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OS X Mountain Lion For Dummies by Bob Dr. Mac LeVitus

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Introducing the Finder and Its Minions: The Desktop and Icons

The Finder is a special application unlike any other. It launches automatically as soon as you start your Mac and is always running in the background. The Desktop is a special part of the Finder unlike any other. Finally, icons and windows are the units of currency used by the Finder and Desktop.

Before I tackle any deep thoughts — such as what the Finder does or what the Desktop is — I start with a quick overview of some of the icons you’re likely to encounter as you get to know the Finder and Desktop.

Introducing the Desktop

The Desktop is the backdrop for the Finder — everything you see behind the Dock and any open windows. The Desktop is always available and is where you can usually find your hard drive icon(s).

This will be a whole lot easier with a picture for reference, so take a gander at Figure 5-1, which is a glorious depiction of a typical OS X Mountain Lion Finder.

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Figure 5-1: A typical Finder and Desktop.

If you’re not familiar with the Finder’s Desktop, here are a few tips that will come in handy as you become familiar with the icons that hang out there:

check.png Icons on the Desktop behave the same as icons in a window. You move them and copy them just as you would icons in a window. The only difference is that icons ...

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