If you’re used to using PCs and have recently changed to an Apple Mac computer, there are some subtle differences that you will need to get used to. Once you have got used to these, however, you will probably wonder how you ever coped with the old way of doing it!
The keyboard is very different
It may not seem obvious at first glance, but Mac keyboards are different to Windows keyboards, in quite significant ways. For starters, there is only one mouse button, so right-clicking and left-clicking goes out the window. Apple has put together a comprehensive guide (link opens in new window) to the similarities and differences between the two types of keyboard.
Apple machines were historically seen as immune to viruses and malware. Even now, Apple users will often advise each other not to bother running anti-virus software. This is not necessarily sensible advice.
While the smaller number of Macs to PCs means hackers generally focus their energy on the larger target group (PCs) this does not mean Apple machines are without security flaws. Nothing is perfect, even something as pretty as a MacBook Air. Apple’s browser, Safari, for example, has had several famous flaws highlighted in recent years.
Sophos offers free tools for Mac home users (link to Sophos for Macs).
Shortcuts are your friend on a Mac. And by shortcuts, we mean certain combinations of keys to quickly perform a task. Here are just a few of the basics
⌘ + Q = Quit
⌘ + W = Close window
⌘ + O = Open a file
⌘ + P = Print
⌘ + C = Copy
⌘ + V = Paste
⌘ + X = Cut
⌘ + S = Save
⌘ + Z = Undo
⌘ + A = Select All
Fn + backspace = Delete
For a fantastic and comprehensive list of shortcuts, www.mactipsandtricks.com has a handy guide.
Desktop shortcuts can be very handy
f you’re used to using your computer’s desktop as a dashboard to access files, you may wish to ease yourself into the Mac experience by creating a ‘Documents’ shortcut on the desktop, ditto a shortcut to Mail and Safari. This may clash with Steve Jobs’ vision of a clean, uncluttered desktop, but your layout has to work for you! After a while, you’re likely to be so comfortable with the Mac way of working, that you can ditch these shortcuts.
Scrolling, scrolling, scrolling...
The 'Trackpad' on a Mac scrolls ‘naturally’, which is the opposite to the Windows ‘downward scroll’ that you’re used to. This can be unsettling, but it’s easy to change if it makes you more comfortable. Go to Apple key > System preferences > Trackpad System Preference and uncheck ‘natural scroll direction’.
Please do share your tips for Mac users in the comments below!