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Mac OS Feature:
Control Strip


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The Control Strip is really a shortcut to your control panels and other frequently adjusted items. Saving you the time of going to the Apple Menu and fully opening a control panel to make changes. It's that expandable bar that you ought find towards the bottom of your screen (if you don't see it check here). It's full of icons which might give you an idea as to which control panel it might control.

If you click and hold on one of the icons or Control Strip Modules (CSMs) a menu will popup allowing you to modify the Control Panel's settings. Here I have clicked on the Sound Control Panel. From here you can adjust the system sound level with much less effort than opening the full Control Panel.

By clicking on the nose of the Control Strip you "iconify" and dock it to the edge of the screen, keeping it out of the way and saving desktop real estate when not in use. When you want to access it again you only need to do is again click on the nose and it will again expand.

Notice the arrows next to the nose and the close box (at the opposite end), when they are dark gray that means that the Control Strip has modules which are not showing. You can drag the nose to expand the length of the strip or click on the gray arrow to scroll the modules.

You can move your Control Strip to any part of the screen you would like. If you hold the option key while clicking on the nose you will be able to drag the Control Strip to where you want it. As you drag it you will see it's outline move. You can also move it to either side of your screen.

You can also reorder the modules by option-clicking on one of the module icons and dragging it to the position you wish.



Here is the Control Strip Control Panel. You can show the Control Strip, hide it, define a hot key (I use cmd+F8) to show or hide it and change the font of the menus if you like.

The modules which appear in your Control Strip are kept in a folder found in your System Folder named Control Strip Modules. Curiously, the OS doesn't provide you with a disabled folder to keep those modules you don't care or need to use. There are many CSMs that are for PowerBooks and won't even show up if you are not using one. But not everyone uses File Sharing or Remote Access so where are you supposed to store them in case sometime in the future you find a need for them?

I created my own CSM Disabled Folder to put those CSMs I don't care to use right now. I also created another folder (Control Strips Not) that I put those PowerBook modules which I really don't want to trash yet.

As you may have noticed I have a few modules in some of the snapshots above that include some modules that you don't have. There are many 3rd party CSMs available to do many functions that you might want easy access to, a launcher or calendar. To add a module to your Control Strip all you need to do is download the CSM and put it in the Control Strips Modules Folder and then restart your Mac.


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