Leopard Screen Sharing — the Ghost in the Mac
Mac Tip #329, 12 March 2008
Leopard (Mac OS X 10.5) introduced a feature that really helps those of us who have dealings with more than one Mac: Screen Sharing. It allows you to operate one Mac while sitting at another.
The screenshot shows me changing things on my Mac mini while I’m using my MacBook. I’m working entirely on the MacBook and am not physically touching any part of the Mac mini.
On the left of the screenshot is this Tip, as I write it on my MacBook. On the right is part of my MacBook’s current desktop picture.
The window in the middle of the screenshot shows my Mac mini’s plain blue desktop, with the Dock at the bottom, a Finder window open, and some windows belonging to my webcam software. I’m about to click a button to change a setting.
Set up Screen Sharing in Leopard
To set up Screen Sharing in Leopard:
- Go to System Preferences on the machine you want to share.
- Click on the Sharing Preference Pane.
- Check the box beside Screen Sharing.
- Close the System Preferences widow if you wish.
There are plenty of ways to refine Screen Sharing, but that gets you started.
To use Screen Sharing
To use Screen Sharing:
- On a different Mac using Leopard go to the Finder and create a New Window (Command N). A Finder window appears.
- Look in the Sidebar for the name of the machine whose screen you want to view. Select that machine. The screenshot shows I’ve selected terra-firma, my Mac mini.
- Click the Share Screen … button near the top of the Finder window. A Screen Sharing window appears displaying the screen on the machine you wish to control.
Now when you click or scroll around in the Screen Sharing window you will be controlling the shared Mac.
If someone else is sitting at that Mac they will see the cursor move, windows open and close and so on as though a ghost were operating the computer.