I recently bought a 27inch iMac and this is my first experience of using Mac OS. I am used to Ubuntu (more) and Windows. I would be glad if someone can help me out with the following things I am stuck with on Mac.

  • The font size is turning out to be a huge problem. The general font size across all windows is too small for me and on safari as I type this I have to really strain my eyes to see what I am typing even while 2ft away from the screen. How can I globally increase the font size?

    Especially I would like to increase the font sizes on the tool bars and the left side columns on all system windows, on safari and also the top bar on the desktop. The default size is painfully small for a 27inch screen.

  • I am completely unable to install any new software on it like Goole Chrome or TinkerTool or VLC. Whenever I download from the software websites, a file seems to get saved in some folder called "downloads". And these often create an icon on the desktop which does not seem to be just an icon link. What is the generic method of installing any software on Mac?

Somehow there has gotten created inside the Applications folder 3 items for Google Chrome and one of them is called "alias". I have no clue what these are and none of them seem to be opening the Google Chrome browser.

  • I can't figure out into which folder is iTunes saving the music files when I ask it to import a music cd. Few of the times i could track down where it saved the files and then I found it very hard to cut them out of there and relocate the music files into some other folder of my choice. To prevent double copies from existing when I try to delete the original copy Mac made I find that my copy is also getting deleted. What is the slick way to import a music cd into a folder of my choice?

  • How do I change the name which shows against "---'s iMac". It basically shows my full name and I would want only my first name. It seems that this name is independent of the name of the account.

  • I see that an icon called "Macintosh HD" inside the folder called "---'s iMac" apart from a folder by the same name that occurs on the left bar. I guess this is a second copy that I have accidentally created. I hope i can safely delete the folder called "Macintosh HD" inside "---'s iMac"


Font Size

You used to be able to adjust the font size using the Appearance Preference pane, but now it's not available. You'll need to download TinkerTool and use the Font section.

Installing Software

Most software is installed either by using "Drag and Drop" or an installation package (ends in .pkg or .mpkg). Software is often distributed either zipped or available in a disk image (.dmg). Disk Images are virtual hard drives - the idea is that you're supposed to copy the application/folders from the disk image to your Applications folder just by dragging and dropping the application. (You can use the Copy and Paste menu items in the Edit menu if you'd prefer). Once done copying you can eject and throw away the disk image.


iTunes saves the Music files by default in ~/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music. To move the files, just drag and drop them using the Finder - that said iTunes won't know that you've moved the file. How exactly are you cutting them out of there?

Computer Name

You can modify your computer's name using the Sharing preference Pane in System Preferences.


Macintosh HD is your startup drive. (Or /) - the "folder" that goes by the name of your computer will just show all the other mounted volumes on your computer. This is not a duplicate.

  • Thanks for the reply. . The appearance preference pane that opens from System Preferences gives me no options to change the fonts. It only has options which let me change the colour, highlight colour, placement of scroll arrows, settings of the scroll bar and number of recent items to be kept in memory and settings of the LCD font smoothening. It doesn't let me tweak any of the font sizes. – Anirbit Jul 27 '10 at 9:24
  • Even if the name of the computer could be changed from the Sharing Preference pane it still shows my full name in the icon just below desktop in the Places list on the left hand columns. How to change that to just my first name? – Anirbit Jul 27 '10 at 9:30
  • Basically it still shows my full name when listing "Users" even though i could change the account name to my first name. I would like to have the username also as just my first name. How could I do that? – Anirbit Jul 27 '10 at 9:33
  • Even if I delete the music files from the iTunes media/Music itunes still seems to play the files by picking them up from the trash! How to stop this weird behaviour? – Anirbit Jul 27 '10 at 11:31
  • About iTunes why is the folder called Music under iTunes media full even when I could keep the folder iTunes Music to be empty? Basically while importing a CD how do I direct the Mac to which which folder i want to save the files? – Anirbit Jul 27 '10 at 11:32

RE: System Font size

Way back in the OS X 10.4 days, Apple added a tool (Quartz Debug) to scale the user interface to help application developers prepare for a scaleable global UI. They've since regressed on this promise, alas, as of OS X 10.6, we still don't have a fully scaleable UI.

There's a little-known trick to change this scaling value through the Terminal. You could try typing this into the terminal:

defaults write NSGlobalDomain AppleDisplayScaleFactor 1.25

You may have to install the Developer Tools for this to work. (I don't have a Mac without tools installed handy to test this.) This command will increase the scaling of (nearly) all UI elements by 25%, including font size for the Menus. Unfortunately, you're liable to see some UI glitches in some (most?) applications. You will have to log out and back in or quit/relaunch your applications for this command to take effect.

Reset the scale to normal with this command:

defaults write NSGlobalDomain AppleDisplayScaleFactor 1.0

Interestingly, this can also be done on an application by application basis:

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleDisplayScaleFactor 1.25

That would scale only the Finder. Check your preference folder for the naming convention of your desired application. (Generally it's simply domain.company.application_name.)

Switching to the Macintosh from other platforms may be delightful or frustrating depending on your viewpoint and expectations. Some conventions may be different than what you're used to, but in my experience they are (with some exceptions) thought out well. Good luck!

  • Thanks for that terminal code to enlarge fonts by 1.25. But after I did that it seems that some un-wanted changes have also happened. Like the button names in the tool bar of the print preview window are overflowing out of the upper bar into the document. The internet connection button is overflowing. And the "spotlight" prompt used to written in white on a blue background but now it is weirdly light gray on a white background. This command basically seems to enlarge the fonts rather than increase the font size and hence the resolution of the characters has decreased. – Anirbit Aug 4 '10 at 4:42
  • Also after I did this font enlargement it seems that there is quite a bit of frame dragging on Safari as in when I open a new tab there seems to be a mangled image of the last opened tab in the background. – Anirbit Aug 4 '10 at 5:00
  • Basically it seems that an extra white space has gotten added to the top bar to many of the windows, probably to be able to fit the enlarged fonts. Wonder if there is a way to proportionately increase the width of all the top bars too. – Anirbit Aug 4 '10 at 5:14
  • @Anirbit Yes, as I mentioned there are some graphical glitches. This method isn't "officially" supported and unfortunately hasn't been much progress in recent OS versions. I really hope Apple goes somewhere with resolution independence in upcoming OS releases … – ghoppe Aug 4 '10 at 15:48

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