My First Mac Archive

This article was first published on 2009-07-24. Due to the age of this article, it is included here for archive purposes only.

Welcome to My First Mac’s Q&A column. It is said that Macs are easier to use, but they are still complex in their own right. Here are a few questions we have received lately from readers like you. Sometimes we reformat the questions for clarity and presentation.

This week Chris answers your questions about opening all folders in a click, emailing a calendar and dealing with the Finder Side Bar.


Is there a way in the "List" view of Finder to open (expand?) all the subfolder levels within a folder at once or close (collapse) all the sublevels at once? Also, Is there a way to modify the folder icons themselves (not just change the background to a different color or to a picture)?


It’s easy but not obvious. Try Option-clicking on the arrow next to the folders. This will open or close that folder and all subfolders. As far as changing the folder icons go, you can change one at a time like any icon by cutting and pasting in the Get Info box. If you want the change to be system wide, it’s best to get a 3rd party app like Candy Bar to do it for you.


Every month I send out a calendar of the month’s classroom volunteers. I would like to create a calendar in entourage and then be able to email it to the parents. How do I do that?


I suggest you distribute a PDF of your calendar via email. That way you know everyone can read and print it. As with every Mac OS X app, you can make a PDF from within the Print Dialog box. Hold down the PDF button in the lower left for a menu of options. You can more info about the process here on MFM reading Saving Anything As a PDF File.

  How do I get rid of sidebar in my Documents folder?

Unfortunately, the Side Bar and Tool Bar come and go together. So if you can do without both, you can just click the clear button in the top right of your Finder window to hide and show them. This applies one window at a time, so you can do it just to your Documents folder and the rest will stay the way they are. The problem is that this choice is not persistent. Next time you open it the Side Bar and Tool Bar will be back. My suggestion would be to customize both so they work for you. See Get Productive By Customizing Your Finder Windows for more.


You can send in your questions via the Contact page or email us at editor[AT]myfirstmac[DOT]com. Because of the volume of email we receive, we can’t reply to each and every question personally. We read each question that comes in and reply to the ones that fit the scope of this column. We also save some questions for future columns.

If you need your specific question answered right away, try asking it in the Comments section of a related article or in the MFM Forums.