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A few days ago I got the fresh off the press macOS Catalina manual from Markt + Technik Verlag reached. In the series "Bild für Bild", in which this book was also published, the publisher publishes additional instructions for operating systems or Office programs, all of which have one thing in common: They guide the reader through the various functions of the Programs or systems.
In this article I'll take a look at the manual and show you the advantages and disadvantages of this work.
At this point, the usual note: The publisher gave me the book for a review free of charge. A big thank you for that.
Even though I am pleased that I received a free review copy, I can assure you that the publisher has not influenced my evaluation of the book. I am honest about my opinion on the book and hope that this helps you in your purchase decision.
The concept of picture-by-picture instructions is a good idea, especially for Mac beginners, so that they can be taken by the hand and explained basic functions without a lot of technical gibberish. In the beginning, many Mac users find it difficult to use terms such as dock, menu set, menu bar, application folder or system settings.
Thanks to the detailed screenshots and the mouse symbol, which even shows which mouse button you have to click where, you can quickly reach your goal, even if you are a greenhorn.
Another nice thing are the small text boxes that can be found in the colored border of the pages at the bottom. There is a bit of "knowledge", a "tip" and a "hint" - all related to the current topic of the chapter. In this way, you can learn a few more things about Macs and macOS Catalina with minimal reading.
The colored bars on the underside can also be seen very well from the outside. This way you can quickly find your way around while leafing through the pages.
The main topics are divided into the following areas:
I have to say that I find the subject selection of the book very good. It was certainly a challenge for the author to cope with almost 336 pages and still put together an appealing selection of topics. From my point of view, it has succeeded. You will find many tips on the basic setup of the Mac, but also functions such as screen time, Time Machine or the firewall explained in the book.
What I also find very positive: There is also a chapter for those switching from Windows PCs to the Mac. From feedback from my readers, I know that this group is not small, but the question always arises as to how you can transfer your data from PC to Mac. The setup of a Virtual Box in case you want to use Windows programs on a Mac is also shown on one page.
The chapter "Useful keyboard shortcuts" is the icing on the cake for all readers who would like to work more effectively with their Mac. Here you will find all kinds of helpful keyboard shortcuts on over seven pages, from general operation to shortcuts in certain apps to those that can be used when restarting the Mac.
The publisher has named beginners and advanced users of the book's information as a target group, but I would say that the book is more for computer newbies. Anyone who has ever had a Mac or a Windows PC will be able to cope with space-saving text explanations and can certainly do without many of the screenshots.
But if you are a visually-focused person and can absorb information better in this way, you should take a look at the book.
I don't have any real criticism of the book, but I would like to point out one thing that can also be explained from pure logic: The book works a lot with screenshots that take up a lot of space. For this reason, one cannot expect it to have the depth of content of a Catalina book that works with fewer graphics and more text.
Due to this "restriction" there is no background information on many topics in the book. For example, you don't read anything about that APFS file format via the HEIC image format used by Apple or the use of single-user mode for Mac problems.
Beginners may not need to know anything about these things in order to work with their Mac. For that reason, being limited to the essentials isn't necessarily a bad thing. However, if you like to go deeper or are already an advanced Mac user, you may be less happy with the book.
The picture-by-picture instructions in the book are so vivid and clear that even a novice computer user could set up and use the Mac.
The topics addressed are diverse and cover everything that a beginner would like to know. The only thing missing a bit is an emergency chapter on how to get your Mac going again when it doesn't like anymore. But that's what Sir Apfelot is for. ;-)
No, seriously: Philip Kiefer's macOS Catalina manual is definitely something if you want to be taken by the hand a little while exploring your new Mac. The quick start guide, so to speak, which also covers many later questions about macOS Catalina, Finder or the apps.
The clear structure and the appealing page structure with the areas for knowledge, tips and hints is very good for conveying knowledge without turning the book into a wasteland of text. It is fun to leaf through and the screenshots should make it clear to every user where and when to click.
At just under 17 euros, the book is also very affordable and also a good gift idea for friends who are just beginning their Mac careers. So Sir Apfelot gave the go-ahead for this macOS Catalina guide.
You can find the book here via this link on Amazon or you can access the details of the book via this product box:
Jens has been running the blog since 2012. He appears as Sir Apfelot for his readers and helps them with problems of a technical nature. In his free time he drives electric unicycles, takes photos (preferably with his iPhone, of course), climbs around in the Hessian mountains or hikes with the family. His articles deal with Apple products, news from the world of drones or solutions for current bugs.
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