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Mac OS X in a Nutshell by Chris Stone, Chuck Toporek, Jason McIntosh

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The System Preference Panels

System Preferences breaks the different panels down into four categories, each of which appears as its own row of icons in the program’s main display window. The four categories are:

  • Personal

  • Hardware

  • Internet & Network

  • System

If you or another application needs to add panels to the System Preferences window (see Section 5.4 later in this chapter), they will appear in a separate category row called Other.

Tip

The changes you make to the various panels in the System Preferences is saved as XML data in the form of a property list, or plist. These plists can be found in your ~/Library/Preferences directory, and can be further tweaked and manipulated using a text editor, or using the Property List Editor application if you’ve installed the Developer Tools. Look for filenames that begin with com.apple.something.plist in this directory.

The panels found in System Preferences are discussed in the sections that follow.

Personal

These panels allow you to configure various aspects of the Aqua “look and feel” of your system, such as the placement and behavior of the Dock, window appearance, language preferences, and the ability to customize some features of user accounts.

The panels included in the Personal section include:

  • Desktop

  • Dock

  • General

  • International

  • Login Items

  • My Account

  • Screen Effects

These Preference panels are explained further here.

Desktop

The Desktop panel, shown in Figure 5-3, lets you change the background image that appears on your Desktop. You can choose ...

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