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Get to know OS X Mavericks: System Preferences

Dan Frakes | Oct. 29, 2013
What's changed in System Preferences under Mavericks? Find out here.

Sharing
This pane remains the same in Mavericks.

Users & Groups
This pane remains the same in Mavericks.

Parental Controls
Apart from some minor word changes and aesthetic rearrangements of options, the only change here is a new option in the Other tab (when configuring an account's controls) to disable use of a Mac's built-in camera, a camera built into a connected display, or a USB camera.

App Store (Software Update in OS X 10.8)
The big change here is a new option to automatically download and install updates to apps purchased from the Mac App Store.

Dictation & Speech
A new option called Use Enhanced Dictation, when enabled, downloads nearly 800MB of data that allows offline use of OS X's dictation feature, along with continuous dictation and live dictation feedback.

You also get some new Text to Speech' voice choices. Gone from this pane is the option to have an application make an announcement when it requires your attention.

Date & Time

This pane remains the same in Mavericks.

Startup Disk

This pane remains the same in Mavericks.

Time Machine

This pane remains the same in Mavericks.

Accessibility

The Accessibility pane in Mavericks looks a lot like it did in Mountain Lion. It's organized into two panes, with the left pane broken into three categories: Seeing, Hearing, and Interacting. However, there are a number of new groups of settings here.

Captions: You use the new Captions settings to control how subtitles are styled and whether your Mac should give preference to closed captions when those are available. There are three basic caption styles to choose from: Default, Classic, and Large Text. Classic mimics the white-on-black blocky caption style you're familiar with from television; the other two aim for subtler looks.

If you click the plus button in the Captions screen, you can create your own caption style. Whichever existing style is selected when you click the plus button becomes the basis of the new style you create. You can tweak colors, fonts, sizes, and more.

If you check the Prefer Closed Captions and SDH box, Accessibility displays subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing when possible, in lieu of less-informative standard subtitles. The Captions feature works only with content that includes caption data, of course--for example, when playing captioned videos in iTunes.

Switch control: New under the Interacting header is Switch Control, which lets you control your Mac using one or more switches. Switches might be a mouse, keyboard, gamepad, or dedicated assistive device.

Unless you need the feature, you probably won't want to enable it. But with Switch Control enabled, you use hardware devices to control customizable on-screen controls for accessing features like the Dock, menu bar, cursor, keyboard, and more.

 

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