10 March, 2014

Beginner's Guide to Mac OS X - Part 1 - Moving from Windows to OS X


OS X is the newest of Apple Inc.'s Mac OS line of operating systems. Although, under its original name of Mac OS X, it was officially designated as simply "version 10" of the Mac OS, "version 9" had a completely different codebase, file system, design, and hardware support. Mac OS had been Apple's primary operating system since 1984, and the family was backward compatible, so OS X supported an emulated version 9 until version 10.5.
Unlike its predecessor, OS X is a Unix-like operating system built on technology that had been developed at NeXT through the second half of the 1980s and up until Apple purchased the company in early 1997. It was first released in 1999 as Mac OS X Server 1.0, with a desktop-oriented version (Mac OS X v10.0) following in March 2001. Since then, seven more distinct "client" and "server" editions of Mac OS X have been released, the most recent being Mac OS X v10.9, which was released on October 22, 2013 as a free update through the Mac App Store worldwide. Releases of OS X are named after big cats; the current version of OS X 10.9 is nicknamed Mavericks.


Although it may feel like you’re entering a brand new world with your Mac, you’ll be happy to know that Finder has some familiar similarities to Windows Explorer.
In Windows you used Windows Explorer to manage your files. In Mac OS X, you use the Finder to manage your files.

Elements of the Mac OS X desktop and Finder, and their Windows Explorer equivalents
Here is a sample Mac desktop and Finder window (in Cover Flow view mode), labeled so we can compare it to Windows.
1    1.  Apple menu – Similar to the Start menu in Windows; used to access functions such as Software Update, System Preferences (equivalent to Control Panel), Sleep, Log Out, and Shut Down.
2    2.  Menu bar - This is always at the top of your screen. It contains the Apple menu, active application menu, menu bar extras and the Spotlight icon.
3    3.  Finder window close, minimize and zoom buttons–just like in Windows but on the left. Note: Closing all application windows in Mac OS X does not always quit the application as it does in Windows. In Mac OS X every application menu has a Quit option that can also be invoked by using the Command-Q key combination.
4    4. Finder window View buttons Equivalent to the options contained in the View menu of Windows Explorer.
5    5.  Action Menu - Similar to right clicking an item in Windows Explorer, it will give you quick access to Finder functions for highlighted items, such as Get Info, Quick Look, Move to Trash, and Services.
6    6.  Item Arrangement - Similar to Group By, Stack By in Windows Explorer, it will group the items in a folder by a certain criteria, such as Name, Kind, Application, Date Last Opened, Date Added, and more.
7    7. Search Field - Similar to Windows Search, start typing a word or phrase and Spotlight will search your Mac for any matches.
8    8. Spotlight icon - Similar to Windows Search, click it to bring up the Spotlight search field, where you can search for anything on your Mac.
9    9. Back / Forward buttons - Just like in Windows Explorer, as you move to different places in the Finder window, you can use the back button to return one step back and the forward button to go forward.
1    10. Sidebar - Similar to the Task Pane in Windows Explorer, items are grouped into categories: Favorites, Shared, and Devices. The Favorites section contains quick access to your desktop, Applications, downloads, and Documents. The Shared and Devices sections display whatever is connected to your Mac, such as a hard disk, iDisk, network share points, an SD memory card, or DVDs.
1    11. Cover Flow content - Shows you a live preview of your files, where you can page through a document or watch a QuickTime movie.
1    12. The Finder application icon -  Similar to Windows Explorer, click it to bring the Finder to the foreground or open a Finder window if none are already opened.
1    13. The Dock - Similar to the Windows Taskbar, it has quick access to the Finder and your most frequently used applications, folders, and files. With a single click the application, folder, or file opens.
1    14. Trash - Similar to the Recycle Bin, deleted items are kept here until you empty the Trash. You can also eject DVD's, SD memory cards, or external drives connected to your Mac by dragging them to the trash (discs will physically eject when you do this, other devices can be disconnected after doing this).

Switch basics: On Windows, I used to…

You may be used doing certain tasks on your Windows computer in particular ways. The table below shows you how to accomplish the same tasks on a Mac.

In Windows, I used to…
On a Mac, I can…
Press the Backspace key to delete or the Delete key to forward delete
Press Delete key to backwards delete. For Mac portables, press the Function (fn) and Delete key to forward delete.
Use My Computer to see and access everything on my computer.
Open a Finder window, choose Computer from the Go menu. From here you can view and access all the files on your Mac.

You can also use Spotlight to quickly and accurately locate anything on your computer.

Use Windows Explorer to find programs, files, and folders on my computer.
Use the Finder to find applications, files, or folders on your computer.

To open a new Finder window, click the Finder icon on the Dock.
Use My Computer to access content from various drives, such as a hard drive or a optical disc.
See and access content on any mounted disk, mounted volume (external hard drives and flash drives), or discs (CD or DVD) by double-clicking the appropriate icon that appears in the devices list in Finder when the device or media is connected or inserted. If certain kinds of discs don't appear on the desktop as expected, choose Finder > Preferences, click the Sidebar button, and check which items should appear (under DEVICES).
Use these keys as shortcuts:

Use these keys as alternatives:

Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete to terminate unresponsive programs.
Press Command-Option-Escape (Esc) to force quit unresponsive applications. Once you press these keys, select any application from the Force Quit window and click Force Quit.

You can also Force Quit by Control-clicking the item on the Dock and select Force Quit.
Click the close box to exit programs.
From the application menu, choose Quit Application name, or press Command-Q, to quit an application.

Click the maximize box to maximize my window.
Click the zoom button (the round, green one in the upper-left corner) to expand your window.

When you're in an application window, you can make the window full screen by clicking the full screen button in the top-right corner of the application window.

Press a button to eject discs or disks.
Drag the disc, disk, or volume icon to the Trash (it turns into an Eject icon) to eject or unmount items.
Or, in the Finder window click the Eject icon next to the volume to unmount it.

You can also press the Eject key on your keyboard (in the upper-right corner) to eject a CD or DVD.
Access Properties to set application, folder, or file options.
Use the Info window to set application, folder, or file options. To open an Info window, select an item and choose Get Info from the File menu (or press Command-I).
Move unwanted files and folders to the Recycle Bin.
Drag unwanted files and folders to the Trash in the Dock. To empty the Trash, choose Empty Trash from the Finder menu (or press Shift-Command-Delete in the Finder).
You can also click on the file that you would like to delete and use Command-Delete as a shortcut.
Rename documents by clicking Rename this file in the File Tasks menu.
Select any file, folder, or application and press the Enter key to display the name in a text box. Rename the item as anything you like by typing over the text.

Use the Performance control panel to check system performance.
Use Activity Monitor to check system performance. To open Activity Monitor in OS X Lion, click the Launchpad icon in the Dock, and click Utilities. Then click Activity Monitor.
Make shortcuts to an item by dragging and pressing Alt or make a copy by dragging and pressing Ctrl.
To make an alias to an item, click it once and from the File menu choose Make Alias (or press Command-L). Or, drag the item and press the Command key and the Option key, a black arrow will appear, drop the item to make an alias.
To make a copy of an item, select it and from the File menu choose Duplicate (or press Command-D). Or, drag the item and press the Option key, a green Add circle will appear, drop the item to make a copy.
Use ScreenTaker to take pictures of my screen.
Use Grab or Preview to take pictures of your screen. To take a screen shot, press Command-Shift-3.
Use the Control Panel to customize various settings.
Use System Preferences to customize various settings.

To open it, click the Launchpad icon in the Dock (in OS X Lion), then click System Preferences. Or click System Preferences from the Dock. Then click an item that you'd like to configure.
Use Network Connections to configure network settings.
Use Network preferences to configure (and troubleshoot) network settings.
To open Network preferences, click the Launchpad icon in the Dock, and click System Preferences. Then click Network.
Use Printers & Faxes to set up my printer and fax tasks.
Use Print & Scan preferences to set up your printer and fax tasks.
To open Print & Scan preferences, click the Launchpad icon in the Dock, and click System Preferences. Then click Print & Scan.
Use Device Manager to get information about my computer.
Use System Information to get hardware and software information about your computer. From the Apple menu, choose About This Mac, then click More Info.


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