Adjusting to life after Windows 7, new rMBP 15. Some novice questions.

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by opticflare, Jul 28, 2015.

  1. opticflare macrumors member

    Aug 12, 2013
    Hello all,

    So I have had my 15" rMBP for about two weeks now. I purchased the late 2013 model off the refurbished store for $1,300 (approx). I pretty much use this computer as my general purpose everything, as it is now my sole computer I own and I no longer have my windows desktop anymore.

    I'm not entirely new to Macs, I did use a MacBook Pro back in 2008 with my ex lots of the time, but it was not my main machine... I've always had a custom windows 7 desktop and a cheap laptop to compliment it, but I got tired of having a big desktop. I got tired of all the wires everywhere and the space it took up, plus I don't really game anymore.. it's all on console now. Anyways, I love this computer. The screen is absolutely amazing and crisp, and I'm loving the performance and quality of the machine, but I'm having some growing pains with OS X and would just like to have some really stupid questions answered :)

    1. I think my single biggest gripe I'm having with OS X right now is the Finder and navigating through it, particularly when viewing photos, back on Windows 7, I found it so much easier and straight forward viewing photos and pictures in Windows explorer, the other night I was going through hundreds and hundreds of old family photos and I had the hardest time just finding a way to view them easily. The folder has no thumbnail preview options, and when I open the folder, I just cannot simply click on a photo and open it, then press an arrow to move to the next photo. I have to drag and select them all and open them up in some drawer style and sometimes it doesn't even get all of them. I know Macs primarily used iPhoto for viewing this stuff but it seems to be gone now, or at least replaced with Photos like on the iPhone. Should I be storing my photos there? It seems like it makes a copy of them or something when it does that. I don't know where the raw files are stored when it stores them in photo, or if it just keeps them in the original place?

    2. Office software, Back on Windows I used Microsoft office, obviously this isn't readily available on a Mac. Now I notice that Numbers, Pages, can open these files. Sometimes they don't look correctly formatted. While I am thankful for having this software, for the sake of versatility and compatibility I would probably like to keep the formats in Microsoft office style... I did download OpenOffice as a alternative right now and it seems to be working okay, but how would I go about managing office software easier? Can you get Microsoft office suite for OS X still or is there some way to use Numbers and Pages for this? What's the easiest way for word processing and spreadsheets?

    3. What is the difference between Notes and TextEdit? Is TextEdit like Notepad?

    4. iTunes has changed quite a bit since I last used it.. I notice now it shows all of my downloaded content on iTunes which is a fair amount of movies and TV shows, and music. Can you now stream this content without downloading it? is it free? If so that would be pretty awesome with the space it saves. Only problem is it has a bunch of songs I've purchased in the past and my ex on my iTunes account back in the day that I would just never be interested in listening to. I'm wondering if there is someway to remove this and only store local music I've saved to my Mac instead of streaming, or even a combination of the two.

    5. iCloud and syncing with iPhone.. this is a nice surprise that it syncs my bookmarks, contacts, calendar, notes, and reminders.. but I don't want my Mac to get any messages or phone calls from my iPhone. I kind of just want to keep the phone and text aspect separated. How do I go about doing this?

    6. What exactly is iCloud drive and how does it work with your iPhone? I have it disabled.

    7. Is there any maintenance type programs I should consider downloading for upkeeping my Mac and keeping it fast and smooth?

    Sorry, I know these are lots of questions that can just simply be googled, which I have, for some reason I just can't comprehend the results I find in google search, I always seem to understand it better coming from people that use the same product in their own words. If someone wants to take the time to answer one or more of these questions it would help a lot. This is a wonderful product, but a little overwhelming for a guy that has been stuck on Windows for over a decade. I want to keep it and not get scared and take it back and revert back to the land of trying to find a gem of a windows laptop.. which I know doesn't really exist. :)
  2. BaggieBoy macrumors 6502


    May 29, 2012
    Microsoft Office *is* readily available for the Mac...
  3. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Try pressing the [space bar] to Quick Look at the photo, then use your arrow keys to move around. On my Mac, this leaves the Quick Look window open, and updates it with a preview of whatever file I've cursored to.


    On your Mac, in the, go into Preferences, Accounts and remove your iMessage account.
    On your iPhone, go into Settings, Messages, and look in Text Message Forwarding. Remove any devices you don't want your text messages forwarded to.
    On your iPhone, go into Settings FaceTime, and look at the iPhone Cellular Calls setting. Turn it off if you don't want to be able to make calls from other devices (like your Mac).
  4. Ulenspiegel macrumors 68030


    Nov 8, 2014
    Land of Flanders and Elsewhere
    I faced the same problem with photos. So, I had to find a simple application for that purpose. I downloaded Nikon ViewNX2. (It is free and ideal to browse pictures).
    To browse photos in Finder: go to the folder of your pictures ⇒ in Finder Menu select Edit and there "Select All" ⇒ in Finder Toolbar select Quick Look. Now you can browse your pictures clicking on a small arrow.

    Concerning office suits: OpenOffice is an alternative of course. I did not like it, so I bought Microsoft Office for Mac 2011. You can buy here all the available Microsoft Office products for Mac. I am not a fan of Pages, Numbers and Keynote. So, I leave that part to others.

    TextEdit is a word processor and text editor. It is like Notepad/WordPad in Windows.

    iTunes and iCloud. Both not my cup of tea, so these part I also leave for those who use them.

    Basically you don't need any maintenance or AV software for Mac. Nevertheless, you can download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware for Mac (free), just to feel safer and some useful utility applications, like Disk Doctor, AppCleaner, EasyFind etc.

    Enjoy your Mac! :)
    And if you have any further questions, feel free to ask.
  5. LxHunter macrumors 6502

    Nov 14, 2010
    Try Keynote instead of Powerpoint - way better.
    Your Mac doesn't need maintenance - avoid scams like MacKeeper etc
    All I use is MalwareBytes, DaisyDisk
  6. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    Portland / Seattle
    1. Building on comments by others here, Quick View is your friend. Open a new Finder Window, then use your keyboard to toggle through the 4 means to view files by using the Command Key and, while holding down that Key, press the 1/2/3/4 Key to toggle through the different views (also shown in the View Menu in the Menu Bar at the top of your display screen). Also, while in either Quick View mode (select a file then press Command-Spacebar) or in a Finder Window that's in Quick View Mode, the Tab key Shift-Tab keys will navigate between files then move down/up (respectively) on different rows - an alternative to using the Arrow Keys FWIW.

    Your images as seen in the Photos app are in a proprietary Library in your "Photos" folder, which is in your User Account. One can create new/additional libraries by pressing and holding down the "Option" Key when opening the Photos app - you'll be prompted for a new library name or to choose an existing Photos library. I keep multiple Photos libraries with different names, mainly for organization of my stuff. I use Photoshop for my editing, and I'm not a big user of the Photos app. One note - several apps I've used access the Photos library so that your images can be added to other applications documents, a big convenience IMHO. I've also read that some or all changes made to images in the Photos app are non-destructive, but others may correct me on this point.

    2. Office 2016 for the Mac just came out a few weeks ago, and it's dumbed-down from both Office 2011 for the Mac (somewhat dumbed-down) and Office 2013 for Windows (majorly dumbed-down). I suspect that MS will be adding features back in to Office 2016 soon, but it's not my daily driver yet. I use Office 2013 in a Windows virtual machine on my Mac using Parallels Desktop.

    As to availability, the new version of the Office suite is available now only to Office 365 subscribers, with a standalone version promised "in September". If you need Office "today", both Office 365 and Office 2011 are available in 30-day free trials; Office 2016 is downloaded from the Office 365 portal, and be sure to check for your 2-factor authentication password as you'll need it.

    I have Pages/Numbers/Keynote. I don't use any of them - I've been using Office for 25 years, and I'm used to the suite. One of my friends swears by Keynote, but I don't do presentations any more so I can't back that up.

    2/3. Combined here. TextEdit is NotePad on major steroids. TextEdit can also open/save/edit Word files, as long as there's no DirectX encoding, forms, or password protections. TextEdit can also open/edit RTF and text-based PDF files. There's more, but that's what I use TextEdit for - its a Mac "can opener".

    6. Be careful here, for now. I have a developer account, and am demoing the upcoming versions of OS X and iOS - the underpinnings of "iCloud" are significantly changed, IMO in a good way. "iCloud" is a file/setting/content synching platform that developers (including Apple) "hook" into with their apps and also (selectively) is a "repository" for those files/settings/content files.

    The "iCloud Drive" option seems to be significantly changed in its capabilities in iOS 9/OS X 10.11. Apple has so many problems with iCloud IMO I've just avoided using it.

    I use "iCloud" for mail/contacts/calendaring, but that's pretty much it. I sync everything else locally to my Macs and backup to a local Mac. I own an Exchange Server and also use Office 365, and I've found those two services to be more reliable - but they're not "free".

    7. As for maintenance, each modern Mac's OS has a built-in maintenance schedule and runs scripts automatically to keep things running fairly smoothly. I use Onyx (free) and Cocktail (paid) to tweak my system and force-run those scripts.

    I run a small company, with about 25 Macs. I require everyone to use a Standard account; the Administrator account is not accessible to them. I work in two Standard accounts on my own Macs (a Mini Server and a rMBP); I have access to all of the Macs and police them regularly. You've read the horror stories - malware this, virus that, etc. - in 6 years, we've had ZERO issues. I don't know why anyone would run their daily events in an Admin account; I know that some software requires an Admin account, but we don't have any applications that require this type of environment.
  7. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    Photos you should really manage in the Photos app. Outside in finder is just not practical. Quick view is space bar btw.

    As far as free office go. LibreOffice is the true OpenOffice. Most of the community responsible for OpenOffice split of into LibreOffice. What is now called OpenOffice is the more conservative managed version. LibreOffice is the community open source office.
    I find Numbers, Pages are clean and power efficient but frustrating to work with. Simple thing like writing a document in multiple language drove me to frustration. I eventually found some not very intuitive solution but to me it is a very American product. ;) LibreOffice is better as far as Office and compatibility goes. Microsoft Office for Mac used to be crap but it seems the 2016 edition is a lot better than older installations. MS Office is still best especially for compatibility with itself if the cost is not too much. If you don't need the compatibility the other Office solutions work just as well once you get a little used to them. Though LibreOffice has functions more where one would expect them, Pages does things differently.
  8. opticflare thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 12, 2013
    Thanks for the responses. I think for now I'll stick to OpenOffice and give LibreOffice a try too. I might get Microsoft Office for Mac. I guess 2016 is coming out? When I went to the site it seemed subscription based.

    iTunes I'm starting to understand better. It seems like you can either stream your purchase history via internet connection for movies / TV shows or download them directly onto your computer? This seems like a new feature.

    I'll try to get used to the Finder. Just still don't quite understand Photos. Does it upload all your folders or do you just choose what you want to upload in there, where do the rest of your pictures go? I wish it was a little more straight forward like Windows Explorer but I'm still adapting.
  9. venom600 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 23, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    Office 2016 is only available as a subscription right now. The one time purchase copies don't come out until the fall sometime.

    As for the Photos question, it seems like you were manually managing all of your photos before... Photos (the app) is just a standard photo management program. Microsoft has one for Windows too, and there are dozens of third party options.

    If you have the iCloud Photo Library turned on and enough storage on your iCloud drive, almost every photo you put into the library gets uploaded and deleted locally. It only keeps the most recent and most viewed ones local, but it's seemless. You can't tell what's local and what isn't. You just see all your photos, and if you want to access one that isn't local it will seemlessly download it for you from iCloud. That means if you take a photo on your phone, it's going to just appear on your computer without any intervention from you.

    EDIT: I've added a link to a great FAQ on Photos that iMore put together:

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