Mac OS X Tiger Ultimate Newbie: Single click access to Applications

Posted October 26, 2007 by MACMac in Apple Mac

So you’ve ditched Windows and got yourself a new Macintosh – congratulations on such a smart move! If you’re new to the Mac and are running Tiger (OS X v10.4.x), feed your need for the missing Windows Start menu with this recipe. One of the first things you’ll no doubt be asking is “How the heck do I find and run programs since there’s no Start menu?” Well, the Mac can accommodate that by adding an icon to the Dock (that strip of pretty pictures across the bottom of the screen.)


Although the Dock has buttons for some of the programs installed on the Mac, all of them can be found in the Applications folder. But, opening it requires a few clicks and is not the most intuitive process.

What we need to do is place a shortcut to Applications on the dock. Start by double clicking the “Macintosh HD” icon found on the desktop (looks like a little silver hard drive.) A window containing files and folders will open – this is called the Finder.

Visually locate the Applications folder (don’t click it yet!) Now inspect the Dock and notice there’s a thin vertical dividing line near the right side. What we’re going to do is drag the Applications folder to that area to the right of the line. Don’t worry, it will only create a shortcut, not actually move the folder.

Now move the mouse cursor over the Applications folder in the Finder. Click and hold the mouse pad button. While holding the button, move the mouse cursor to the right of the line on the Dock. Be careful to stay away from the Trash Can!! When you have the cursor over an empty area to the right of the line, let go of the mouse pad button and a shortcut to the Applications folder will appear.

Congratulations! You have a quick way to access all of the applications installed on your Mac. Click it normally to open the Finder at the Applications folder, or, and this is the really powerful part, hold the mouse button down and after a half a second or so, all your applications will appear much like a Windows Start menu without actually opening the Finder! Hover over the desired app and let go of the button to start it!

Now you know something that a lot of experienced Mac users may not have discovered!

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