Questions from a convert

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by jilter, Nov 16, 2003.

  1. jilter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    #1
    There is one thing I am having trouble understanding about the Mac OS other than the one buttton mouse. This has to do with typing text. In the PC world the delete key deletes what is in front of the cursor...not the Mac. This is very hard to get used to. Also, why don't the "End" and "Home" keys work to get you to the
    end and beginning of a sentence respectfully. Why are they present on the keyboard if they do not do anything? I find it very cumbersome to type and navigate and edit around text in this enviroment. Is it just me? Or does anyone else find the PC enviroment more conducive for word processing?
     
  2. iMeowbot macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

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    Aug 30, 2003
    #2
    Re: Questions from a convert

    Maybe I'm missing something here. What sort of keyboard are you using? Windows and the Mac use the backspace and delete keys pretty much the same way, so far as I can see.



    Oh, that's mostly because those keys didn't historically exist on Macs. You'll find that cmd-left and cmd-right do about the same thing as home and end, and cmd-up and cmd-down are about the same as PgUp/PgDn.

    The "extra" keys support the likes of Virtual PC and terminal emulators, mostly. They do act as scroll accelerators in many/most Mac applications.

    I kind of like both systems, but yes, it's definitely awkward to remember which does what if you have to use both regularly.
     
  3. idea_hamster macrumors 65816

    idea_hamster

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    #3
    Are you using a powerbook? If so, the home and end keys are actually function keys -- hold down [fn] + [-->] or [<--] and that will send you to the beginning or end of a line in most (but, sadly, not all) typing environments.

    It's also true that the key usually denominated "backspace" on Windows systems is labeled "delete" on the Mac. On the powerbook, there isn't a separate key to delete the character in front of the cursor, a shortcoming noted in reviews of the first TiBook in Jan., 2001. However, [fn] + [delete] does act as "delete".

    You're right that things like this may be less convenient for text editing -- I've often wondered why the keyboard has two dead spots that could be home/end, but are nothing instead.

    It's probably no comfort, but I've always assumed that it's because Apple's designers figures we'd use a mouse click to get to the line's end. Who knows.

    Oh, and remember that just about every Mac program (including Mac OS) supports a two-button mouse. So don't torture yourself -- get a two-button mouse and do all that right-clicking you want to. The one-button mouse is, I think, the one thing that Apple should have changed while Jobs was away. Jobs has said he'll never change it, so it's just something that we have to expect to buy aftermarket (kind of like buying SoundBlaster for a PC -- except that there's more choice, you probably were going to buy one anyway, and it's cheap).
     
  4. Awimoway macrumors 65816

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    #4
    I switched about a year ago, and these were difficult adjustments for me as well. It has literally taken me a year to finally stop trying to use the "Home" and "End" keys. Now it's causing trouble for me in MS Office apps because I instinctively want to use Command (Apple) + Left Arrow/Right Arrow to get to line ends.

    A few pointers:
    In many apps, the "del" key (not the backspace/delete key) does work.

    As mentioned, End and Home do work as you are accustomed in MS Office apps.

    Command + arrow keys do not work in all apps. It's trial and error.

    if you are only dealing with a single line of text in the window or text box, simply using up and down arrows has the same effect.

    Option + arrow keys DOES work in many apps. This is a nice feature that I never used in Windows and may not even exist there. It lets you move the cursor from word to word, rather than from character to character. Depending on the direction you are going in, it will put the cursor at the end or beginning of words. In some apps, this will perform the Home/End function.


    And definitely get yourself a multi-button mouse.
     
  5. jilter thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 20, 2003
    #5
    Thank you very much for your time and help, I appreciate it!
     
  6. irmongoose macrumors 68030

    irmongoose

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    Dec 3, 2001
    Location:
    Sometimes Tokyo, sometimes California
    #6
    Yeah, this isn't really a matter of which platform is better for typing, it's just a matter of getting used to something new. If I were suddenly stripped of my Mac and forced to use a Windoze machine (!!), I would have the same problems too.

    Something that has bothered me for a while... why on PCs does the Delete key <forward delete>? Delete means 'remove', or is a negative, so why is it deleting the positive, or the letters after it? It's like saying +(-1). Why not just (-1)? At least on Apple's Pro Keyboard the <forward delete> key is clearly labeled as 'del |X>', showing it's a <forward delete>. On PCs there are two keys, Delete and Backspace, that in practical English mean the same thing, while they actually perform almost opposite commands.

    .... I have too much time.




    irmongoose
     
  7. slowtreme macrumors 6502

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    May 27, 2003
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    Tampa FL
    #7
    The Backspace clearly does exactly what is says it does. When you press it, the cursor goes BACK a SPACE. This even matches the function of the typewriter (with the exception that back in the day they didn't erase)
     
  8. MacBoyX macrumors 6502

    MacBoyX

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    East Coast, USA
    #8
    Also being a switcher, I had a few issues with this...jilter, it sounds as if you are defintely using a Mac Laptop which has a smaller keyboard so there fore the real estate is a premium.

    On my iMac and PowerMac keyboards there are pg up, pg dn home and end buttons. On my iBook/PowerBook those keys need to be used with the fn keys.

    It takes me alot of getting used to the keyboard diffs because I use PCs only at work and i was used to the backspace key taking me up a level in Explorer.

    I do miss on my PC the fact that the up and down arrows on a Mac take u to the beginning and end of a line. You'll get used to it trust me on that one...

    I will say one thing that drives me NUTS between PCs and Macs...

    I wish that the Enter or Return Key would LAUNCH a file or open a folder rather than put me in rename mode...it's harder to do Opt + down arrow :).

    Also I feel that Macs are WAY more MOUSE ORIENTED and less keyboard shortcut oriented. OS X has helped this and Panther's keyboard shortcuts make it even better..

    Hang in there before u know it you'll be like me and be bitching that Mac things are missing from your PC not the other way around!

    Cheers!

    macboyX
     
  9. themadchemist macrumors 68030

    themadchemist

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    #9
    this includes finder, itself!
     
  10. themadchemist macrumors 68030

    themadchemist

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    #10
    that doesn't really address irmongoose's rant, which referred more to the inappropriate use of delete than that of backspace.
     
  11. Awimoway macrumors 65816

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    #11
    Interesting. That has been the opposite of my experience. It seems like there are shortcuts for anything and everything on a Mac. Lots and lots of them are programmed in by the OS and perform a wide variety of handy little functions.

    Two other basic features I really missed from my Windows days were folders always being listed at the top of a Finder/Explorer window, and in Save dialogs the ability to click on the name of an existing file and save the new file as the old. Fortunately, the latter is now possible in Panther. And it occurs to me that there might be a way to write an Applescript folder action for the former. If only I was more comfortable writing scripts...
     
  12. stcanard macrumors 65816

    stcanard

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    Oct 19, 2003
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    Vancouver
    #12
    As a very recent switcher I find OSX far more keyboard-shortcut oriented than Win2k or XP, and as I think back on it I realize that the Mac people I know tend to use the shortcuts more than their windows brethren. It's the standardization that helps. Everywhere except MS products -- ever notice that command-w does not work on Word X windows? [Edit: Okay, it does work on word windows, as expected, but in Excel it closes the document instead of the window. I knew there was something weird in there. Actually, that's even worse than it not working at all!]

    As a side note, although in total I think w2k is more keyboard accessible (there are a lot of things in OSX that seem to be purely mouse and I haven't figured out the full keyboard access yet), Windows 2000 is not fully keyboard navigable.

    I discovered that a year ago when I installed it on a system that turned out to have an unsupported mouse.

    Since the folder name is displayed, I assume you mean you miss the folder path? I just command-click the title anytime I want to see the path.
     
  13. Awimoway macrumors 65816

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    #13
    No, I just mean that in List view, I was accustomed to finding ALL of the folders at the top of the list, trumping all other sorting criteria. But on a Mac, folders are treated the same as all other files. For example, if your files are sorted by name (i.e. alphabetically), folders will simply be placed among all the other files according to their place, alphabetically. In Windows, if you sorted by name in list view, you would get ALL the folders, A-Z, listed before any other kind of file, such as a document named "Aardvark.txt," for example.
     
  14. stcanard macrumors 65816

    stcanard

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    #14
    Ahh, okay.

    I actually prefer the Mac sorting, so I guess this would have to be user selectable! :)
     
  15. Awimoway macrumors 65816

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    #15
    Well, it has its points. It's really just one of those things you have to adjust to. The problem arises from habits, instincts even. When one instinctually expects to find all the folders at the top of a list and they aren't there, it can cause temporary insanity for a fraction of a second before you realize that the folders are still there, you just have to hunt for them further down the list.
     
  16. sahnert macrumors 6502

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  17. Awimoway macrumors 65816

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    #17
    Well, yeah. I'm just saying the instinct is to expect it to be that way even when you sort by name.
     
  18. mmmdreg macrumors 65816

    mmmdreg

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    #18
    Off topic, but who thinks the finder, especially with column view, kills the windows explorer?
     
  19. Awimoway macrumors 65816

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    #19
    Count me in. Its instant preview features rock. Much snappier and easier to use than the few previews possible in Windows.
     

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