what are typical newbie-to-mac issues?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jojoba, Dec 21, 2011.

  1. jojoba macrumors 68000

    Dec 9, 2011
    I'm just making the switch now from pc to a MBA (waiting for it to be delivered). What are typical things that are different between the two, that I should be aware of? Is adjustment quick?
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Adjustment time depends on your willingness to let go of thinking Mac OS X is like Windows.
    It took me less than a week to get used to Mac OS X, but that was back in 2004.
    Maybe this can help:
  3. Devil Dog 21 macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2011
    Kansas City
    When I switched 4 months ago my main issue was the lack of a "Windows like" file explorer. Doesn't take very long to get used to the OS. What's more frustrating is using a windows laptop once you've used an Air.
  4. Roessnakhan macrumors 68040


    Sep 16, 2007
    Having dealt with a lot of switchers at my work thee first thing I have to tell them is: to quit applications use Command + Q, just don't click the (x) on the application window.
  5. bill-p macrumors 68000

    Jul 23, 2011
    Command + C to Copy/Cut (it's both)
    Command + V to Paste (make a copy)
    Command + Option + V to Paste (move the last file over)

    Control is useless unless for very specific stuffs. Most shortcuts are now the Command key, which is "awkwardly" in the same position as the "Window" or "Alt" key on a PC.

    The Delete key really is a Backspace key. You can't move a file to the Trash with the Delete key alone. You have to use Shift + Delete to do so.

    Also, there is no drivers, so what you have right now (in terms of performance) is exactly what you'll get for the rest of the ownership. Bootcamp to Windows still uses drivers though, so if you are not satisfied with something, there is still the door out.

    And last but not least, no Uninstall/Remove Programs. If you don't like something, drag it to the Trash. There might be special Uninstaller apps for certain things, but those are just to clean things up perfectly. If you're reinstalling, or you don't care about leaving settings of old apps on your Mac, just drag the app into the Trash.

    In fact, learn how to drag and drop if you were too addicted to Control + C, Control + X, and Control + V on Windows.

    Installers still exist, but they are few and far between. And if a dialog pops up asking for your password even though you have none, just press Enter.
  6. doktordoris macrumors 6502a


    Mar 14, 2009
    The thing that took me a while to adjust to was the location of the close and minimise gadgets. I also had issues with the OS making a window the size it wanted to be when maximising, instead of filling the screen. BUt after installing better touch tool that problem has gone away.
  7. Abazigal macrumors G3


    Jul 18, 2011
    Realising that closing a program doesn't automatically quit it. Don't laugh, but it took me a while to realise why my MSoffice updates were stalling, coz I didn't force-quit word. :p
  8. coolspot18 macrumors 65816

    Aug 16, 2010
    Finder sucks, TotalFinder add-on makes it much better :)
  9. aldocg macrumors newbie

    Nov 14, 2011
    I've been using Windows for about 16 years and I just switched to a MBA.

    I'm never going back to Windows, for sure. Anyway, it took me about 5 days to FULLY adjust, and I have one single recommendation:

    Get BetterTouchTool and give it a try. If you're frustrated, keep going.

    I will never use a mouse again in my life. Mice are crap. The trackpad on your Mac is absolutely amazing and so powerful that you'll amaze yourself at the things it does.

    I do so many stuff with gestures and the like on my trackpad, that using a mouse would slow me to a crawl.

    It's very complicated at first, getting used to it but after setting it up exactly how you want it you'll be very satisfied.

    To me the things I didn't know were:
    • How installers work
    • How the file system works
    • Keyboard shortcuts / commands
  10. Kyllle macrumors 6502

    Apr 25, 2011
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    If command c is copy and cut, how do you specify to cut? Or is there just no cut option for macs?
  11. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    CMD + X is CUT, but it does not work in Finder with Mac OS X 10.6 and earlier.
    CMD + C is COPY, CMD + V is PASTE.
  12. jojoba thread starter macrumors 68000

    Dec 9, 2011
    Thanks so much, everybody, this is super useful :)

    What does 'better touch tool' mean? What is a touch tool? :confused:
  13. Kyllle macrumors 6502

    Apr 25, 2011
    ok thanks.

    What finger do you use to press the cmd + shortcut key. With the control key on windows it makes since to use your left pinky for ctrl, then index/middle finger for the shortcut, but the cmd key seems to be kind of awkwardly placed. I'm sure I'll get used to it over time, but I can't figure out an easy way. Maybe thumb for cmd + regular finger for shortcut key?
  14. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
  15. jojoba thread starter macrumors 68000

    Dec 9, 2011
  16. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Thumb for CMD and OPTION, Index Finger for the letters.
  17. Bob Coxner macrumors 6502a

    Mar 24, 2011
    I have 25+ PC years and only switched a few months ago. Actually, I still use Win 7 as well as Lion, so I'm not a total switcher. The most useful thing I found for learning OS X is a cheap app called Tutor For Lion. Follow the lessons and you'll be an OS X expert in no time.


    The two biggest adjustments for me are the lack of a file manager similar to what I use with Windows and the lack of a true Delete key. I like to use my MBA in clamshell (closed, with an external monitor) mode. I use my PC keyboard when I do that and I'm always hitting the Del key and being bugged that it doesn't delete. You have to use the Backspace key to delete.
  18. bobr1952 macrumors 68020


    Jan 21, 2008
    Melbourne, FL
    As some have said--the best approach is to just accept that you are changing operating systems. If you need to do something, learn the OS-X way to do it and don't try and get OS-X to do it the way Windows does it. That will only lead to frustration. You can do anything on a Mac that you did on a Windows platform, it will just be a different way of doing it. That's the approach I took in 2008 and I had very little trouble adapting. :)
  19. jojoba thread starter macrumors 68000

    Dec 9, 2011
    So I finally have my MBA. Your posts have been very useful because otherwise I'd probably spend a lot of time looking for that delete-key as well as other short cuts :eek:

    I think I might invest in that app that Bob recommended. I'm doing fine but a lot of the details are a bit blurred to me. Unexpectedly I'm NOT friends with the track pad yet, but I hope that will improve soon.

    Is there anything resembling/corresponding to a task manager on the MBA?

    This is a silly little thing but I'm also wondering if I can get rid of the picture I was 'forced' to set up on my user ID. It wouldn't let me register it unless I took a photo :confused:
  20. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    There's an Activity Monitor in the Utilities Folder within the Applications folder. You can also use CMD-Tab to tab through applications (similar to Alt-Tab in Windows).

    I don't have the Mac in front of me, but I believe you can change the picture in System Preferences within the Users setting.

    Another tip is that if you open up Finder and drag the Application folder to the right side of the Dock (right of the little "divider" near where the Trash Can is), it creates a shortcut that operates a little bit like the Start button in Windows.
  21. jojoba thread starter macrumors 68000

    Dec 9, 2011
    These are great tips, thanks! :)
  22. Fazzy macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2011
    check the tracking device
    I made the switch late august, rarely having used a mac before. Honestly, i didn't have an issue at all. I think it was because (don't laugh) my primary computer usage before that was my iPhone (which is a watered down version of osx). I used it for the internet, all my emails, everything. I rarely used computers, mainly just for word processing.
  23. PBG4 Dude macrumors 68030

    PBG4 Dude

    Jul 6, 2007
    A couple of screen grab shortcuts that don't seem to be documented anywhere are:

    1) To screengrab an area of screen, hit SHIFT+CMD+4. Then drag a rectangle with your mouse. When you release the mouse key, the screenshot will appear on your desktop.

    2) To screengrab a window, hit SHIFT+CMD+4. Then hit SPACEBAR. Then click on the window you want to image. A file will appear on the desktop.
  24. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    Figuring out what other is. That question is asked daily.
  25. Stewart21 macrumors regular

    Dec 9, 2011
    South Yorkshire
    One other thing is that OSX hides a lot of folders and files from you that you are used to seeing in Windows. Apple reckon you'll just blunder around and delete files and folders you need because you don't recognise them and believe me there are loads of them. It can be frustrating when you know you have some files but can't find them because they have been hidden from you. A search of help or support forums will tell you how you can unhide them permanently or temporarily.


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