Am I A PC? Five Necessary and Helpful Mac OS X Shortcuts for the Windows Switcher

img_0133In the past few days I have learned a lot about the world of Apple computing by using a Macbook as my primary laptop. I have stayed true to my word and only used a PC when having to edit a review on my office desktop or when testing a laptop (I reviewed the Vista-running MSI VR220 review this weekend). Other than that, it has been ALL Macbook ALL the time. I have been virtually obsessed with my Mac laptop and was so excited the first few days of Mac-use that I rolled out of bed excited to check my e-mail and practice all that I learned the day before.  And let me tell you there is some truth to this survey about sex and Internet use, especially when you’ve got a new Macbook to play with! I have gotten very used to the operating system and the Macbook’s features. In fact, when I was reviewing the MSI VR220 this weekend,  I began swiping four fingers down the trackpad to bring up Expose (already I want PCs to have that functionality). But then there are certain things, debatedly Windows things, that haven’t come as naturally to figure out or learn. New features like Expose and Spaces have been easier for me to get accustomed to because they are new to me. My Windows habits are hard to break. Here are some things that I am still getting used to and shortcuts for each of them that I find really helpful. picture-5 The Right Click! This is no doubt the biggest issue for new Mac users, like myself. With only one mouse button on the new Macbook which is the entire trackpad, right clicking is done by either double tapping (which I really prefer) or clicking and holding down the Ctrl button. I have drilled it in my mind Ctrl + Click for right clicking! The Missing  “Delete” Key As a writer I make a lot of edits and depend on the delete and backspace key on my PC. So when I was writing a review this weekend in Microsoft Word on my Macbook I was a bit puzzled to only find one delete key on the keyboard which deletes backwards. After a while, I couldn’t stand not being able to forward delete. After Googling this issue I quickly found out that holding down the Control + D key allows you to delete forward (or Fn + Delete) in Word and a number of other applications. Printing Screen Commands The other missing key is Print Screen key. Instead of the dedicated key, Command  + Shift + 3 snaps an image of the screen (I also learned Command + Shift + 4 which allows you to drag over the part of the screen you want to save) and SAVES it right to your desktop. One of the problems I always have in Windows is that I will hit the Print Screen button but forget to Paste the image into Paint or some other program (I get side tracked easily). I love this function on Apple that saves right to the desktop! Quitting Programs Another thing I have been struggling with is closing programs. The red button on the top left of the window (not seeing an X on the top right of windows is another thing that is continually shocking to me) closes the window, but it doesn’t close the program completely.  To shut down a program, you need to click on its name in the menu bar (which isn’t attached to the Window) and then choose Quit. I was taught Command + Q by my dear roommate and find it to be much faster and I don’t have to go digging to find the Quit option. The Alt + Ctrl + Delete Equivalent No Windows user can live without Alt + Ctrl + Delete for killing a non-responding program. Now, I haven’t encountered any situations on my Macbook yet where I have felt the need to pull a Alt + Ctrl + Delete but it makes me feel better knowing that Alt + Command + Esc is the  Mac equivlant that allows you to “Force Quit” a program.

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  1. Jeff Hill Says:

    Interesting! I never knew there were ways to actually do some of these things on a Mac!

  2. Nicholas Shanks Says:

    After pressing Shift-Command-4 you can hit the space bar to change mode from rectangle-dragging to selection of a window. You can even capture obscured windows in their entirety. Another tip: from the Print… window, you can choose ‘Save as PDF’ to save long documents in Adobe PDF format (which macs just treat as a normal image format, they open in Preview for example).

    Check out the Trackpad options in the System Preferences. Scroll wheel is duplicated with two fingers swipe down, right-click is a two fingered tap (a ‘double tap’ is the trackpad equivalent of a double click – two taps in succession with one finger).

  3. Jay Says:

    Assuming you have one of the new aluminum Macbooks, you can actually assign either the lower right or lower left corner of the trackpad to be right click. Works much more naturally for those of us used to 2 mouse buttons. Should be in the trackpad settings.

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