This article provides the basic introduction to the MAC OSX interface and some of the common commands that are useful for the mac users on day-to-day basis. The windows users who are switching to mac can use this article for a smooth transition.
The first thing that a user notices on the MAC is its desktop. The desktop has the dock to the bottom of the screen that provides the access to the most frequently used applications, or folders. The dock is customizable and the users can easily add the contents to the dock by right click and selecting keep in the dock option or just by drag and drop.
The desktop area is similar to the desktop of windows and it can have a list of folders and files. The desktop background can be changed from system preferences, Desktop and Screen Saver option. The next important thing to know is about the finder. The finder is similar to the My Computer in the windows. Finder allows users to access everything on the mac that includes applications, disks, folders, files, and external devices such as USB drives and DVDs. The Finder is used to organize all files and folders and also for searching the files or folders that are on the mac.
Another thing users notice is the window close, minimize icons are to the left side that is opposite to the windows OS. Every window in MAC OS has three icons towards the left colored red, yellow and green. The red button is for closing the window, yellow button is for minimizing and the green button is for zoom.
The MAC comes with many apps that are pre-installed and in order to launch your apps users can use the Launchpad icon from the dock (MAC OSx Lion and later). Users can open the apps from the dock, from the finder or by pressing F4 and selecting the app.
Mac has backup and recovery mechanism for all your files, and this is called Time Machine. The Time Machine backs up all the files from the MAC to the selected disk. In case if files were deleted accidentally then users can restore is quickly using time machine. The time machine can be configured in system preferences.
This is one of the unique features offered by MAC OSx. Mission control gives a bird\’s eye view of all the windows opened and the apps running on the mac. The mission control can be found on the dock or swiping up three fingers on the track pad to open it. It can also be opened using the F3 key. The mission control shows all the windows and apps that are running and also the desktop in which you are in now. Users can add or delete desktops from mission control. Using the mission control users can move around to the new desktop or can click on the application that is running to view it. Pressing Esc key exits the mission control view.
Creating mac folders and files are similar to Windows. The folders can be created in the finder and the location of choice by right clicking and selecting the new folder option. In order to rename the folder select the folder and press enter and give a new name to the folder. Files or folders can be copied and pasted to the desired location by right click and select copy option or command+c key for copying and for pasting right click and paste option or command+v key.
Similarly files or folders can be deleted using the keyboard shortcut command+del key or by right click and selecting move to trash option.
Mac also provides the compression option for the files and folders. It’s easy to compress files or folders. This is done by just right click and selecting the compress option. This will create the zip file instantly. Mac also uncompressed the zip or tar files by just clicking on it.
Windows users use desktop shortcuts in order to open the application or folders from a convenient location; similarly mac also provides an option to create desktop shortcuts for its users. In mac the shortcuts are called aliases. To make an alias, users have to right click on the application/folder and select make alias option from the menu. A new file will be created that looks like the old one with the word alias at the end of its name If you look closely enough, you\’ll also see a tiny little arrow in the lower left of the file\’s icon, letting you know it\’s a shortcut and not the original file. Then the alias can be copied on to the desktop. Aliases are useful when the dock is populated with lots of items.