and folders inside the hard disk. You can get to Computer by clicking the Computer button in any Finder window toolbar, scrolling all the way to the left in a Finder window viewed as Columns, clicking the Finder icon in the Dock, or choosing Computer in the Go menu.

Each person that has an account on the system has a folder, named whatever their user name is, inside the Users folder. Each user's folder contains the following folders: Desktop, Documents, Library, Movies, Music, Pictures, Public, and Sites, as well as any other folders they create.

The Desktop folder is where all of the items visible on the Desktop are stored on the hard disk. Since each user has their own Desktop folder, the Desktop can look different and store different items for each user. Dragging an item from a hard disk other than the system disk copies the item to the Desktop folder of the current user (and displays it on the Desktop).

The folder layout is designed for a single person to use the computer.

The Desktop (Desktop Folder) is the top level of the hierarchy, followed by the hard disk(s), and folders inside the hard disk. Each hard disk has a separate Desktop folder, but all files from each disk's Desktop folder share space on the visible Desktop.

Go to Folder Displays a sheet in the current window with a field for the name of the folder to go to. Clicking the Go button displays that folder in the current window. This feature does not exist.
Windows with Different Views of the Same Contents You can open two windows of the same folder and view one as a list and one as icons for example. This feature does not exist.
Finder Operation Speeds (tests performed on a 233 MHz Power Mac G3 with a 4 GB hard disk and 160 MB RAM) Duplicate a 187.3 MB (165,468,515 bytes) folder with 14,838 items - 6 minutes 10 seconds.

Copy a 187.3 MB (165,468,515 bytes) folder with 14,838 items from one partition of a drive to another - 11 minutes 53 seconds.

Empty the Trash containing a 187.3 MB (165,468,515 bytes) folder with 14,838 items - 1 minute 35 seconds.

Duplicate a 48.6 MB (49,237,520 bytes) file - 31 seconds.

Copy a 48.6 MB (49,237,520 bytes) file from one partition of a drive to another - 30 seconds.

Duplicate a 187.3 MB (165,468,515 bytes) folder with 14,838 items - 5 minutes 18 seconds.

Copy a 187.3 MB (165,468,515 bytes) folder with 14,838 items from one partition of a drive to another - 5 minutes 9 seconds.

Empty the Trash containing a 187.3 MB (165,468,515 bytes) folder with 14,838 items - 1 minute 51 seconds.

Duplicate a 48.6 MB (49,237,520 bytes) file - 22 seconds.

Copy a 48.6 MB (49,237,520 bytes) file from one partition of a drive to another - 26 seconds.

Miscellaneous Features
Scheduled Sherlock Indexing This feature does not exist. Sherlock can automatically index any volumes on a timed schedule while you are away from the computer.
Dock A floating bar at the bottom of the screen that can be customized by the user to allow quick access to disks, folders, applications, files, and open windows.

Add items to the Dock by dragging and dropping them onto it. Drag them out with a puff of smoke to remove them.

You can hide the Dock so that it only shows up when you move the mouse to the bottom of the screen. If the icons in the Dock are too small, turn on magnification and they grow to a larger size when the mouse is over them.

Click and hold (or control click or right-click) on icons in the Dock to access a menu of commands for that item. For instance, folders display hierarchical menus of their contents, applications provide quick access to all of their windows, and Dock Extras allow quick configuration of system preferences.

See the Dock in action here.

The Dock's location can be customized with the help of utilities like Docking Maneuvers or Plus for X.

Some of the Dock's features are approximated by the Apple menu, Control Strip, Application menu, and pop-up windows.
Time to Wake from Sleep Approximately 1 second from the time the space bar is pressed to the time the Finder is useable. Approximately 17 seconds from the time the space bar is pressed to the time the Finder is useable.
Digital camera support Use Apple's Image Capture application to manually or automatically transfer images from USB digital cameras to a folder on the hard disk. One of a number of pre-loaded automatic tasks can be performed on the images once they are transferred, or you can create you own automatic tasks with Apple Script. Software from camera manufacturers allows access to photos from digital cameras
Connect to server Selecting "Connect to Server" from the Go menu displays a window that allows browsing of network servers. Selecting "Chooser" or "Network Browser" from the Apple menu launches applications that allow browsing of network servers.
Application switching Pressing command-tab quickly cycles through the icons in the Dock of the running applications by selecting their icons. Releasing the command key brings the application that is selected to the front. Pressing command-tab cycles through running applications by bringing them to the front.

 

©2001-2005. Sudden Technology and the Sudden Technology logo are trademarks of Sudden Technology.