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Thread: Mac files

  1. #1

    Member Since
    Jun 15, 2009
    Mac files
    One area about my switch, which has given me heartburn, concerns the file hierarchy. It is entirely possible I am making too much of it, but still I would appreciate some input.

    Just as an example - I am looking at my applications via Finder. I have it set to show icons - and mostly they are. However, I also have some folders in there - which seem to me should be elsewhere.

    There is a folder for Microsoft Office 08. After dragging out the .exe icons for Word, etc. - several “support” files remain in there. So where is the proper location for the folder?
    Among the other folders sitting in there is, Flip4Mac; the printer folder. One folder called Misc has a ton of executables in it. I guess my question is, “should the applications folder have other folders within it”? Probably makes no difference as to how the system runs - but I like things in there place.

    I know I can create folders wherever I want, but being a “child” of Bill Gates - I am having trouble getting the c:/ structure out of mind. Of course having both Office and iWork running does not make filing any easier. I may as well ask - since I must run Office - does iWork offer anything I need to keep? I could just scrap it.

    Oh yeah - the Dock. Why do some items stay in the dock and others jump out?

  2. #2
    Yes, you can have folders in Applications. In fact, there is at least one by default, Utilities. Just leave it like it is. Mac install programs know where to put stuff.

    Your personal folder, found in Finder under your user name, you can structure any way you want. Think of that as the "Documents and Settings" folder of Windows.

    Not sure what you mean by "jumping out" of the Dock. Some icons on the Dock are permanant (relatively), others appear only when you invoke the program. If you want an icon to go away permanently, drag it away from the Dock and drop it. It will explode in a puff. To add an icon for something you use frequently, find it in Finder and drag/drop the icon to the Dock. Drag folders you open frequently to the right side of the dotted line on the Dock. I have my Downloads folder there, for example, so I can find what I just downloaded quickly. I also have an Applications folder I put there when I first got started because I wasn't comfortable with Finder and wanted my apps handy. Don't use it much anymore.

    I was confused by the Microsoft Office 08 comment. Exe files are Windows only, so they shouldn't be on the Mac in any case. Can you provide more information?

  3. #3

    bobtomay's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 22, 2006
    Texas, where else?
    15" MBP '06 2.33 C2D 4GB 10.7; 13" MBA '14 1.8 i7 8GB 10.11; 21" iMac '13 2.9 i5 8GB 10.11; 6S
    First, there are no .exe's in OS X. They are just called applications (or app for short) and have a .app extension. exe.s or executables are a windows only thing.

    All us old Windows people that actually spent the time necessary to keep it running efficiently spent a lot of our time tweaking, deleting extraneous stuff and just general maintenance. That is a hard habit to break and get into a new mode of just using your computer. It took me a good long while to break that habit. I was almost frustrated during the first month because I just couldn't find enough stuff to tweak to keep that side of me satisfied.

    The proper location is exactly where they are. Would you rather have the Windows implementation of every application stowing files all over the place with no clue of where they are most of the time?

    Most apps for OS X are quite simple and you'll just drag it's icon into your application folder. Other apps require supporting files and typically come with their own installers. Many of these also come with their own uninstallers. Yes, the folder belongs right there in the Applications folder. Pretty much everything the app needs and that it has installed on your system is all there in one place.

    You need a new habit - one of using your machine for the things you bought it for instead of the habit of setting up all the behind the scenes stuff. I know, that's a hard habit to break. But over time, you'll see that OS X really does take care of most of that stuff quite nicely without any intervention from the user.

    As to iWork vs Office, if you don't need iWork, haven't paid for it, are going to stick with Office, there's no reason to keep the demo on your machine. You can simply drag the iWork folder to the trash and be done with it. Can't get much simpler than that.

    Any apps you install that used an installer and have an uninstaller - you should use the uninstaller rather than just dragging it to the trash.

    As to the Dock icons - well, you'll have a set of the basics that are set to remain there. Any of those you don't want there, just drag it off the dock, release, and gone it is. The app will still be available in your Applications folder.

    Any apps not on the dock, that you want to keep there, simply drag it's icon from the Application folder to the dock. Or, once you've opened the app, right click on the icon and select Keep in Dock.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  4. #4

    Member Since
    Jun 15, 2009
    Thanks. You can tell how old school I am. I did not know .exe files were only on PC's. **** I may have been trying to write .bat files at the command line. I guess there is no command line so I will let that cat nap.

  5. #5

    louishen's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 22, 2007
    Mac Mini Core i7 2012 | White 2009 MacBook 2 Ghz | 733 Mhz G4 Quicksilver
    If its old skool you're after then OSX does have a UNIX command line

    Apple - Mac OS X - What Is Mac OS X - All Applications and Utilities
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  6. #6

    vansmith's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 19, 2008
    Early 2015 13" rMBP
    Quote Originally Posted by rboseley View Post
    **** I may have been trying to write .bat files at the command line. I guess there is no command line so I will let that cat nap.
    You will want to look into writing Bash scripts as opposed to batch files. Just search for bash script tutorial in Google (there are many but watch the dates of the articles). I also found this YouTube video - I haven't watched it but it appears to be a good primer for people completely new to Bash and Bash scripting.
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  7. #7

    VegasGeorge's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 23, 2006
    Las Vegas, NV USA
    iMac, and Macbook Pro
    Some App files come by themselves, or with a simple text file containing the licensing info and update history. I put the App file in Applications, and trash the text file.

    Other Apps come with supporting files of one sort or another. They typically install in a folder, which is what you are talking about. I just keep that folder in Applications so that everything related to that App is all in one place.

    I don't normally run Apps out of my Application folder. You can, but it seems really awkward to me. I put the Apps I normally use on my Dock, or if there are too many of them as in the case of my photo editing apps, I make a folder for them on my Desktop.

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