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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

Switching Windows


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Erieg

 
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Hi all, I just purchased a new macbook, something I have always wanted but couldn't afford. I am running into a few issues though and I am hoping someone can help me out with.

The first problem I am having is with flipping to different windows (programs). This is a fairly simplistic thing so I must be missing something. Unlike windows, there is no tool bar to quickly pop the needed window up. I read where I can use option+Tab but why in the world would I need to use key commands to do some thing so simple? On that note, while I was searching the forums to see if I could find the answer to do this, I keep running into replies to questions being "press x,x,x". I really don't want to have to memorize key commands. Is the Mac totally dependant on them?

Second, do macbooks support duel screens (an external monitor used in conjunction with the macbook display)?

Last question is about web browsers. I have grown totally dependant on tabs. Safari is driving me nuts. Since MS doesn't make an IE for Mac any longer is there one that you recommend? I tried Fire fox but is was slow.
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cwa107

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erieg View Post
Hi all, I just purchased a new macbook, something I have always wanted but couldn't afford. I am running into a few issues though and I am hoping someone can help me out with.

The first problem I am having is with flipping to different windows (programs). This is a fairly simplistic thing so I must be missing something. Unlike windows, there is no tool bar to quickly pop the needed window up. I read where I can use option+Tab but why in the world would I need to use key commands to do some thing so simple? On that note, while I was searching the forums to see if I could find the answer to do this, I keep running into replies to questions being "press x,x,x". I really don't want to have to memorize key commands. Is the Mac totally dependant on them?
In general, when you minimize an application, it is sent to the right side of the dock, where you'll have an icon representing the application's window. Clicking on it will bring the application up and to the forefront, much like Windows. You can also toggle between Applications using Command-Tab (like Alt-Tab in Windows) or by using the Expose feature, which shows all of your application windows simultaneously. No, the Mac isn't dependent on shortcuts, but it is helpful to memorize them to save yourself some work.

Quote:
Second, do macbooks support duel screens (an external monitor used in conjunction with the macbook display)?
Yes.

Quote:
Last question is about web browsers. I have grown totally dependant on tabs. Safari is driving me nuts. Since MS doesn't make an IE for Mac any longer is there one that you recommend? I tried Fire fox but is was slow.
Safari uses tabs. Firefox 3 does as well, I'm not sure why it would be slow for you.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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Erieg

 
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Thanks for the reply. I will need to experiment more. What if I don't want to minimize the window but just flip to another one? I guess it is hard for me to explain why it is really hard for me to get comfortable with this.

Udate:

Ok... I am an idiot. Exactly where in Safari are the tabs? They don't seem readily visible.

Who knew I would find a mac so hard to use

Udate #2

Helps if you chose "New Tab" in the safari file menu. Doh
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budafied

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
You can also toggle between Applications using Command-Tab (like Alt-Tab in Windows) or by using the Expose feature, which shows all of your application windows simultaneously.
Is EXPOSE the one where you push the sides of the mouse?

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deathcab1

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by budafied View Post
Is EXPOSE the one where you push the sides of the mouse?
Yes i think. It is on mine by default. Expose is when all of your open windows go really small and you can click on the on eyou want to open it.
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cwa107

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erieg View Post
Thanks for the reply. I will need to experiment more. What if I don't want to minimize the window but just flip to another one? I guess it is hard for me to explain why it is really hard for me to get comfortable with this.
In Windows, I would hit Alt-Tab to switch to another application. Similarly on Mac OS, I would hit Command-Tab. Alternatively, I would hit F3, which is assigned to the Expose feature and choose my window.

Quote:
Udate:

Ok... I am an idiot. Exactly where in Safari are the tabs? They don't seem readily visible.
Either from the File menu => New Tab, or by pressing Command-T for a new tab. You can also change the behavior of tabs in the preferences (for example, if you'd like the tabs bar to show all the time).

Quote:
Who knew I would find a mac so hard to use
They're not... you're just thinking with your Windows-oriented brain. Consider that you've picked up years of habits and experience with Windows, whereas the Mac is brand new. It will take time to acquire new experience and habits. If you had started as a clean slate, learning would be a lot easier.

Quote:
Udate #2

Helps if you chose "New Tab" in the safari file menu. Doh
The Help menu in Apple products is, believe it or not, usually helpful!

I'd highly recommend you pick up a copy of Daniel Pogue's Mac OS X: The Missing Manual. It covers the Mac, iLife apps and a lot more in plain English. Very handy.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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cwa107

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by budafied View Post
Is EXPOSE the one where you push the sides of the mouse?
I believe so (I don't use a Mighty Mouse), but you can assign it to whatever key you like in Preferences - or you can assign it to a "hot corner" so that when you move your pointer to a given corner of the screen, it will turn on Expose.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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deathcab1

 
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a good rule of thumb i found when i switched over the weekend was:

If the shortcut uses CTRL in windows, it most probably uses the command button in mac.

i found it applies on most of the stuff i tried.
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Erieg

 
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I have found my problem (and I should have realized this before). I went to the Apple store and started playing around with an iMac. Well, what I found is that my issues with program swapping is the screen size (no laughing). My spiffy new macbook has a pretty small screen... when using an iMac I was able to pretty easily switch between programs.

I am still concerened about keyboard commands though. I honestly never used them in windows.
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Every open application is in the Dock and has a Light Blue Dot under it if it's running. I just click the applications icon in the dock and bam. It goes to that application. There are many ways like have already been mentioned.
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Erieg

 
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LOL! I never even noticed the blue dot! That helps a great deal.

As for the person who said that I am stuck in a "Windows" mindset, that is soo very true. I am a system admin and all I deal with day in and day out is windows. I bought the Mac because the last thing I want to see when I get home is windows.

Thanks for the tip. Now if I can just wrap my mind around downloading and installing software all will be dandy.
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dtravis7

 
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If you have any questions about installing software you download, just ask. If you search there are probably thousands of threads here already. This place has an amazing amount of information stored on it!
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shahvikram123

 
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Switching Applications In Mac OS X

Expose
Expose scales down all visible open windows and allows you to click on the window you wish to work with next to switch to it.

You can use hot corners to launch expose. which is where you move your mouse to a corner to activate expose, simply search hot corners in spotlight to access its settings.

You can use keyboard shortcuts, by default its either F9 or F3 depending on your mac. (you can also change this to whatever key combo you want).

Command Tab

In windows you have alt+tab and in Mac OS X you have Command + Tab. It's the same thing but in OS X it only displays open applications not all open windows. This is so that its doesn't get too cluttered. With Command + Tab you can also use the arrow keys and press Q or H to quite or hide the application.

Dock
open applications in OS X are represented by a small blue dot under their application icon in the dock. To switch to a already open application simply click on the applications icon in the dock.

Other notes

The best/easiest way to switch apps and multi-task in Mac OS X is expose with hot corners. Try it out, its so useful.

Macs aren't harder to use, you've got to remember OS X is a completely different OS to windows, don't expect them to work the same way. Your finding it hard because you have a windows mind set, clear your mind about everything you've learnt about computing and then approach Mac OS X, you'll find it easier.

Vikram Shah
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