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iconApple Menu Items Folder

The first stop in our tour of the System folder is the Apple Menu Items folder. There are two ways to access this folder — either by opening the System Folder and finding the nested sub-folder entitled Apple Menu Items or by selecting the little Apple™ logo in the upper left of your desktop. Items show up in the desktop Apple Menu list when you add them to the Apple Menu sub-folder in your System folder.

Apple Menu

This makes the Apple Menu a handy place to store items that you want easy access to — aliases to all of your frequently used applications and utilities. In fact, we move aliases and other items into and out of the Apple Menu fairly frequently so we devised a little trick to make it easier to access this folder. Make an alias to the Apple Menu Items folder and put it on your desktop, so you can drop items onto it and have them show up instantly on the Apple Menu.

If you put a folder (or an alias to a folder) into the Apple Menu Items folder, the folder name will appear in the Apple Menu with a small triangle beside it. When you select this triangle, a second menu appears allowing you to see a hierarchical menu of the items inside the folder. In this way, it is possible to directly access folders within folders within folders. Guess you could even put an alias to your hard drive into the Apple Menu Items folder so you could access everything through these hierarchical menus...but that might be a bit extreme. Hierarchical menus and some other facets of the Apple Menu are controlled by the Apple Menu Options Control Panel.

We try to keep the number of items in the Apple Menu Items folder small enough so that the Apple Menu doesn't require scrolling. Instead, we group related (or infrequently used) items into nested sub-folders within the Apple Menu Items folder and access them through those handy hierarchical menus.

Apple Menu hierarchical menus


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