Sunday, April 14, 2024

FIVE Things on macOS That Confuse Windows Users

From navigating the new interface to getting used to keyboard shortcuts, there are plenty of elements that might leave you scratching your head. Here are some key differences you need to know.

1. Dock vs. Taskbar

The macOS Dock has evolved significantly over the years, offering features like mouse magnification and the ability to display suggested and recent apps, among others. However, for those transitioning from Windows to macOS, the biggest difference lies in the concept of what the Dock and Taskbar actually do.

The Windows Taskbar is a comprehensive tool displaying everything from program icons to time and date, along with a search bar in one horizontal location. In comparison, the Dock focuses only on displaying app icons you can pin, along with recently minimized windows and folders.

You'll notice some app icons in the Dock have dots below them. These are the apps you've run—and in macOS, apps stay running in the background even after you close the last window. You need to press Command+Q to quit them.

Any app not in the Dock can be accessed via Launchpad, which is by default in the Dock.

2. Mac and Windows Keyboards Have Different Keys

Mac and Windows keyboards have some keys that function the same but are named differently. For example, the Alt key on Windows is the Option key on a Mac keyboard; Enter on Windows is Return on a Mac, and the backspace key on Windows is Delete on Mac.

Some keys, like the Control key, exist on both keyboards but serve different purposes. For instance, keyboard shortcuts that require you to press the Control key on a Windows keyboard often use the Command key on a Mac. So, copy and paste are Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V on Windows, but Command+C and Command+V on macOS.

Newer Mac keyboards also come with a Globe key displaying an emoji picker and can also be used to switch your input language and keyboard layout. Learn relevant macOS keyboard shortcuts to speed up your tasks.

3. Windows and Mac Use Different Names for the Same Things

Whether you're using Windows or Mac, understanding the jargon is essential. While many terms are the same, whatever operating system you use, there are some major differences in terminology to be aware of. Here are some examples to get you started.

Windows Mac

Control Panel System Preferences

Ctrl+Alt+Delete Command+Option+Escape

File Explorer Finder

Recycle Bin Trash

Shortcut icons Aliases

4. Taking Screenshots Is Easy

As a Windows user, you might use the Windows Logo+PrtScn key combination to capture a screenshot of the entire screen. Alternatively, you might also use the Snipping Tool app to select and capture specific areas on the screen. In macOS, taking screenshots requires slightly different shortcuts. However, learning how to take screenshots on a Mac is straightforward.

To capture the entire screen, you'll use the Command+Shift+3 shortcut. If you want to capture a portion of the screen, you'll use Command+Shift+4. Alternatively, you can also use the Command+Shift+5 shortcut, which displays screenshot and screen recording options.

Regardless of the shortcut you use, screenshots are immediately saved to your macOS desktop for easy access.

5. macOS Has Its Own Equivalents for Windows Apps

When transitioning to macOS, you'll find that both operating systems come with many built-in apps offering similar functions. For instance, the built-in browser on Mac is Safari, not Edge on Windows.

Instead of Task Manager on Windows, you can use Activity Monitor to view information about your laptop's hard drive usage, memory usage, and more.

As a replacement for the Microsoft Outlook app, you have the Mail app, providing similar functions. For media, and as a replacement for Windows Media Player, macOS has Apple Music, Apple TV, Apple Podcasts, and Apple Books. The Notepad app on Windows is replaced by TextEdit on macOS. And Siri replaces Cortana.

One of the biggest benefits of macOS is that it comes with many additional apps you'd usually have to pay for. Pages and Numbers are replacements for Word and Excel, for example, and GarageBand is a music creation tool. You also get access to FaceTime and iMessage.



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