Mac really so straight forward and simple?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by MarvinHC, Jan 26, 2014.

  1. MarvinHC macrumors 6502a

    Jan 9, 2014

    I am still fairly new to the Macworld (or back - I had my first Mac Classic experience some 20 years ago and absolutely hated the first iMac when I had to use it for one semester some 15 years ago...) and although there are many things I like, I stumble across some things I find less intuitive or even more complicated than on a Windows machine. Am I just missing a trick or are many things 'easier' after all in Win7?

    Some examples:
    1. I had some friends visiting who wanted to show me the pictures they had taken. So I put the SD card into my MBPro. The SD appears, no problem so far. I click on the first picture and then try with the arrow keys to go to the next one. Doesn't work. Try to find some icons to click to go back and forwards. Again nothing. Fortunately with a quick google search I found that you can only go back and forth if you first select all the pictures, than open one... is there really no more straight forward way?

    2. Still on the pictures: My friend wanted me to delete some of the not so good ones. In Windows the operation would be: browsing through them (as per 1.), when I don't like one, hit the delete button - done. In the mac, no luck with the delete button, only way to get rid of them is by dragging them into the bin.

    3. I wanted to format an SD card. Click on it, try to find some option menu to do so ... nothing. In the end I did it in my work Windows machine.

    I could find quite some more examples, but these here just from the last 24 hours.

    As said I admit that I am new to IOS and maybe after 25 years of DOS/Windows experience I might have adapted my way of thinking and working, but somehow I am struggling. Is there any only tutorial or advice that can be given to a 'switcher'? :confused:
    I really like the hardware but I might end up putting Windows on my Macbook after all...
  2. kelon111 macrumors 6502

    Mar 16, 2013
    The Mac OS is one of the main reasons people buy a Mac.

    You claim that you like the hardware. What specifically do you like?
  3. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Oct 9, 2007
    In Finder, select cover flow mode and you can arrow key to you heart's content.

    To delete things with the keyboard it's Cmd-Delete. Mac OS X has a huge amount of keyboard shortcuts and you can create your own... for any app.

    Disk formatting is done in disk utility.
  4. fenjen macrumors 6502


    Nov 9, 2012

    But yeah, pretty much this.
  5. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    OS X is no more user friendly than Windows. The difference is that if there's an issue you can take it to an apple store where a "genius" will tell you how to do something, or if there's a major issue they will wipe your OS for you and fix any hardware.

    On a PC, you have to do all of that yourself.
  6. Commy1 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 25, 2013
    OSX feels a lot more intuitive than any PC running any version of Windows that I've ever dealt with. I think my favourite feature is it's ability to connect with devices and Cloud storage as easily as if it was a physical hard drive right next to you, except everywhere all the time.
    When switching Macs (e.g.: Upgrading from an older to a newer) the process is ridiculously simple. Simply type in your Apple ID user and password and everything on your iCloud will come flooding in. Contacts, Bookmarks, Calendar dates, emails, documents, whatever you put on iCloud. Time Machine is always recommended, but I feel a lot better knowing that my data can be backed up automatically and be accessible across devices.
    People call it idiot proof, and I answer so? What's wrong with something that just works.
  7. Swampus, Jan 26, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2014

    Swampus macrumors 6502


    Jun 20, 2013
    An alternative to cover flow is to open the desired image folder and keyboard Command+A (same as choosing "Select All") and then simply hit the space bar. It takes less than a second once you get to the point that you don't have to think about it (which is really the issue after 25 years on other operating systems). From there you can use the arrow keys to move through your images or you're a mouse-click away from an index sheet to scroll through thumbnails. You're also a mouse-click away from full-screen mode if desired. All of this without even launching an application.

    Edit: If you're more of a mousy person, you can add Preview to your Dock if it's not there already (go to your applications folder and drag the Preview icon to the dock) and then you'll be able to simply drag an entire folder of images to the Preview icon in your Dock. One step. From there you can use the arrow keys as desired. You can also right-click to move selected items to trash.
  8. gregornz, Jan 26, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2014

    gregornz macrumors newbie

    Apr 7, 2013
    Hi OP

    I totally understand you. I just bought a mac for the first time last week, and I'm having the same issues... lots of 'there must be a better way to do this' or 'it shouldn't be this hard' moments.

    I think the answer to those two questions is; there is, and it isn't. It's just a matter of learning - and thats not going to happen in a week. So, Google is your friend, and each problem encountered is a chance to learn :)

    As thejadedmonkey said, OSX isn't neccesarily more 'user friendly' than windows. In my limited experience though I much prefer the 'workflow' (that's my new buzzword) on the mac to windows - Windows is very vertical - you go down to the task bar and open a window upwards - Mac is horizontal; swipe between desktops/full screens. As my mate said, OSX is intuitive like a book.

    One thing that really bugged me at the start was having windows open (for instance a Word document) that weren't 'maximised'. Now I am getting used to how OSX is more 'window-centric' (ironic really), and really liking it. I also love the way OSX somehow encourages keyboard shortcuts, and of course the track pad gestures are the bees knees.

    The one thing I can't get used to is the menu bar paradigm. Although I'm getting quite good at command-Q'ing, it still annoys me that when I close a window the menu bar for that app is still floating round in cyber-space somewhere.

    The other thing that bugs me with OSX is the desktop - I find it kinda underpowered compared to windows - I guess I miss being able to click in the bottom right corner - but then as I type that I remember this hot-corner things, I imagine they can be set up to perform that function...

    Oh, and by the way, trying opening pictures files by pressing spacebar and then using the arrow keys.
  9. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    I think you should use what's familiar.

    I see too many people go to the Mac only because it's the next cool thing.

    I don't understand this mentality. If you want to waste your time instead of being productive, I get it. If you're required to use a Mac, then I get it; but what reason to spend extra on a platform you don't need and system you can't work well in?

    There are a lot of good computers on the market. Personally I love my ThinkPads and I sing praised about my X1 Carbon just about to everyone.

    That said the Mac is an excellent computer in itself. I used to not understand why people buy a Mac and then install Windows on it (and then delete the OS X partition); I get it now. They want a familiar system, but good looking hardware.

    As for new users who are just being introduced to the computer: I find the Mac is easier to teach; simply put if you have no real previous experience with a computer, I find overall OS X is much easier to teach to a new user. Some basic functions are easier to understand and that to me is something Apple is great at. An example is my parents. For ages, I tried teaching them Windows, how to use everything, but for some reason they never seem to get it. Then I bought them both Macs and they just get it. Somethings things are intuitive and Apple has a lot of good material and videos online.

    If you're already used to a platform (one that you're good at an enjoy) it takes some time to adjust your preconceived perceptions; since OS X does things differently, you'll wonder in the beginning why it doesn't do this or that better (compared to what you used before).

    Luckily for me, I always had a good mix of exposure ot OS X and Windows (even though I love Windows more for a very long time); it helped with a lot people I knew were experienced with the Mac and I was keen on knowing was going to before I made the move, so moving permanently to OS X for daily use was easier. That said there are many things that Windows does better than OS X.
  10. Swampus macrumors 6502


    Jun 20, 2013
    Not bad for a one week user! I actually discovered this by accident and I'll never admit how long I used Macs before that discovery.

  11. gregornz macrumors newbie

    Apr 7, 2013
    Google, baby!

    I also just now setup a keyboard shortcut to my desktop (command D). Why is it that OSX seems to encourage keyboard shortcuts so much?
  12. carjakester macrumors 68020


    Oct 21, 2013
    ive had my macbook since october and i still have trouble with getting around, though i can usually find my way by playing around with it. its hard to change but i think its for the best.
  13. gregornz macrumors newbie

    Apr 7, 2013
  14. MarvinHC thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 9, 2014
    I am not saying that I only like the hardware (though I do like the design and quality feel to it - especially when I compare it with my terrible work PC - Lenovo X220).


    Thanks, will try this later. Is there anywhere a nice summary of all shortcuts out there?


    I did find the Command-A trick via google, but I just thought, do they really need to add in that extra step (I am still under the naive assumption that under Ios all is 'intuitive' which this is clearly not).
  15. MarvinHC thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 9, 2014
    Hi Gregor,

    thanks for your answer, glad to hear somebody else shares the same experience. I have not given up yet and will fight my way through the change over the next couple of weeks...

    If you have any hints to share from your first days and weeks I'd be glad.
  16. gregornz macrumors newbie

    Apr 7, 2013
    I'm not really the right guy to ask how to use a mac properly! But I can share a few things that have helped with my transition! :)

    Get down and dirty with the system preferences: the only reason the mac doesn't do things the way you want is because you haven't told it to! Unlike windows machines, macs seem quite difficult to screw up by making mistakes. So, don't be scared to push all the buttons and see what those things so.

    Google is your friend. You don't have a problem that someone else hasn't had and answered online.

    I've been watching lots of videos on youtube. There are a lot that will give you nice basic demos of how to use every part of the mac (finder, desktop, spotlight, system preferences, menu bar, dock, etc). Most of them are too basic, clearly designed for people that have never used any computer before. But in those too basic videos there is always a couple of 'ah ha' moments.

    I think the most important thing is to just get involved. You will learn, and it'll be in proportion for your interest to.

    I was just trying to refresh a webpage with the keyboard. I kept holding function and pressing F5, and it didn't work. So I looked in the 'view' drop-down in the menu bar, they quite often show the shortcuts there. Its ⌘R. I like how often when you learn something new on the mac your like, "Oh, yeah, that makes sense!".
  17. Swampus macrumors 6502


    Jun 20, 2013

    I don't know if the word "intuitive" really applies since you're coming to the Mac with 25 years of computing experience on another platform. It might take a while for that spring to unwind. IMHO, it's worth giving a shot. But if it's not your cup of tea, no harm in installing Windows and having both available.

    FYI: It's Mac OS X (or simply OS X) that runs on Macintosh computers. iOS is for Apple's handhelds (phones & tablets).
  18. MarvinHC thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 9, 2014
    Thanks, my bad, of course it's OS X. God, I really feel like a computer newby the first time in so many years :)

    But anyway, not giving up yet, so the Windows install will wait.
  19. akdj macrumors 65816


    Mar 10, 2008
    Bottom right? Or left? (windows...for 'start' button I'm assuming....not time, date, network or your 'anti-'whatever'-ware, right? From the desktop, click CMD N, get a new Finder window. It's immediate. And makes sense (=intuitive)---right? CMD N (for 'new'). I was there. Eight years ago now. After over two decades of continuous Windows usage, there are a couple of hurdles. But they're simple, easy...and the more literate you are with Windows, the quicker you'll figure out OSx.
    Gestures are your friend. Four fingers up, all your open apps. Four down, back to the app you were in...or, while they're 'up' pick the one ya want (or from the dock) and click. You're in. Doesn't matter with OSx'es memory compression and utilization as far as apps being 'open' or closed. The longer they're unused, they'll cache and 'nap' freeing 'active memory' for apps demanding it

    One BIG thing that helped me, if it's on the left on Windows, it's on the right in OSx. Dyslexic. Don't 'overthink' your 'task'. If you want to remove or uninstall an app, throw it in the trash. Empty it. It's gone. No control panel. No population of install/uninstall programs. Windows on a boot camp partition is smart. Training wheels as you're getting used to OSx. That said, a few tutorials....using the program. Finder. Terminal if you want to really get into OSx. It's powerful....but simple and intuitive at the same time. I found myself continuously 'over-thinking' tasks when coming from Windows. But that doesn't mean OSx isn't 'powerful' under the good. With Automator, Terminal, XCode (free) as well as the iWork and iLife apps,'s tough to beat!
    As a die hard PC(Win) fan...latest nVidia GPUs, building gaming rigs, troubleshooting even my 'stock' Compaq, Dell and HP rigs...both lap and desktop got to be a real pain. Within a year, maybe 18 months...the machine would just steadily decline in speed and performance. As well, rapidly decline in value. Almost 180° opposite experience in OSx. No more spyware, security threats and software, background (taxing) updates, bad trackpads... All. History. With a Mac, you can SPEND the week or two it'll take you (honestly, if you're proficient...a month if you're not) to become 80-90% as efficient as you were in Windows. From there it's experience. The more you play (in OSx), the faster you'll learn the 'keyboard' shortcuts, gestures (these are HUGE, & IMHO as important as the keyboard s/c's). Photos have been discussed (there are another half dozen one click solutions to do what you want, especially it you've chosen a 'library' program, LR or Bridge, Aperture or iPhoto)---it'll open immediately give you all the shots and allow you to scroll through immediately. That said. Preview is EXTREMELY powered for 'what it is'. And when it comes to having Windows either on BC or a VM (Parallels, Fusion, et al)---never a bad thing. Best of both worlds. Sounds like you're getting the hang....and it's cool to 'know both', but a couple decades experience in Windows, some things have to be 'un'forgotten or re-thought with OSx. Good. Bad. Indifferent. Both are killer OS'es. Both are powerful. But when it comes to stability, free and supported and updated software (not bloat from a manufacturer), lack of service, virus/malware/spyware and weird Trojan worms infecting and slowing down your concerns. Complete confidence using it day in and out and two, three years down the road, want the latest model? Sell the old, get some real cash back (tough to sell a three year old Windows box) and apply it towards the new rig. I've found the lack of time, energy and expense to protect the computer, included software for documents, templates, spreadsheets and invoices...receipts, iPhoto (again, ANYone can learn this program) is exceptional for organization and simple editing of pics. RAW support. Order cool photo books, art...iTunes stands alone. iMovie is exceptional as is GarageBand. Mail works great. Keynote IMHO has ALWAYS been better, cooler, hipper and easier to use and engineer a killer 'Power Point' presentation. It's weird... But with a couple of free apps and add ons, plug ins...I'm not finding anything anymore I can't do on my OSx that I could in .windows (now that Adobe has finally released Audition for Mac:))

    Keyboard shortcuts ROCK! And they're straight forward. They make sense. And many follow their Window's counterpart. However on a Mac Command = Control on a traditional window's box. CMD-C, copy. CMD-V, paste. CMD-N, new. Etc. learn gestures too. You'll use gestures and your trackpad more often than keyboard shortcuts for things like a 'shortcut to the desktop' :). Four fingers up. Boom, desktop.

    It really is. You're just trying to unlearn a significantly 'harder' way of doing simple things. You don't have to select all. Set the four choice 'view' box? Select thumb nails. Drag up or down on the bar as to the size you'd like, presto, your arrows will do what you'd like. Or just go full frame. (CMD F if I'm not mistaken)
    Don't mean to sound pompous. But give it some time. It's more trying to unlearn a different OS....than it is trying to learn the new one. You already know how to do everything in OSx. You just haven't figured it out yet. When you do, it's typically a face palm moment.
    It. Really. Honestly. TRULY. IS 100% intuitive and 'fun' when it comes to a UI, the gestures...speed, apps, and 'depth' if you're a 'power user'

    Good luck. Don't give up. Within a month, I was a complete and total convert. Haven't had a Win partition in four years. Love OSx and the hardware it runs on. Each and EVERY choice. There's a reason they don't make 'cheap'. And when you add up money saved on simple forward. Future OS updates. Now Anti-Virus or protection packages, incomparable resale value, unquestionably and unequivocally OSx is the 'better buy' today. Unless you NEED Windows. And NEED workstation or server performance demands to meet....OSx. One Mac, turned into a dozen over the years for me. The Surface pro intrigued me....for about a half hour. Other than that, not a day over almost a decade has gone by that I longed for my Window's box!
  20. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    One of the killer features of OS X (at least for me) is the Quick Look - go to the file in finder and tap space. Then you can navigate with arrows. It sounds like you are using Preview for that - its not the best application for the job. Preview is good for other things (like pdfs).

    Try CMD+Delete.

    The application Disk Utility will do that for you. This is a difference between philosophy in Windows and OS X - in Windows, the functionality is all over the place, in OS X, it is usually centralised under a dedicated option .
  21. gregornz macrumors newbie

    Apr 7, 2013
    Thanks for an interesting reply akdj!

    Can you explain more about what you mean when you say "there are another half dozen one click solutions to do what you want, especially it you've chosen a 'library' program"?

    I agree that the gestures are amazing, along with the quality of the trackpad. To me it's amazing that nobody has caught up to apple in trackpad quality, especially given apple haven't changed theirs in 3/4 years (if I'm not mistaken).

    I would like to take the trackpad even further though - is there a good app for creating custom trackpad gestures?
  22. hallux macrumors 68030


    Apr 25, 2012
    I didn't read EVERYTHING. I did not see it suggested to pick up

    I don't have either of those but those books are generally highly regarded. I actually bought the Lion versions 3 years ago (when I was given a Mac at work, to learn) and haven't really used them. I can't say I'm a 'power user' like these other posters but I made the same switch for my personal computer 2 years ago.

    Specifically, the 'Switchers' book has a "if you did this in Windows, do this on the Mac" section.
  23. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    Not everything is perfect or better in OSX. Concerning the three examples, my personal opinion is that

    1. is something I keep stumbling about and would be better if it worked like in Windows
    2. is just a matter of learning the correct key combination (although delete not acting as delete is also rather unintuitive)
    3. also a matter of knowing how to do it, but a right-click based shortcut wouldn't hurt

    My favorite missing feature in OSX is being able to right click on the desktop and having the option to create a new text file.
  24. fratey macrumors regular

    May 6, 2010
    How odd, my Windows 8 desktop does the exact same thing just by typing in my Microsoft ID.

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