Mac OS X 10.7 Lion: Peachpit Learning Series
Book Review

Mac OS X 10.7 Lion: Peachpit Learning Series
Author: Robin Williams with John Tollett
Publisher: Peachpit Press
ISBN-13: 978-0-321-77701-0, 480 pages
Price: Paperback US$31.99, Book + eBook Bundle US$43.19, eBook Only US$25.59

Robin Williams, author of The Little Mac Book, Lion Edition has teamed up with husband and fellow author John Tollett to release the Mac OS X 10.7 Lion: Peachpit Learning Series book.

The book is delivered through 24 easy to follow lessons and is aimed towards new to medium level users. Experienced users will also find a good level of content and clarity on various topics.

Throughout the book readers will be presented with stunning visual examples to assist with understanding the Lion operating system.

Lesson 1 introduces readers to the Lion Desktop, Dock, Home folder, and Finder windows.

Lesson 2 moves beyond the basics to look at the Sidebar, Library folders, and the best way to use contextual menus.

Lesson 3 presents all the information you are ever going to need about your Applications folder. Also presented is how the new Launchpad and Mac App Store play a role in accessing and updating your applications.

Lesson 4 is a complete chapter on TextEdit detailing the functionality of this simple, yet powerful application that comes preinstalled with the Mac OS X 10.7 operating system. You will learn how to find and replace words, create links, tables, and print page numbers. Most importantly, you will be instructed on how to open Microsoft Word documents, edit, and then export back into a Word format without ever needing the Microsoft application.

Lesson 5 addresses all your email needs. You will learn how to use Smart Mailboxes, filter out junk mail, add signatures, search and retrieve mail, and send and receive attachments.

Lesson 6 takes a look at your Address Book. You will be instructed on creating and editing contacts, constructing group mailing lists, and printing envelopes directly from the Address Book application.

Lesson 7 helps you traverse the online world of the Web. Safari is the browser of choice and you will be shown how to search the Web, fill in online forms automatically, block popup windows, save webpages, and create reading lists.

Lesson 8 looks at keeping yourself organised with the iCal application by presenting information on how to create calendars, events, reminders, and publish your calendar online allowing others to subscribe.

Lesson 9 helps you communicate in person by instructing readers how to setup iChat and FaceTime. Readers will learn how to video chat, share files and photographs, and record the conversations.

Lesson 10 takes a look at iTunes and the process of buying content, creating playlists, and becoming social with your music interests by using the Ping service.

Lesson 11 deals with the Preview application. Readers will explore the hidden functionality and will be instructed on how to perform basic image manipulation, obtain screenshots, export files into other formats, and annotate PDF documents.

Lesson 12 is a accumulation of applications and tools that come pre-installed on your Mac. Burn folders are looked at along with creating PDF files, using the Font Book, Photo Booth, and QuickTime Player.

Lesson 13 delves into the tools which are commonly shared amongst applications such as Spell Checker, Fonts palette, Special Characters, Data Detectors, Colors palette, and the Dictionary.

Lesson 14 explains how to work between different applications. Readers will be instructed on how to drag and drop content between application windows and how to best utilise keyboard shortcuts for faster user control.

Lesson 15 is all about the user. You will be shown how to customise various areas of the Mac to suit your own specific requirements. Color coding your files and folders are looked at along with customising your Desktop, Finder, and System Preferences.

Lesson 16 details the new Mission Control utility. You will be shown how to manage your Spaces, use Exposé, and Dashboard widget management.

Lesson 17 is your one stop location for all your printing and scanning needs. You will explore sharing printers on a network, specific application print options, setting up your device, and best practices when scanning documents and photographs.

Lesson 18 gives readers a complete overview of how to share a single computer amongst multiple users. You will learn how to create and manage individual user accounts, assign parenting controls, and understand the control administrator accounts have.

Lesson 19 helps you locate your files by presenting various ways to access Spotlight searches. You will learn to achieve more accurate search results by adding keywords to files and creating Smart Folders.

Lesson 20 will take you back in time with a detailed overview of Time Machine including searching and restoring your files.

Lesson 21 helps readers connect to a local network and the Internet. Options for sharing files on a network between two Macs are explored along with screen sharing from anywhere in the world.

Lesson 22 will help users self diagnose problems with their Mac. You will find out what to do if you have a noisy hard drive, want to force quit an application, repair permissions, delete preference files, check software updates, and force a disk to eject.

Lesson 23 gives readers an overview of security options for the Mac along with how to secure empty the Trash and use FileVault to secure your data.

Lesson 24 describes the options users have for migrating their information from another computer to their new Mac.

This book will suit all users looking for an all-in-one solution. Nothing important is omitted and despite being written in a lesson format readers can easily jump via the contents or index to any topic they wish to know more about.

One of the difficulties facing authors of books, which are time sensitive due to an imminent release of software, is the small margin of time they have to refine the written work to the subject they are writing about. As such references relating to Snow Leopard and iCloud in some cases are misguided. This was my only disappointment and otherwise I thoroughly enjoyed the book. Therefore I am awarding this book a MyMac review rating of 9 out of 10.

If you’re looking to take your knowledge further then you should pick up a copy of Peachpit’s OS X Lion Support Essentials book by Kevin M. White. It is part of the Apple Pro Training Series of books from Peachpit and assists readers with the Apple Certified Support Professional exam. 

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