Advanced PC User learning the MAC for the first time

Posted on 2014-09-02
Last Modified: 2014-09-02
A wierd and embarassing posting.   I've worked on the pc since the 1980's and am now forced to learn the mac .
Is there a grid or table showing common Windows commands/menu items and their MAC equivalents?
(BTW, I'm a big-time keyboard shortcut geek on the pc.)
1. For instance:  CTR+ALT+DEL allows me to bring up the Task manager.  Is there an equivalent in MAC?  
2. What is the MAC equivalent of ALT + TAB?
3. There's a bunch of stuff at the bottom of my MAC screen but that is NOT the task bar because I'm currently Not running a darned thing!!!   Is there a task bar in Mac.

Finally, the dumbest question for last:  How do you power on the mac?  I don't see a power button.  (yes you can laugh).
Question by:brothertruffle880
    LVL 14

    Expert Comment

    This is a great book to help you get started.

    Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual

    LVL 12

    Assisted Solution

    by:Justin Pierce
    Hi Brothertruffle880,

    First, welcome to the Mac. Second, here is the Windows equivalent shortcuts on a Mac:

    Third, remember that if you want to know where you are at on a Mac or what program (application) you're working with, is to look in the upper left-hand where the Apple logo is, then look a little to the right and the bolded words is the application that is open. (That will really help you feel like you're not floating around aimlessly on the Mac)

    Fourth, I'm guessing you are working with an iMac so please look on back of the Mac for the power button. It will be on the lower left-hand side.

    Hope this helps.

    LVL 53

    Accepted Solution

    Most Apple keyboard shortcuts are similar to Windows shortcuts, but substituting the command key for the alt or control keys.

    So the equivalent of alt-tab is command-tab.
    Control-c becomes Command-c and so on.

    The stuff at the bottom of the screen is likely the Dock which acts as an application launcher and shows open applications.

    The power button on Mac laptops is usually on the keyboard at the top right, or near the keyboard at the top right.

    Apple has a bunch of really good video tutorials for new users and particularly for people switching from PC's here:

    The fastest way to get up to speed is to view those videos.
    LVL 53

    Assisted Solution

    If you want to force quit an application, the equivalent of control-alt-delete is command-option-escape. Force quit is also available as a menu item under the Apple menu.
    LVL 53

    Assisted Solution

    If you want something more complete, bring up the Activity Monitor. It can be found in /Applications/Utilities, or by typing "activity" into the spotlight search at the top right of the menubar.
    LVL 53

    Assisted Solution

    Also, one thing that really confuses PC switchers is that the Mac does not automatically quit (exit) programs when you close the last window.

    Command-w closes the active window in any application.
    Command-q quits the application and closes all its open windows.

    If you close all an application's open windows, but do not quit the application, either by command-q or by pulling down the application's menu to "quit", the application will continue to run windowless and will consume RAM.

    Author Closing Comment

    LVL 27

    Expert Comment

    To summarize:

    1.  Activity Monitor is Equivalent to the Task Manager.  You can find it in /Applications/Utilities, or just use Spotlight to search. Command Spacebar  is the default shortcut to get spotlight.
       Command+Alt+Esc brings up the force quit menu.  You can also right click on the dock icons to select force quit if an Application is hanging.

    2.  Replace all your basic alt and control combinations with the command key and you'll get the equivalent functions for most shortcuts.  I tell new users the following:  Steve Jobs (Mac) likes to Command.  Bill Gates (Windows) likes to Control.  

    Here's a better shortcut key list that has the icons.

    3.  The bottom bar is called the Dock.  The bottom is the default place for it, but it can be moved to the sides.  Programs that have started have a white bar underneath it.  It's like a combination Start menu/task bar, but different.

    The Power button has an open circle with a vertical bar going through the top.  It's on the upper right corner.  They've removed the superdrive in the newer Macbooks and made it part of the keyboard.  I disabled the default sleep function so I don't accidentally trigger once or twice a year.

    Some other suggestions.
    If you're a power user, I suggest you learn the command line and keep your docked.

    Macs do not have every keyboard shortcut defined, due to the API.  If a programmer did not add a shortcut during programming, you won't have a shortcut available to you.  You must use a mouse.  Windows came later, so they've defined it in the API and early Windows 3.1 & prior systems did not come with a mouse, so you were always able to navigate to every menu and every feature with only the keyboard.  My first Windows system did not come with a mouse.

    You can get pretty close by making sure that the Control F2 (Menu) and Control F3 (Dock) keys are enabled in the Keyboard Shortcuts menu, but Macs are designed to be used with a mouse.  Those two allow you to navigate to the Menu and Dock via keyboard only.  Unfortunately, I've had to disable those to allow them to work in a Windows VM.  You also can't just navigate through the finder with just your keyboard.  Pressing enter renames a file or folder instead of opening it.  If you use Windows in a VM or through Remote Desktop, I suggest you also switch the keyboard to have the function keys instead of the media keys as default.  I use the function keys a lot more.

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