Commands For A Mac Computer

You’ve made the switch to Mac OS X Lion from some version of Windows. Mac OS X is easy to learn, but Windows users may find a few of its keys and navigation elements a little mystifying at first. Use this Cheat Sheet to figure out Mac OS X keyboard symbols and shortcuts and to master Multi-Touch gestures to control your new Mac from its trackpad.

Commanding Keyboard Shortcuts on a Mac. Most Windows keyboard shortcuts, which require you to press Ctrl and a letter, work on a Mac if you press the Command key (the one with the four-leaf clover symbol) on the Mac instead of Ctrl. Thus, Command+C is copy, Command+X is cut, Command+V is paste, Command+Z is undo, and so on.

Deciphering Special Key Symbols in Mac OS X

Commands For Mac Computer

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Using keyboard shortcuts in Mac OSX means recognizing some important keys, such as Control, Shift, Escape, and more. The symbols for these Mac keys don’t look the same as they do on a Windows keyboard. Mac menus show keyboard shortcuts, when they’re available, using the following standard symbols for special keys:

Commanding Keyboard Shortcuts on a Mac

Most Windows keyboard shortcuts, which require you to press Ctrl and a letter, work on a Mac if you press the Command key (the one with the four-leaf clover symbol) on the Mac instead of Ctrl. Thus, Command+C is copy, Command+X is cut, Command+V is paste, Command+Z is undo, and so on. Some shortcuts that are unique to the Mac include the following:

How to Give Commands with Mac Function Keys

Commands For Imac Computer

A Mac keyboard has function keys, just like a Windows keyboard, but the keys likely issue different commands in Mac OS X than in Windows. On a Mac, the commands assigned to function keys vary by the keyboard’s size and manufacturer. Check Keyboard and Mission Control in System Preferences for your settings. The table shows typical default commands for function keys in Mac OS X Lion.

(Note: These commands work only on Apple-labeled keyboards, except for the Turn on VoiceOver command, which works on any keyboard.)

Navigating Mac OS X with Multi-Touch Gestures

Multi-Touch gestures are moves that you make on a Mac’s trackpad to send Mac OS X commands, mostly for navigating the Mac OS X interface. When you switch to a Mac from Windows, adjusting to Multi-Touch takes a little practice, so this table is here to help you:

GestureCommand It Performs
Two-finger swipeScroll (up, down, left, or right)
Two fingers on keypad+clickRight click (same as Control+click)
Three-finger swipeSwitch spaces or open applications
Three-finger double tapLook up a word in the dictionary or on Wikipedia
Four-finger swipe upShow Mission Control
Four-finger swipe downShow all windows for the current application
Four-finger pinchShow Launchpad
Four-finger spreadShow Desktop

Top Mac OS X Hints for Windows Users

Windows users who have made the switch to Mac OS X have some new mouse clicks, keyboard techniques, and touchpad (trackpad) gestures to learn. Have a look at some top tips for working on a Mac:

  • To right-click when using a single-button mouse, hold down Control and then click.

  • To right-click on a laptop or track pad, click with two fingers resting on the trackpad. Control-click also works.

  • The top row on Mac keyboards is used for special controls, such as audio volume and brightness. To use them as function keys, hold down the Fn key. You can reverse this behavior by choosing System [email protected]@→Keyboard. The Keyboard preferences pane also has a complete list of keyboard shortcuts.

  • Closing an application’s last window usually doesn’t close the application itself.

  • Apple applications and many third-party Mac applications save your edits automatically while you work and keep track of different versions.

  • To rename a file in a Finder window, click the filename once and then press Return. The filename becomes editable.

Starting Your Mac with Boot Option Keys

When your Mac powers up, it normally uses the system on its internal hard drive unless you change this behavior by choosing System [email protected]@→Startup Disk. You can also change what your Mac does by holding down the following keys or key combinations during startup.

Print these boot option keys, because they’re particularly helpful to have when your Mac is having trouble.

MacBook owners have a number of tools that come in very handy for using their laptops efficiently and for maintaining the operating system to keep it running in top shape. These MacBook keyboard shortcuts for the Finder, a maintenance checklist, and a “translation” of the modifier keys will speed you on your way to becoming a MacBook power user.

Macbook For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Mac OS X Finder Keyboard Shortcuts

The Mac OS X Lion Finder helps you access and organize most of the important Mac OS X functions while you work. Use Finder keyboard shortcuts to display windows, copy and move files, and launch applications. These keyboard shortcuts help you get things done more efficiently.

KeyFunction
Command+ASelects all items in the active window (icon view), all items
in the column (column view), or all items in the list (cover flow
view)
Command+CCopies selected items
Command+DDuplicates the selected item(s)
Command+EEjects the selected volume
Command+FDisplays the Find dialog
Command+HHides All Finder windows
Command+IShows info for selected item or items
Command+JShows the view options for the active window
Command+KDisplays the Connect to Server dialog
Command+LCreates an alias for the selected item
Command+MMinimizes the active window
Command+NOpens a new Finder window
Command+OOpens (or launches) the selected item
Command+RShows the original for selected alias
Command+TAdds the selected item to the Sidebar
Command+VPastes items from the Clipboard
Command+WCloses the active window
Command+XCuts the selected items
Command+ZUndoes the last action (if possible)
Command+,Displays Finder Preferences
Command+1Shows the active window in icon mode
Command+2Shows the active window in list mode
Command+3Shows the active window in column mode
Command+4Shows the active window in cover flow mode
Command+[Moves back to the previous Finder location
Command+]Moves forward to the next Finder location
Command+DelMoves selected items to the Trash
Command+up-arrowShow enclosing folder
Command+`Cycles through windows
Command+?Displays the Mac OS X Help Viewer
Command+Shift+ATakes you to your Applications folder
Command+Shift+CTakes you to the top-level Computer location
Command+Shift+GTakes you to a folder that you specify
Command+Shift+HTakes you to your Home folder
Command+Shift+IConnects you to your iDisk
Command+Shift+QLogs you out
Command+Shift+NCreates a new untitled folder in the active window
Command+Shift+UTakes you to your Utilities folder
Command+Shift+DelDeletes the contents of the Trash
Command+Option+HHides all windows except the Finder’s window(s)
Command+Option+NCreates a new Smart Folder
Command+Option+THides the Finder window toolbar
Command+Option+SpaceOpens the Spotlight window
Command+SpaceOpens the Spotlight menu
F8Choose another desktop using Spaces
Control+up-arrow (or F3, depending on your keyboard model)Displays the Mission Control screen
Control+down-arrow (or Control+F3, depending on your keyboard
model)
Shows all open windows for the current application using
Mission Control
F11 (or Command+F3, depending on your keyboard model)Hides all windows to display the Desktop using Mission
Control
F12 (or F4, depending on your keyboard model)Displays your Dashboard widgets
SpaceQuick Look
Commands for mac

Strange-Looking Keys on the MacBook Keyboard

New to the Macintosh world? Some keys on the MacBook keyboard may be mystifying. Whether you’re using Snow Leopard or an older version of Mac OS X, recognizing and using modifier keys will make your job easier. Here’s a look at the modifier keys on both MacBook and desktop keyboards:

Mac OS X Maintenance Checklist

Imac Command Codes

Maintenance is vital if you want to keep Mac OS X Lion in tip-top condition for as long as possible. Maintaining your MacBook keeps it running fast and smooth. Basic housekeeping includes regular back-ups plus some other, less familiar, tasks. Check this table often, or print it and keep a copy near your laptop!

Macbook Shortcuts List

Mac Maintenance TaskSchedule
Check for updates with Software UpdateOnce a day (automatic setting)
Back up with Time MachineAutomatic
Defragment (Micromat TechTool Pro/Prosoft Engineering Drive
Genius 3)
Once a week
Repair Disk Permissions (Disk Utility)Once a week
Delete Unnecessary User Accounts (System Preferences)As necessary
Scan for viruses (Intego VirusBarrier X6, ClamXav 2)Automatic
Check all volumes (Disk Utility/ Micromat TechTool Pro)Once a week
Check for the latest drivers for your hardwareOnce a month (or after installing new hardware)
Delete temporary Internet cache files (Prosoft Engineering
Drive Genius 3)
Once a month