Is it true that “Once You Go Mac, You Never Go Back?” I have used Windows all my life, but a few months ago, I finally made the switch from Windows to Mac. I’ve found that are a ton of annoyances, mostly involved with keyboard shortcuts. Therefore, the #1 thing you should familiarize yourself with is Mac’s keyboard shortcuts. You won’t be a Command () wizard just yet, probably not for a while. I’ve had my 11″ Macbook Air for about 2 months and I’m still not accustomed to navigating through text on a Mac.
Windows to Mac – Shortcuts that you’ll try… but fail
In general, Windows uses CTRL for shortcuts and Mac uses Command (ex: CTRL+C is a shortcut for “Copy” on Windows and +C is “Copy” for Mac). But there are a lot of less obvious shortcuts that you need to know:
- CTRL+ALT+DELETE - The all popular shortcut for force quitting an application is +Option+ESC on a Mac.
- Backspace vs Delete – Backspace on windows works like Delete on a Mac. If you need to delete from left-to-right like the Windows Delete key, you’ll need hit fn+delete.
- Screenshot - On a Mac, +Shift+4 enables you to take a screenshot of a selection, +Shift+3 allows you to take a screenshot of the entire screen, unlike Windows, screenshots are automatically saved to your desktop.
- Cut and Paste - Nop, you cannot use +X to cut and paste files into a different directory. With OSx Lion, you’ll need to Copy (+C), then use (+Option+V) to replicate Window’s “Cut and Paste.”
The next step for switching from Windows to Mac is to master the multi-touch gestures. If you just bought a new Mac, you should be good to go, if not click here and see what you need for multi-touch support. The multi-touch gestures is the primary reason why it’s been easy to break-up with Windows and fall in love with Mac. It just makes life that much easier. This coming from a guy who’s accustomed to using a 3-monitor Windows 7 setup, now switching to a 1366×768 resolution 11″ Macbook Air. Want more space? Add more desktop spaces, perhaps one for business, one for pleasure? Swapping between them is as simple as a single swipe. This is also handy when you want to link to an external monitor, oh and don’t even think about buying a mini-display port to HDMI adaptor from Apple for $40+ when this one for $7 at Amazon will do.
Windows to Mac – The Applications
I was worried that some Windows applications wouldn’t be on a Mac, turns out that isn’t a problem anymore with Mac’s increasing market share. Every application I’ve needed thus far has had a OSx counterpart. My only recommendation is instead of using the popular VLC player, use MPlayerX. Although VLC does have a version for Mac, I’ve had some compatibility issues with running video.
- Auto-hide the dock – Using an 11″ Macbook Air, auto-hiding the dock gives you much needed extra space.
- AppSumo’s Shortcut Dojo - I’m an avid follower of Neville Medhora and Noah Kagan, watch this video as they (mostly Neville) schools us in a few Mac shortcuts that can save you an hour a day…
The Mac Shortcuts Dojo
Perfect for switching from Windows to Mac, even if you’ve owned a Mac for a while, you’re bound to learn something.
3:05 Hot Corners – Go to >>> System Preferences; Mission Control; Hot Corners
5:55 Speed Up Your Trackpad - System Preferences; Trackpad
6:35 Gmail Shortcuts
9:10 Google Chrome Shortcuts
10:16 Alfred App
14:10 Screenshots with Mac - More screenshot shortcuts here
15:15 - Opening with Spacebar
16:10 The Windows 7 Bang - Cinch for Mac
Overall, switching from Windows to Mac was a lot easier than I thought. Everything on a Mac is so intuitive. The things I covered above are what stood out to me, however there are plenty of other mistakes made by new Mac users that you go over. Have anything to add? Post a comment below.
Bonus: I recommend you go over this guide a few times, save yourself from being “that guy”