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Inside Macintosh: Macintosh Toolbox Essentials /

Chapter 1 - Introduction to the Macintosh Toolbox

This chapter presents an introduction to the features provided by the Macintosh Toolbox. The Macintosh Toolbox is a collection of system software routines that your application can use to present a consistent and standard interface to the user; these routines also allow you to simplify other tasks your application might need to perform.

A typical Macintosh application presents a friendly, intuitive, easy-to-use, visual interface to the user. The careful design of a Macintosh application gives users the freedom
to perform actions and accomplish tasks according to their needs. The idea behind this careful design is to put the user in control. In general, the user of a Macintosh application should always be free to choose the next action he or she will perform. (This is the basic tenet of the event loop and is explained in more detail in the chapter "Event Manager" in this book.)

Figure 1-1 shows the screen as it might appear when a user is interacting with a typical Macintosh application, such as SurfWriter. The SurfWriter application is an application that lets a user do simple text editing. Like most Macintosh applications, the SurfWriter application uses

Figure 1-1 The SurfWriter application with multiple windows on the desktop

You can create an application that incorporates these user-interface elements and that helps users accomplish specific tasks by taking advantage of the routines provided by the Macintosh Toolbox.

Chapter Contents
Overview of the Macintosh Toolbox
Alert Boxes and Dialog Boxes
Icons and Other Interactions With the Finder
Help Balloons
Copy and Paste
Related System Software Features
Drawing on the Screen
Handling Text
Managing Files
Allocating Memory and Launching Processes
Creating Publishers and Subscribers
Communicating With Other Applications
Designing Your Application

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© Apple Computer, Inc.
11 JUL 1996