A-B Tech InfoBase

We're here to help you find quick answers to common questions. Use the search box to look up key words or browse through the categories below.
Can't find what you're looking for? Click here to email us your question or call us at (828) 398-7900.

Navigation on a Mac

Navigation on a Mac


How to navigate on a Mac computer


To get started on a Mac, you should get to know the menus and tools and learn how information and applications are organized. Use the information below for help.

  • Basics

    • The On button is on the back of the keyboard
    • To shut down, restart, or put to sleep, go to the Apple icon in the menu bar and select the option you want.Apple icon
    • USB ports are located on the back of i-Macs
    • CDs and DVDs can be inserted on the side of the computer for older i-Macs; for the new i-Macs, they do not take CDs or DVDs
    • To safely eject your flash-drive, drag it to the Trashcan; the trashcan will turn to an eject symbol (⏏) as you do this
    • To delete a file or folder, drag it to the Trashcan in the Doc
  • The Dock

    • The Dock is generally located at bottom of screen
    • It could be hidden- if so, drag mouse to bottom for it to pop up
    • The Dock contains frequently used applications
    • There will be a small light under the icons for all applications that have been opened and have not yet been quit
  • Finder

    • When you turn on the computer, you will be in Finder
    • While working, to get back to Finder, just click anywhere in the desktop
    • In Finder, the menu at the top will be the finder menu
    • Through the Finder menu, you can get info about a file, empty the trash, arrange files in a folder, see all applications installed on the computer, copy and paste, open a file with a certain application, create a new folder, and more
    • To open a file or folder, just double-click it, or, while in Finder, highlight the file or folder, then go to File, and select Open
    • To open a file with a specified application, right click the file, then choose Open With, or highlight the file, go to the Finder menu, then File, and select Open With
    • Note that by right clicking the mouse, you can also get to several other of the Finder menu options
  • The Menu Bar

    • The menu bar is at the top of your screen
    • The menu for the application you are in will appear here, starting from the left
    • At the right end are icons that show stats and give quick access to certain features such as sound volume, internet accessibility, date and time, search, Bluetooth status, and more
  • Windows

    • The active window is the one you are currently working in
    • To make a window active, click anywhere in the window
    • To move a window around on the screen, hold your mouse down on the gray bar at the top of the window
    • To make window larger or smaller, click the green button on top left of gray bar
    • To close a window, click the red button
    • To minimize a window, click the yellow button
    • To open a minimized window back up, go to the dock, locate it, and click it
    • You can also resize a window by holding the mouse down on the bottom right corner and dragging
    • Hold down Shift, Command (⌘), and 4 at the same time to make a selection that creates a screen shot. If you are using a PC keyboard, it will be Shift, Windows key ( ), and 4.
  • Applications

    • To see a list of all applications installed on the computer, go to Finder, click on Go, then choose Applications
    • If you want to open an application, double-click it from the Applications drop down menu
    • Or, if the application you want is on the Dock, just go to the Dock and click the application
    • To quit an application, be in the application, go to the menu bar at top of screen and to the name of the application, then scroll down and select Quit.
  • Organizing, Browsing, and Searching

    • You can create folders by right clicking on the desktop or going into Finder then File and selecting New Folder
    • The folder will automatically be ready to be named; to rename a folder or file, click the name, then click it again (but not as fast as a double click)
    • You can then choose where to store your folder; to move your folder simply click, hold, and drag
    • To move files from one folder or location to another, also simply click, hold, and drag; to copy files, right click and choose copy and then go to where you want to paste, right click and choose paste
    • Inside the Home folder (one that looks like a house under Go in Finder), there will be premade folders for organizing your work; you will see folders titled Documents, Pictures, Movies, Music, Downloads, Desktop, etc.
    • To organize the files in a folder, go to the Finder menu, then View, then Sort By, and choose the sorting method (Name will put the file names in alphabetical order.)
    • To browse, open the desired folder and keep opening labeled folders until you get to the file you want
    • To search, use the magnify glass in the upper right corner and type a word or phrase
    • You can also go to Find under File in the Finder menu; there you can narrow your search to a certain type, location, date, name, etc.


Key Words: Mac, navigation, Mac computer navigation 

Attached Files
There are no attachments for this article.
Related Articles RSS Feed
Employees With Student Email Addresses
Added on Mon, May 14, 2018
How to Add a Signature to Outlook Emails
Added on Thu, Jan 22, 2015
Selecting Text Tips and Techniques
Added on Thu, Jan 22, 2015
CFNC Email Login
Added on Thu, Oct 24, 2013
How to Web Print
Added on Wed, Aug 29, 2018
How to Create Rules in the Outlook Web App
Added on Thu, Jan 16, 2020
About the A-B Tech HelpDesk
Added on Fri, Mar 28, 2014
Contact the IT HelpDesk
Added on Fri, Feb 7, 2014
How to Insert and Position Graphics in Word Documents
Added on Thu, Jan 22, 2015
How to Transfer Contacts from Gmail to Outlook
Added on Thu, May 17, 2018