If you are a Windows user and need to make the switch to MacOS, it can seem difficult at first to navigate with the slight differences between the two operating systems. Here is a quick list of shortcuts and explanations for the MacOS system to make the transition easier.
Like the Windows Taskbar at the bottom of your screen, Mac has one that is similar called, The Dock. These icons within the Dock function have a few differences. There is a split within the Dock, where apps and shortcuts live on the left side, and document icons are on the right.
Left Side – On the left side of the Dock, are application icons and Finder. To add an application to the Dock, drag any application over or if the application is running, hit Ctrl + Click and select “Keep in Dock” so it will always appear. If you want to remove an application from the Dock to another location, drag the icon anywhere outside and the icon will disappear from the Dock.
Right Side – On the right side of the Dock, are documents and minimized windows. You can drag a document or folder to the Dock and it will stay there for quick opening. You can remove these folders and documents by dragging the icon outside of the Dock. To add a minimized window to the Dock, click the yellow circle in the open window. To restore the window, click on the icon within the Dock.
The Right Click
In Windows, your mouse allows you to right click to get property information, save and print options, etc. However with Mac OS you will notice you cannot right click, unless you turn it on manually. To do this, head over to the System Preferences in the Dock, and select Trackpad. Within the Point & Click section, checkbox the “Secondary Click” and select the drop down menu to complete setup. Now you can right click with options similar to Windows.
There are a few different ways to get the screenshot you need.
To capture the entire screen press Shift/Command/3 (or Shift-Command-5 for MacOS Mojave) on your keyboard and a menu of options will appear. Click “Capture Entire Screen.” Your pointer will shift to a camera icon that you can click anywhere on the screen. You will then be able to find the screenshot on your desktop.
To capture a single window, it is almost the same method as above. Press Shift/Command/4 (or Shift/Command/5 for MacOS Mojave) to have the menu appear. Click “Capture Selected Window” and your pointer will shift to a camera icon. Click the window you want to capture and a thumbnail of the screenshot will briefly appear in the corner of your screen where you can edit or take other actions. You will then be able to find the screenshot on your desktop as well.
To learn about how to screenshot the Touch Bar, portion of the screen, or Menu, click here for Apple’s support on these topics.
Closing Browsers and Programs
When closing a window browser or application (program) in Windows, you can click the X in the top right corner. In Mac OS, there is a red button on the top left but will only close the front most window but the application will still be open. Over time this can slow down your system and create frustration. To close out the application, there are a few methods: On the Dock, there will be a dot underneath all applications that are currently open. You can right click the icon and the option to close will appear. You can also go to the opened application, and head to the top left and select the dropdown and there will also be an option to close out the program.
The Finder is similar to Windows File Explorer, where you can find files and folders on your hard drive or network. This is located down on the far left of the Dock. To see the path where the file/folder in question is, go to the View menu and select Show Path Bar. To see how many files are within a folder you are searching for and how much free space is available on your hard drive, head to the View menu again and select Show Status Bar. At the top you will see icons that allow you to change how you view the files. If you select the Icon view, at the bottom right there will be a slider that will allow you to enlarge or shrink the icons.
Cut, Copy, & Paste
Copy and Paste are similar in Windows and Mac where you will select Command/C for Copy, and Command/V for paste. To Cut, you will have to copy first, then hold the Option key while pasting which will cut the selected file.
Learning a new Operating System can feel frustrating, but Mac is designed with users in mind to easily navigate. For more short tips on the Mac OS as a Windows user, go to Apple’s support section here.