Personalizing Your Mac in OS X Yosemite – Part 3

Well we are onto part 3 already! Well done to those of you that have started the challenge of personalizing your Mac. In this section of the articles we will be going through step by step how to Change Wake and Sleep setting on your computer and tweaking Dock settings. So here we go!

Lets start by looking into possibly adjusting Wake and Sleep settings. Did you know that you can set your Mac so that it will wake at certain times of the day you can even set your Mac so it will go to sleep and switch off, perfect parental training before you decide to have kids 😀


Set up Mac Wake and Sleep settings

1) To access Wake and Sleep options select System Preferences from you Dock (or go apple menu >System Preferences).

2) In the System Preferences menu click on Energy Saver

3) If you like, you can set your computer sleep times. Sleep mode is when your Mac goes to ‘sleep’ and the hard drive slows down for a rest, everything (apps etc) will still be live and running just on pause. Your Mac will use a little bit of battery power whilst in sleep mode but considerably less than when it is running as normal.

4) Click Schedule if you are interested in detailed shut down and start up times.

how to personalise mac os x Yosememite

Mac Power Nap Feature

The power nap feature is new to OS X Yosemite and is one handy little tool indeed. Even if your Mac is in sleep mode your computer can still preform updates for your reminders, emails and notes and check this… it will even preform backups!

To access the Power Nap feature it will be under Energy Saver in System Preferences.


Customising Your Mac Dock

Your Dock has several personalization options you can apply.


Modifying Dock Size

1) Open up System Prefrences on your Dock

2) Select Dock from the list of icons available

3) A menu will now pop up with clicked and un-clicked options

4) Use the first slider bar to alter the size of your Mac dock icons.

5) Once you are happy with a size, slide the curser named Magnification this will change how much your dock magnifies when you hover your curser over it. Go on give it a try 🙂

personalize mac os x yosemite


Changing Dock Position

1) Inside your Dock settings under the header ‘Position on Screen’ are three options named Left, Bottom, Right. Most Mac users have their Dock on the bottom of their screens as this the default position.


Other Dock Options include:

Scale or Genie effect – Basically when you minimise Windows on your Mac ‘Scale’ is the standard effect used to make the window drop. ‘Genie’ also glides down in a cool way, it’s hard to describe so select both and test it out with closing a App or a internet browser window.

Double click a title bar to minimise – Just another simple way to close down a window, more exciting than simply clicking the yellow minimise button.

Animate opening Applications – If you have this option activated, whenever you click to open an App it will bounce up and down. If deactivated the App will open but the icon will remain stationary.

Automatically hide and show the Dock – By default when you get your computer the Dock will be on view. I personally find that this can be quite distracting and takes up too much precious space on your display. If you activate ‘hide and show dock’ the Mac dock will momentary disappear. That is until you move your curser over to the bottom of your screen, it will then automatically pop up and then disappear again when you move your curser away.

Show indicators for open Applications – When you open an application it shows on your Dock with a little light underneath the item to remind you it’s open. Deactivate this option and no light will indicate the App is open.

Mavericks OS X Utilities Folder Breakdown

Mavericks OS X Utilities Folder Breakdown

OS X Utilities FolderIn contrast to applications on the dock and in the applications folder, there’s an extra load of features waiting to be discovered in the utilities folder, which can certainly be handy for many tasks you undertake on your Mac.

Here is a breakdown of what to expect in your Mac Utilities folder.

VoiceOver Utility

Extremely useful for visually impaired users, the VoiceOver app is a digital voice that can be accessed to read out what’s on your screen.

Activity Monitor

This handy feature contains a wealth of knowledge on how your systems memory is being used and info on disk utility on your Mac.


Terminal is quite an important element for our Mac and is used as an entry point into the world of UNIX. Inside the terminal feature you can see the workings of UNIX and write your own apps, bearing in mind you have some UNIX programming knowledge.

Airport Utility

This helps you set up and create an AirPort wireless network in no time at all.

System Information

This will provide you with a list of details relevant to the software and hardware apps that are installed on your Mac.

AppleScript Editor 

You can use AppleScript to create your own scripts with Apple.

mac utilities folderNetwork Utility

If there is a problem on your workstation the Network guide can help determine the issue for correction.

Audio MIDI Setup 

This is great for adding audio devices and setting the properties that suit your needs.

Migration Assistant

Migration Assistant is perfect for transferring files between two apple Mac’s. It’s fantastic if you purchase a new Mac and you need to transfer files from an old Mac to the new one smoothly.

Bluetooth File Exchange

If the bluetooth function is enabled, this app will help you to exchange documents between other enabled bluetooth devices.

Keychain Access

One of the most useful apps in my opinion would be the keychain access feature, it deals with important items such as passwords and stores details to save you time and effort in the future. It provides extra security for items protected by passwords.

Boot Camp Assistant

Fantastic for allowing you to run windows platform right on your Mac.

Java Preferences

The Java Preferences folder contains utilities that can run and work with Java.

ColourSync Utility

ColourSync can be used to view and design colour profiles on your Mac.


Quite an interesting app, Console will display ‘behind-the scenes’ messages that are being passed around within your Mac while usual tasks are taking place in real time.


Grapher is used for creating simple to more complexed scientific graphs on your Apple computer.

DigitalColour Meter

Handy for viewing and measuring the exact colour values of a particular colour.

Disk Utility 

One very valuable app, the disk utility can be used to view important info about your Mac’s repair errors and attached disks.


Used to capture screenshots, it allows you to Grab different sections of the screen, even the menus. These images can then be saved in different file formats.

To access the utilities folder, click file from the main tool bar at the top of the screen and select ‘New Finder Window’ and then click ‘Application Folder’ once in stroll through to find a folder titled Utilities and you’re on your way 🙂

Introduction to Apple Mac Icons!

One of the amazing benefits of owning and working on an Apple Mac computer is their internal design. While they are obviously the mot glamorous looking and aesthetically pleasing machine on the outside, it is their clever layout and swish graphics on the inside that make them so blissfully easy to use.

The creators at Apple have made their applications very simple to understand as they have paired each one up with a matching shiny icon. To skip the guess work the icons have been designed to resemble the application as closely as possible. For example your all important hard disk volume icon (Macintosh HD) looks like a hard drive, a simple text document looks like a piece of paper, iTunes is a circle with a music note in it and an icon for a folder looks like – yep you’ve guessed it… a folder with papers!

Apple Mac icons

App – Apple Mac icons for Applications have been individually designed to stand out from one another and make finding a certain app super duper easy.

mac app icons

Folders – Whilst all your storage folders are represented by a blue folder, if you are storing certain documents inside, the folder will show the relevant app symbol on the front to help you determine what sort of information is stored inside.

For example, if a folder just contains text documents the symbol on the front of the folder will be a piece of paper. If the folder contains apps, you will see the Apple app logo on the front and if the folder contains your groovy music tracks then it will have a nice music note printed on the front.

understanding Mac icons


File – Inside your folders are your files. Apple have also created file icons to help you easily sieve through and find certain file types.

For example a PDF file will show an image of a pile of photos with the text PDF underneath. One of the most common file types you will see is of course the text document. This is represented by a piece PDF paper with a text article and photo on.

apple icons mac

How to View Mac Folders as Icons or Columns

Apple Mac computers are brilliant at storing all your files and folders – pictures, text documents, music, games, movies apps. You name it Macs can cope with it.


 But what is the easiest and quickest way to filter through those hundreds of files?

The creators behind Mac have catered for all and allow you to simply display your files and Mac folders in a way the best suits you – icons, columns, lists or even as album covers.

You easy peasily change the view of your Mac folders by clicking your preferred option using the view buttons nestled at the top of the finder window toolbar.

The first button will display your Mac folders in an icon view, the next button shows a List view, the following option is Column view and the last button displays your files with a Cover Flow View.

How to View Your Mac Folders as Icons or Columns


Icon view

Icon view is my preferred option as it will show an image preview of your files. Particularly helpful if you are searching for a picture file! Also a great option if you are not sure what you named your file as you can pin point it by seeing the contents.

With the latest versions of Mac your files will conveniently be separated in to images, PDF documents, documents etc. You can scroll along your files with a right to left swipe on your touch pad.

By selecting the View option the Finder Window toolbar and scrolling down to→View Options, you can alter the orders of the Mac folders. You can handily arrange them by the date they were modified, the date they were created, their size, kind, or label.

how to view mac folders

Column view

Arranging your Mac folders by columns is very helpful if you are opening up several files that are saved with in other files. It shows a breadcrumb trail.

To get this function choose View→As Columns. Now you should be greeted with several vertical columns. The first column on the far left side will house your network, hard disk, home folder, applications, documents, movies and more. (This sidebar appears in the same place in every Finder window).


How to Activate the Breadcrumb Effect?…

To start your trail click on a file to highlight it. In the next column you will see that files contents. If there is another file within in that one, clicking on it will open another column displaying that particular files contents and so on…

If you fancy resizing the column pane just click and drag the handle at the bottom of the pane. To alter the size on individual columns press the Option key while dragging. For clearer view you can expand the finder entire window by dragging its handle at the bottom right.