Try to use the correct terminology, so other people will know what you’re talking about!
Intrinsic to Finder, the Desktop is the grey-coloured area you see spanning the entire space in the screenshot below. Clicking anywhere on the desktop will make Finder active.
Your desktop, instead of a boring grey background, may have a more exciting photograph in place.
Most people’s Desktops are a mess, with numerous files and folders strewn all over it (I know mine is!). So the above screenshot isn’t a typical Desktop.
Any files you save to your Desktop are actually stored within your Home folder, inside a folder called Desktop – more on this later.
The Apple Menu
The ever-present Apple menu is where you would go to Shut Down the computer. It’s also where you’ll find System Preferences app (more on System Preferences later). In recent years Apple changed the name System Preferences, to System Settings.
The Application Menu
Located next to the Apple menu, the currently active application will be indicated here. Keep an eye on this menu because it changes, depending on which application is currently active, influencing the entire menu bar.
The menu bar
The menu bar , located along the top of the screen, provides access to features of the active application. For example, when Finder is active, the File menu provides options specific to Finder, such as [create] New Folder.
If we were to switch to, Safari (a web browser), this will be indicated in the menu bar, and all other menu items will apply to Safari (See screenshot below)!
For example, under File, you’ll see New Window. This will open a new Safari browser window.
So, keep an eye on this menu so you know which application is currently active!
The Dock provides quick access to applications, and folders. You can tailor the Dock to suit your own requirements. The only items you can’t remove from the Dock are: Finder, and the Bin.
All other items within it are simply shortcuts, for convenience, that you can remove if you wish. And, of course, you can add applications of your choosing to the Dock.
If you remove an application from the Dock (by dragging it out) it’s not gone forever. You can always add it back later by dragging it from the Applications folder, to the Dock.
The Dock also indicates which applications are currently running: look under the Finder icon, for example, and you’ll see a small black dot – this tells us that Finder is running, although not necessarily active.
The Finder icon in the Dock
You can switch to Finder by clicking the Finder icon, the blue and grey face, in far left of the Dock (or by simply clicking the desktop).
You can drag any unwanted files to the Bin, located on the far right of the Dock.
Occasionally you’ll want to Empty the Bin, via the Finder menu (Apple recently changed the name of Trash, to Bin).
A Path describes the location of an item, such as an app, file or a folder. It’s just like an address.
Each and every item has its own unique path.
Note the use of the forward slash when reading a path – an item after a forward-slash is inside the item preceding it.