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Using Fast User Switching

To ease access to a computer by multiple people, Tiger includes fast user switching. By default, if you've added multiple user accounts to your computer (see Chapter 8 for information), you have to close your applications and then choose Log Out from the Apple menu to allow another user to access the system. In Tiger, fast user switching can preserve your current desktop, let another user log in and use his account, and then return you to where you left off.

To enable fast user switching, open the Accounts system preferences pane, authenticate by clicking the lock icon in the lower-left corner, and then click the Login Options button. Your screen should resemble Figure 1.46.

Figure 1.46. Enable fast user switching.

Click the Enable Fast User Switching check box and choose how you would like to the switching menu to appear in the menu bar (as the current user's name, short name, or just an icon).

A menu item will appear in the upper-right corner of the menu bar the switching menu, directly to the left of Spotlight. Clicking the menu reveals a list of local user accounts with login enabled along with a Login Window option. Choosing a user's name prompts for that user's login information and then switches to the user's desktop. Choosing the Login Window selection leaves your applications running but displays the login window, allowing other users to log in without disrupting your workspace.


If you want to be able to switch to another user account without entering that user's password, the user must have a blank password. See Chapter 8 for more information on setting up user accounts.

User accounts that are active (that is, have running applications) are denoted with an orange check mark in front of their name in the switching menu and the login screen, as shown in Figure 1.47. Switching to an active account is almost instantaneous.

Figure 1.47. Active sessions are denoted by an orange check mark in the switching menu and login screen.


Users should log out (Shift-Command-Q) completely when finished using the computer. Shutting down or restarting your computer while there are active sessions could result in lost data for users who are still logged in.

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    Mac OS X Tiger Unleashed
    Mac OS X Tiger Unleashed
    ISBN: 0672327465
    EAN: 2147483647
    Year: 2005
    Pages: 251 © 2008-2017.
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