Welcome to the world of the Mac. Whether you were a PC expert or intermediate user, making the switch to a Mac can make you feel like a complete computer newbie. You may not recognize some of the keys, the windows don’t always fit the screen size and the mouse or trackpad only has one button. While it can feel overwhelming in the beginning, with a bit of playing around and a few tips you can be a Mac pro in no time.
Here are 7 tips all new Mac users need to know:
While PCs generally have a straight forward right or “secondary” click on the mice and trackpads, Macs are a bit different. You are able to customize your secondary click option on your trackpad. Visit System Preferences → Trackpad and set the secondary click settings to whatever makes sense for you. It may feel weird at first but play around with the different settings to see what secondary click works best. You can also buy a third party mouse to connect to your desktop or laptop with a traditional right click to keep things simple.
The Finder feature on your Mac is kind of like home base. On a PC you probably used similar windows to view and search for files. The Mac Finder is the same idea, but better. If you need to hunt something down, be it a file or an application, start here. Click on the Finder icon to open a window. Once it is open, you can search your whole computer for a file or go to the applications folder to open an application. You will become very familiar with this feature of your new computer and learn to love it.
Say goodbye to the Control Panel you are familiar with and hello to System Preferences. Navigate to System Preferences either through the Applications Folder in your Finder or the Apple at the left top of your display. System preferences gives you control over things like your displays, mouse and keyboard. You can even search in the top right corner of the System Preferences window for what you’re looking for to save time. System Preferences is also where you can customize your computer by changing settings. Take a few minutes to get to know your computer and set everything to your liking.
Command Key (⌘)
Macs are full of keyboard shortcuts to help you navigate faster. Most of these start with the command key (⌘). Instead of a PC’s control + V to copy text, you will use command + V. Basically anything you are used to using the control key for you will most likely be using the command key instead. Since this key is in a different place on the keyboard and there’s still a control key, it may take a few days for your fingers to get used to it, but as with most things after much repetition it will become second nature to reach for the command key. Here’s an exhaustive list of the keyboard shortcuts for your Mac.
Close Windows and Applications
On a PC, the button to close out of a program is a red X at the top right corner. On a Mac, this button is just a red dot at the top left corner. This button closes just a window of the program and not the program as a whole, which can be a learning curve for many new Mac users. To close down the whole program you have to go to File → Close. To make navigating your programs easier, try using keyboard shortcuts instead. To close a window use command (⌘) + W. To close a whole program use command (⌘) + Q
The Dock of the Mac is another home base for you to easily access your applications. You can customize the location of the Dock in System Preferences. Many Mac users keep their docks hidden to maximize screen space. When you scroll to the section of the screen it is located in, it will appear. Easily add applications you use frequently to the Dock for quick access by right clicking on the icon while the program is running and selecting Options → Keep in Dock. Click, hold and drag application icons in the dock to rearrange.
Command (⌘) + Option + Esc
If your computer gets overwhelmed and freezes your instinct may be to go hit Control-Alt-Delete but this trick won’t work on a Mac. Instead use Command + Option + Esc to open the Force Quit Applications window. Here you can see the programs that aren’t responding and force quit them to try to resolve the problem.
You’re now well on your way to becoming a Mac expert. If you have any other questions, contact us today for help.