Mac OS X Leopard: The Missing Manual
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: December 2007
Pages: 912

With Leopard, Apple has unleashed the greatest version of Mac OS X yet, and David Pogue is back with another meticulous Missing Manual to cover the operating system with a wealth of detail. The new Mac OS X 10.5, better known as Leopard, is faster than its predecessors, but nothing's too fast for Pogue and this Missing Manual. It's just one of reasons this is the most popular computer book of all time.

Mac OS X: The Missing Manual, Leopard Edition is the authoritative book for Mac users of all technical levels and experience. If you're new to the Mac, this book gives you a crystal-clear, jargon-free introduction to the Dock, the Mac OS X folder structure, and the Mail application. There are also mini-manuals on iLife applications such as iMovie, iDVD, and iPhoto, and a tutorial for Safari, Mac's web browser.

This Missing Manual is amusing and fun to read, but Pogue doesn't take his subject lightly. Which new Leopard features work well and which do not? What should you look for? What should you avoid? Mac OS X: The Missing Manual, Leopard Edition offers an objective and straightforward instruction for using:

  • Leopard's totally revamped Finder
  • Spaces to group your windows and organize your Mac tasks
  • Quick Look to view files before you open them
  • The Time Machine, Leopard's new backup feature
  • Spotlight to search for and find anything in your Mac
  • Front Row, a new way to enjoy music, photos, and videos
  • Enhanced Parental Controls that come with Leopard
  • Quick tips for setting up and configuring your Mac to make it your own
There's something new on practically every page of this new edition, and David Pogue brings his celebrated wit and expertise to every one of them. Mac's brought a new cat to town and Mac OS X: The Missing Manual, Leopard Edition is a great new way to tame it.
Table of Contents
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About the Author
Recommended for You
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oreillyMac OS X Leopard: The Missing Manual

(based on 13 reviews)

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Reviewed by 13 customers

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(5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)


Don't leave your computer without it!

By Gregory West

from Sarnia, Ontario, Canada

About Me Educator, Mac College Instructor, Tech Columnist, Webmaster

Verified Reviewer


  • Accurate
  • Concise
  • Easy to understand
  • Helpful examples
  • I love the secret tips
  • Pogue goes the extra mile
  • Well-written


  • No DVD

Best Uses

  • Great Reference Book
  • Intermediate
  • Novice

Comments about oreilly Mac OS X Leopard: The Missing Manual:

[@] If you love your Mac, you will love this book. This book details every aspect of the Leopard operating system, from simple to advanced. Looking up how to do something is fast and easy, although this book is a real treat for simply browsing topics to learn some tricks and tips that you won't find in most other Help sections. For instance, only about 4% of us back up our computers and now there is no excuse. Leopard comes equipped with its own backup system, Time Machine, and with this book you can easily follow the simple step-by-step process to ensure you never lose anything again. When working through these types of sections you can easily set up the process, read the technical stuff, or try out some of the exciting tips that are all highlighted: basic, moderate, and advanced data. But the bottom line is all these sections are designed to get you going, give you the "under-the-hood" scoops, and show you some magic tricks to boot that helps make this book a good read.Apple created 300 new features inside Leopard, however they failed to let you in on many of the tricks and tips that "demystifies" this amazing new operating system. In this book David Pogue also shows "refugees", who escaped Windows and moved to a Mac. Windows users need no other books, as Pogue shows where they went in Mac OS X 10.5.This book is spread out in six parts: The Mac OS X Desktop, Programs in Mac OS X, The Components of Mac OS X, The Technologies of Mac OS X, Mac OS Online, Appendixes.In the first part you discover folders and windows and how to organize your data. Pogue takes you through the various items such as: Spotlight searching, using the Dock, Desktop and Toolbars and gives you an expert feel as you see how simple Leopard is to use.Without a doubt, this book is a great refresher; it is one that you will refer to when you you're stuck. The thing I really like about this book is that you can pick it up and open it anywhere and begin reading. I highly recommend this book for all level of users, both as a learning tool, and as a quick reference guide. Before you call a technician for a problem, treat yourself to this "must have" book first.

(1 of 5 customers found this review helpful)


Mac OS X:From my perspective

By Jack

from Mill Hall, PA

About Me Critic

Verified Reviewer


  • Accurate


  • Not comprehensive enough

Best Uses

  • Intermediate

Comments about oreilly Mac OS X Leopard: The Missing Manual:

The mac is an amazing piece of technology. I would not recommend buying this computer if you want to game. One bad thing about the mac is that it does not have firewire. The mac has many usefull applications and desktop widgets. If you buy this computer, you are definitley making the right choice!

(4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)


A Masterful Tome!

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Mac OS X Leopard: The Missing Manual:

Wow! How does one measure such a work? I measured the book to be 1.75 inches thick! The page count (excluding forwards and appendices) is 814. There's no CD, so these are printed pages. Then there are the additional PDFs at, another 5 booklets! And these are "meaty" chapters. For example, the very last chapter is entitled "SSH, FTP, VPN, and Web Sharing" with the last section on using a VPN, which, if you're a network person like me, is very important. If one were to ask users to read the manual before installing Leopard, they'd never do so.

I consider myself an advanced user, having worked for Apple in a technical capacity and now providing network engineering support. I decided to read this book as fill-in, provide how-to information on the 300+ new Leopard features, possibly fill in any missing gaps I may have in Mac OS in general. I feel this was completely satisfied by reading this book. I even put post-its on a few pages for reference to sometimes used features for quick reference.

There are many other fine reviews detailing the book's contents. I'll just point to a few things I thought made the book stand out. The most often used new feature for me is Quick Look. Just like

dragging a file to a desktop printer icon prints a file, so Quick Look allows me to view any supported file type without having to launch an app. I even took the suggestion in the book and visited to find more Quick Look plug-ins. The book did a great job explaining the many controls available in Quick Look. I also solved another riddle I've experienced - how to navigate windows and dialog boxes with the keyboard.

I look forward to the side bars, thinking I'll find "special features" revealed. I've had Windows users ask me about viruses. The book has a concise sidebar I can now reference on p. 839, Appendix B, simply stating there's little about which to worry. This appendix also explains some tips to troubleshoot when, for instance, the computer starts loading and the watch dial just keeps on spinning. These are useful reference tips. I don't think I'm alone in getting questions from people asking me for something so they can "learn more." More about what? Well, this books obviates the what, as The Missing Manual touches upon anything I can think they may ask.

I've had Microsoft's Windows Vista Inside Out book, 1019 pages, for years and never made it through. The book is simply not engaging and even a nerd like me can only endure so much. The missing credits seems to indicate Pogue had four contributing writers. This is a daunting amount of writing. It seemed obvious those chapters he wrote, for they contained elements of light-hearted fun, such as p. 537, "thanks to a freaky little wormhole in the time-space continuum." In spite of the length of this work, this book is a reference text in many ways. How can this book cover the scope of color management, of routing? In fact, it can't. That's why I characterize it more as a reference book. The book also contains an appendix entitled Where to Go From Here as an answer to more detailed questions/culture/information. I already know of two others to whom I'm going to recommend this.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


Great For Dinosaurs

By JarheadBlaine

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Mac OS X Leopard: The Missing Manual:

In 1978 I received my Master's in Fine Arts Photography. Recently I've been trying to convert my knowledge of photography to digital. Trying to do this in a Windows environment was driving me crazy but my new Vista powered Dell Inspiron laptop was the final straw. Out went my PCs and off to the Tucson, Arizona Apple Store I went. I purchased a new MacBook Pro and this book was recommended by the Genius I spoke with. I bought it with the new computer.

I'm a 62 year old dinosaur and the book has been a huge help in getting my system up and running. I have found that the only thing keeping me from getting all of my questions answered is my inability to ask and or look things up properly. On my PC keyboards, both laptop and desktop, I had an "END" key. I loved that key. I didn't love it enough to tolerate Vista but I still loved it. I miss my "END" key. I assume that there is a shortcut or method of some sort to get the same result from my Mac but I can't find it and I can't figure out where to look or what question to ask. Maybe an index for the chronologically impaired would help. This is the only sticking point or this book would receive 5 stars from me.

Oops, it's 8:00 PM. I'd better shuffle off to bed.

(5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)


Mac OS X: The Missing Manual, Leopard Edition

By Grace Lee Korbel

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Mac OS X Leopard: The Missing Manual:

The introduction starts with some very basic information, what's new in Leopard, what is no longer there and what has been revamped. There are a lot of helpful hints in the introduction and throughout the 866-page book. This Missing Manual is organized with a detailed table of contents and an extensive index, which is a benefit for someone like me who probably isn't going to read it from beginning to end.

This book covers everything you want to know about Mac OS X Leopard and more! It is divided into six sections with several chapters in each, they are:

* The Mac OS X Desktop: explains the Dock, Sidebar, Spotlight, Dashboard, Spaces, Expos_, Time Machine, icons, windows, menus, etc.

* Applications in Mac OS X: covers how to launch them, switch among them, swap data between them, use them to create and open files and more.

* The Components of Mac OS X: discusses the 26 panels of System Preferences and the 50 programs in the Applications and Utilities folders.

* The Technologies of Mac OS X: includes networking, file sharing, screen sharing, fonts, printing, graphics, handwriting recognition, sound, speech, movies, VoiceOver, and the underlying Unix Operating System.

* Mac OS X Online: covers internet related features such as the Mail email program, the Safari Web browser/RSS reader, iChat, Web sharing and more.

* Appendixes: includes a Windows-to_Mac dictionary, guidance in installing the operating system, a troubleshooting handbook, resources for further study, and a fantastic master list of all the keyboard shortcuts in Mac OS X Leopard.

This book is well suited for the advanced beginner or intermediate and beyond Mac user. As a beginner I was overwhelmed with the amount of information presented, however, I found the "Up to Speed" sidebars informative and helpful. Throughout the book there are also "Power User's Clinic" boxes filled with advanced technical tips, shortcuts and other tricks for the more advanced user. Fortunately the author starts out with more familiar topics like working with folder windows, the menu bar and an explanation of the Dock.

In the early chapters, occasionally just enough information was given on a subject to move on to the next topic, but you were referred to a page later in the book for more in-depth information. For example on page 68-69 the Users folders and Home folders are discussed. The Shared folder is mentioned but you are referred to page 487 for the complete description of this special folder. I needed to access files from my other user account and using the Shared folder solved the problem for me.

David Pogue's writing style is very readable and infused with his own computer humor. He covers every aspect of the Leopard operating system. I loved the tips, diagrams, notes and other gems that are found throughout the book tucked in their own frames. The table of contents and index deserve one more mention as they are going to help the Mac user of any level find what they are looking for when the need arises. This is a valuable book for anyone who has questions about Mac OS X Leopard.



(2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)


Demystify Leopard here!

By Curt B

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Mac OS X Leopard: The Missing Manual:

Book Title: The Missing Manual - Mac OS X Leopard Edition

Author: David Pogue

Publisher: Pogue Press _ O'Reilly Media, Inc.

Publish Date: December 2007

ISBN-10: 0-596-52952-X

ISBN-13: 978-0-596-52952-9

Reviewed by: Curt Blanchard _ Tucson Macintosh Users Group (4/1/08)

Panther and Tiger and, now Leopard, oh my! With each cat comes a slew of new features to master and Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard is no kitten _ it's a seriously big update. Rest your fears, however, because our favorite lion tamer, David Pogue has come to our rescue with the Leopard Edition of the Missing Manual series from O'Reilly Media. This new edition weighs in at nearly 900 pages but don't let that put you off - books like this aren't meant to be read like a novel, they are true reference guides designed to ease the transition into a new operating system. If you have a question about something specific, a quick look at the extensive 23 page index permits you find your answer efficiently.

This is much more than a What's New book. Pogue started the Mac OS Missing Manual series long ago and updates them with each new OS update. The book begins with the very basics and covers the Desktop, Organization, Spotlight, Included Programs, the Technologies of Mac OS X and wraps up with an excellent section covering Online applications, navigation and use.

For those who are upgrading their current machines to Leopard, there is a clearly written appendix that deals with installation of the new operating system. This section alone is worth buying the book.

Pogue's tongue-in-cheek sense of humor shines through the technicalities making for an entertaining experience rather than an onerous one. This is why I'm a fan - I'm a manual guy, I like to sit down and read about what I'm doing in order to understand it. I just cannot get the same satisfaction from onscreen Help menus and manuals that arrive on a CD. That is precisely why Pogue started the Missing Manual series _ "The book that should have been in the box".

No qualms here, I highly recommend this book. It belongs on your bookshelf; you'll find yourself referring to it often.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


Mac OSX Leopard Edition: The Missing Manual

By Arguello

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Mac OS X Leopard: The Missing Manual:

David Pogue has done it again! He's written another "book that should have been in the box," an easily understood, concise operators' manual for OS X 10.5 (Leopard).

A comparison of the Tables of Contents of his books on Panther, Tiger, and Leopard reveals insertions of numerous new materials exclusively pertinent to Leopard. Essentially, Pogue has built new information specific to Leopard onto the foundation of previous editions of his OS X manuals. This one has 44 more pages of content than the immediately preceding Tiger edition. Its four parts include 22 chapters plus intro and six appendices, running the gamut from the most elemental "hold-my-hand-while-I-try-this" routines, through over 200 sub-headings that take the Mac user over, around, under, and through the intricacies of OS X. As in previous editions, Pogue delves into the technologies of OS X, explaining such esoterica as the underlying UNIX system, and "Hacking OS X."

As in Pogue's previous "missing manuals," this one is extremely comprehensive, but need not be read all at once in order to be of value. Rather, it is a reference book. A complete, detailed reading would take days, and I suspect much of its information would not be retained. Likewise, a complete review would fill dozens of pages. It's a "read-and-do it" compendium.

As one who has just jumped directly from OS 9 to Leopard, and still in shock over being weaned from the "old" environment, I have found this book to be an invaluable resource. Speaking of OS 9, "Classic" is no longer supported, nor will any strictly Classic programs run under Leopard. Whereas his "Tiger" manual devotes an entire chapter to OS 9 running under OSX 10.4, this book makes scant reference to it. However, he does mention there is an open-source Mac OS 9 emulator available called SheepShaver (, but Pogue says it's "difficult to install and isn't what you'd call rock-solid."

The book's Introduction pages note Apple's claim of 300 new features in Leopard, but specifically mentions only some of the more important ones: Time Machine, an automatic backup system (it's great!); Quick Look , to view document contents without opening them; Spaces, a way to organize and view windows on the Desktop; enhanced Parental Controls; and Screen Sharing. It also notes that iChat, Safari, Mail, Preview, TextEdit, and auto Web links have been extensively overhauled.


The book is well organized and easy to read and follow. Its numerous screenshots are large enough to be easily seen, and the sidebar and box texts detail important operating procedures. It's breaking me of the OS 9 habit and easing me into the world of 10.5.


Too bulky to read in bed, and maybe some lame jokes!

About the reviewer: Mike Berman

Mike has used Macs exclusively since 1987 when he got his first computer, a Mac Plus. In addition to utilizing using Macs for report-writing and financial purposes in his former business, since his retirement he has used Macs to track and manage his several volunteer endeavors, as well as in his present photography hobby/semi-profession. His latest acquisition, a MacPro running Leopard, is his first experience with Intel and OS X.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


Still the one!

By cactuscrawler

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Mac OS X Leopard: The Missing Manual:

This is the 3rd edition I bought in this series. Since I didn't upgrade with Jaguar or Panther, I didn't purchase the Missing Manual. I highly recommend this for a number of reasons. The main reason for me is to find the 'hidden gems.' For instance, I just learned that I can 'right click' using my laptop trackpad. Other reasons, include in depth coverage and professionally written. Oh, did I mention that it's humorous too! Even though, I have 2 other versions, I'm going to sit down and read this because so much changes in each upgrade.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Everything you want to know about Leopard (maybe more!)

By dvdirv

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Mac OS X Leopard: The Missing Manual:

Pogue, the New York Times' technology columnist has written this huge volume to answer all of your questions about Leopard. This is definitely not bedtime reading material!

With 300 new features in Leopard (Mac OS X 10.5), it's hard to keep up with them, but Pogue does an admirable job. Here is just a highlight of what the book offers:

* New Technologies: Time Machine, screen sharing remote control, Quick Look instant document previews, Spaces virtual screens

* Bonus software: Demystifies all 50 programs that come with the Mac (Safar, iChat, Mail, Automator, Preview and TextEdit.)

* Shortcuts: Undocumented surprises await the reader

* Power Usage: Security, networking, Automator, macros, file sharing with Windows, and exploring Unix.

* Finding Familiar Features: Includes a Windows-to-Mac dictionary for Windows refugees to get on board with the Mac.


There are 22 chapters in this book that covers more parts of Leopard than Apple can provide in one volume. If it's not in this book, it's not in Leopard, it's that simple!

Many of the basic topics are listed above, but check out how thorough the 6-part Appendix is:

* Appendix A: Installing Leopard (Basic kinds of installs and advantages of each)

* Appendix B: Troubleshooting (Frozen programs, renaming icons, startup problems, etc.)

* Appendix C: The Windows-to-Mac Dictionary (Direct comparisons of Windows to Mac features). A big hit for switchers!

* Appendix D: Where to Go From Here: Web sites, free email newsletters, advanced books (as if you need even more help!)

Operating System History

To give you an idea of Pogue's easy to read style, check out his introduction in which he explains why Leopard, and especially OS X has emerged from Apple's early Mac OS Days:

In any case, Mac OS X Leopard is the sixth major version of Apple's Unix-based operating system. It is not, however, the Mac operating system that saw Apple through the 1980s and 1990s, the one that was finally retired when it was called Mac OS 9. Apple dumped that one in 2001: in Leopard, even fewer traces of it remain.

Why did Apple throw out the operating system that made it famous to begin with? Well, through the years, as Apple piled new features onto a software foundation originally poured in 1984, the original foundation was beginning to creak. Programmers and customers complained of the "spaghetti code" that the Mac OS has become.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs, of course, believes in swift, decisive action and letting chips fall where they may. In his view, starting from scratch, and jettisoning the system software the world had come to know, was the only way to go.

Why Leopard?

Pogue explains that Leopard is just an evolutionary spiral of the OS:

Mac OS X 10.5, affectionately known as Leopard only builds on the successes of the previous Mac OS X versions. You still don't have to worry about viruses, spyware, or service pack releases that take up a Saturday afternoon to install and fine-tune. And you'll still enjoy stability that would make the you of 1999 positively drool; your Mac may go for months or years without a system crash.

He goes on to explain why Unix is the underbody that gives Leopard its strength.

Although the price of the book is $34.99, ApplePickers members can get up to a 35% discount by using discount code DSUG when ordering directly from O'Reilly.

Ordering one book will get you 30% off, buy 2 or more will get you 35% off and any order over $29.99 will qualify for free shipping.


If you are casually interested in Leopard, you should probably check out the Leopard Pocket Guide reviewed previously. But if you are at all serious about the features and applications in Leopard, Mac OS X Leopard Edition: The Missing Manual is must reading.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


The missing manual

By Zetha

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Mac OS X Leopard: The Missing Manual:

This is really the missing manual but if you want to dig deeper and understand how to change the settings and configurations outside the GUI - this is not the book.

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