Tips for a new Switcher?

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
Hello,



It should be appropriate that this should be my inagural (sp?) post on AI, as I have just received my first Mac! 15" Powerbook. I am very excited, as I have always worked on a PC before.



Now... are there any tips for a new switcher. Anything I should know... tips on care, hidden surprises, websites i HAVE to check out?



Thanks,



-Nick
«134

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 79
    placeboplacebo Posts: 5,767member
    Do you know about Expose?



    Good.





    Well, let's see.



    -You can command-click on an item in the Dock to display it in a Finder window.



    -If you pull the Finder Sidebar all the way to the left, mousing over the icons will immediately show their names.



    -If you put a folder in your dock, you can click and hold on it, and a menu will pop up, allowing for you to navigate through the contents of that folder.



    -You can drag a file over a folder, wait, and the folder will pop open for you. (Or press space while holding it over)





    I'll post more as it comes, the above listed are simply interface tricks.
  • Reply 2 of 79
    Ok, I am going to provide some tips for things you might miss from Windows.



    1) First of all, there is no cut and paste in the Finder (Mac OS X's file browser). So if you want to move a file or files, you will pretty much have to drag them. But there are some tricks to make this a easier process...



    - Mac OS X has spring loaded folders. Drag a file or folder over another folder and it magically springs open. You can then drop your files into this new window or you can keep burrowing deeper and deeper down until you get to the right spot. All this happens without you even having to lift your finger off of the mouse.



    - Drag the files or folders you want to move to another location down into your dock. Then open a Finder window to the exact spot you want to move all your files and then drag the contents off your dock while holding down the Cmd key (the one with the Apple logo). This moves the file or folder from its original location to the new one you are dragging it to.



    2) Drag your applications folder down into your dock. This will keep a nice handy shortcut for you. Now when you need to access your applications, its only a click away. Or you can right-click on the folder and it will pop up a menu showing all of its contents.



    Mike
  • Reply 3 of 79
    Quote:

    Originally posted by MPMoriarty

    Ok, I am going to provide some tips for things you might miss from Windows.



    1) First of all, there is no cut and paste in the Finder



    Mike




    there IS copy and paste though
  • Reply 4 of 79
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Uncle Kickaha's advice to switchers:



    RELAX. The MacOS GUI is set up so that 99.9% of the time, if you simply think to yourself, "Now how would it make *sense* to do this?", if you try it, it works.



    Drag and drop is *everywhere* - in many places you may not expect it. Try it out. You might be surprised. Actually, I guarantee it.



    The basic layout of the menu bar is, from far left to the right: computer, application, document, blah balh blah, windows, help, (big gap), utility items. If you want to set your network location, that affects the entire computer setup, so you'll find it under the Apple menu, far left. If you want to set an application preference, you'll find it under the application menu, second from left. Basically, it goes from general (left) to specific (right).



    And above all, RELAX. If something seems difficult, chances are you're simply too used to the arcane and convoluted approaches one finds in Windows, and trying to overthink it. Just go 'ommmmmm', visualize tofu loaf with teriyaki sauce, and think Jobsian.
  • Reply 5 of 79
    I've had my PowerBook for 2 weeks now (my first Mac) and I admit it seemed foreign at first but the more I played with it the first day the more I 'got' it. Accidently clicking a picture on a website and finding it move was amazing. The fact I could drag it anywhere, was mind blowing.



    So much so, that I may have to convince my dad to switch, as at the moment his PC is crashing on him at least daily now...
  • Reply 6 of 79
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kickaha

    Uncle Kickaha's advice to switchers:



    RELAX. The MacOS GUI is set up so that 99.9% of the time, if you simply think to yourself, "Now how would it make *sense* to do this?", if you try it, it works.



    Drag and drop is *everywhere* - in many places you may not expect it. Try it out. You might be surprised. Actually, I guarantee it.



    ...)




    Hm, shit i am getting slow KICK greatly covered some basic blows though



    Ad:

    Just go explore.
  • Reply 7 of 79
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    My general advice is:



    Explore your applications' preferences (under the application menu -- it shows the application's name in the upper left), as well as the System Preferences (in the Apple menu).



    Try not only drag-and-drop but also using the option key (rough equivalent to the alt key on other PCs, toggles different behaviors on some items), the control key (usually for context menus, like right-clicking), the command key (usually used for keyboard commands, for example, command key + "n" creates a new item). The command key can also be used for alternative behaviors when you drag an item and hold it down at the same time. There are lots of combinations and hidden options. Help files often tell you what those hidden options are.



    Mac apps and users don't generally keep windows maximized. The idea is that a window should generally only be as big as it need to be -- no wasted blank space -- and that you can drag-and-drop among different applications. That is, the idea is to encourage using many applications with one another rather than working with one program for everything in a self-contained environment. Once you break out of the habit of wearing blinders when working in one application, a lot of new possibilities open up for you.



    A lot of small developers make good products that take advantage of some Mac-specific features and abilities. They're generally very responsive to individual requests or help too.



    As Kickaha said, the Mac can be deceptively simple or if not simple, logical. You can learn and deduce a lot on your own, and that means you'll not only remember stuff better, but you'll also learn more about how things work and how to approach new problems or features in the future.



    [added]Oh, and like always, back up your stuff on a regular basis!
  • Reply 8 of 79
    gongon Posts: 2,437member
    A few months ago I was in the same situation, complete with 15" Powerbook. I just started toying around with the system, and in a month I felt more productive than I was on Windows.



    I have almost went through "Mac OS X: Missing Manual", now around page 800. It does not have much that I haven't found on my own in three months, but certainly contains some neat tricks, and could be more useful for a beginner. It's quick to read, because it has so much elementary stuff. Even quicker if you don't pause to try every hack and tweak.



    Whenever I have had a question about the Mac on my mind, I have first did a few minutes of websurfing and checked out Help. Then I have just posted the question on forums. On Windows I never used the help feature. On the Mac, help isn't very comprehensive, but if your problem is simple enough to be in Mac Help, it does a good job getting you through the problem.



    If you don't already have a decent carry bag for the laptop, I recommend checking out Brenthaven, Booq and Matias. The prices are very reasonable considering the price of the laptop.



    Don't try to fight the OS X windowing system. Accept that you will have a lot of windows open at a time. There is no good way to keep useless windows out of sight. Experiment with Expose, command-tab switching, minimizing and hiding. You'll probably come up with something that works for you.



    Remember that just like on other operating systems, you can get a lot of powerful software for free on OS X. My most trusted ones are Firefox (browser), Thunderbird (mail program), VLC (media player), AdiumX (instant messager with ICQ/AIM/MSN/others), iTerm (replacement for Terminal). There are lots of good apps pre-installed as well. One that you might easily miss is OmniOutliner. I use it for my to-do list. It makes it very easy to keep a hierarchical tasklist, assign priorities to tasks and then arrange by priorities, keeping the hierarchy intact.
  • Reply 9 of 79
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Gon

    A few months ago I was in the same situation, complete with 15" Powerbook. I

    ...

    ct.




    Look for "Print it!" - the very first shareware app i actually BOUGHT.

    Nifty nifty nifty...



    And there is http://www.unsanity.com



    look, they do amazing stuff with the OS
  • Reply 10 of 79
    under the hood its unix freebsd 4.2 with a mach kernel

    which means it comes complete with very nice

    set of man pages (manual pages)



    so if you know unix or wanted to start open

    a terminal window & type

    man man



    which then displays the manual page for man



    after you get the hang of the system

    & are interested then i suggested learning the bash shell

    unix is extremely powerfull & fun once you get the hang

    of it
  • Reply 11 of 79
    Quote:

    Originally posted by ipodandimac

    there IS copy and paste though



    Yes I do know this. But I was referring the task of actually moving a file or folder to a different location without duplicating it.
  • Reply 12 of 79
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by MPMoriarty

    Yes I do know this. But I was referring the task of actually moving a file or folder to a different location without duplicating it.



    I think that's called drag and drop.



    Try it - instead of cut, open new window through the hierarchy, paste, you can drag, open new window through the hierarchy if needed, then drop.
  • Reply 13 of 79
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kickaha

    I think that's called drag and drop.



    Try it - instead of cut, open new window through the hierarchy, paste, you can drag, open new window through the hierarchy if needed, then drop.




    This whole drag and drop concept seems to be very difficult to understand

    for former windows user.



    My girlfriend sometimes is affraid of doing this drag and drop thing, i don't know why. Perhaps she thinks she would lose something WHILE dragging.

    It is an absurdity - thoroughly.
  • Reply 14 of 79
    neutrino23neutrino23 Posts: 1,522member
    Regarding moving or duplicating files and folders, if the target folder is open its icon will appear in the left hand icon bar of any open folder. Therefore, you can click and drag (move) or option click and drag (copy) from the icon location to the icon in the side bar. No need to actually navigate to the target folder. This also works for mounted volumes such as external hard drives and USB thumb drives.



    My tip for new users is that you can make a pdf file from any application that prints simply by selecting Print (either under the File menu or pressing Command-P) then near the bottom of the print pane is an option to print to a pdf file. No need to purchase Acrobat.



    Also, there are a variety of ways to get a screen shot. Command-shift-3 takes a shot of the whole screen. Command-shift-4 lets you take a shot of a selected area. Read the help messages for the full list of options. Screen shots are automatically saved as pdf files.



    Apple's Preview program (on your hard drive) will open PDFs and it will convert images saved as pdf files to tiff, jpg and such.



    One more tip, if you have a folder of files you will be frequently accessing for a short time drag the folder to the dock. Now when you click and hold on that folder in the dock you get a popup menu of all the items in the folder. When you are done with that just drag the folder off the dock.
  • Reply 15 of 79
    Quote:

    Originally posted by neutrino23

    ...

    One more tip, if you have a folder of files you will be frequently accessing for a short time drag the folder to the dock. Now when you click and hold on that folder in the dock you get a popup menu of all the items in the folder. When you are done with that just drag the folder off the dock.




    I use both, the sidebar and the dock for frequently accessing files and folders



    AND - this is widely unknown - you can drag an item to the top of any finder

    window (when the toolbar is enabled only), - there where the search field is located. Once the icon is placed there, you do have access to that item (app, file whatever) at any time.
  • Reply 16 of 79
    Wow! Thanks sooo much for all of the replis. I have to say that I am having a blast exploring the MAC OS, it's so much fun.



    I'll be working and every now and then I'll have to stop and go "oooh, now isn't that cool?" or hit the F9 key, just for kicks. But, I have to say that after using MAC OS for several days some things are still foreign, but it beats Windows with a question. It's amazing!!!



    I have a wireless mouse, which is also a lot of fun. There are a couple things that I think are better in Windows and some that are better in Mac (mostly better in Mac), so I'll play a little more and post those, if anyone is curious.



    The amazing thing is that I just dumped all of my files onto several CD-Roms and put them on my mac and they all opened, no problem. That was just great!



    Thanks a million!!
  • Reply 17 of 79
    bigbluebigblue Posts: 341member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by nickhuober

    There are a couple things that I think are better in Windows and some that are better in Mac (mostly better in Mac), so I'll play a little more and post those, if anyone is curious.





    I am.

    I know what's better on Mac, but what's better on Windows ?
  • Reply 18 of 79
    While I agree that most things are, indeed, better on a mac, here are two things I have notcied that are easier on a PC:



    -When you move music into the "My Music" folder, Windows Media Player automatically adds them to it's library, no need to actually "import" them, as in iTunes.

    -When you select to have a folder be "read-Only" or change it from "read-only" to "read & Write," windows will ask you if you want to change all folders and files within that folder as well. The only way I have figured out to change a folder or set of files from read-only to "read and write" is to select the folder or files and command+i and select read & write in the permissions tab.



    You then have to do this in all subsequent folders. Perhaps there is another way to do this, but it's not obvious to me...



    there are so many things that are better on a Mac, but here are the most onbvious:



    -Speed. It's much, much faster

    -Start up and shut down times are so much faster

    -It's more fun. I don't know what it is, but it just is!

    -Expose is amazing

    -Most things are easier, i have found

    -It's prettier!

    -Windows Media Player would constantly "stutter" when playing music and doing something processor-heavy, like opening up a new application. This was extremely annoying. I have never heard this happen with iTunes



    Well, those are just some things....
  • Reply 19 of 79
    Quote:

    Originally posted by nickhuober

    ...

    -When you select to have a folder be "read-Only" or change it from "read-only" to "read & Write," windows will ask you if you want to change all folders and files within that folder as well. The only way I have figured out to change a folder or set of files from read-only to "read and write" is to select the folder or files and command+i and select read & write in the permissions tab.

    ...




    Er... Select a folder, and than type "cmd-i", the "info window" pops up. below "read and write" (or whatever there is actually) - and left from "Details" there is a little arrow. click onto that arrow...

    ... and voilá. no miracles there
  • Reply 20 of 79
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by nickhuober

    -When you move music into the "My Music" folder, Windows Media Player automatically adds them to it's library, no need to actually "import" them, as in iTunes.



    Drag the songs into iTunes directly.



    Quote:

    -Start up and shut down times are so much faster



    Admittedly, my Windows machine starts up faster than my iMac, though maybe that's because my Mac is fairly long in the tooth.
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