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Mac OS X: The Missing Manual, Panther Edition by David Pogue

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Get Info

By clicking an icon and then choosing FileGet Info, you open an important window like the one shown in Figure 2-11. It’s a collapsible, multi-panel screen that provides a wealth of information about a highlighted icon. For example:

  • For a disk icon, you get statistics about its capacity and how much of it is full.

  • For a document icon, you see when it was created and modified, and what programs it “belongs” to.

  • For an alias, you learn the location of the actual icon it refers to.

  • If you open the Get Info window when nothing is selected, you get information about the desktop itself (or the open window), including the amount of disk space consumed by everything sitting on or in it.

  • If you highlight a gaggle of icons all at once, the Get Info window shows you how many you highlighted, breaks it down by type (“23 documents, 3 folders,” for example), and adds up the total of their file sizes. This is a great opportunity to change certain file characteristics on numerous files simultaneously, such as locking or unlocking them, hiding or showing their file name extensions (Section 4.5.2), changing their ownership or permissions (Section 12.2.10), and so on.

Uni-window vs. Multi-window

In Mac OS X versions 10.0 and 10.1, a single Info window remained on the screen all the time as you clicked one icon after another. (Furthermore, the command was called Show Info instead of Get Info. Evidently “Show Info” sounded too much like it was the playbill for a Broadway musical.)

Figure 2-11.  Top: ...

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