MacOS newbie: getting used to the UI

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by garyd9, Jul 30, 2008.

  1. garyd9 macrumors member

    Jul 30, 2008
    Pittsburgh, PA area
    Some things I'm having a really hard time getting used to with MacOS (and the macbook in general) from a longtime windows user:

    #1: Closing an app doesn't quit the app (usually.) It's VERY easy to have dozens of applications running at the same time (and to start swapping to a page file) because of this. With 2GB of RAM, this isn't so bad. It does get annoying with a couple of apps that will close their window, stay running, and now its hard to get them visible again... (I'll usually click on their dock icon to get them active on the menubar, then press cmd-q to quit, and then restart.)

    #2: The "missing" home/end/pgup/pgdown/ins/del keys. It's common for me to type a line of text, and decide to re-do the line. In most Win apps, I'd press Shift-Home (which would select the text from the cursor back to the beginning of the line) and then Any-Key would delete the selected text. I _really_ need a keyboard way of doing fast selections of text (preferably line-based.)

    #3: The static menubar... I actually think I like the way MacOS has only a single menubar at the top of the screen that changes based on the selected window... It's still taking me some getting used to, though.

    #4: spotlight: There are similar things for windows (either as an addon for WinXP or built in for Vista) but Apple's implementation is just somehow faster and easier to deal with. Unlike with vista, I'm actually using it on this mac.

    #5: boot times: This thing boots up from a cold start faster than a windows machine wakes from S1 sleep.

    ...and finally, I found one thing on MacOS (er.. osx) that almost made me feel like I was using windows: I installed Microsoft Office 2008 to play with entourage and compare Word08 with iWork's Page... and the MS installer also installed a bunch of other useless crap I didn't want installed (MSN messenger and some automator actions.)
  2. NAG macrumors 68030


    Aug 6, 2003
    The Mac OS uses a different metaphor than Windows. For Windows, each app exists in a window that can have windows in it for separate documents. So to close an app you close its window. For the Mac OS there is no app window. Instead, to quit an app you go to the application's menu (eg: if you're in iTunes you go to the menu called "iTunes" and select quit, alternatively you can use the shortcut command q). Some apps do quit if you close the window. You can predict when an app will quit when you close the window by knowing if the app has the possibility of only one window (eg: system preferences only has one window so it quits if you close that window).

    You must have purchased a laptop, these keys exist and are supported with external keyboards. Additionally, you can use the command up and command down or the arrow keys in general for the same effect.

    Again, this is a difference in metaphor, where windows has applications windows that each have their own menu bar while the mac just has a system wide menu bar.

    You can use it as an application launcher too. Hit command space to bring up spotlight, type in the app and hit the return key.

    This can vary by the amount of ram you have. The more ram and the slower the drive the slower the boot up time.

    The automator actions are actually very useful since Microsoft didn't port over VBA for Office 2008 (we'll probably get that back in Office 2012 or whenever they get around to it).
  3. BileGhost macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2008
    As a reasonably new Mac user, I know where you are comming from. Try these:
    I use cmd + tab to cycle through open applications. Note though, finder is always open. Eventually you get in the habbit of closing the applications properly when you are done with them.
    Try Fn + up/down/left/right. These are your page up/ page down/ home/ end keys. Although they are there, they do slightly different things than their windows counterparts. Try it and you will probably see, if you don't, good for you :) Edit: I forgot Fn + delete (backspace) is forward delete. Theres probably an insert as well.
    I agree it takes some getting used to. I don't think its better than windows, or worse. Just different.
    Try putting a calculation into spotlight, and see the instant answer. Or if you are looking for an app, stat typing it andit will appear, hit enter and its open. Its just as fast as having it in the dock. (cmd + space to bring up spotlight,although it appears that it doesn't work from within opera, it may only work from native(cocoa) apps). Mac OS X seems to be more efficient in processingthan windows. Its faster, applications dont tend to get laggy, and I can make my macbook battery last for up to 8 hours. To compare, I also have a partition with windows xp on it, max battery life: 2:30, thats the same battery!
    Agreed. In windows, you sleep it, it says "preparingto standby" or whatever, finally sleeps, then when you wake it up it loads for ages, then goes to the login screen where you choose your name, then it loads for longer. In OS X, you close the lid, a few seconds later its sleeping, open the lid, and its like you never left :)
  4. agentphish macrumors 65816


    Sep 7, 2004

    That's awesome. I never knew that. Thanks for teaching an old dog a new simple trick.
  5. slomo86 macrumors member


    Jul 30, 2008
    Think Different... :apple: ;)
  6. baummer macrumors 6502a

    Jan 18, 2005
    Southern California
    Keep in mind that feature is new and only works on Leopard and likely to be included in future OS X versions.

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