Author Topic: features new in mac os 7.6 (April 1997)  (Read 1787 times)

Offline chrisNova777

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features new in mac os 7.6 (April 1997)
« on: August 25, 2016, 06:23:10 PM »
Apr 7, 1997

Windows, Icons, and Menus Update
With Mac OS 7.6 you can take a picture of all or part of the screen by pressing the following keystrokes:

Apple-Shift-3 takes a picture of the whole screen (includes the pointer in the picture).
Apple-Shift-4 takes a picture of the rectangular region that you drag to select after pressing the key combination (omits the pointer from the picture).
Apple-Shift-4-Caps Lock takes a picture of the window that you click to select after pressing the key combination (omits the pointer from the picture).
Press the Space bar to cancel an Apple-Shift-4 combination.
Add the Control key to any of the above key combinations to copy the picture to the Clipboard instead of saving it as a PICT file on the startup disk. With the Apple-Shift4 combinations, you can alternatively press the Control key while selecting the region or window you want to take a picture of.
Opening and Saving Update

A standard installation of Mac OS 7.6 includes file translation software you don't get with earlier versions of the system software. When you try to open a document that was created by an application you don't have, the Mac OS Easy Open software (first included with System 7.5 as Macintosh Easy Open) displays a dialogue box that lists available translation options. The Easy Open dialogue box lists more translation options with Mac OS 7.6 because it includes a package of MacLink Plus file translators that Apple licensed from DataViz, as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2: The Easy Open dialogue box lists appropriate MacLink Plus translators included with Mac OS 7.6.

In addition to a package of file translators, the MacLink Plus package includes Apple's Document Converter software, which you can use to convert a file's format without opening the file. Prior versions of the system software included Easy Open but not Document Converter.

Finder Update

When you drag a Finder icon on a PowerPC computer using system software versions 7.5.3 and later, the icon becomes translucent so you can still identify the icon while you see through it to see where you're dragging. If you drag a group of icons, only the icon under the pointer is translucent; the others in the group are outlines. In system software prior to version 7.5.3, you always see Finder icons' outlines when you drag them.

The Finder takes less time to copy a large group of small files. Prior to System 7.5.3 the Finder spent more time updating the progress gauge on screen and less time copying. Prior to System 7.5.1 copying of small files was even slower because the Finder copied more of the unused part of small files.

Rebuilding the desktop file with system software versions 7.5.3 and later does not lose any comments you have typed in the Get Info windows of files, folders, and disks.

You can have the Finder's Find command always invoke the barebones Find feature introduced in System 7.0 instead of the Find File utility introduced in System 7.5 simply by removing the Find File extension and the Find File application. This convenience was initially part of System 7.5.1.

System Folder Update

Some of the software included with Mac OS 7.6 and System 7.5.3 puts additional items in the System Folder. These items include the following:

Control Strip Modules folder contains modules used by the Control Strip. Control strip is part of a standard installation on a PowerBook, but requires a custom installation on desktop computers.
Editors folder contains OpenDoc part editors, which are programs that let you work with different types of content in an OpenDoc document. Each part editor has a corresponding stationery document in the Stationery folder on your hard disk. OpenDoc is part of a standard Mac OS 7.6 installation but is an add-on for system software 7.1.1 through 7.5.5.
Text Encodings folder contains items used by Cyberdog, which is an optional module included with Mac OS 7.6 and is available separately for earlier system software.
DataViz folder contains the MacLink Plus translators used with Easy Open. MacLink Plus is part of a standard installation of Mac OS 7.6 and is available separately for earlier system software.
Control Panel and Accessories Update

Extensions Manager

Although the basic function and operation of the Extensions Manager control panel is the same in Mac OS 7.6 as in system software 7.5 through 7.5.5 - you use it to individually disable and enable control panels, extensions, and other software that's loaded during startup - the newer version has numerous improvements. For each listed item, the newer Extensions Manager displays its status (enabled or disabled), name, size, version, and the package it was installed with. You

Figure 3, The Extensions Manager that comes with Mac OS 7.6.

can also display each item's type and creator codes by selecting options with the Preferences command (in the Edit menu). Figure 3 shows the Extensions Manager that comes with Mac OS 7.6.

You can reorganise the Extensions Manager list as follows:

View items grouped by the folders they're in, grouped by the package they were installed with (but generally only for packages created by Apple), or ungrouped by choosing from the View menu.
Collapse and expand a group by clicking the triangle next to the group name.
Sort the list within each group by clicking any column heading to set the sort order.
Adjust the amount of space used to display item names by dragging the right boundary line of the Name column heading.

Munich, Germany and Cork, Ireland were added to the Map control panel in Mac OS 7.6.


To increase performance, the standard disk cache is larger in the Memory control panel. With system software versions 7.5.3 and later, the standard cache size is 32K per megabyte of RAM installed (not counting virtual memory). You can open the Memory control panel to change the disk cache size.

The Modern Memory Manager cannot be turned off in Mac OS 7.6.

Monitors & Sound

The Monitors & Sound control panel replaces the Sound & Displays control panel on computers with PCI slots that use system software versions 7.5.3 and later. You can also use the Sound control panel if you need it for older applications. The Sound control panel is in the Apple Extras folder on the startup disk of a computer with PCI slots.


You use the Speech control panel to choose the voice the computer uses to speak text aloud (although an application can choose a different voice for its use). You also use the Speech control panel to configure the Talking Alerts feature that's new with Mac OS 7.6. If you have installed speech recognition software on a computer capable of using it, you configure that with the Speech control panel as well. The Speech control panel comes with system software versions 7.5.2 and later, and replaces the Speech Setup control panel of earlier system software versions.


With Open Transport networking active (mandatory with Mac OS 7.6, optional with earlier system software on computers without PCI slots), you specify your TCP/IP network connection in the TCP/IP control panel.

File Sharing Update

Connecting to a Network by Phone

Apple Remote Access Client 2.1, included with Mac OS 7.6, lets your computer connect to a remote AppleTalk network by telephone (and modem or ISDN terminal adapter) at faster speeds than earlier versions. The maximum rate, which requires an ISDN or better telephone line, is 112.5Kbps. The built-in serial ports are not capable of that speed on all Mac OS computers. The following Apple computers have built-in serial ports capable of 112.5Kbps:

Centris and Quadra 660AV and 640AV
Performa 6100 series
PowerMac 6100, 7100, 7200, 7500, 8100, 8500, and 9500 series
Workgroup Server 6150, 7250, 8150, 8550, and 9150
Specifying an AppleTalk Network Connection

If your computer uses Open Transport networking, you specify an AppleTalk network connection with the AppleTalk control panel instead of the Network control panel. All computers that use Mac OS 7.6 use Open Transport networking. Computers that use System 7.5.3 can use either Open Transport or Classic AppleTalk networking, except that all computers with PCI slots must use Open Transport regardless of system software version. If your computer can use both types of networking, you use the Network Software Selector program in the Apple Extras folder to choose one type. Selecting Open Transport networking hides the Network control panel and reveals the AppleTalk control panel.

Printing Update

Much of the convenience that QuickDraw GX brought to printing in 1994 as an option with System 7.5 is available without the overhead of QuickDraw GX in Mac OS 7.6 and to a lesser extent with System 7.5.3. Mac OS 7.6 and System 7.5.3 include desktop printing that works remarkably like GX desktop printing. The new breed of desktop printing works transparently with existing applications and printer driver software, unlike QuickDraw GX which requires applications to be modified to take advantage of it and requires special GX printer drivers. What's more, the version of desktop printing installed as part of Mac OS 7.6 has a more modern look and feel than GX desktop printing.

In addition to GX printing, Mac OS 7.6 includes the LaserWriter 8.4.2 driver software, which reorganises and streamlines the Page Setup and Print dialogue boxes although not as much as QuickDraw GX.

Couple those developments with the glacial pace at which applications have adopted QuickDraw GX printing since 1994, and you have to wonder how committed Apple is to GX printing.

Desktop Printing without QuickDraw GX

You can get the convenience of desktop printing without the overhead of QuickDraw GX by installing Apple's Desktop Printing software. It works with all applications and printer drivers that previously worked with the original PrintMonitor, which is to say most applications and printer drivers. Mac OS 7.6 includes Desktop Printing 2.0.2 as part of a standard installation, and System 7.5.3 includes Desktop Printing 1.0.3 as a custom installation option. Desktop Printing is available separately as an add-on for system software versions 7.1 and later from Apple's online software archive.

Desktop Printing 2.0.2 has several improvements over 1.0.3. You can move desktop printer icons off the desktop. An optional printer menu located next to the Guide menu, and an optional Control Strip module, make it easy to switch printers. And you can easily turn off notification that the printer is waiting for you to manually feed paper.

The description that follows pertains to Desktop Printing 2.0 and later. Earlier versions have most of the same functions, but use text buttons and menu commands in place of version 2's picture buttons.

Creating desktop printers

With Desktop Printing installed, you do not use the Chooser to choose an output device for printing; instead, you use the Chooser to create desktop printer icons for each printer, fax/modem, or other output device that you use. After creating the desktop printer icons, you use the Finder, not the Chooser, to choose and set up a printer. Background printing is always on for all devices; you cannot turn it off with the Chooser.

Figure 4: Create desktop printer icons with the Chooser

Installing desktop printing creates a desktop printer icon for the printer that was selected in the Chooser before installation. If you use more than one printer, or if you had not selected a printer in the Chooser before installing desktop printing, you use the Chooser to create desktop printer icons. Each printer must have its own icon. If you use three LaserWriters, for example, you need three LaserWriter desktop icons. You cannot print to a printer until you create a desktop icon for it.

Figure 5: Desktop printer icons and the Finder's Printing menu.

You can handle desktop printer icons as you would other Finder icons. You can rename them, drag them to the Wastebasket, can create aliases for them. With Desktop Printing 2.0 and later, you can move printer icons from the desktop to a folder.

LaserWriter 8.4

The LaserWriter 8.4 driver improves printing on PostScript printers. It's faster than earlier LaserWriter drivers, especially when you print medium to highly complex documents with background printing turned off (a new option of the Print command). With background printing turned off, LaserWriter 8.4 does not create a spool file on disk. As a result, the first page of a document prints more quickly than with earlier LaserWriter drivers. Moreover, you don't have to worry about running out of disk space when printing large documents.

LaserWriter 8.4's redesigned Page Setup and Print dialogue boxes make it easier to switch desktop printers and to format the page for printing. The Page Setup dialogue box has two groups of settings, one for page attributes and one for PostScript options.

Mac OS 7.6 includes LaserWriter 8.4.2 as part of a standard installation. LaserWriter 8.4 is also available separately from Apple's online software archive, but it requires a PowerPC processor until Apple fixes a problem that prevents using it on computers with 680x0 processors.

Internet and Communications Update

In response to the phenomenal popularity of the Internet, Apple modernised its networking software to make the Internet's TCP/IP networking protocol used on the Internet a full peer of the AppleTalk networking protocol used on Macintosh and other Apple computers. In addition, Apple started bundling several software packages for accessing the Internet.


Taking advantage of high interest in the Internet, Apple created a unique software package called Cyberdog as a demonstration of the company's OpenDoc plug-in software system. Cyberdog has acquired a strong cult following among savvy Internet users who appreciate how easy it makes customising their use of the Internet. Cyberdog is a suite of software components (OpenDoc Live Object parts) for accessing the Web, sending and receiving e-mail, following discussions in Usenet newsgroups (electronic bulletin boards), exchanging files with FTP file servers, and connecting as a Telnet terminal to computers on the Internet. Cyberdog lets you view text, pictures, audio, movies, and QuickTime VR panoramas on the Internet without helper applications. In addition, Cyberdog can take the place of the Chooser in connecting to AppleShare file servers, including computers with file sharing turned on. Figure 21 shows one starting point for accessing the Web, e-mail, newsgroup discussions, your AppleTalk network, and more through Cyberdog 1.2.

Figure 21: Cyberdog's standard starting point tur accessing the Internet and your AppleTalk network

To keep track of Web sites plus individual pictures, movies, text, and sounds that you find on the Web, you can use Cyberdog's Notebook. That's not all the Notebook can help you organize. It can also store email addresses, newsgroups, FTP sites, Telnet sessions, and more. In addition, a Cyberdog log gives you three ways to view a history of your Internet and AppleTalk activities: chronologically, alphabetically, and hierarchically.

Cyberdog 1.2.1 comes with Mac OS 7.6 as an optional module that you can include in a standard installation. Cyberdog is also available separately from Apple's Cyberdog site on the Web (

Cyberdog also requires a connection to the Internet either through a telephone connection to an Internet service provider (ISP) or through local area network (LAN) that has an Internet connection. If your computer does not have an Internet connection, you can use the Apple Internet Connection Kit to register and configure a connection with an ISP. You can also contact an ISP directly; the woods are full of them. If your computer is connected to a LAN, ask your network administrator about Internet access.

Open Transport

Macs have long been able to connect to different types of networks, but until Apple developed Open Transport, AppleTalk was the chief networking protocol and other types of networks such as the Internet's TCP/IP were subordinate. (A networking protocol is a set of rules for exchanging data.) Open Transport puts AppleTalk and TCP/IP on an equal footing, and enables Apple and other companies to put other networking protocols on that same equal footing.

All computers that use Mac OS 7.6 use Open Transport networking. Computers that use System 7.5.3 can use either Open Transport or Classic AppleTalk networking, except that all computers with PCI slots must use Open Transport regardless of system software version.

OpenDoc Plug-in Software Update

OpenDoc creates an infrastructure for a new type of plug-in software that's not designed for one application or even one category of applications. In fact, OpenDoc kind of does away with the notion of applications altogether because each plug-in component, called a part, can conceivably do anything an application can do. In general, each OpenDoc part lets you work on one type of document content - text, graphics, sound, movies, spreadsheets, charts, databases, Web pages, e-mail, you name it. Here's the great part: You can drag any combination of OpenDoc parts into an OpenDoc document. Mix and match OpenDoc parts to create any document you can think of. You aren't restricted by the types of data any particular application can handle. The only limitation is the availability of OpenDoc parts on your computer.

Apple includes some basic OpenDoc parts along with OpenDoc itself in Mac OS 7.6. This collection of parts is called the OpenDoc Essentials kit, and it contains the following:

Apple Draw for creating and editing basic graphics
Apple 3DMF Viewer for viewing and manipulating 3D shapes created with QuickDraw 3D
Apple Audio tor recording and playing back sound or playing a sound file saved in a variety of formats
Apple Button for adding buttons that can play sounds, start AppleScripts, or take you to an Internet location
Apple Image Viewer for viewing pictures saved in the GIF, TIFF, JPEG, or PICT formats
Apple QuickTime Viewer for playing QuickTime movies and manipulating QuickTime VR scenes
You can also add any of the parts included with Cyberdog, which is based on OpenDoc, into your own OpenDoc documents. In addition, Apple and many other companies have developed and are developing more OpenDoc parts.

Collaboration Services Update

The big news in the version of PowerTalk that comes with System 7.5.3 is that you don't have to install all of it just to use digital signatures. Use the PowerTalk 1.2.3 Installer's Custom Install option and select the Digital Signatures component.

With Mac OS 7.6, the big news with PowerTalk is that you can't install any of it. PowerTalk is not compatible with Mac OS 7.6. Apple intends to add similar services to future versions of the Mac OS, and plans to base the future services on any Internet standards that apply. In the meantime, you can get digital signatures and privacy for e-mail and files by using ViaCrypt PGP from PGP, Inc. (

Multimedia Update

Since releasing the System 7.5, Apple has improved QuickTime twice, released and improved QuickTime 3D, released QuickTime VR, and improved ColorSync.


Mac OS 7.6 includes QuickTime 2.5 as part of the core Mac OS, and System 7.5.3 includes QuickTime 2.1 as standard.

Here's what's new in QuickTime 2.5:

Speed boosts affect not only on PowerPC computers but computers that use 68040 and 68030 processors, and amounts to at least a 25 per cent improvement.
More graphics formats let you open GIF, MacPaint, SGI, and Adobe Photoshop documents in any QuickTime-enabled application; for instance, you can open a Photoshop document in SimpleText.
Premium MIDI lets you hear MIDI soundtracks in CD-quality sound (44.1KHz, 16 bit, stereo) on PowerPC computers.
MIDI routing benefits professional musicians and music enthusiasts who can choose between playing MIDI music through the computer's speaker or routing it to external MIDI devices using Apple's MIDI Manager, Opcode's Open Music System, or Mark Of The Unicorn's FreeMIDI system; you specify routing with the QuickTime Settings control panel.
Karaoke playback shows you the lyrics of a song synchronised with playing the MIDI accompaniment (Elvis has left the building); karaoke movies are commonly available on the Internet.
Autoplay automatically starts playing an audio CD when you insert it, and automatically starts a CD-ROM when you insert it; you can disable either type of autoplay with the QuickTime Settings control panel.
QuickDraw 3D can render 3D objects in real time within a QuickTime movie, setting the stage for 3D modelling applications to create resolution-independent 3D movies.
Multiprocessor support accelerates compressors and other components designed to take advantage of the presence of two or more PowerPC processors.
Universal M-JPEG, a video format, will enable video professionals to exchange their work more easily if it's widely adopted.
In addition, QuickTime 2.5 inherits the improvements first introduced in QuickTime 2.1, including sprites; significantly enhanced sound on PowerPC computers; better looking large-frame movies; improved playback with monitor set for 256 colours; playback of sound files in the WAV and AU formats (commonly embedded in Web pages); movie control of full-screen mode; QuickTime Teleconferencing support; expanded MPEG support; and better acceleration with some add-on video compression cards.

QuickDraw 3D

There they go again, puffing another type of media at your disposal. First the Mac popularised pictures, then QuickTime made digital movies commonplace, and now QuickDraw 3D makes it just as easy to view 3D images in any application designed to take advantage of it, such as SimpleText 1.3.1 and Scrapbook 7.5.1. QuickDraw 3D provides a common file format for 3D documents, called 3DMF (for "3D metafile"), and a viewer with four buttons for changing the view of the 3D image.

Figore35: A QuickDraw 3D viewer has four buttons for changing the view.

Mac OS 7.6 includes QuickDraw 3D 1.0.6 as an optional part of a standard installation. System 7.5.3 CD-ROMs include QuickDraw 3D as an bonus.

QuickTime VR

QuickTime VR lets you view panoramas and objects in 360 degrees. When you view a panorama you can look up, down, turn around, zoom in to see detail, and zoom out for a broader view. When you view an object you can turn it around to examine it from all sides (some objects can only be turned on one axis, vertical or horizontal). The latest versions of all that software plus links to sample QuickTime VR scenes are available at Apple's QuickTime VR Web site on the Internet ( The VR Player/plug-in are not included with system software packages, but you can view QuickTime VR scenes with Cyberdog's QuickTime part, which is included with Mac OS 7.6.

Colorsync 2.1.1

Mac OS 7.6 includes the option of installing Apple's colour management technology, ColorSync 2.1.1, to give you more predictable and accurate colour from your applications, scanners, digital cameras, displays, and printers. Each device has a colour profile, and ColorSync quickly adjusts colours in an image as it goes from scanner or camera to display screen and then to print. Features added:

Named colour profiles, which let ColorSync work in a colour space represented as a list of colours, such as the popular Pantone and Toyo colour spaces.
Hi-Fi colour makes it possible to separate images into five to eight colour channels, not just the traditional four CMYK channels.
Speed is 15 to 20 per cent faster than versions prior to 2.1.
Saves space by embedding a profile identifier in a document instead of embedding an entire profile.
ColorSync is also available separately from Apple's online software archive. Earlier versions of ColorSync are included with System 7.5 and 7.5.3 as part of QuickDraw GX.

Speech Update

Mac OS 7.6 includes version 1.5 of the English text-to-speech software as part of a standard installation. System 7.5.3 includes version 1.4.1 of the English text-to-speech software.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2019, 08:27:30 AM by chrisNova777 »