Switching from Windows to Mac

Don’t know where to start with your new Mac computer? In this introductory guide, we will review tips for the basic setup of a new Mac, as well as the most common gestures and way to navigate this computer. Most people come from a Windows background and need some help adjusting to the new settings.

Tips on Switching from Windows

The first step in learning how to navigate your Mac is getting to know the keyboard layout and what the new keys mean. The most notable differences are circled in red. The Control key is the same as windows Ctrl. Option is the same as alt. Command is the same as the Windows key. Now that you know some notable differences, the keyboard shortcut section will be helpful.

Macs are heavily gesture-based, unlike windows. This means that you can do multiple commands on your trackpad or mouse by just using some finger movements. Several of the most common gestures are listed below. However, the full gesture guide can be found here: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204895

Right and Left Clicks: The right click on a Mac can be accessed in one of two ways: by either a two-finger click on the trackpad, or by a single click on the top right corner of the apple mouse.

Scrolling: You can scroll by using a two-finger slide on the trackpad going up or down. You may also choose to use the mouse. Use a one finger slide on the middle of the mac mouse to scroll up or down.

Looking for files: Trying to find a file that you saved somewhere? The dock at the bottom of the screen holds your Apps so that they can be accessed quickly. The “finder” is the blue icon, usually located on the left side of the dock. This is like the Windows Explorer, and it will be your friend when you have trouble locating a file you created recently. You can see all the most common places to navigate on the left-hand pane.


Image result for finder pictures

Trashing old files: Looking for the recycle bin? There is a trash icon located on the bottom right of your dock. You can drag and drop any files into the trash, just like you would on windows. The shortcut to delete something that you have highlighted is Command (CMD) & the Backspace button.

Keyboard Shortcuts: There is a host of keyboard shortcuts to make your tasks a little easier. As stated earlier, Command is the same key as the alt key on windows. More can be found here: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204216

  • Cut: Command-X
  • Paste: Command-V
  • Quit an app: Command-Q
  • Force-quit app: Option-Command-Esc

Rename Files: Click on the file once and hit the Enter key. This will allow you to type in a new name. Then, hit the Enter key again to confirm your change.

These are just some of the shortcuts that can be used and make your Mac experience easier. Apple also offers more guides on their website, located here: https://help.apple.com/macOS/mojave/mac-basics/#apps