If you’ve recently bought or gotten a Mac unit, congratulations! As a masterpiece of modern engineering combining both form and function, an Apple MacBook is an all-new experience in technology.
But your device can only perform as good as you can use it - and MacBook works in its own distinct way. This difference may be a little tricky to some beginners (especially those who are used to handling Windows products) but with a little practice, shouldn’t be completely impossible.
If you do find out that your Mac is a little tricky to handle, here are some tips for beginners that can help bring out the best in your Mac.
Closing a window
Starting with the basics: you may notice three buttons at the top right of every window: red, orange, and green. You may think that clicking the red button closes your window, but it actually minimises the window. The application itself is still running.
To properly close a Mac OS program, you should click the Command and Q buttons in order to close a currently running application. This helps free up the working memory on your Mac, especially if you find out it’s running slowly due to the number of applications you may now be aware are open.
While the Windows OS system comes with keyboard shortcuts, the Mac OS uses a different system of keyboard shortcuts. Since the keyboard of the MacBook is different, here’s a handy list of what the symbols you may not be too familiar with actually mean:
- Command (⌘)
- Shift (⇧)
- Option (⌥)
- Control (⌃)
- Caps Lock (⇪)
- Function (Fn)
Each program and application may also have a different shortcut in the Mac OS. Learning which programs you frequently use and adjusting your keyboard habits to the program will make using it a lot easier.
Multi Touch gestures
Have you ever wondered why you don’t often see people external mouse with MacBooks? It’s because the MacBook comes with a very useful feature that depends on how you use the built in-touchpad to navigate and open programs and perform actions on your MacBook.
Using a combination of gestures and the fingers that you use to do them, a MacBook user can perform a variety of actions that would normally need a mouse to execute properly. The Mac support page comes with a list of these actions - familiarising yourself with them will make navigating your MacBook much more efficiently.
While the Windows OS usually uses “.exe” files to execute, install, and run programs, the Mac OS uses disc images. These disc images can be dragged to your applications folder for installation, and can be deleted after they’ve been installed.
Other times, developers will create an installation process that should guide you through the installation process for particularly tricky applications. Generally speaking, installing programs in your MacBook is easy.
Backing up your system
Backing up your files and system on the Mac is extremely easy, owing to the intuitive design of the Mac OS Time Machine. This is the best and easiest way to backup your files and can work with little to no supervision once the process has been set up properly.
Here’s an article about how to set up your hard drive for a Time Machine, and another blog post about the kinds of backup that you can use.
Those are the basics that you’ll need to learn in order to best navigate your MacBook. With a little more research and practice, you’ll be able to use your MacBook like a pro.