Cheat Sheet

Macs For Dummies

From Macs For Dummies, 13th Edition by Edward C. Baig

Macs and Windows PCs have unique operating systems. They see things differently, and most Mac users would argue that Macs do things better. Macs come equipped with helpful keyboard shortcuts and a short list of procedures to follow if your Mac freezes.

Mac versus Windows Terminology

A Mac operating system and a Windows operating system generally perform the same basic tasks. Those operations just have different names and are found in different places. This table shows the rough equivalents between the two.

Mac Term Rough Windows Equivalent
Utilities, Applications Accessories
Option key Alt key
Command key Control key
System Preferences Control panel
System Information Device Manager
Quit Exit
Dashboard widgets Gadgets
Pictures folder My Pictures/Pictures
Applications folder Program Files
Get Info Properties
Trash Recycle Bin
Alias Shortcut
Dock Start menu and taskbar
Finder Windows Explorer

Common Mac Keyboard Shortcuts

If you don’t want to scroll through menus looking for a particular command, you can use handy Mac keyboard shortcuts to do things with a keypress or two . . . or sometimes three.

Command Shortcut
New Finder Window Command+N
New Folder Shift+Command+N
New Smart Folder Option+Command+N
Open Command+O
Close Window Command+W
Get Info Command+I
Duplicate Command+D
Make Alias Command+L
Add to Sidebar Control+Command+T
Eject Command+E
Find Command+F

What to Do when Your Mac Freezes

You know that frustrating, annoying, sometimes panicked feeling you get when your Mac isn’t doing what you expect? If an application freezes or your computer is generally misbehaving, try these tips to escape with minimal disruption.

  • Use Force Quit when an application is unresponsive. Choose Force Quit from the Apple menu or press Command+Option+Esc keys. Click the name of the deviant application (it probably has not responding next to its name). You typically won’t have to reboot.

  • Restart. If Force Quit doesn’t bail you out, try rebooting the computer. If a frozen Mac prevents you from clicking the Restart command on the Apple menu, hold down the power button for several seconds or press the Control+Command keys and then press the power button. If all else fails, pull the plug, but remember that powering down without logging out should be used only as a last resort.

  • Restart in Safe Mode. Press the power button to turn on your computer, and then press and hold the Shift key the instant you hear the welcome chime. Release Shift when the Apple logo appears. You will see a status bar as the computer boots, after which the words Safe Boot appear in red in the upper right corner of OS X’s login screen. In Safe mode, the Mac unleashes a series of troubleshooting steps designed to return the computer to good health. If Safe Boot resolved the issue, restart the Mac normally the next time.

5 Mac Features to Check Out

Macs are full of fun and useful applications. Check out the following features as you need them or have the time. Your Mac adventures await.

  • Macs play chess. Challenge the computer or watch the computer challenge itself (Applications).

  • Macs are multilingual. Display menus and dialog boxes in more than a two-dozen foreign languages. (Choose Language & Region in System Preferences.)

  • Macs recognize speech. Use your voice to open applications, choose menu items, send e-mail and dictate text. (Choose Dictation & Speech in System Preferences.)

  • Macs enable you to use parental controls. Specify Web sites your kids can visit, people they can e-mail or chat with, and applications they can run. (Choose Parental Controls in System Preferences.)

  • Macs allow video conferencing. Hold a video conference through Messages (Applications) or eyeball pals on video calls to iPhones , iPads, iPod touches and other Macs through FaceTime.

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