Using This Manual

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Using This Manual

Table of Contents

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The Very Basics

To use this book, and indeed to use a computer, you need to know a few basics. You should be familiar with these terms and concepts:

Clicking. This book gives you three kinds of instructions that require you to use your computer’s mouse or track pad. To click means to point the arrow cursor at something on the screen and then—without moving the cursor at all—to press and release the clicker button on the mouse (or laptop track pad). A right-click is the same thing using the right mouse button. (On a Mac, press Control as you click if you don’t have a right mouse button.)

To double-click means to click twice in rapid succession, again without moving the cursor at all. And to drag means to move the cursor while pressing the button. When you’re told to c-click something on the Mac, or Ctrl-click something on a PC, you click while pressing the c or Ctrl key (both of which are near the space bar).

Menus. The menus are the words at the top of your screen or window: File, Edit, and so on. Click one to make a list of commands appear; as though they’re written on a window shade you’ve just pulled down. This book assumes that you know how to open a program, surf the Web, and download files. You should know how to use the Start menu (Windows) or the Dock or a menu (Mac), as well as the Control Panel (Windows) or System Preferences (Mac OS X).

Keyboard shortcuts. Every time you take your hand off the keyboard to move the mouse, you lose time and potentially disrupt your creative flow. That’s why many experienced computer fans use keystroke combinations instead of menu commands wherever possible. When you see a shortcut like Ctrl+S (c-S) (which saves changes to the current document), it’s telling you to hold down the Ctrl or c key, and, while it’s down, type the letter S, and then release both keys.


Throughout this book, and throughout the Missing Manual series, you’ll find sentences like this one: “Open the System→Library→Fonts folder.” That’s shorthand for a much longer instruction that directs you to open three nested folders in sequence, like this: “On your hard drive, you’ll find a folder called System. Open that. Inside the System folder window is a folder called Library; double-click it to open it. Inside that folder is yet another folder one called Fonts. Double-click to open it, too.”

Similarly, this kind of arrow shorthand helps to simplify the business of choosing commands in menus, as shown with View/Snap→Zoom→In

Ribbon Menu