Modifying Mac OS X Windows

By default, Finder windows have a plain white background. Users can however adjust these windows, adding new images and custom patterns. In fact, adjusting the background is practical because users can identify thus active Finder windows and liven up Finder.

How to Modify Mac OS X Windows

You can add any images to the backgrounds of your folders. For your convenience, you can use a background image of shelves which will help you to organize the icons properly, but in this case you’ll need to use the icon size slider to match up the folder icons with the shelves. You can use, of course, any other image you prefer.

Here’s how you modify Finder windows:

  • Open a folder in Finder.
  • To view contents, choose View – As Icons.
  • Press Ctrl+click or Right-click a blank area inside the folder.
  • Choose Show View Options.
  • Choose the Picture button from the Background options.
  • Double-click the Drag Image Here preview to choose an image file from finder. Or drag an image from within the Finder Window or from the Desktop direct to the preview. The image will appear in the background of the window.
  • To remove the image, select White as the background.
  • Choose the Color option if you want to change the background color in a window.

Mac OS Sierra Windows

When you work with an app or the Finder, they open a window on the desktop. Safari, Mail and some other apps let you open multiple windows or different types of windows at the same time.

When you manage Mac OS X windows, you can use several ways to manage open apps and windows.

To move open windows aside so you can see the desktop, press F11 (Fn-F11 on a laptop). Another way is to spread out your thumb and three fingers on the trackpad. If you want to move the windows back, just press the keys again or spread in on the trackpad.

To move a window, drag it by its title bar to the chosen location .

To align windows, drag them close one to another. You’l see that as the windows get closer one to another, they align without overlapping. It is possible to position multiple windows adjacent to each other. If you want them to be the same size, drag the edge you want to resize. As the edge nears the edge of the adjacent window, it aligns with the edge and stops.

To merge multiple windows open into one window that contains multiple tabs, as long as they’re the same type of window, choose Window > Merge All Windows in the app. On the contrary, when you want a tab to be a separate window again, select the tab, choose Window > Move Tab to New Window. You can also drag the tab out of the window.

Note that in many apps, you can reduce clutter on your desktop by having documents open in a tab instead of a separate window.

To specify when documents are open in a tab, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Dock. Click the “Prefer tabs when opening documents” pop-up menu. Choose one of the following options – Always, In Full Screen Only, Manually. By default, documents open in tabs only when an app is full screen.

To add a tab, just click the New Tab button in the tab bar. You can also choose File > New Tab, if this option is available. Some apps allow the user to add tabs using a keyboard shortcut, based on how the tab option is set in Dock preferences. When the option is set to Always or In Full Screen Only, press Command-N. In Manually, press Option-Command-N.

To move between tabs, click a tab. Alternatively, swipe left or right in the tab bar with two fingers. You can also press Control-Tab or Control-Shift-Tab to go to the next or previous tab.

To reorder tabs, drag a tab left or right.

To close a tab, move the pointer over the tab and click the Close button.

To close all tabs except the current one, option-click the Close button. Alternatively, you can click the tab you’re in.

To show the tab bar in a window that doesn’t have tabs in an app, choose View > Show Tab Bar, if available. If you want to quickly open a new window when the tab option in Dock preferences is set to Always or In Full Screen, just press Option-Command-N.

To manually resize a window, drag the window’s edge. Alternatively, double-click an edge to expand that side of the window.

To maximize a window, press and hold the Option key while you click the green maximize button in the top-left corner of an app window. If you want to return to the previous window size, option-click the button again.

Another way to maximize the window is double-clicking an app’s title bar. You can perform this operation as long as the option to do so is set to “zoom” in Dock system preferences.

To minimize a window, click the yellow minimize button in the top-left corner of the window. You can also press Command-M. You can also set an option in Dock preferences to have a window minimize when you double-click its title bar. But remember that some windows can’t be moved or resized.

Note that you can use shortcuts to move among multiple apps and windows, when many windows are open and it is difficult to find the one you want:

Command-Tab – Quickly switches to the previous app:

To scroll through all open apps, press and hold the Command key, press the Tab key, press the Left arrow or Right arrow key until you get to the app you want, then release the Command key.

Press Esc or the Period key and then release the Command key, if you change your mind and don’t want to switch apps anymore, while scrolling through the apps.

Command – W or red close button in the top-left corner of the window closes the window.

Note that closing a window does not close or quit the app. To quit some apps, such as Safari or Mail, click the app’s name in the menu bar and choose Quit [name of the App].

Command – H or Command – Q – hides or quits the active app.

Note also that with Calendar, Mail and many other apps you can work with the app in full screen. You can open a second app and use both apps side by side in Split View.


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