When you need to tweak your settings in Mac OS X, turn to System Preferences, found in the Apple menu. Itís the fastest way to tailor your Mac to your needs.

INTERFACE
System Preferences is the part of Mac OS X that lets you control how it works. The closest equivalent on a PC is Windows Control Panel. In Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, System Preferences is represented by a set of grey cogs. In Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger and earlier it is a white light switch with an Apple logo. It can also be accessed through the Apple menu in the top-left corner of the screen.

System Preferences is split into logical sections, with each feature represented by an icon. You can also search for features using the box at the top of the panel, and it is intelligent enough to understand Windows terms, so while the picture on your Desktop is called the Desktop Background and accessed through the Desktop & Screen Saver option, typing Wallpaper (the Windows equivalent) into the search box will highlight that option in System Preferences.


1. Accounts is used to add new users to your computer, allowing several members of one household to share a single computer while keeping their documents, email and bookmarks separate.

2. International controls the languages and formats used by your Mac. This is where you could add new language options for the spell checker, or change the date and currency symbols.

3. You add new printers through Print & Fax, which will search the ports on your Mac or a network to which you are connected and lets you specify an appropriate driver file. The driver file tells the Mac how to communicate with the printer.

4. You can change the resolution of your screen through Displays, and control how your Mac spans the Desktop and its applications across multiple screens attached simultaneously.

5. Mac is Appleís Internet service for synchronising contacts and calendars across multiple Macs, backing up your files, publishing websites and accessing email online. You control what it synchronises and how it manages your allocated space here.

6. Mac OS Xís Parental Controls were expanded in version 10.5 Leopard to allow you to specify how long your child can use the computer, who they can chat to and email, and what websites they can visit, all the while logging what they do.

7. The bottom row of System Preferences will gather together all of the extra settings tools for any third-party applications you install.

Source: 7 System Preferences Mac OS X | Device Gadget