The function keys, also called the F-keys, serve two purposes on your Mac. Found at the top of all Apple keyboards, these keys can be used for special functions like volume control, iTunes playback or accessing Mission Control. But they can also be used as F1, F2, F3, etc., keys. Find out how to switch between the two modes.
Login Items are applications that launch automatically when you log in to your user account on your Mac. Utilities supporting some of your applications may be found there. You can also add your own applications, scripts, folders, documents and even web bookmarks.
A common problem for new Mac users is to find an application missing from the Dock. Or, to find that it only appears when the application is running. Items can also go missing from the Finder sidebar or the desktop. This video explains why these can disappear and how to get them back.
The handy utility Default Folder X adds extra functionality to your save and open dialogs. You can quickly navigate to folders already open on your desktop, jump to recent and favorite folders, set a default folder for each application, and make changes to files you see in the dialog boxes.
If you are an advanced user with trouble, or someone who like to tinker with Mac OS X settings, then take a look at OnyX. This free utility gives you easy access to Terminal commands and hidden preferences.
The Airport Location utility allows you to take snapshots of your Mac's preferences and then manually or automatically switch between these preferences. This could save time if you use your Mac in different environments or in different modes. For instance, you could create snapshots for work, home, library or travel and then easily change dozens of settings with just one action.
Learn how to choose your own desktop background, use your own image as a background, rotate through a collection of images and other techniques. Also learn how to create a solid black background and use a third-party program to show video, animation or a web page as your desktop background.
Learn how to walk away from your Mac without worrying about others easily getting access to your data or messing up your settings. By setting your Mac to log you out, or require a password when you have left it, you can walk away from a Mac in a semi-public area like your work space or home office.
Since the Magic Mouse's surface is one big touch-sensitive area, it was only a matter of time before third-party developers came up with solutions for adding custom gestures. By installing free and inexpensive system extensions, you can assign commands to various swipes and taps.
Since your Mac can handle more than one audio device, it is important to know how to tell it which device to use for output and input. For instance, you can have external speakers and a USB headset, as well as several microphones. You can set this system-wide, or for individual applications like iChat, GarageBand, Audacity and Skype.
It is easy to hook up a second monitor to most Macs. Once you get a monitor and the proper cables to connect it, you can use the Displays preferences to control how the monitor fits into your desktop.
A basic look at Energy Saver Preferences. These can be used to reduce the power consumption of your Mac when you are not using it. You can also schedule shut down or sleep patterns, and set how how Mac behaves while it is asleep.
With the Ink feature of Mac OS X you can use a cheap tablet and your Mac will recognize the letters you write as an alternative to using a keyboard. You can insert text and drawings into documents.
Spaces creates virtual displays that you can switch between even though you only have one physical screen. You can place different windows and applications in different Spaces to extend the amount of desktop space you have to work.
You can change your system alert sound, even using a custom one that you create.
Learn about Hot Corners and how you can use them to have your cursor trigger actions like starting or disabling your screen saver, putting your display to sleep, or starting Expose or the Dashboard.
Learn how to use Expose to make it easier to navigate between your windows and applications in Mac OS X.
Learn how to use Network Locations to allow your Mac to connect to different networks with different settings as you travel between locations.
Learn how to capture the entire screen or only a portion, then compress it to send it in an email. This is handy for sending bug reports or pointing out problems.
Whether you are having trouble with some of your fonts, or you just want to see which fonts you have installed and organize them in a better way, Font Book is a handy application that comes with Mac OS X Leopard.