Key for Switch to Apple – 05  

Posted by Mohammad Talha in , , , , , ,


Here are some questions that come up quite a bit, in my experience. They're a bit hodgepodge, but you can't argue with experience.

Command and control. Often enough, if you used a Control-key combo in Windows, Command plus the same other key will work in OS X. For example, Ctrl-x, -c, and -v to cut, copy, and paste a selection becomes Cmd-x, -c, and -v. Cmd-a selects all, whether you're in Finder or an application.

Know what you're closing. Ctrl-w to close a window in Windows is Cmd-w to close a window on the Mac. Quitting an open application requires not just closing its windows but actually telling it to quit—that's Cmd-q from the keyboard, or a right-click-accessible mouse command from the application's Dock icon.

Jump around. Alt-Tab to switch among open windows is Cmd-Tab on the Mac. Actually, Cmd-Tab switches among open applications. Use Cmd-~ to switch among open windows in a particular application. But once you get used to the Exposé feature, you might not care about this anyway.

Erase bidirectionally. Most Mac users seem to use the Delete key exclusively. It's in the same spot on a Mac keyboard that the Backspace occupies on non-Mac keyboards, and it deletes characters backward from the cursor, just like a Backspace key. But Windows users are used to having a Delete key that deletes forward as well. If you miss your Windows-type Delete key, use Fn-Delete on a Mac to delete forward.

All-stop. If you're old enough to remember when the Break key on a PC did something, you'll want to know about Cmd-period on a Mac. In many applications, it cancels whatever is in the midst of happening. Try that or the Escape key before you try what's next.

Quit it. Ctrl-Alt-Delete on a Windows PC (to bring up the Task Manager when something seems to be frozen) is Cmd-Option-Escape on a Mac: It will bring up a list of running applications so that you can force a frozen one to quit. You can also get there by choosing Force Quit from the main Apple menu.

Mac Tip 5

Monitor activity. The full functionality of Task Manager on a Windows PC is found in Activity Monitor on a Mac; that's in the folder \Applications\Utilities. It's worth dragging that one to the Dock for quick access. If your Mac slows down, or if loud fan activity suggest that something is overwhelming its processor, Activity Manager will show you every currently running process and allow you to force-quit the culprit.

Create aliases. What Windows calls a shortcut, Mac calls an alias. You can make one by control-clicking on the icon for a file or folder, then choosing Make Alias—or simply by pressing Cmd-l (that's a lowercase L). Unlike a Windows shortcut, a Mac alias knows the actual identity of the target file, not just its location (the Mac assigns a unique ID number to each file); therefore, you can move the target file around, or even rename it, and the alias will still work.

Grab a screen. There's no Print Screen button for screen captures, but there is this abstruse keyboard shortcut: Cmd-Ctrl-Shift-4 (you'll get used to it). Once you press that, you can trace any area of the screen for capture to the clipboard; then you can paste it into, say, a document or photo-editing software. If you don't bother to press the Control key, the screenshot will be saved to your desktop as a file instead. If you press 3 rather than 4, you'll automatically capture the whole screen. And if you're in no mood for any such finger contortions, you can use the Grab application in your Utilities folder.

Clean up drive-image detritus. Unlike a Windows PC, your Mac won't offer to remove the unused icons on your desktop, so let me tell you about one type of file that might begin to accumulate there needlessly: the DMG file. If you download applications from the Web, a lot of them will download in the form of .dmg files (disk-image files). When you double-click on the DMG icon, it opens in the form of a virtual disk—a temporary folder that your Mac treats like a newly inserted disc or flash drive. If you want to keep the contents of the virtual disk, you have to drag them to another folder (such as your Applications folder or your desktop); doing so will copy them. The virtual disk can then be "ejected"—just drag it to the trash or press the Eject icon that appears next to the drive in a Finder window to do that. But you'll still have the DMG file that spawned the virtual disk. You don't need it anymore—go ahead and drag it to the trash, too.

Get info. On a Windows PC, you can get system information from various selections on the Start menu—information such as how much memory your computer has, or what kinds of hardware are built into it. To get this information on a Mac, select About This Mac from the Apple menu. The window that immediately pops up will tell you which version of OS X you're running, among other things. Then press More Info to open the System Profiler utility, which will glut you with details.

Type worldly. There's a world of hidden characters and symbols behind the Option key. For example, press Option-e and any vowel you type next will have an acute accent. Press Option-u and any vowel you type next will have an umlaut. Press Option-4 (the dollar-sign key) and you'll get ¢. The results for any of these will differ if you also hold down the Shift key. To learn more about keyboard combinations and diacritical marks, see Apple's guide.

For laptops only: Don't be dim. Have you noticed that when you're running on battery power, the display keeps dimming every few minutes? Yeah, that's annoying. Turn it off in Apple | System Preferences | Energy Saver, under Options, where you can uncheck Automatically reduce the brightness....

Come on and zoom. There's a keyboard shortcut for zooming the whole screen. First, press Cmd-Option-8 to toggle it on (you'll never need to do that again). Now press Cmd-Option-= to zoom. Press Cmd-Option-minus to pull back out. (story Link)

This entry was posted on Apr 27, 2009 at 2:19 AM and is filed under , , , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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