Windows to mac transition difficulties

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by chagla, Mar 21, 2008.

  1. chagla macrumors 6502a


    Mar 21, 2008
    Hi, I'm a PC. (well I used to be. ;) )

    I'm a recent convert from Windows to Macintosh. I'm loving the simplicity and the elegance of Mac. So I'm basically a heavy keyboard user, use mouse only when necessary. I'm used to customizing my Windows machine to death. I liked controlling Windows via command line, registry, Group policies etc. However after spending some time with Windows, I decided to switch to Mac.

    I hope this is the right place for help with some newbie questions. :) Now some questions.

    1. A dialog box with few options like Shutdown, Restart, Cancel etc. How can I alternate between the options using the keyboard? I thought of using TAB key for this...In my experience it worked only for dialog boxes in Opera, and just a few other dialogs but for most part, I was unable.

    2. How to view total size of a several folders of files together? I selected a few items and clicked "get info" but it opened one window for each. I wanted to know the total size of them together?

    3. On Finder, is it possible to browse the system solely using keyboard? Perhaps some kind of text area where I can type in a particular path I want to go to? I am aware of the "GO to folder" option in finder but that's not exactly what I'm looking for.. Apple+F does open finder and TAB only takes me to the search box. Unable to navigate after that..

    4. Any way of starting an application by typing its name or its location?

    5. Is it possible to browse the menus on a particular application? Like a shortcut expands the FILE menu and from there I can jump to the next menu of that application and continue? I found I must use the mouse to click on a menu and only then I can use the keyboard..

    6. When it comes to resizing windows, I suppose I must go to that lower right hand corner and resize?

    7. Both Return/Enter keys renames files and folders as opposed to start or open them? So how can I start or open files without mouse?

    I suppose that's enough for my first dose of Mac experience. Hope someone can enlighten me further.

    thanks in advanced.
  2. Cyroceon macrumors 6502a


    Feb 9, 2008
    I would love to know everything you want to know.
  3. killmoms macrumors 68040


    Jun 23, 2003
    Washington, DC
    System Preferences > Keyboard & Mouse > Keyboard Shortcuts, down at the bottom, select "All controls"


    Go to folder, and then arrow keys and typing item names, really. For instance, I just Cmd+Shift+G to go to, start typing a path (which will tab-complete), and then use the arrow keys or type item names to start browsing. Cmd+Down Arrow will open an item or folder, and Cmd+Up Arrow will go up a folder level.

    You want Quicksilver.

    There is some shortcut for this, but I think it's more productive in the long run to learn keyboard shortcuts and not need the menus. If you use something so rarely that you need to go to a menu, navigating via the mouse is probably just as fast as using the keyboard.

    EDIT: If you really want to though (you crazy bastard ;)), it's Control+F2 to get to the menus, then you use the arrow keys as would be expected.


    Cmd+down arrow or Cmd+O.
  4. Aranince macrumors 65816

    Apr 18, 2007
    4. You can type in the application name in Spotlight(upper right corner) and it should be the first option. So simply type it in and press enter and it should launch.

    6. Yes, although usually there is no need to. Some apps will go full screen. I'm currently on Windows(getting a Mac soon) and I've been keeping my windows less than full screen. I like it better, more relaxing or something.

    If your big on Keyboard shortcuts, I highly recommend taking a look at QuickSilver.
  5. Cyroceon macrumors 6502a


    Feb 9, 2008
    Great write up. Thanks a lot, I definitely wanted the first one for tabbing dialog boxes and other items.
  6. TEG macrumors 604


    Jan 21, 2002
    Langley, Washington
    Pressing the first letter of the button will usually do the action. You can turn on the ability to cycle between buttons, I believe the setting is either under Keyboard under the Universal Access or under General Controls in the System Preference.
    Option - Get Info
    You can scroll up and down using the arrows, using either Command-O or Command-Down Arrow will open a folder or app. The Go-To-Folder is your best bet, be don't use Explorer style addresses.
    Quicksilver, Spotlight, or Terminal can to this.
    Yes, again it is under the Universal Access.
    Yes. It is to prevent accidental resizing.
    Command-O or Command-Down Arrow.

  7. chagla thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Mar 21, 2008
    Thanks for the INSTANT responses everyone.

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