OS X Driving School

Written by: Adam Christianson

Categories: Hints & Tips

An important aspect of learning to drive is knowing and understanding the signs and symbols we see when on the road. Your operating system also has many signs and symbols. The more you understand and can read those signs the better driver you will become. This a series will offer you quick little “driving” tips for OS X. In each lesson I will take a quick look at just one element of OS X and give you a little lesson in maximizing it’s functionality.

Traffic Lights

Being OS X users we are all familiar with OS Xs traffic signal. You know, those little red, yellow and green “lights” at the top left of each window? You are probably familiar with the basic functionality of these buttons. But these little guys are more tricked out than you would think.

Red means stop

You probably already know that clicking the red button on your window will close it. You many also know that holding down the ‘Option’ key while clicking the red button will close all the windows, but there is one more trick up reds sleeve. The “red light” also provides a bit of info that I find extremely helpful. Just like it’s real life counterpart it lets you know when to stop. StopIt alerts you when it might be time to stop and save your file. In many applications if you notice a little black circle inside the red button it is the OSes way of letting you know you are between saves. Once you save your file the black dot will disappear and then come back when you make your next change.

There are 8 comments on OS X Driving School:

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  1. Alex | Sep 27 2006 - 05:34

    While basic, this is a really useful tip

    Especially for beginners to the Mac

  2. jasonium | Sep 27 2006 - 07:26

    also holding down control+shift when clicking on the yellow minimize button gives you a little treat.

  3. Bruce | Sep 27 2006 - 09:30

    Why no mention of the green and yellow butons? Are they coming in a future post?

  4. Olly | Sep 27 2006 - 09:06

    Only Apple could spend so much attention to detail, to something as small as a button.

    Ive heard that in RC1 of Vista there are buttons missing in some windows!!!!!

  5. maccast | Sep 27 2006 - 11:36

    Yes gang, yellow and green are coming. Including that “shift key” trick. I am still researching anything for the green, so if you know something email me!

  6. James | Sep 27 2006 - 03:37

    Excellent trick! It looks to be useful for people like me who forget to save sometimes…

  7. Themacman4 | Sep 27 2006 - 04:53

    You forgot to mention that if you click the red button with the black circle in it, it won’t let you close til you save, not just serve as a warning.

  8. Defensive Driving | Apr 17 2009 - 03:23

    Very useful post for beginners like me. Thanks a lot for sharing.