Switched to a MacBook Pro and am a happy camper (after about 15 years with Windows PCs).
Ed Grimley: “The speed and quality are like a joke, I must say!”
Here are a few conversion tips I picked up as I was making my conversion, to help others making the change, or considering a Mac.
BIGGEST ADVANTAGES FOR ME:
- The Mac is NOT constantly doing things I don’t ask it to do (Wow, every time I’m using a Windows PC nowadays, I wonder how I ever could stand that!)
- Quality (Very fast, flawless so far, a lot of excellent new features),
- The start-up speed (“It’s like a joke, I must say!” – See photo of Ed Grimley (below)
- “Expose Button” (F3 on the Mac) – Brings up views of all your open applications to select from, making toggling apps easy, fast, and a pleasure),
- Minimize All (Command + F3 on the Mac) <– NOTE that this is a TOGGLE with the Expose Button (F3 above)
- “Top Sites Tab” – (Select: File, Select: New Tab) – Brings up a Panoramic View of your most frequently viewed sites, which you can select from like a 3-D window),
- Instant scrolling (very FAST! scrolling by sliding 2 fingers on the touch-pad WITHOUT having to press a key (like a Smart Phone, who knew?!!)
- The keyboard is logically arranged and comfortable,
- The built-in videocam works great,
- Compatibility with iPhones (and if you already have an iPhone or similar Mac product, the similarities will make the conversion much easier than you might think,
- Battery lasts 5 times longer per charge than my old PC,
- Prettier glass screen is a pleasure ,
- Live Phone Support from Apple is excellent,
- More intuitive in many ways, for instance: quicker to sort files by date-used, trash-bin is a nice big icon that, hey, looks like a trash-bin, PowerPoint For Mac does more what I want (and not what it thinks I want, like constantly changing the FONT size the way it does in Windows version)
- More fun! Makes cool sound effects when I drop a file into a new folder or when I delete a file, the Icons “bounce” when you click on them and their applications start to come up, and more…
- No need to frequently clean the keyboard – The keyboard doesn’t get dirty. The way the keys are designed, dust and dirt can’t easily get under them.
BIGGEST DIFFERENCES (to PCs) & THE WORKAROUNDS FOR THEM
- Backwards Deleting – The Mac delete key deletes backwards (right to left from the cursor) instead of forwards (to the right of the cursor).
- Forward Delete capability: Just hold down the Function Button while you press the Delete Key (Or the Command Button in some apps). Once you get used to this, you will probably prefer having the 2 delete choices.
- Use the Command Button (a.k.a. “Apple Button”) instead of ALT, and instead of the Control Key in some cases, such as: Cut (X), Copy (C), Paste (V) , Undo (Z), Redo (Y), Select All (A), Bold (B), Italics (I), Underline (U), Save (S)
- Opening multiple browsers – Clicking on an icon (e.g. Safari) does NOT open a second browser – you need to click 1) File and then 2) New Window
In Apple’s versions of: WORD, PowerPoint, & Excel:
- FN Button + Command Button + Right Arrow –> for END of Doc
- FN Button + Command Button + Left Arrow –> for HOME (BEGINNING of Doc)
Outside of Apple’s Word/PowerPoint/Excel, use:
- FN Button + Right Arrow –> for END
- FN Button + Left Arrow –> for HOME
For End of Line, Beginning of Line
- Command Button + Right Arrow –> for END OF LINE
- Command Button + Left Arrow –> for BEGINNING OF LINE
- Some Apps: Function Button + Right Arrow for –> END OF LINE
- Some Apps: Function Button + Left Arrow for –> BEGINNING OF LINE
– For Right Click – Need to press input pad with 2 fingers (really!)
– For ALT / CONTROL / DELETE – Command Button + Option Button + ESC
– For Closing Applications – You must “FILE/CLOSE” (Clicking the “X” circle does not close the app, only the window to the app)
– SCREEN-SHOTS! – To take a screen-shot, you need to press a few keys at once:
- Apple / Shift / 3 – prints screen to Desk-Top file
- Apple / Shift / Control / 3 – prints screen to CLIP-BOARD
WHERE CAN I FIND THE “PREFERENCES” IN WORD-FOR-MAC?
This one is a bit hidden (until you find it, and then it makes great sense!)
1) In Word-For-Mac, go to the Top Left corner of your screen
2) Click on the word “Word” to the right of the Apple Button
3) Then Click on Preferences, and select from the 3 rows of Preferences, as follows:
1st Row: Authoring & Proofing Tools
2nd Row: Output & Sharing Preferences
3rd Row: Personal Settings
Note – There is an option that lets you purchase and install Windows and true Microsoft Office on your Mac. But that gives you more of the old and less of the new, and also opens you up to more virus exposure, so I didn’t try this option.
Note – If you want to use MS Project on your Mac, installing Windows (per the above note) is mandatory.
Q. ARE THERE ANY THINGS I DON’T LIKE ABOUT THE MAC?
A. Yes, not many, but a couple:
Besides the above conversion issues,
1) CUT & PASTE – Takes much longer for cut to kick in – you have to wait a couple of seconds, then the “spinning beach-ball” icon tells you it’s about to do the paste, then it does the paste
2) No Clock – Doesn’t show you the “clock” the way Windows PCs do when an action is starting. So if I click on an address, for instance, usually the branching will be fast, but if it’s slow for some reason, I won’t know if it’s doing it or not, the way the clock on the Windows PC would tell me it was doing the branch)
3) Some bugs in the Microsoft Office For Mac Products – While the core Microsoft office products like Word, PowerPoint, and Excel are all provided and well-supported by Microsoft) there are more than a few differences / bugs. One biggie is that the “FIND” command in a Word document doesn’t always start at the top, which would bother me much more if I didn’t like the Mac so darn much!
4) If you accidentally repeat a PF Key – It sometimes causes the system to freeze if you press a PF key twice in-a-row by mistake, instead of just once. On Office-compatible PCs, this usually does not cause a problem, but on the MacBook Pro, this brings up the “spinning beach-ball” (a bit reminiscent of the “blue screen of death” on the PC). The good news though is that on the Mac, it’s almost always very quick and easy to fix — you just press Command/Option/Escape and you are prompted to “Force-Quit” the app that was hanging, which works very consistently (with NO NEED TO RE-BOOT).
5) Sometimes hard to grab text to do a “cut” – Occasionally I will have trouble trying to grab a piece of text and do a cut, or highlight it, italicize it, etc. The Mac will think I’m trying to do something else, and for instance, a command-list will pop up, instead of grabbing the text for me.
QUESTIONS FOR READERS TO COMMENT ON:
- QUESTION #1: What have other people’s experiences been switching over?
- QUESTION #2: What key tips would you add for people buying a Mac?
– If you find this info useful, here are a couple more of my recent blog posts:
– This blogpost is by: Jeff-Furman.com, PMP and Presentation Skills Instructor, and author of “The Project Management Answer Book” (2011, Management Concepts, Vienna, VA)