Mac OS X Snow Leopard Training

Mac OS X Snow Leopard (version 10.6) is the seventh and current major release of Mac OS X, Apple’s desktop and server operating system for Macintosh computers. The new system allows you to do more than on previous versions. It’s faster, more reliable and easier to use. This document will guide you through Snow Leopard and help you understand how the Mac works.


Upon completion of this 1-on-1 training, you will be able to:

New Features


Snow Leopard offers a few improvements to Exposé, the window-management functionality originally introduced in Mac OS X Panther (OS X 10.3) and Leopard (OS X 10.5). New in Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard is Dock Exposé—a quick and intuitive way of seeing all of the windows for an application. Exposé lets you view all open windows with a single keystroke. Windows are aligned on a grid, so most people will find it a little easier to quickly scan through their screen and find the window they want. Press Command-1 to rearrange the windows alphabetically or press Command-2 to group windows by application. You can also see which windows are minimized and maximized. In the exposé window you will see big thumbnails at the top most half and small thumbnails at the lower half of the screen. Also, when you click and hold an active application icon on the Dock, Dock Exposé shows you a thumbnail of every open window for an application, regardless of the Space your application windows reside in or minimized application windows. Just click the window tile you would like to work with and it will instantly appear.

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Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6) brings a few minor improvements to the Dock over Leopard (OS X 10.5). One of the biggest relates to minimizing windows. With Leopard, some people use the yellow button in the left corner to banish windows temporarily to the Dock. Also minimizing the windows fill the Dock with tiny window icons. With Snow Leopard, Apple has combined window minimization with Exposé to create a new way of hiding windows that may be more popular than the old one. You can right click on a window tile and click Hide or CMD+H.

The Dock has changed in other ways as well: you can now scroll through Stacks when in grid view allowing you to see a whole lot more of what’s in a particular folder. When you select a stack or right-click on a Dock item, you’ll notice that the contextual menu that pops up has changed. This pop up menu has dark gray color with light lettering, rather than the traditional white with black lettering. The options to remove an item from the Dock, open that application at login, and reveal it in the Finder are now all found in the new Options sub menu.


The new version of Apple’s QuickTime multimedia architecture in Snow Leopard is called QuickTime X. QuickTime X comes with new features as follows:

  • Live resize – Playback continues smoothly as you change the size of the QuickTime Player window. (Some hardware requirements may apply.)
  • Surround sound – QuickTime Player can now play up to 24 channels of audio. With QuickTime X, your Mac and surround speakers, you can enjoy the full effect of your surround sound movie or game.
  • New and improved playback controls – Use the new A/V Controls window to adjust settings for the best viewing experience. Easily change settings including jog shuttle, playback speed, bass, treble and balance.
  • Floating controls – Full-screen mode now provides floating DVD-like controls for easy access to functions like pause, play, fast-forward, rewind and full-screen options. Move your mouse and the full-screen controller appears on the screen for several seconds.
  • Timecode Display – QuickTime Player now allows you to switch between displaying movie time, timecode and frame count. You can also jump to a specific time code or frame number using the keyboard.
  • Trim your media – The new QuickTime Player lets you trim your media to the ideal length by removing unwanted portions from the beginning or end.

Safari 4

The big changes in Snow Leopard (OS X10.6) are 64-bit support, which here translates into much faster Javascript performance and a new browser plugin architecture that runs individual plugins as separate instances. This new 64-bit version of Safari is 50 percent faster than the 32-bit version of Safari.


The iChat feature was first introduced in Leopard (OS X 10.5) and now allows you to do more than ever before in Snow Leopard (OS X 15.6). You can now have live video chats, share desktops, collaborate on files and even have fun with your web camera with face morphing and back drops. To know more about iChat see Mac 101: iChat.


iCal sets up your Gmail and Yahoo! calendars automatically. Just type in your address and password, then iCal will configure your calendars. In addition to per-meeting inspector windows, you can have a single inspector that displays the meeting information for the currently selected meeting. As you select different meetings, the inspector changes to show the appropriate meeting information.



‘Stacks’ feature was introduced in Leopard (OS X 10.5), and it stays the same in Snow Leopard (OS X10.6) with minor changes in layouts. Socks are located in the dock that organizes your files/icons instead of them cluttering up your desktop. The Dock includes the Documents, Downloads and Applications stacks. Stacks provide a convenient way to obtain documents and applications. To create a stack, drag a folder to the Dock. Snow Leopard improves on Stacks than previous version(s) by adding a scroll bar that lets you scroll through large stacks and by allowing you to drill down through folders while remaining in Stacks view. There is one stack pre-built into your Mac which contains all your downloads and looks like this:

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The most current of your downloads are located closest to the dock. When you click Stack, the items in it appears in following layouts:

  • Fan Layout – Fan Stacks shows a portion your folder content and arrange the icons so that the closest icon to the Dock is based on the order of the “Sort by” option you have selected. Items you download in Safari, Mail, or iChat always go to the Downloads stack so that you can find them quickly.

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  • Grid Layout – In grid layout, you can open folders in a stack to see all the files inside. Quickly return to previous folders by clicking the return path icon in the upper left of the stack.

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Note: When the stack becomes too full in the Fan Layout it automatically switches to the Grid Layout with a scrollbar. By right clicking on the stack you can set the stack to keep a certain view or organize by name or date.

  • List Layout – Shows the folder contents as a list, organized by your sort option. Each sub-folder will open another list and so on, until you reach the end of the directory structure. To open an application or document, simply click it.
  • Automatic Layout – This lets Snow Leopard determine the best view content option. When there are a few items, the Fan stack is used. Once you have loaded your folder with enough items, Snow Leopard will change your view content type to the Grid stack.

Customizing Stacks

Stacks automatically appear as a fan or a grid, based on the number of items in the stack. You can specify which style you want to use and change the stack’s sort order. To customize a stack, press the Control key and right click the stack’s icon.


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The Finder lets you organize, view, and access practically everything on your Mac, including applications, files, folders, discs, SD memory cards and shared drives on your network. The desktop is the space where you see file, folder and volume icons. The biggest changes in the Finder in Snow Leopard have to do with icons. Icons can now be as large as 512 by 512 pixels, four times as big as Leopard’s largest (256 by 256). There’s a slider in the bottom-right corner of any window in Icon view, which lets you crank the size of the icons in that window up or down without invoking the View > Show View Option command and adjusting the controls there. In the new finder, you can get an even quicker look by just hovering over the icon in question with your cursor. If it’s a multi-page PDF, you’ll be able to view the entire contents of the document, using next- and previous-page buttons to navigate.

Side Bar

Items are grouped into categories: Devices, Shared, Places and Search For. The top portion has Devices and Shared which contains whatever is connected to your Mac, such as a hard disk, iDisk, network share points, SD memory card, or DVDs. The middle portion has Places which contains quick access to your Desktop, Home folder—the folder named after your user account name, Applications and Documents. The bottom portion has Search For which contains quick access to Smart Folders that will find any file on your Mac that was used Today, Yesterday, Past Week and document types like All Images, All Movies, All Documents.

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Spotlight lets you search not only the files on your computer but also the files on the network. It is located in the top right corner.

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Finder Preferences Mac OS X Snow Leopard - 8

Finder preferences let you configure file labels, search locations, Finder window sidebars and hide or show hard disk icons on the desktop.

Cover Flow View

The cover flow view was a newly added view in the Finder in Leopard (OS X 10.5) and has remained in Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6). The new view allows you to preview your files such as movies, PDF files, music, Microsoft Office products and Pictures.

1. Located in the top left corner of the finder window, click the button that looks like the following:

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2. The following window displays your files and shows you a quick preview:

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Quick Look

Quick Look is a fast and easy way to see a preview of your images, documents, movies and even Microsoft Office documents without opening them in an application.

1. Click on the file you want to preview and then click the following Quick Look icon when in the cover flow view.

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2. By clicking on certain files you view them. For example, this is what will pop up when you click the Quick Look action on a video file.

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Enhanced Icon View

As with Cover Flow and Quick Look, you can thumb through a Document or watch a QuickTime movie right in the Finder window in icon view.

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By using the Icon Size slider located to left of the Finder window resize control, you can adjust the size of your icons all the way up to 512-by-512 pixels.

For more information about Finder in OS X 15.6 see Mac OS X v10.6: Mac 101 – Finder and the desktop.


Spaces allows you to separate your work space on your Mac. With spaces you can separate your personal life programs from your business programs, or your communications programs from your project programs. By default your Mac will have spaces disabled. To enable it,

1. Click the Apple icon and click System Preferences…

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2. Click Expose & Spaces

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3. Click Spaces located at the top of the screen and then click the Enable Spaces check box. Select how many spaces you want to have.

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NOTE: With Spaces enabled you can press F8 to view all of your spaces as shown below.

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TIP: By clicking on other spaces and opening programs that you want to only be in that space, you can manage your time effectively. For example, you could have spaces organized like this.

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Mail, Mac OS X’s built in email application, offers an elegant user interface that makes it easy to manage all of your email from a single, ad-free inbox, even when you’re not connected to the Internet. It lets you send and receive emails from your desktop without having to go to a website to check emails. You can set up all your accounts in one place along with being able to manage them. Mail works with some popular email accounts including MobileMe, Gmail and Hotmail. Mail has the new features of a to do list, a notepad and many other features. In addition, Mail comes with new email templates, addressing and event add ons. To set up your mail account visit Setting up your email accounts

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To set up your Apple Mail client to work with Norsemail or Gmail account:

  1. Enable IMAP in Norsemail or Gmail.
  2. Go to Application > Mail. A window will appear asking for your full name, email address and password. Enter all the information.
  3. Select IMAP in the Account Type drop-down menu.
  4. Enter your name and Norsemail or Gmail address in the appropriate fields, then click Continue.
  5. Enter ‘’ next to Incoming Mail Server and enter your full Norsemail or Gmail address next to User Name; enter your password and click Continue.
  6. For Outgoing Mail Server, enter ‘’ and select Use Authentication and enter your full email address next to User Name, enter your password and click Continue.
  7. If setup is successful, click Create.
  8. Now you are ready to use Apple Mail.

Time Machine

Time Machine is the a great feature, though you need an external hard drive to use it. This feature lets you go back in time to view a file that you may have deleted 15 minutes ago (or 15 months ago) and recover the file.

1. To setup time machine all you need to is plug in an external USB hard drive. The following window will pop up asking you if you want to use this external hard drive for general purposes or to use it for time machine.

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2. Time Machine will then ask you to erase all the contents on the hard drive. Make sure that you have copied anything that was the hard drive that you still want.

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3. Time Machine will now be configured to backup every file on your computer every 15 minutes.

NOTE: If you are using a Macbook Time Machine will not start backing up until you have the laptop plugged in.

4. Any time you need to recover a file that is missing, simply click the Time Machine icon located in your dock.

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5. The following window will pop up:

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6. The multiple Finder windows behind the one you see are the past copies of the folder. On the right hand side of the screen you have a time line which indicates where you are in time. Simply navigate through current Finder window to your folder and scroll back through time to find the file that once existed.

7. If you are having trouble finding which copy of the file that you want, simply double click the file in the time that you are viewing and you will be shown a preview of the file.

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8. When you have found the missing file, click Restore located in the bottom right hand of the screen. If want to bring back a single file from the past click on the file then click Restore. Otherwise, if you don’t select any files, the entire folder and all the files will be set back to that time.^

Additional Resources

Review the Help within Max OS X Snow Leopard

  • Click Finder , on the top menu bar click Help > Mac Help or CMD+Shift+?

Review Online Macintosh Help

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