12.7. Sharing Across Accounts It's all fine to say that every account is segregated from all other accounts. It's nice to know that your stuff is safe from the prying eyes of your co-workers or family.
12.7. Sharing Across Accounts
It's all fine to say that every account is segregated from all other accounts. It's nice to
know that your stuff is safe from the prying eyes of your co-workers or family.
But what about collaboration? What if you want to give some files or folders to another
You can't just open up someone else's Home folder and drop it in there. Yes, every
account holder has a Home folder (all in the Users folder on your hard drive). But if you
try to open anybody else's Home folder, you'll see a tiny red icon superimposed on
almost every folder inside, telling you "Look, but don't touch."
Fortunately, there are a couple of wormholes between accounts (Figure 12-13):
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION
Shared Data Files
My wife and my eight-year-old kid share my Mac. Over the years, we've
amassed a fabulous collection of MP3 files, but at the moment, I'm the only one
who sees them in iTunes. This business of separate environments for every
account holder is all well and good, but what about when we want to access the
same files—like our iTunes library?
The problem is that the iTunes library is stored in the Music folder of just one
person. Fortunately, the solution is easy enough.
Whoever is the administrator—probably your eight-year-old—should move the
iTunes folder (currently in somebody's Music folder) to the Users Shared
folder. Now it's available to everybody.
At this point, each account holder can log in, fire up iTunes, choose iTunes
Preferences Advanced, and click the Change button to choose the relocated
iTunes Music folder in the Shared folder.
From now on, each person will be able to see and access the entire library of
iTunes tunes, but will still enjoy the flexibility to build individual playlists.
• The Shared folder. Sitting in the Users folder is one folder that doesn't correspond
to any particular person: Shared. Everybody can freely access this folder, inserting
and extracting files without restriction. It's the common ground among all the
account holders on a single Mac. It's Central Park, the farmer's market, and the
grocery-store bulletin board.
• The Public folder. In your Home folder, there's a folder called Public. Anything
you copy into it becomes available for inspection or copying (but not changing or
deleting) by any other account holder, whether they log into your Mac or sign in
from across the network.
Figure 12-13. Top: In other people's Home folders, the Public and Sites
folders are available for your inspection. These two folders contain stuff that
other people have "published" for the benefit of their co-workers.
Middle: In the Public folder is the Drop Box, which serves the opposite
purpose. It lets anyone else who uses this Mac hand in files to you; they,
however, can't see what's in it.
Bottom: Inside the Users folder (to get there from a Home folder, press
up arrow) is the Shared folder, a wormhole connecting all accounts.
Everybody has full access to everything inside.
• The Drop Box. And inside your Public folder is another cool little folder: the Drop
Box. It exists to let other people give files to you, discreetly and invisibly to
anyone else. That is, people can drop files and folders into your Drop Box, but
they can't actually open it. This folder, too, is available both locally (in person)
and from across the network.