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The Control Panel was a desk accessory which was present in the Macintosh system software through to, and including, System 6 (all the way through to System 6.0.8 or, unofficially, System 6.0.8L).

The Control Panel was the one, the central program on Macs which controlled all system settings and preferences. The control panels (note lowercase "p") as individual panels in their own, separate windows, were only introduced with System 7.

Control Panel (System 1.0)

Along with System 1.0 came the very first Control Panel DA. It was only one screenful -- and was filled with tiny buttons and some very confusing icons. There were no panes of any kind.

In one cramped window, settings for the following system options could be set:

  • system volume
  • date and time
  • menu blinking
  • insertion point blinking speed
  • keyboard settings
  • mouse acceleration
  • desktop pattern
  • double-click speed

Control Panel (System 6)

System 6's Control Panel had panes at the leftmost of the main window so that settings could be set for each major, topic-separated item in a separate pane (but within the same window).

Control Panel after System 6

The Control Panel DA became the separate control panels of System 7. As of System 7, system settings could be set in each individual control panel, which opened up as separate windows.

In Mac OS X, the concept of setting system settings using one window is back. System Preferences lets users change system settings by using only the main System Preferences window.

See also

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