Technology Simplified

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We mostly work on Windows PCs but do have Macs here as well. When you work with both, it is handy to know what the common keyboard short-cuts are. Here’s a list of a few of them.

Task In Windows 

Hold Down This

In OS X 

Hold Down This

Then Press This
Cut CTRL Command X
Copy CTRL Command C
Paste CTRL Command V
Undo CTRL Command Z
Open CTRL Command O
Save CTRL Command S
Print CTRL Command P
New CTRL Command N
Find CTRL Command F
Switch Active Apps ALT Command TAB
Refresh Web Page CTRL Command R

As you can see, with the exception of switching apps, it’s actually the same process with one key changed. In Windows CTRL + TAB actually cycles between the child windows of an application.

When we first use the system we are unused to, we dislike this change mainly due to muscle-memory – forever hitting CTRL instead of Command automatically. This passes very quickly. There’s a reason for the similarity. Before Windows even existed, Microsoft’s first GUI application was MS Word and that was written for the Apple Macintosh in the early 1980s. When Windows came along in 1985, it used a nearly identical way of accomplishing the same tasks.

Common Myths

  • Mac and PC cannot exchange documents. Not true. Both MS Office for Mac and iWork (Apple’s Office Suite) can talk to each other. You can also exchange documents by saving them as type .RTF.
  • Mac and PC cannot exist on the same network. Not true. They can sit side by side with no problem. We have that here in our office.
  • Mac has no right-click on it’s mouse. Not true. With older mice, hold down CONTROL and click, with the newer touch-sensitive “Magic Mouse” right-click as usual.
  • Mac doesn’t support Eclipse, Open Office, or other Java-based applications that run under Windows. Not true. All Java applications run on both Mac and Windows. There are also numerous applications for which there are both Windows and OS  X versions, not to mention Linux versions too.

© in part 2011 BHS Consultants

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