Mac, getting started

Tips and tricks for beginners.

Where are my menus? (File, Save As, Print, Insert, etc.)

On macOS, the majority of the apps do not carry the menu bar on top of their windows. The menu is anchored at the top of the screen and changes depending on what app is in focus.

If no apps are open, the available menu is the Finder’s (File Explorer / My Computer) menu. If you need to access the Finder’s menu, a fast way to do it is to click on an empty space on the desktop.

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How do I minimize, maximize, close an app, exit full screen?

The usual buttons for minimze, maximize/full screen, and close, are moved from the upper-right corner of the apps' window to the upper-left.

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The green button maximizes (full screens) the window, the yellow minimize it, and the red "closes" the app.

To exit full screen, you can press control+command+F at the same time, or you can push the mouse cursor against the screen's upper edge, forcing the menus to appear- click on the green button again to exit full screen.

On a Mac, the difference between closing and minimizing an app became vague in time. Minimizing an app keeps it active in the dock (taskbar) while closing it, forces the app in a standby state. The app is still active and ready for future use.

If an app has a dot underneath its icon, it means that it's still active, either minimized or in standby mode.

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To truly close an app - maybe it became heavy, and it slows down the whole system (I'm looking at you Chrome) or is misbehaving, and it needs a restart – right-click (click on it with 2 fingers) its icon on the dock and select Quit from the contextual menu that appears.

How do I take a screenshot?

Press together Shift, Command, and 3.

mac-key-combo-diagram-shift-command-3.png

A thumbnail with the screenshot will appear in the lower-right corner of your screen. You can click on it to edit the screenshot. Or wait 1 second for the thumbnail to disappear – the screenshot will automatically be saved on your desktop.

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To capture a portion of the screen, press and hold together Shift, Command, and 4.

mac-key-combo-diagram-shift-command-4.png

Your mouse pointer will change into a crosshair. Drag the crosshair to select the area of the screen to capture. To move the selection, press and hold Space bar while dragging. To cancel taking the screenshot, press the Esc (Escape) key.

To take the screenshot, release your mouse or trackpad.

A thumbnail with the screenshot will appear in the lower-right corner of your screen. You can click on it to edit the screenshot. Or wait 1 second for the thumbnail to disappear – the screenshot will automatically be saved on your desktop.

How about a window or menu?

Open the window or menu that you want to capture and press these keys together: Shift, Command, 4. Press the Space bar once, the crosshair will change into a camera icon. Click the window or menu to capture it.

mac-key-combo-diagram-shift-command-4-space.png

A thumbnail with the screenshot will appear in the lower-right corner of your screen. You can click on it to edit the screenshot. Or wait 1 second for the thumbnail to disappear – the screenshot will automatically be saved on your desktop.

What can I do with the editing tool?

1 – scribble; 2,3 – add shapes or text; 4 – highlight the selection; 5 – sign; 6,7,8,9 – change the shape, size or color or the scribbles, shapes or text;  10 – rotate the screenshot; 11 crop; Revert – undo; Done – save on desktop; Trash -?; Share – attach to email, share it with other Apple devices, add it to photos, etc.

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What about my keyboard shortcuts? (Copy-paste, print, find, etc.)

For most of them, use the '⌘ command' key instead of the Windows' darling, Ctrl.

You can find underneath the most used shortcuts in alphabetical order. Please read the last phrases if what you need is not on the list.

Close window or tab: ⌘ command + w

Copy: ⌘ command + c

Cut: ⌘ command + x

Cycle through all open apps: ⌘ command + tab

Cycle through browser tabs: ⌘ command + options + arrows (← →)

Find: ⌘ command + f

Find and replace: ⌘ command + Shift + f

Force quit an app (task manager style): ⌘ command + option + esc

Minimize window: ⌘ command + m

New: ⌘ command + n

Paste: ⌘ command + v

Print: ⌘ command + p

Quit: ⌘ command + q

Rename file: select the file and press return (Enter)

Reopen closed tab: ⌘ command + shift + t (Safari, Chrome, etc.)

Save: ⌘ command + s

Search (for apps, documents, etc.): ⌘ command + spacebar

Select all: ⌘ command + a

Undo: ⌘ command + z

 

Where can I find the whole list?

Open System Preferences, select Keyboard and go to the Shortcuts tab.

 

OK, OK, but where are my function keys? (F1, F2… F12)

Press and hold the Fn key (the first key in the lower-left) - the Control Strip will show the old function keys.

 

What's up with the Control Strip?

The Control Strip is in flux, and it tries to show the most used actions or shortcuts when needed. The screen brightness and the system volume controls tend to be there all the time, but the buttons will change depending on the in-use app. You can select back-forward, search, new tab, and so on, while browsing, or play, pause, and jump to, when listening to music or watching a video.

The Control Strip can also be customized to show other buttons if needed. For example, I do not use Siri, but I need to lock my screen every time I leave my desk. I've changed the Siri button with the lock-screen one.

To customize the Control Strip, open System Preferences, select Keyboard, and click on Customize Control Strip. If what you need is in the list, grab it with the mouse cursor and drag it into the Control Strip. Press Done.

 

What if the shortcut that I need, or usually use on Windows, it's not available on Mac?

You can try to create it using the underneath tutorial:

https://support.apple.com/guide/mac-help/create-keyboard-shortcuts-for-apps-mchlp2271/mac

Where are my Documents, Apps, Downloads?

On a Mac, My Computer (or File Explorer) is called Finder (1). Its shortcut is usually the first one in the dock (1). You can also invoke it by pressing Option+Command+Space, or by searching for Finder.

By default, everything that you download or receive through Airdrop goes into the Downloads folder (2).

Almost all productivity apps (Word, Pages, Excel, etc.) will ask where you want to save your work; the default save location is your Documents folder (3) or, rarely, your Desktop (4).

All the apps are installed in the Applications folder (5).

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If you remember the name of the app or document that you need, you can also use Spotlight (the magnifying glass in the upper-right part of the screen) to search for it.

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Mac - Install Software - Self Service

Self Service is a software distribution platform from where you can install apps on Mac machines.

If Self Service is not present in the dock (the icon with the ISB logo) please search for and open it using the magnifying glass (Spotlight) in the upper-right corner. In the window that opens up find the app that you need in the list, and click on install.