Backspace operation is too slow on Mac OS X compared to Windows

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by saintforlife, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. saintforlife macrumors 65816

    Feb 25, 2011
    When compared to Windows, the backspace is too slow on my Mac. It is especially annoying when you are trying to delete a long sentence by pressing backspace. Is there way to make it go faster?
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    OPTION/Alt+Backspace does delete complete words, or you could select the words you want to delete via mouse/trackpad or OPTION+SHIFT+LeftArrow or OPTION+SHIFT+RightArrow.
  3. interrobang macrumors 6502

    May 25, 2011
    Well, since there is no backspace key on the Mac, you'd be waiting forever.

    Otherwise, option-delete will delete the previous word, and command-delete will delete everything on that line.
  4. hafr macrumors 68030

    Sep 21, 2011
    Isn't it the other way around? There is a backspace key, but not a delete key. Pressing fn+backspace is the equivalent of pressing the delete key on a "regular" keyboard.
  5. interrobang macrumors 6502

    May 25, 2011
    On a full keyboard, you get a Delete key (⌫) and a Forward Delete key (⌦).


    On a small-format keyboard, you get a Delete key and press fn+Delete for the Forward Delete key.
  6. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    Nope, definitely only a delete key ;)

    EDIT: I've been ninja-ed by Interrobang :p
  7. hafr macrumors 68030

    Sep 21, 2011
    Look at that... To me, "delete" on a mac is backspace, and "forward delete" is delete :) I wonder why Apple decided to change the name from what everyone else used...
  8. interrobang macrumors 6502

    May 25, 2011
    Probably because the delete key, you know, deletes characters.

    Back in the typewriter days, the backspace key moved back one space (character.) Today, that's what the left-arrow key does.
  9. MSlaw macrumors regular

    Aug 11, 2010
    If I remember correctly, modern macs have the same keyboard layout as the apple IIgs (not sure about the apple II)
  10. hafr macrumors 68030

    Sep 21, 2011
    Yes, but the key has kept its name for so many years. I guess I'm just reacting because I only found out today, after 26 years of owning a personal computer, that the backspace key is called the delete key on macs :)

    But then again, pain is just another French word for bread...
  11. dasmb macrumors 6502

    Jul 12, 2007
    Why is it a delete key? Concurrent evolution.

    The original Apple II and II+ keyboards (1977) had no backspace or delete. They had left and right arrows; everything at that point was still more or less "insert" mode, move the cursor to a position and press space to delete. I remember word processors would frequently remap keys to "back delete." The Apple IIe (1983) had a delete key.

    The IBM 5150 (1981) had an unnamed key which did "back deletes" and sat in more or less the same place as backspace keys today. Its symbol was an extended left facing arrow, which I notice is a feature of the Dell board I'm typing this on.

    The "Enhanced" keyboard (101+ keys) came out as a third party accessory in 1982, and became an official IBM thing in 1986. This featured both a backspace and a delete (aka fwd delete).

    I ask you, though -- which name makes more sense? Why should delete mean "forward delete," necessitating the awkward and baroque "backspace" to indicate back deletes for what's the much more commonly used key? This is one of the things that confounds me most about switching between mac and PC OSs, along with the schizophrenic behavior of the windows key (a meta key that is a modifier OR an action?) and the over-reliance on "mouse combos" that in some cases don't work at all due to the trackpad's design.

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