Customize your mouse, and trackpad
We all type, point, and click differently. That's why it's important to make sure that you optimize your keyboard, mouse, or trackpad. Here's how to do this.
Optimize your mouse
The Mouse preferences pane looks different depending on what kind of mouse you use. These settings let you set the sensitivity of the mouse to control how fast the pointer moves across your screen when you move your mouse, and adjust for your double-click reflexes. Other controls may be available, depending on the type of mouse you're using.
Mouse preferences with an Apple Magic Mouse in OS X Lion
- Open System Preferences and click Mouse.
- To control how fast the pointer (cursor) moves across your screen when you move the mouse, move the Tracking slider left to slow it down, or right to speed it up.
- If Double-Click Speed appears, move the Double-Click slider left to slow it down, or right to speed it up.
- If your mouse has a scroll wheel, you can set its scroll speed using the Scrolling or Scrolling Speed slider.
Optimize your trackpad
- Open System Preferences and click Trackpad. These settings let you set the sensitivity of the trackpad, to control how fast the arrow moves across your screen when you move your finger across the trackpad, and also adjust for your double-click speed.
- To change your tracking speed and click settings, click the Point & Click tab. Then move the Tracking slider to adjust how fast the arrow moves across your screen; move it left to slow it down, or right to speed it up. You can also enable secondary-click, by selecting the "Secondary click" checkbox. You can then click using two fingers to secondary-click. The secondary-click can be used to display shortcut (contextual) menus for an application.
- To change your scroll and zoom settings, click the Scroll & Zoom tab. You can enable and disable scroll and zoom gestures.
- To change other gesture settings, click the More Gestures tab. You can enable and disable gestures for swipe, Mission Control, Exposé, Launchpad, and desktop.
- Use one finger to point, tap to click, and drag items on your screen.
- Drag two fingers up, down, or sideways to scroll in an active window.
- Use two-finger pinching to zoom in or out on PDFs, images, photos, and more.
- Use two-finger rotating to rotate photos, pages, and more.
- Swipe three fingers to quickly page through a document, move to the previous or next photo, and more.
- Swipe four fingers left or right to activate Application Switcher so you can cycle through open applications.
- Pinch close with four or five fingers to open Launchpad.
Change your sounds
- Open System Preferences and click Sound.
- To change the alert sound, played when your Mac wants to get your attention, click the Sound Effects tab, and select a sound in the alert sound list.
- If you want to hear sound effects play when you do other things in the Finder, such as when you drag stuff to, or empty, the Trash, or remove items from the Dock, select the "Play user interface sound effects" checkbox.
- To change the overall volume of sound effects, move the "Alert volume" slider left to turn the volume down, or right to turn it up.
- To adjust the overall volume of your Mac, move the "Output volume" slider left to turn the volume down, or right to turn it up. If you'd rather have your Mac quiet, select the Mute checkbox.
- To adjust the sound balance for your internal or external speakers, click the Output tab, select your speaker device from the list, and move the Balance slider left to hear more from the left channel, or right to hear more from the right channel.Your Mac has plenty of functions and commands that can be triggered by a simple keyboard shortcut, pressing two or three keys simultaneously to perform an action.
To conserve energy, all Macs have the ability to sleep. When you haven't used your Mac for a set amount of time, it enters a low-power mode until you wake it by pressing the keyboard, trackpad, or moving the mouse. Sleep doesn't turn off your computer; it merely puts it into an inactive state that consumes less power. Waking your Mac from sleep is faster than waiting for your Mac to start up after a shutdown.
This is especially helpful for conserving battery life on portable Macs. But sometimes you may need to alter your computer's sleep settings, such as when you're burning a DVD—if you're not interacting with your Mac during this time, it could go to sleep during the process. Or, you may want to have your Mac go to sleep earlier than scheduled. Here's how to change sleep preferences.
Set the sleep time
- Open System Preferences and click Energy Saver.
- Move the sliders for both the computer and display to change the times in which they go to sleep.
- Select any other options you want, such as sleep, wake, and power failure options.
Customize Your MacBook, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro sleep settings
If you're using a portable Mac, you can set different sleep times for your battery and power adapter use.
- In Energy Saver preferences, choose the Power Adapter or Battery tab.
- To change the sleep times for your power source choice, move the computer and display sliders to change the sleep time.
Change your OS X language
Your Mac is set to display the language for the country in which you bought the computer. For example, if you bought your Mac in the United States, your Mac is set to English. If you bought your Mac in France, your Mac is set to French. But if you prefer to use a different language, you can.
If you bought your Mac in the U.S. but English isn't your preferred language,
you can switch the language via drag-and-drop.
- Open System Preferences and click Language & Text.
- Click the Language tab.
- In the Languages pane, drag your preferred language to the top of the list.
- To apply the language throughout your system, restart your Mac or log out and log back in.