I recently took the plunge and decided to trade in my old Toshiba laptop for a new, very suave, Apple Macbook. While the transition has been a fairly smooth one, I hope this article will help you make it seamless. Or if you are considering going Mac, I hope that this will convince you that the transition is not nearly as daunting as you may think.
Let me first start with this disclaimer: You may notice that your new Mac is considerably easier to use…you may think it is just too easy to be true. Do not feel like this is a trick, an attempt to throw you off guard- Macs really are easier to use. I warn you, you may forget hatred of computers when changing to a Mac- you make even begin to think that computer use should not be a constant battle of annoyance and frustrations-this is normal and part of your healing process!
Your internet connectivity will no longer appear in the lower right hand side of your computer screen, like on your old PC. Now, you will connect using a small icon consisting of 4 rounded lines which is located in the upper right corner of your screen. Simply click on the icon and scroll down to the wireless network you prefer to connect to. If the network is protected, a dialogue box will pop up requesting you to enter the system password. Do so and you will be instantly connected. No fuss-its that easy. If you would like to turn your wireless network off, simply click the icon and select “Turn Airport Off”.
I’m sure you noticed right away, upon turning your Mac on for the first time, that there is a weird line of icons located at the bottom of your screen. This is called a “dock” and Microsoft has recently attempted to mimic it, albeit very badly, on their Vista Operating System.
The Dock is used in Mac like a desktop- users can keep all of their most frequently used program icons on the dock for easy access. While Mac is defaulted to place many icons on your dock when you first buy your computer, you do not need to keep unused icons there. I simply keep commonly used programs on my dock, like Firefox, DVD player, iTunes, Stickies, Preview, etc. If there is a program you do not wish to be on your dock, simply right click it (more on this later) and select “remove from dock”.
If there is a program that you would like to be available on your Mac’s Dock, simply open the program and it will appear there. Then double click on its appropriate icon in the dock and select “keep in dock” and it will remain there unless you remove it.
While at first I was confused by the lights that appear below certain icons in the dock, it is really quite simple. When a light appears below an icon on your Mac, it means that the program is running. Macs are programmed so that many programs can run simultaneously without slowing down the computer- as a PC user, this freedom is odd at first but easy to get used to.
Command + squiggly (below esc key) = used to transfer between multiple open windows in the same program (aka switch from one word document to another, or switch from one open browser to another) on your Mac.
Command + tab= used to transfer between open programs (aka to switch from Word to Firefox, or Firefox to itunes)
Control Key=Command Key
The Ctr (Control) Key on PCs works very similarly to the Command (also fondly called Splat) Key on Macs. As such, the following keys pressed simultaneous will have the following results:
Command + b= bold
Command + c= copy
Command + p= paste
Command + z= undo (works on word processors and browsers)
Command + n= new window
Command + t= new tab when browser is being used
Command + s= save
Command + a= select all
Command + p= print
Command + o= open
Command + Q= quit
Command + H= hide
Delete vs. Backspace
Macs do not have two separate keys for ‘delete’ like PCs do (backspace and delete). You have to use a shortcut if you want to erase text to the right of the curser, and a key if you want to erase text to the left. You can also delete words with a simple short key on your Mac, shown below.
Delete= erases type to the left of the curser (backspace)
Fn + delete= erases type to the right of the curser (delete)
Command + delete (or Option + delete) = erases whole words to the left of the curser
If you want to minimize a window on your Mac, simply click the yellow circle at the top left hand side of your window. If you want the window to shrink, simply click the green circle. If you want the window to close (not the program), simply click the red circle. If you want to quit the program as a whole (not just close the window), simply press Command + Q, or click the program name and scroll down to quit. If you would like the program to become invisible, you can press command + H (hide). Simply click the icon of the program to open the window again.
Macs have an icon called “spaces” (appears as 4 boxes inside of one larger box) which allows you have different programs running in different “spaces”, or screens. This is useful if you are at work and want one space dedicated to your work, another space dedicated to surfing the web, another for your music, etc.
Right Click (Secondary Click)
Macs do not have two mouse buttons like PCs do, as you probably have noticed. If you would like to ‘right-click’, you simply place two fingertips on your trackpad and click the mouse button once. Or you can tap two fingertips simultaneously on your trackpad. *Note- this may have to be enabled first by going to system preferences, Mouse, then click tap trackpad using two fingers for secondary click.
If you would like to scroll down a page without using the scroll bar at the right of your screen, simply place two fingers on your Mac’s keypad and slowly drag them downwards and upwards. Your movements will be mimicked on the document/program you wish to scroll. *Note- this may have to be enabled by going to system preferences, mouse, and under trackpad gestures, click use two fingers to scroll.