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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?" :)

getting mixed up with control / alt / command keyboard shortcuts


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hari.p

 
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Hi,

I've been with my Mac for around 2 months now .... after 18 years on PC.
Thankfully everything has gone very smoothly and my speed is picking up now..

In PC most of the keyboard shortcuts were either Cntrl or Alt based.

In Mac, u got Control + Alt + Command and there are literally hundreds of combinations with the Shift key added.... i love to to use the shortcuts but of late i find myself getting mixed up ... i keep a list of keyboard shortcuts of what i regularly use - so far its got 23 entries.

Has anybody tried to work this out or simplify it so that Cmd shortcuts pertain to a certain type of tasks or anything similar...

Thank you for the help.
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I too am a recent convert and noticed that most, if not all of the menu shortcuts, are now command instead of ctrl. I.E. - "ctrl-c" > "cmd-c" I'm sorry I can't offer any other simple fixes, but I am still learning a lot of them.

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didymus

 
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For starters, take a look at Mac OS X keyboard shortcuts or Mac Keyboard Shortcuts - common key combinations for Mac OS X and Applications - a Google search brings up more - keyboard shortcuts mac - Google Search
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hari.p

 
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Thanks so much for the replies...

But dont you guys get mixed up sometimes when some combinations are very similar ...? For example :-

Things - new todo Cntrl+Alt+Spacebar
Search this mac Alt+Cmd+Spacebar

Spotlight Cmd+Spacebar..
Quicksilver invoke Cntrl+Spacebar

Or maybe my mind is slowing down faster than i thought it would ...
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Raz0rEdge

 
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Like anything if you haven't been using the shortcuts forever, it can be confusing, but I imagine with time it gets easier. As a SW engineer, I compare this to people who use VI vs Emacs. Both have different sets of keyboard shortcuts to get the job accomplished and watching a well versed VI-user is just amazing at how nicely you can do things. I can open a file, edit it and save it..beyond that I'm bound to blow my computer up..

My complication at home is furthered by the fact that I have a Mac Mini attached to a non-Mac keyboard that I use with my Linux PC..so I'm hitting ALT on the keyboard and on the Mac it's the CMD key..so yeah, I'm getting better at it, but still end up hitting the wrong shortcut..

Regards
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hari.p View Post
Hi,

I've been with my Mac for around 2 months now .... after 18 years on PC.
Thankfully everything has gone very smoothly and my speed is picking up now..

In PC most of the keyboard shortcuts were either Cntrl or Alt based.

In Mac, u got Control + Alt + Command and there are literally hundreds of combinations with the Shift key added.... i love to to use the shortcuts but of late i find myself getting mixed up ... i keep a list of keyboard shortcuts of what i regularly use - so far its got 23 entries.

Has anybody tried to work this out or simplify it so that Cmd shortcuts pertain to a certain type of tasks or anything similar...

Thank you for the help.
If certain keyboard shortcuts are confusing...then don't use them!

Maybe the only reason why they're confusing (versus Windows)...is maybe Mac's have more possible shortcuts than Windows...and you're trying to use the more complicated ones (3 & 4 key combinations).

For me I mainly use only three shortcuts:

- command + c = copy
- command + v = paste
- command + x = cut

Everything else is a rarity. I'm sure other folks use many more...but these three get me by most of the time.

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Pickle

 
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I use double command to make my pc keyboard act like a mac keyboard in osx. You can also use it to switch the CMD, option,Ctrl, alt, or what ever keys to be what and where ever you want.

DoubleCommand
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Raz0rEdge

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pickle View Post
I use double command to make my pc keyboard act like a mac keyboard in osx. You can also use it to switch the CMD, option,Ctrl, alt, or what ever keys to be what and where ever you want.

DoubleCommand
Thanks for the app tip, but doesn't OSX support the option to remap the Windows/Alt keys on a PC keyboard to make it Mac-friendly. What extras does Doublecommand offer?

Regards
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Pickle

 
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Yes you can remap the short cuts to different keys in osx. DoubleCommand takes it a step or 2 further. It is more customizable.
Some features taken from website:

DoubleCommand Feature List

* Enter key acts as a Command key
* Enter key acts as a Control key
* Enter key acts as an Option key
* Enter key acts as an fn key (partial support, cursor keys only)
* Command key acts as an Option key
* Command key acts as a Control key
* Option key acts as a Command key
* Control key acts as a Command key
* Swaps Control key and Option key
* Capslock key acts as a Control key
* fn key acts as a Control key
* Swaps numpad . with numpad shift+.
* Shift + Delete acts as a Forward Delete
* Disable Command and Option
* PC style Home and End keys
* Backslash (\) acts as a Forward Delete
* Swap function key behaviour on new 'Books
* Disable Capslock
* Enter key acts as Forward Delete
* Caps lock acts as delete
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technologist

 
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If you have trouble remembering keyboard shortcuts, use fewer keyboard shortcuts. They're not saving you any time if you have to look them up first.

Shortcuts are great for the handful of commands that you use most often. For the rest, just use the menu commands. Once you've got your most-used commands memorized, then you can start gradually expanding them again.
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I was wondering something similar. Is there any kind of rhyme or reason to how the modifier keys are assigned to certain kinds or groups or related tasks? I'm tempted to say that the Command key is the first line of defense and works with most other keys in a straightforward way. Can the Control key be said to "control" aspects of a program, whereas Command "commands"? Can the Shift key be said to work with keyboard shortcuts in the same way it's used to "shift" to a secondary character on a key?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oneironaut View Post
I was wondering something similar. Is there any kind of rhyme or reason to how the modifier keys are assigned to certain kinds or groups or related tasks? I'm tempted to say that the Command key is the first line of defense and works with most other keys in a straightforward way. Can the Control key be said to "control" aspects of a program, whereas Command "commands"? Can the Shift key be said to work with keyboard shortcuts in the same way it's used to "shift" to a secondary character on a key?
Sometimes there is, oftentimes there isn't. Your suggestions are actually pretty close.

Ideally, all shortcuts would be a matter of ⌘-letter, and the letter would be something that had something to do with the command. Hence, ⌘-S to Save, ⌘-O to Open. Unfortunately, there are only 26 letters in the alphabet, so adjustments had to be made.

Cut, Copy, Paste, and Undo are all together in the Edit menu. C can't be used twice, and P is already used for Print. So they chose a string of shortcuts on the keyboard that were all together: C, X, V, and Z. And it kind of makes sense: Copy, then X (kind of looks like "scratch out") and V (kind of looks like an arrow, inserting something in) and Z (the last letter, which undoes the last thing.) All right there next to each other.

Still, there are only so many letters. So we have to combine Command with a modifier key, like Option or Shift.

There is actually a rule for this: Shift-Command-letter generally means "Do the same thing as Command-letter but in the opposite of the normal way." And Option-Command-letter usually means "Do the same thing as Command-letter, but do it to everything at once." Hence, ⌘-Z is Undo, but Shift-⌘-Z should be Redo. ⌘-S is Save, but Option-⌘-S is Save All. ⌘-W is Close Window, so Option-⌘-W is Close All Windows.

Of course there are exceptions. Not every software developer even knows about the conventions above. And Windows-centric developers often use Windows conventions (For example, ⌘-Y as Redo, instead of the proper Shift-⌘-Z.)

And sometimes, they just plain run out of combinations and have to just make them up. The default shortcut for Spotlight, Command-space, was used because it has to be available all the time, no matter what program you're in. Since most every Shift/Option-Command-letter combination was taken in at least one program, Apple used ⌘-spacebar, which was pretty rare (though it still broke some apps.)

The Control key came later, mostly for compatibility with Windows and Unix programs. It's rarely used in Mac apps, usually only when all the good Shift-Option-Command-etc. shortcuts are already taken. Likewise, the F-keys.

Most Windows shortcuts were actually copied from the Mac, except that Windows lacked a Command key, so they were remapped to Control. Most of the rest were from the IBM Common User Access guidelines (eg. Alt-F4 to Exit.) It's somewhat surprising that the Mac-style shortcuts won out most of the time even on Windows. The main reasons are probably 1)They generally made some sort of mnemonic sense, and 2) Microsoft Office adopted them
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hari.p

 
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To technologist, hats off to you Sir... what an informative post! Thank you.

When i wanted to switch, i very stupidly asked in this forum itself whether Mac had keyboard shortcuts as Windows. After switching i realised what a wrong question that was...

Please forgive this - I have just 1 question - its not related to this post in any way - i sincerely request a reply to this please ... thanks.

Since switching to Mac, my interest in iphones has increased 100 fold ... every time i look at it, i'm tempted to dump my berry... there's only 1 thing that holds me back - - - - i travel a lot and get around 150 - 170 emails per day. In blackberry it downloads only 2 kb per message. So the cost of data roaming is kept low. IS IT POSSIBLE TO RESTRICT THE AMOUNT OF DATA DOWNLOADED P-E-R E-MAIL IN IPHONE?

i've tried searching a lot but of no avail - cannot get a reply to this..

Thanks once again.
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I have two Post-It notes on my monitor with a list of the shortcuts I use the most, such as sleep (Opt-CMD-Ej) and Shutdown (Ctrl-opt-CMD-Ej)

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