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Close widget reflects document save status System
The next time you are in Word or TextEdit or even the terminal, look at the close button (red). If there is a small dot in the center it means that the document contains unsaved changes. This happens in the Terminal after you use the inspector to change something, but don't change the main preferences.

[Editor's note: I can't believe this hasn't been published here before, as it's one of the more basic element of OS X. The close widget will display a black dot in any Cocoa appliation document which has unsaved changes ... as noted below, Carbon application support is on an application by application basis.]
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Close widget reflects document save status | 8 comments | Create New Account
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Dirty windows
Authored by: aranor on Feb 10, '02 02:08:46PM

This simply indicates that the window is "dirty", and is used to reflect save status. If the window has a proxy icon (an icon next to the title), that icon will be grayed out when the window is "dirty" as well. Under OS 9, the proxy icon would grey out when the window is "dirty", but under OS X we get the black dot in the close widget as well.

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Widget not OS X issue
Authored by: cyberzine on Feb 10, '02 04:55:03PM

Hey there,

As Ken Berenskin (OS X marketing manager) explained at a seminar at Macworld, this is not a OS X issue, but a Cocoa feature. Carbon apps do not nativly have this ability, though can be programmed to act this way. (Such is the case with Microsoft Office which is Carbon but acts much like Cocoa apps).


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Widget not OS X issue
Authored by: aranor on Feb 11, '02 10:00:44PM

It's a simple toolbox call that will set a window "dirty" under Carbon.

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Wrong information in the editor's note
Authored by: zal on Feb 10, '02 10:06:58PM

The unsaved close button will display on all document based Cocoa applications. You might see this widget in Carbon applications but, in this case, it has been coded specifically.

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Wrong information in the editor's note
Authored by: Anonymous on Feb 21, '02 04:52:59PM

I think this point needs to be emphasized. :-)

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I give... :-)
Authored by: robg on Feb 21, '02 07:11:25PM

OK, I updated the article. I figured it wasn't a big deal since it was in the notes already ... but I've now changed the original comment.


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Also in the terminal.....
Authored by: kjackson on Feb 11, '02 02:34:00PM

When a process is active in the terminal, the widget obtains a dot.

This indicates that if the window is closed, a fold out will appear asking you if you are sure you want to also terminate the process running in the terminal.

Try it... run top... dot appears....control-c top...the dot disappears...neat.

I find it particularly useful for knowing at a glance my terminal windows in which i am telneted or ssh-ed to a remote host.

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Authored by: babbage on Feb 12, '02 09:20:24AM
If you hadnt been aware of this interface trait before, then it might be because you hadn't read John Siracusa's dissections of OSX over on Ars Technica. And if you haven't read Siracusa's articles, you should -- they're excellent reading, and give a very clear overview of the system. If you have the time, it's worth reading the whole series:

Obviously there's a lot of material there, and only one small part of it is the close window widget... :)

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