How to make OSx function more like Windows.

Discussion in 'macOS' started by bgbs, Oct 17, 2008.

  1. bgbs macrumors newbie

    Oct 17, 2008
    I recently switched over to mac for graphic design reasons, but I've had a frustrating switch so far because the way OS leapord works, it slows me down a lot. I constantly get confused over simple things which any OS should do, and apparently it either doesn't do them, or I don't know how to do them.

    Things I have issues with.

    1. When I launch Photoshop, for example, the photoshop loads up the menus and pallets but not the actual window. The pallets are scattered all over desktop and it becomes a mass when you have other windows, other apps lined up in the back. Is there a way to change that so that when you launch photoshop or any other app it actually opens everything in it, not lines up things as if they are outside of the app. I have the same issue with dreamweaver too. With windows, no confussion. When the app is loaded its loaded.

    2. Which tasks or apps are running is another issue I have. I know there is a blue dot by each running up, but that is not the most efficient way to see what things you are working with especially if you need to work fast. Running apps should be lined up like windows has all tasks lined up so that there is no confusion. Right now its frustrating. Any third party app that can help me out with this?

    3. Mac Explorer, or Shell is way too simple. I spend too much time going from this folder to this folder. To sort files and folders is almost impossible. Its like you have to go here, open this, click that, and then it sorts. Waste of valuable time is all it is.

    Basically I think I need to windorize Mac OSX a little bit.

    Other than that I love that the system is smooth and fluid.
  2. Cromulent macrumors 603


    Oct 2, 2006
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    Not really. As you get used to it you will get your speed back.

    Just spend the time learning the new system rather than trying to make it behave like a different system.

    It took me about a month to get used to it, but when I did I was using OS X just as fast I would in Windows.
  3. italiano40 macrumors 65816


    Oct 7, 2007
    then go back to WINDOWS
    learn mac OSX it is the best
  4. Jestered macrumors 6502

    Oct 13, 2005
    Austin, Texas
    Buy a windows machine if you want it to work like windows. Or install and run windows and have a very depressed Mac.
  5. jag00 macrumors newbie

    Dec 21, 2007
    New York
    I really don't think telling the op to go back to Windows when he has a legitimate question is the most constructive thing.

    Bgbs... you may try Dragthing ( as something that shows you the programs running and has multiple docks for your files, folders, documents, etc.

    As far as finder, an alternative is Pathfinder ( It isn't free but you may try a free demo and see if you like it.

    The photoshop/dreamweaver thing is something I actually like so I don't know if there's a way to change that. Perhaps someone else can shine some light on that.

    Hope that helps.

  6. Harmush macrumors 6502a


    Sep 21, 2008
    each to their own. if you like windows thats your choice.
    but mac is a lot better when you get used to it. i recently made the switch and it was hard. but mac is so good.

    don't go back to windows.

    (i make websites btw)
  7. jlamb0 macrumors member

    Oct 16, 2008
    Although I prefer the Mac UI, I can see how it takes some getting used to when you're used to using Windows.

    Might I suggest using Spaces? You can isolate Photoshop (or any other application) on it's own desktop workspace, and switch between spaces using keyboard shortcuts.
    Once you get used to it you might find that faster than sequentially minimizing and maximizing in Windows.
  8. blodwyn macrumors 65816

    Jul 28, 2004
    Portland, Oregon
    Basic difference between OS X and Windows. In OS X the applications are (mostly) run independently of any documents they have open. In Windows, when you close a document, the application closes. In OS X, when you close a document, the application stays open, so you can quite easily open Photoshop with no document loaded, which sounds like what you're doing.

    Use Expose to see all the Windows that are open, or use Command-Tab to see the application switcher

    You can set the view sort options for any folder in Finder by going to View>Keep Arranged By or set the default by View>Show View Options, setting the Arrange By option and then clicking "Use as Default"
  9. martychang macrumors regular

    Sep 3, 2007
    1. I'm not 100% sure what you mean. If you just opened a program like that it seems normal that it wouldn't load a document, since none was specified.

    2. I don't know the command off the top of my head, but you should be able to easily switch to the 2D or "noglass" version of the Dock. It's much easier to see the dots on the 2D dock imo. For managing tasks the Dock is incredible, you just have to learn how it all works:
    A. All the app icons are drag-n-drop clients, if you drag a document out of a folder or off the desktop and drop it onto an app icon on the dock, that program will attempt to open that document, even if it isn't the default program for that file format.
    B. The Dock is a fast task switcher, clicking the icon of an open app brings all of that apps' windows above all other apps in focus order. Which is great for apps that have a ton of windows like Photoshop and Final Cut.
    C. not directly related to the dock but one of the best features of OS X for task management is hiding. On any app, under the app name menu, or Command + H, or right click the apps dock icon -> hide, will hide the app. This means the app will still be open, but all of it's windows will be invisible, you can still tell it's open because of it's dot on the dock. You bring it back(and to focus) by clicking it's dock icon, all the windows reappear on top. This is amazing if you want an app to stay open but need it out of your way for the time being.

    3. Try switching to List or Column view if you're a power user. Most agree the Finder is too simple, but these views help quite a bit. Learn about spring-loaded folders, and depending on your disposition try setting Finder to open each folder in a new window.

    Probably the biggest OS X tip is that drag and drop is pretty much universal. Try dragging pretty much anything, pretty much anywhere, and it will probably work how you'd expect. Even non-obvious things like this: highlight a body of text and click & hold for a second(to avoid changing your selection) then drag it, you drag the text in your selection and can drop it into a text field, or onto the icon for an app like TextEdit to open a new document containt the text you selected and dragged. Just try dragging things places, you'll be amazed how much of it works, and how much time it saves you.
  10. cazlar macrumors 6502

    Oct 2, 2003
    Sydney, Australia
    I've been trying to interpret what you are asking about, so here's my guess and responses (apologies if I misinterpreted anywhere!):

    Q1. You are used to the Windows way of placing all "subwindows" within an "app" window. So if you open two photoshop files, you will have one "photoshop" window with the two files as subwindows of this, and when you minimise them they shrink to the bottom of the app's window.

    A1. No. The way Macs do this is that each document (usually) gets it's own window, not each app. I'm afraid you won't be able to find something to change this, but trust me, it really is a better way of doing things (you can interleave different windows from different apps for example, something impossible with the Windows way of doing it).

    Q2. Which apps are running and windows do I have open?

    A2. I too hate the blue dot, it is too hard to see, and preferred the old black triangles. There's a hack to get them back but probably not worth the trouble. As for which apps are running, I'm often switching between them, so I cmd-tab a lot to use the application switcher, which shows all the running apps (use cmd-` to go backwards in the list). Also, I'd suggest you try Hiding apps, or try learning to use Expose. For selecting windows from a list, try the 3rd party app "Witch", though I haven't run it in years.

    Q3. Finder is confusing and slow

    A3. Which mode are you in generally? I do nearly nothing in icon mode, instead list and column are the best. Column for when you want to quickly drill down to a location (you can get there with a few keypresses by using arrows and typing the first name of the file/folder you want). List is best for looking at details like size/kind/etc, and allows you to see multiple levels at once using the disclosure triangles. Sorting in list mode is simply done by clicking at the top of the column, I'm not sure it could be any easier?
  11. EV0LUTION macrumors 6502


    Jul 21, 2008
    1. Use Spark (google it). Make a new hot key that will hide all other windows, this way when your working in photoshop you don't have to look the rest of the open apps.

    2. You just need to think simpler. The X button no longer quits applications (in most cases), It just takes it off your desktop.

    This is something you need to understand too. Treat your desktop like an actual desktop, not like a screen in windows. you put things on your desktop when you are using them, and hide them when you are not.

    I can't comprehend why you don't like the dock, its perfect, and completely replaces the start menu bar. if something is running its highlighted on the dock. If it is not then its not highlighted. Simple think simple.

    3. Why you dont like finder is beyond me. With the multiple views, quick look, etc. It blows windows explorer out of the water.
  12. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    Hello bgbs

    My wife had the same problem, when she switched. She still does wants to do things the "windows" way on occasion - which frustrates her. But overall, the switch has been worth it, she says.

    Re: Photoshop. Instead of opening PS, and then the document, try doing it the other way round. Find the document and open that. If you are using Leopard, there is very nice shortcut I've started to use. Its takes some practice to get into the habit, but its worth it. Click and hold the command key (looks like a rug beater on my keyboard) and the space-bar. This will bring up Spotlight (the search engine). Type the name of the file or the folder you want open.... when you see it highlighted, hit return. If your memory is good, your fingers never leave the keyboard. If you see what you looking for, but its not highlighted then you have to use the mouse to get to it. Take the time to set the preferences for Spotlight so that the types of items you want are sorted to the top. So, if you are always opening Photoshop files, then put them above PDFs - for example. To do this go to system preferences, and click on Spotlight. You will see a bunch of categories in a list. Drag and drop the categories to get the order that you want.

    I love Expose.... I have a corner of my screen setup as a hotcorner. so I just slide the cursor up and over, pick the window, and click on it. There is way to this with Spaces too. I also put my dock on the side. I find its easier to use there..... after a week of getting used to it.

    Finder is a pain, sometimes - no use denying it. Use Spotlight as above. Also, if you have a folder that you always want to go to then you can drag it to the dock (the dock is subtly divided into two sections. Just drag the folder around until the dock accepts it.) Note: You are not actually moving the folder to the dock, you are merely creating a shortcut to the folder. Now you can drop files onto the folder to put them in the folder, or click on the folder to open it. If you click and hold on a folder on the dock, a number of options will present themselves. You can also drag a folder to the sidebar of the Finder. It will go in the section called "places". Now, no matter where you have navigated to with the Finder, you can have one click access to folders that are in the sidebar. Again, they are shortcuts to the actual folders.

    Try these techniques out for a week or so, and then post back with more questions!
  13. Topher15 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 22, 2007
    Firstly... on Windows there the Windows way, and on Mac there is the Mac way. Don't use one and expect it to work the other way. Once you get used to the Mac way you will fine it is far easier/better.

    OS X does not have an "application window" in apps like Photoshop. OS X is a application centric OS (i.e. the app loads first and can remain open with no documents open) whereas Windows is a document centric OS (i.e. you select the document and the system runs the appropriate app; when you close the document the app closes)

    Here are some options:

    - Use Spaces and keep Photoshop in its own space.
    - Alternatively there is an app called Think which can block out everything behind the selected app.
    - I think CS4 gives you an option use an Windows-style "app window".

    If you want it to work more like Windows then just remove every app from dock and all you'll see is running apps. However, as I mentioned above, it's never going to be like Windows because in OS X applications and documents are distinct. The dock only tell use which apps are running, and which documents are minimized. Maximized documents (i.e. those not in the dock) do not appear; it would be a waste of space anyway.

    You could...
    - Remove all apps from the dock to only see which apps are running.
    - Or use the app switcher (alt+tab).
    - Use Expose to see which documents are open.
    - Or control click an app in the dock to see documents are open.

    Not sure what you're saying here. I presume your icons in folders are all over the place? Hit Command+J to see the folder options which will allow you to arrange them as you wish. Or use list or column view.
  14. emt1 macrumors 65816

    Jan 30, 2008
  15. rychencop macrumors 65816


    Aug 17, 2007
    you should be slapped for the title of this thread.:D
  16. iJawn108 macrumors 65816


    Apr 15, 2006
  17. apfhex macrumors 68030


    Aug 8, 2006
    Northern California
    I agree. Even though it was unintentional, I almost thought this thread would be a joke or trolling of some sort. No offense to the OP. :D

    1. As has been explained, these are inherent difference between the GUIs of both OSs. Give it a chance and you might like it more. Or if you simple must have it the Windows way, Photoshop CS4 will have a window mode like that. There are also 3rd party apps around that can dim or hide anything behind the active application. Or you can hide everything else manually, including desktop icons, by Command-Option-clicking on Photoshop — the same thing as selecting "Hide Others" from the application menu.

    2. This has been covered enough by other posters so I'll skip it.

    3. Maybe you can elaborate what your problems with the Finder are, because the way you put it is vague.

    Here's the big thing you need to understand though. Mac OS X is not Windows and you shouldn't try to get it function more like it, because you will end up disappointed or frustrated. Adjust to the differences in the way things are handled and you will have a much more enjoyable experience.
  18. QuantumLo0p macrumors 6502a


    Apr 28, 2006
    No dot: not running
    Dot: running

    I am not sure how much more efficient you could be. Perhaps, could it be a simple matter of you are not used to mac OS-X yet?

    Give OS-X some time and keep an open mind about it. It is not perfect but I have found most people who spend a fair amount of time on OS-X end up loving it and do not want to go back to Windows. The percentage of disapproval is low. I love A-B comparisons like that! Of course, we are on the winning side so it is easy to talk like that. Apple market share is rising and Ballmer is extremely nervous.

    I sense you may be suffering from a disease commonly known as Steve-Ballmeritis. It is not necessarily a permanent infliction but has been known to cause loss of sleep, fatigue, anxiousness, confusion and, in severe cases, dimentia and permanent loss of 50+ IQ points.
  19. QuantumLo0p macrumors 6502a


    Apr 28, 2006

    Apple needs to use the Solaris ZFS files system.

    I smell another thread coming on...
  20. manofthehill macrumors newbie

    Oct 16, 2008
    I go back and forth with this one. At work, I use Windows, and actually drag up Photoshop's gray "background" so that it's only about 35 pixels or so, so I can better see my other documents (I'm often working between P-shop & Powerpoint, for example).

    I then hit the "F" key once if I need a nice gray background or twice for the black background, same as Mac. "F" is your friend in P'shop. Use it often in conjunc. w/ "Tab" to toggle your menus. Before long, you'll have no problem with Photoshop in OS X.

    I know little about Dreamweaver, but it too may have a View > Fullscreen mode.

    Again, working eight hours a day in Windows has had me trying to solve this one too. My solution is old school: I use the old "Favorites" trick. In your "user" folder, under "library," you've got a "Favorites" folder. I give mine a proper HEART icon, drag it to the left so it stays in the Finder. I Opt+Cmd+Drag each Application I use frequently (or not-so-frequently) into this Favorites link in my Finder. While so doing, you know it will create an Alias because it displays a curved arrow while you're dragging.

    Once you have a bunch of "shortcuts" to your favorite apps, click on "Favorites" to view it finder, drag the "Favorites" icon from the top of the Finder into the dock. On the dock Ctrl click on your Favorites link and choose "view as folder" and "view as list." Now drag all your other apps OUT OF THE DOCK. Your dock should now just contain: Trash, Finder & Favorites (and MAYBE downloads).

    The benefit? If there is an app in the dock, you know it's open.

    By the way, it doesn't have to be your Favorites folder. Anything will do. I like the heart.

    I agree with the other posters: Column view. Set it as default. Using two Finder windows in column view on top of one another is actually better than a single Explorer window, even with the helpful "tree" structure.

    Best of luck. OS X is pretty cool.
  21. fteter macrumors member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Don't give up on OS X...if you hang with it, you'll eventually find it's much quicker and more versatile than Windows. I'm in a situation similar to yours and just under two weeks into the switch.

    David Pogue's "Switching To The Mac, Leopard Edition" (from the Missing Manual series) has saved both my bacon and my sanity several times already. I highly recommend you pick up a copy, as it's written specifically to ease the switch from Windows to OS X.
  22. chaos86 macrumors 65816


    Sep 11, 2003
    1) The palettes and such is just something to get used to. Not having every app want to fill your whole screen seems weird at first, but it becomes normal fast, and before long you'll hate windows apps that hog your screen real estate. For example, I can see this Safari window, a finder window, most of my desktop icons, and a VLC window playing and episode of Entourage all at once. Meanwhile, on windows, firefox would be "maximized" by default so you couldn't see anything else. The palettes in PS disappear when you don't have PS active, so they don't get in the way. There's no reason for them all to be contained in one larger window like in windows, it's just inefficient, and means you never get to see your wallpaper.

    2) No fix here. Try putting your most used apps on the dock, from most at left to least at right. Use spotlight (cmd+space, then the first few letters, then enter) to open anything else.

    3) How on earth is the OSX file structure more complex than that of Windows?

    In the root folder you have Applications, where the Applications live, and Users, where the various users of your computer have their own folders, in which there are several folders to save your documents in.

    On the other hand, in windows you put apps in C:\Program Files\ and you save documents in C:\Documents and Settings\Username\. That's Practically the same. System and Library equate to c:\Windows. The desktop is a folder in the user folder in both windows and OSX.

    One thing that might help you is to change your finder view. Change it to columns. In that view, you move from left at the highest level like your hard drive to the right as you move deeper into folders.

    Another thing I do is drag the Applications folder and my own user folder to the right side of the dock (right side, as in the the right of the seperator). Ctrl click on them to change the way they display when you click on each one.
  23. chuck taylor macrumors newbie

    Dec 4, 2011
    Mac OS X vs Windows: Tap Counting

    I've been using Mac for over two years now and believe it is superior to windows in every way…... except for file management.
    A new york times tech writer David Pogue in a speech was explaining the term "tap counter" which is a person whose specific job is to count how many times a user must tap with the mouse to perform a function. The tech company then redesigns the user interface to reduce the number of taps of the mouse to accomplish a function.

    So here are a few considerations when comparing Apple OS-X vs windows and quite possibly why so many windows users absolutely hate Apple computers.
    1. One must retype search criteria in the search window when changing search directories.
    2. when copying a file from one folder to another favorites folder one must locate and move the mouse to the gear icon at the top of the finder screen tap on it, then select "paste item" and tap on it. Too much mouse movement and tapping.
    3. When deleting a file on a thumb drive inserted on a USB port one must empty the trash or the file will not get deleted.
    4. picture previewer does not apparently allow one to advance backward and forward to the next picture without going back to the finder window and tapping on the next picture on the list and then waiting for it to display up on previewer.
    5. Seems like a simple right click and delete could be implemented. But again one must locate and move to the gear icon at top of screen tap on it and then select "move to trash" and tap on it.

    Did Apple not hire any tap counters?
  24. chaos86 macrumors 65816


    Sep 11, 2003
    Admittedly I don't do that much searching in finder, but can't you just copy and paste the search term? CMD+A (select all), CMD+C (copy), change folder, CMD+F (go to find mode), CMD+V (paste).

    CMD+C and CMD+V work on files too. I don't know what you mean by "favourites folder" though, so maybe that has something to do with it.

    Yes, would you rather have the confusion of instant permanent deletion in some cases, and trash can temporary deletion in others? I think you're confused because the trash appears empty again if the USB drive is ejected. Trash is volume specific on a mac, so the Trash folder in your dock is actually a virtual directory, representing the hidden trash directories of each currently mounted volume. So when you unmount a volume (eject a USB drive) it's trash goes with it.

    I assume you mean the preview window you get by hitting space with a file selected. In that case, up and down arrow keys can still be used to change which file is selected. That's what I do when I want to look through a folder of images quickly. I am using column view, but I imagine it works the same with detail view, switches to left and right for coverflow view, and becomes a pretty annoying up/down/left/right grid navigation in icon grid view.

    Right click and "Move to Trash"?

    In defense of my fellow "tap counters" we prefer less diminutive sounding a job title more along the lines of "User experience designer." I really hope that Pogue didn't imply that there's a guy at apple whose sole job is to stand behind someone with a clipboard counting taps.
  25. priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Jan 13, 2011
    Everything will go much faster with keyboard shortcuts than mouse clicking.
    And this is not just OS X observation.
    Also, most of the gear commands from toolbar are available under right click of a mouse.

Share This Page