How to Use a Macbook

by Chris Moore

Apple's MacBook laptop series has become one of the most widely used portable computers, especially among educators and those in the creative arts. It was designed to help Apple enter the next generation with hardware and connections used standard with other computers. It is the first MacIntosh laptop equipped with the Intel processor, comes with OS X Leopard installed and has a wider variety of connection ports for peripherals. Through all of this, the MacBook remains as user-friendly as its predecessors, so learning how to use one is a snap.


Connect the MacBook's power supply by attaching its MagSafe connector to the port in the top left corner. The power supply plugs into any power outlet. If you need more cord length or a more secure connection, disconnect the plug prongs from the power pack and connect the included extension cord with a grounded plug at the end.


Turn the MacBook on by pressing the start button, which is in the top right-hand corner of the console. It has the standard power symbol of a circle with a line through it.


Navigate the MacBook's available applications on the dock located at the bottom of the screen. The standard programs on a MacBook include the calendar program iCal, the web browser Safari, the music-sharing program iTunes, the media player QuickTime, the online photo album iPhoto and iLife, which creates media files through iDVD, IMovie and Garage Band.


Open the Finder window in OS X by clicking the smiley-face icon at the dock's far left end. You can access your files in this window, which are organized by downloads, movies, pictures, music, documents and more. You can also search hard drive devices and other places with the lists on the far left.


Click on "Applications" on the left side of the Finder window to search through all the applications on the MacBook, including the ones not seen on the dock. If you want one of these programs on the dock, drag the icon onto the dock and the icon will be added.


Access System Preferences by clicking on the square icon with gears. In this window you can set up and customize things such as the security settings, parental controls, software updates and wireless networking.


Connect peripheral devices to the MacBook using any of its four available ports. The MacBook comes with two USB ports, a FireWire port and a mini-DVI port. These are all on the computer's left edge with the power connector and Ethernet port. Audio input and output ports are on this side as well.


Insert CDs or DVDs into the disc drive on the computer's right side. The drive will read all CD-ROMS with Mac-compatible software, along with music CDs and DVDs. While all MacBook drives have a DVD player, they don't all have a DVD recorder. Check with the dealer for your model.


  • close Make sure any software you want to install is Mac-compliant. If it is store-bought, make sure the Mac logo is on the package. Any software applications with the .exe suffix won't work on a Mac.

About the Author

Chris Moore has been contributing to eHow since 2007 and is a member of the DFW Writers' Workshop. He received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Texas-Arlington.

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