Apple shortcuts a lot complicated than Windows ones?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by weizilla, Feb 15, 2008.

  1. weizilla macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2008
    I am a windows user and will be switching to a mac soon (pending new macbook (pro)).

    One thing that I've noticed from doing research is that Apple/Mac OS X keyboard shortcuts seem to be a lot more complicated than the ones in Windows. I noticed that a lot keyboard shortcut require more than one meta key (control, option or apple) and which key you use doesn't seem to make sense to what you're doing
    For instance in windows, control + [something] usually means a command, alt + [something] means keyboard shortcut instead of mouse clicking and windows key is windows related.
    For mac os x, it seems like, control is used for some stuff, apple is used for some stuff and option is used half the time. Also, since there's no right clicking (for a laptop), you have to press even more buttons to do simple commands found in windows.

    Have any other windows to mac switchers notice this?
  2. psychofreak Retired


    May 16, 2006
    On the laptops, you can choose to tap the trackpad with two fingers to right-click

    I find the shortcuts much more intuitive on the Mac btw especially putting in accents, which is ridiculous on Windows.
  3. tjevans macrumors member


    Jan 18, 2006
    I think the most common shortcuts are very similar:

    copy = (on mac) command (or apple, as you put it) + c; (on windows) control + c

    The same for print, paste, and cut (although not all apps on a mac recognize the cut command).

    The hardest thing is going back and forth between a windows machine and a mac because of the different positions of the command key on a mac, which almost all keyboard shortcuts use, and the control key on windows.

    Like psychofreak said, you can right-click using a trackpad, and it's actually easier to scroll than on most windows laptops. You can activate a trackpad scroll by using two fingers anywhere in the trackpad, where on most windows laptops, you can only use the edges to scroll.
  4. psychofreak Retired


    May 16, 2006
    I had great difficulty getting used to it, but now I'm comfortable on both systems because I use them both a lot.
  5. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    I've been using a Mac for 5 years now and I still can't decode some shortcut key descriptions in the menus. Is that Command-Option, Control-Option, Shift-Command, wha??

    But generally the rule seems to be that command+Key is your standard, commonly used command shortcut, option+Key gives you different options for typing in certain characters (a different kind of Shift key, if you will), or option can modify the command shortcut to either give you alternate behaviour. Sometimes they use multiple modifier keys for rarely-used sequences just to reduce the risk that you'll accidentally type it in, or to leave open the less-complicated shortcuts for other apps that you'll likely use more (command-option-shift-8 being an example).
  6. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    More complicated? I wouldn't say so although I'm an old switcher now.

    Cut, Copy, Paste, Save are the same but just using Command.

    The rest of the most common one keep using command and use, usually, the first letter of the word. Q for Quit, W for close Window, H for Hide, M for minimise, L for Location (in Safari) . I find them much easier - in fact I keep trying to use some of them on Windows at work and kicking myself.
  7. bobm macrumors member

    Aug 10, 2006
    I've been on the Mac for about 1.5 years and I find the shortcuts much easier..

    new directory

    windows: alt f - w - f

    mac: shift cmd n

    is just one example, alt-F4 vs cmd-Q for quit just seems to work for me.

    I will say that I like hitting enter when on a directory or file name in Finder does the opposite of what I would have expected. Windows Enter = Open, Apple: Enter = Edit file name.

    In the end it's just something slightly different to learn but I have no problems jumping between both systems anymore..

    Of course I use VI so that makes me wierd anyway..
  8. kuwisdelu macrumors 65816

    Jan 13, 2008
    Personally, I never used Windows shortcuts because they never made sense to me. Now that I've switched to Mac, I use them all the time because I find them a lot more intuitive. Cmd + Q and Cmd + W to quit or close are window are just obvious, and so is Cmd + H to hide an application. There are other ones that aren't so obvious at first, but then make sense once you think for a moment why they are like that. E.g. in Safari, Cmd + F is used to find a search query on your page ("Find") and Option + Cmd + F is use to access the Google search bar. That confused me at first, but then realized, that it was simply a version of "Find" that searches the whole internet instead of the current webpage. Usually the basic shortcut is Cmd + "Key" and you can use different "versions" or "specializations" of the shortcut by adding Shift or Option. E.g. Cmd + H to hide the current application, or Cmd + Option + H to hide all other applications.

    If you're already very used to Windows shortcuts, I can see that they'd take some getting used to at first, though. The good news, though, is that you can customize all of them if you don't like them, and make new ones for any application or for all applications using System Preferences -> Mouse and Keyboard.
  9. weizilla thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2008
    I guess what I'm confused about is that in windows, there's alt, control and windows key and it's pretty standard as to what kind of short cuts they each use. For Apple, there's the apple key, control key and the options key and it isn't really clear to me why some commands are apple + [something] and when it's control + [something].
    I guess I'll just have to get a new mac and learn :)
  10. DaveF macrumors 6502a

    Aug 29, 2007
    Command (AKA Apple or Splat) Key is the basis for all shortcuts. After that, there doesn't seem to be much rhyme or reason. :)

    Having switched recently, it's a mixed bag. The Cut/Copy/Paste commands are essentially the same: Cmd-C instead of Ctrl-C. Others are easier: Cmd-Q to quit rather than Alt-F4; or Cmd-H to hide, instead of Alt-Space-N (to minimize a window). Some are harder: Cmd-Shift-3 (?) for a screen grab rather than Alt-PrtScn. And some are harder but in a sensible way: Cmd-Shift-D to deliver email instead of Outlook's Alt-S; that's easier but also easier to hit by accident sending the email prematurely when you meant to save it.

    The icons they use to describe shortcuts are, unfortunately, inscrutable. If these symbols were actually on keyboards it would help.

    In all, it's just a matter of learning the ones you need. The cool thing is that if a command is lacking, you can change or add it with the customization tool. I changed the iMovie 08 Import shortcut to suit my needs.
  11. clevin macrumors G3


    Aug 6, 2006
    yes, you are right, OSX shorts is either similar or more complicated than windows. haven't found easier ones.
  12. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Unfortunately that's not true. Look at your hand position normally.

    Command key, which is standard on Macs, is much easier to reach than CTRL.
    (You have to move your hand position for CTRL, you don't have to move your hand for command).

    There are things that can be done with just keyboard only that you can't even dream of doing without a mouse, and plenty of clicks / right clicks in windows.
  13. clevin macrumors G3


    Aug 6, 2006
    its more about how many keys you need to press than relative position of keys. everybody can move their fingers, but everybody only have 5 fingers on each hand.
  14. spunkybart macrumors newbie

    Jan 7, 2008
    Yes, I agree

    I switched a few months ago, and I agree with you.

    Other than the standard copy/paste, the shortcuts often do seem a bit more complicated. But as others have pointed out, some of them, like command Q and command H, are easier to remember on the Mac side.

    What I decided to do was to only learn the more complicated ones that I use most often -- like command shift 3 and command shift 4.

    The one that gets me every time is Delete -- in Finder, it is Command Delete to delete a file, but anywhere else it is Function Delete to delete a character.
  15. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    I didn't know a key command requires 6 buttons?

    FUD. You are trying to deflect the question: which is more useable.

    So which finger do you use to press the CTRL button?
  16. clevin macrumors G3


    Aug 6, 2006
    Lol, FUD, who said you need to press 6 keys? I was simply suggesting your finger is limited, if you use more fingers to press keys, no matter where the cmd key is, it won't be easier than using less fingers.

    and FUD, you are the one who try to deflect the question, OP was clearly asking
    and you are the one who tried to confuse the question and bring in the factors nobody did any research about.
  17. durija macrumors 6502

    Jan 16, 2008
    For several years now, I switch between Windows and Mac machines constantly at work. Sometimes with only a minute or two between going from one to the other. You get used to anything, if you make a little effort. Sometimes I wish there was more commonality, because I do slip up occasionally as I bounce between platforms. And I think it is a mixed bag...some feel better on Windows, some on the Mac. I think the Mac wins when you think about shortcuts and their integration with the rest of the OS (spaces, expose, etc.).
  18. weizilla thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2008
    There's a function key too???
  19. clevin macrumors G3


    Aug 6, 2006
    yes, left lower corner, basically, it has one more combo key "cmd(apple)" than windows.

    and On a mac laptop, page down, page up, home, end require Fn key to work, F3, F4, F5, F1, F2, F6, F7 are all pre-configured to be various hardware controls (brightness, volume, num lock, external display), which means you will need Fn key to use F1~F7.
  20. notsofatjames macrumors 6502a


    Jan 11, 2007
    Wales, UK
    i use both windows and osx regularly. Windows for work, and OSX at home. When i first switched i was a bit confused, because 'control + anything' does nothing (most of the time). If you get it in your mind that control = :apple:(command) then most just follow suit. Some windows shortcuts confuse me. F4 to select the location bar in IE/Windows Explorer. What does F4 have to do with location. Cmd+L makes more sense to me. I think that if the shortcuts seem odd at first, if you actually think about the keys your pressing it makes sense. The only thing that i miss is that on windows you press Alt, then you can navigate the menus super quickly. In work the applications i use have HUGE menus. So I can just press alt, then A or B or whatever to get into the next menu, then press C, then press D, and I'm at the end of the menu I want to. I know in mac you can press fn+ctrl+F2, but thats not only awkward to press, but is very un-rememberable. But then on mac you can edit any keyboard short cut you want, and you can 'swap' the effect of command and control keys, so if you really want it can be windowsy.
  21. clevin macrumors G3


    Aug 6, 2006
    there are many shortcuts in windows are overlapped. to move focus to location bar, Alt+D (address) works on IE, Firefox both. Its easy, like someone suggested above, since the distance between Alt and D is very close. while in OSX, cmd+D doesn't work, you have to stretch your hand or use two hand to do cmd+L.
  22. kuwisdelu macrumors 65816

    Jan 13, 2008
    It's the same "fn" function key you'll find on basically all laptops (including my old Dell) that you use to toggle the F1-F12 keys between actually being F# buttons and doing other useful things like being volume control, use Expose, etc. You also use it to get the keypad functionality, and "home," "end" keys, etc., that you can't fit on a laptop.

    Personally, I still think Mac's keyboard shortcuts are more intuitive than Windows, especially because there's a lot more cross-application use between them (in my experience). Although, that may be because I never bothered using keyboard shortcuts in all my years with Windows because none of them ever made any sense to me, but OS X shortcuts come fairly quickly to me.

    Almost every single keyboard command uses Command (because it's a keyboard command) and then can be further modified by the addition of Shift, Option, or Ctrl keys, all variations of which usually either have similar functionality or are less-used commands that also start with the same letter, e.g. Cmd + H to hide, Cmd + Option + H to hide others, but then Cmd + Shift + H is "home" in Safari because it can't use either of the previous ones, but still begins with the letter "H". Further more, the "Ctrl" modifier key is often reserved for integral OS keyboard functionality, while "Cmd" is reserved for application keyboard commands and "convenient" commands. This stems from OS X's Unix roots, where the Ctrl key was used to send important commands to the operating system, such as Ctrl + C sending a break, informing the system to stop whatever it's doing. That's why when you have Terminal open, you can use Ctrl + C to send a break to the Unix OS, but can still use Cmd + C to copy something, while Windows makes no such distinction. That's why Ctrl + F1, F2, etc. is used to send focus to access to the menus, the dock, etc. The Ctrl key is important to Unix functionality, while the Cmd key is important to the GUI environment of OS X functionality.

    But in short, almost all keyboard commands you'll need to use have Cmd + "Letter" and then can be further modified by the addition of Shift, Option, etc. to use different functionality.

    Oh, also the weird symbols for the modifier keys used in the menus are the symbols used on International-style keyboards, and the symbol ^ for the control key has always been used.
  23. Tiffany0509 macrumors newbie

    Jan 18, 2008

    Hey I got a problem. When I am trying to copy an image from the internet, and i press 'apple+C', and paste it into my word document. However, when i paste it, it is just the image location, like it is just the address not the image itself. Please help!! It is really irritating as I am working on a project...
  24. rahb macrumors newbie


    Feb 19, 2008
    Dunlop, ACT, Australia
    What do you do just prior to Cmd+C? You would need to have selected (in the browser) whatever it is you wish to copy. So, instead, just mouse over the image you wish to copy and right-click (or Ctrl+click), then select "Copy Image".

    If you end up pasting a URL, it is because the image is used as a link. Also, some sites do not *want* you to copy their images, and so use various methods to confound you. Most can be worked around fairly easily; the simplest method (for when Copy Image does not work) is Shift+Cmd+4 and then use the screen cap, which can be tidied up in Preview first if needed.
  25. Quillz macrumors 65816


    Jan 6, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    I think using the shorcuts on both OS to be about the same. Neither strikes me as being any better or worse than the other.

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