9 Mac Tips for Windows Users
Apple is one of the most valuable companies in the world due to its flagship products like MacBook, iPhone and iPad. People widely use Apple products for personal usage, hence Windows based laptops still rule the corporate industries. Therefore, it is a common problem that you may be using Windows in company and need to use Mac in home. Or you might have recently purchased a Mac and struggling to get along due to the Windows mindset. Here are 9 Mac tips for Windows users to speed up your routines.
1. Show Desktop
Windows 10 has multiple ways to show the desktop screen. You can press ‘Control + D’ or click on the on ‘Show Desktop’ button on the low right corner of the taskbar. This is not possible on the Mac which basically works with a dock. You can use a shortcut by pressing ‘Function + F11’ keys. If you want Windows like effects then you can create hot corners and show desktop by moving your mouse over any of the corner.
Go to ‘Apple Menu > System Preferences.. > Desktop & Screen Saver’. Click on the ‘Hot Corners’ button under ‘Screen Saver’ tab.
On the next popup screen, choose ‘Desktop’ from the dropdown of the lower right corner as shown below. Press OK to save your changes.
Now move your cursor to the lower left corner and see that all screens will slide away to show your desktop. Moving the cursor again will show the screen back. Basically you can toggle the desktop for showing or hiding by moving the cursor repeatedly.
2. Start Menu Vs Apple Menu / Top Menu Dock
Start menu in Windows is a key function for all the users. Even Microsoft learned hard lesson by removing and then bringing it back in Windows 10. There is no single equivalent of Start menu in Mac. The options are spreader over different places like Apple Menu, Top Menu bar and Dock. The Apple Icon Menu shown on top left corner has options for restart, shutdown, sleep, force quit, system preferences, App Store, recent items and about the Mac.
Use the Apple Menu to quickly open the recent application you have worked. If you are addicted to kill application with Windows taskbar, use ‘Force Quit’ option in the Apple menu to do the same in Mac.
Similar to applications available on Windows 10 Start menu, you can have applications on Mac Dock. You can customize the Dock by going to ‘Apple Menu > System Preferences… > Dock’.
Right click on the app on your dock and customize the settings for individual app.
Windows taskbar options of battery percentage, network status, language bar, speaker, search, notification center options are available on the Apple Top Menu bar.
3. Spotlight Search
Windows 10 offers two ways to searching from the desktop based on your version and geographical location. You will either have Windows Search or Cortana Search. Windows Search is a search box available in the Start menu while Cortana Search will be available on the taskbar itself.
The easy and best way to search your Mac is using the Spotlight Search. Press ‘Command + Spacebar’ keys to open Spotlight search and find the files you want.
4. Understanding Apple Keyboard
Apple has different keyboard compared to Microsoft Windows keyboards. Besides the alphanumeric keys, you should understand the following keys in Apple keyboard.
|Apple Keyboard Key||Description||Windows Equivalent|
|⏎||Enter / Return||Enter / Return|
The operation of Apply keyboard is completely different than that of standard Windows keyboard. Below are some notable difference you will feel when moving from Windows to macOS.
- Mac does not have page up or page down keys.
- There is no backspace key, the delete key will do the backspace key function for deleting the content towards left direction. Use ‘Function + delete’ keys to delete the content towards right direction.
- Command keys in Mac are the Control keys equivalent in Windows. Similarly Option keys are equivalent of Alt keys.
- Highlighting the file/folder and pressing Enter key will NOT open the file, instead you will see the option to rename the file/folder. Generally you need to use touchpad to open the file/folder.
5. File Explorer Vs Finder
Windows 10 has a File Explorer which you can open by pressing ‘Win + E’ keys. Mac has similar explorer called Finder. Apple introduced many new functions in Finder with macOS Mojave. Basically you can view and arrange files in different manner, preview the files and search within folder or on your Mac from the Finder.
Similar to Navigation Pane in File Explorer, Finder also has a customizable sidebar.
6. Install and Uninstalling Apps
One of the frequent activity you will do after purchasing a Mac is to install and delete apps. Generally, you can get apps from the App Store similar to Windows Store. In addition, you can download third party apps and install similar to Windows. However, the big difference is uninstalling the apps. In Windows, you need to go ‘Add or Remove program’ settings to find the app and delete it from the laptop. On Mac, it is simple – just drag and drop the app in trash bin to delete.
7. Pages, Keynote and Numbers to Microsoft Office
Documents are important part of any productive work. Mac offers iWork package that includes Pages, Keynote and Numbers. These apps are good when you start as a new user. However, it will be disappointing for those who are familiar with Office packages. One simple example is that Pages does not support the capitalization of first letters in a sentence when typing. This will be a productivity killer when you need to write multipage documents.
Similarly, other apps like Keynote and Numbers are no way replacement for PowerPoint and Excel. Therefore, if you love Microsoft Office package then you need to purchase Office applications for Mac. Either purchase individual Word / Excel / PowerPoint application or subscribe to Office 36s pack. Alternatively you can also purchase Office 365 Home version for up to 5 users which can be used both on Mac and PC.
8. Safari to Chrome
Do you love the ‘Control + Enter’ shortcut to enter domain name and open the website address with .com suffix? Then you need to get rid of Safari browser and start using Google Chrome. Yes, Chrome on your Mac will support all those Windows shortcuts. The fun part is you can still use the same ‘Control + Enter’ shortcut to quickly open websites. In addition, Chrome is a platform independent browser unlike Safari (works only on Mac) and Edge (works only on Windows 10).
9. Antivirus for Mac
Literally no virus or malware is one of the biggest advantage of Mac over Windows. This is also the important reason for people migrating to Mac after frustrating with infected Windows. By default Windows 10 has, Windows Defender as a system protecting application. But Mac does not have any default antivirus applications.
Though there are applications like MacCleaner, Kaspersky, etc. for Mac, you don’t need any of them due to the nature of the secured file system on your Mac.
Above explained are the very basic things that any personal users need for daily routines. But there are many other difficulties you will face when moving from Windows to Mac. For example, you need to use TextEdit instead of Notepad. Though it will be difficult at the start, you will be familiar with Apple’s way over the period of time. Below is a summary of the Windows equivalent apps for Mac.
|Windows App / Function||Mac App / Function|
|Alt Key||Option Key|
|Control Key||Command Key|
|Show Desktop||Hot Corners|
|Start Menu||Apple Menu / Dock|
|Taskbar||Top Menu Bar / Dock|
|Windows Media Player||QuickTime Player|
|Windows or Cortana Search||Spotlight Search|
|Windows Store||App Store|
Remember, you can also install Windows 10 on your Mac, but that will spoil the fun of purchasing a Mac.