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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 PC to Mac


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davtt

 
Member Since: May 11, 2011
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Since 1984 I have owned many computers, starting with the old Compaq "portable", the 34-lb sewing machine lookalike with the bottom that dropped down to become a keyboard. It had two 20 meg hard drives and cost $3,000.

Always impressed by Apple’s user interface (I’ve owned a couple of iPods) and sick of MS and Windows, I finally made the switch and bought a MacBook Air. It’s about the size and weight of a Toshiba I had years ago, and I really enjoy it. And yes, I made the full switch, abandoning Windows at the same time.

As we all know, when converting to any product or system, there is a learning curve and some tricky stuff (closing windows on left vs right; deleting backwards vs. forward) that occasionally feels as if I’ve passed Through The Looking Glass. This is always to be expected, and part of what keeps people from switching in the first place.

Beyond the simple orientation issues which time will solve, I have encountered small annoyances that pop up situationally. Each time I struggle to find the answers online and worse yet, often find there are none. For example, I was forwarding an email to my brother and wanted to highlight part of one sentence. It took quite a while to discover this is not an option, unless someone actually believes the following procedure is a simple solution:

Click the "Inspector" button at the head of your document and select the graphics tab. Click the checkbox next to "Shadow." Adjust the angle to zero degrees, set the opacity to 100% (unless you want to highlight in black), and choose an offset of 3 pt and a blur of 6 pt.

Oy, but okay, I can work around that one by changing the color of the text, or underlining, or italicizing, or boldfacing, so it’s not that big a deal, just another small item for the Annoyance Pile we all have.

But then I went to organize my Documents file. In the past, I would create a New Folder and add it wherever I wanted in my outline-format hierarchy. You know:

Documents

I. Articles
A. Working
B. Submitted
C. Published

II. House
A. Projects
B. Contractors
C. Receipts

III. Insurance
A. Auto
B. Home
C. Life

etc.

Much of the advice I find is of the entry-level variety (don’t spill liquids on the keyboard - gee, thanks!). And the rest is to acquire third-party programs.

So here’s the big finish:

Do I just drift around, trying to patch together what I can learn about who sells what and who thinks what is good and bad? Or is there a single, reliable, qualified source for a PC-to-Mac switcher like me, where I can find answers to questions like this?

And if you’re willing to help with this larger issue, can you start with my current pressing problem by pointing me to where I can go to be able to organize my documents?

Many thanks,
David
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schweb

 
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I'm not sure why you're having issues organizing your documents folder. Just create the folder structure you want just like you would on Windows.

As for email, it's a horrible idea to use formatting, especially non-standard things like highlighting, anyway. There is no single standard to how any of that would show up since every client and every webmail provider do things differently. If you do need to call attention, just stick to bold and italics.

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davtt

 
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Thanks for the document solution - as a new user, the sequences, the number and placement of icons is quite bewildering. Documents/Open in Finder/discover the sunshine maybe machine cog icon has a drop down arrow then New Folder. Not just like Windows at all, but similar with the decoder ring, which I apparently don't have.

And can you help with a more systemic solution, perhaps Tutorials That Tell Me Where Icons Are And What They Mean?

davtt
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davtt

 
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Also, I see how I can make a New Folder, but not how to Build A Structure as I listed in my example. Does Apple have a tutorial I can go do, or must I rely on the kindness of strangers?
Blanche DuBois
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schweb

 
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Apple - Support - Switch 101

But honestly based on your posts you seem to be having much more difficulty than most in adjusting. Seems like you're assuming it's harder than it is and that's making it worse.

May be best to set up some 1 to 1 time at your local store.

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mrplow

 
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I'll have a go . . .

Have a look through this first (if you haven't already) Apple - Support - Mac 101

However the single best Mac resource I know is here.
This forum is a fantastic resource. It's crowd-sourced information so is skewed by opinion and not all questions can be answered. Nonetheless it's the single best Mac resource I've found and by far the friendliest and most helpful bunch of people I've come across on a forum anywhere.

1. Not sure I understand your text query - sorry - not a great start eh?

2. For your file organisation is it a kind of tree structure you're after? As per Windows Explorer?

Have you tried Column View? It's Hierarchical each column represents folder. Not the same as a tree view visually but effectively the same.

Also worth a look is TotalFinder. I've been using it for a while now and it 'enhances' Finder with many helpful features.

Organisation aside one of the best ways to find documents you're looking for is by using Spotlight (option+space is the keyboard shortcut or click the magifying glass top right).
Just type the first few letters or a relevant word in the document you're after and it will list them for you.

External hard disk acquisition addict - but admitting the problem is the first step to a robust backup

Please use the reputation system if you think you've been helped - top right of this post
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mrplow

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davtt View Post
Also, I see how I can make a New Folder, but not how to Build A Structure as I listed in my example. Does Apple have a tutorial I can go do, or must I rely on the kindness of strangers?
Blanche DuBois
You build a folder structure just as you would in Windows.

Right-click - New folder - give it a name. Double click to open it. Repeat as required.

schweb - you type faster than me

External hard disk acquisition addict - but admitting the problem is the first step to a robust backup

Please use the reputation system if you think you've been helped - top right of this post
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davtt

 
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Perhaps my thirty years of mainframe, desktop, and laptop experience is a hindrance rather than a help. Perhaps my scientific and technical background is also a problem. Perhaps I'm just stupid.

Of course 1 on 1 at my local store is a great idea, but my "local" store is two and a half thousand miles away.

Thanks anyway.
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Deckyon

 
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Time with windows/mainframe/unix/linux doesn't matter. The resources have been put here for you in this thread, and exist as stickies in the switcher section of this site.

Drop what you know and pretend you are starting over. I only switched over a few weeks ago with years of experience in the windows/mainframe/unix/linux world. Yes, there are differences, however creating a directory and file structure is the same.

Formatting in email - bad idea as others have said. Send me a formatted email and I only see plain text. I have all formatting turned off for good reason.

Take a few steps back and re-approach the computer with a more open mind. Switching is not that difficult.

MBP 17" 2011, 2.3GHz Intel Quad-Core i7, 8GB RAM, AMD Radeon HD 6750M 1GB RAM
MacMini 2011, 2.7GHz Intel Dual-Core i7, 8GB RAM, AMD Radeon HD 6630M 256MB RAM
iPhone 5S 64GB, iPad Gen3 32GB WiFi, iPod Nano Gen6 8GB, Apple TV 3 & 2
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Sawday

 
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dvatt - two quick ways to create a folder...

shift cmd N

or in Finder menu "Customise Toolbar" and add "+new folder icon"

Does this help?

Happiness is not getting what you want, but wanting what you get.
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davtt

 
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Okay. That last bit helped. To create a folder that resides as a subfolder within an existing folder, I must:
1. Open the Existing Folder
2. Click on Perform Tasks with the Selected Item icon
3. Click on New Folder

The catch was that in order to create a New Folder that is a SubFolder of an Existing Folder, the existing folders must be in Column View.

Thanks for your patience.
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schweb

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davtt View Post
Perhaps my thirty years of mainframe, desktop, and laptop experience is a hindrance rather than a help. Perhaps my scientific and technical background is also a problem.

I would say yes, that's probably you're biggest problem. You're used to one way of doing things and it's not easy to change or learn new things. Overall Mac and Windows are very similar on the basic level, most frustration comes about because someone is either a) looking for it to be more difficult than it actually is, b) unwilling to let a Mac be a Mac and try to make it work exactly like Windows, c) have no patience, or d) any combination of the previous three.

The best thing is just to be patient, don't assume it's difficult, and don't assume it's always that different. When in doubt ask your question here.

Overall though some things will need to be done differently. If you can't or won't accept that, it may be best to stick with Windows.

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schweb

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davtt View Post
Okay. That last bit helped. To create a folder that resides as a subfolder within an existing folder, I must:
1. Open the Existing Folder
2. Click on Perform Tasks with the Selected Item icon
3. Click on New Folder

The catch was that in order to create a New Folder that is a SubFolder of an Existing Folder, the existing folders must be in Column View.

Thanks for your patience.
Doesn't have to be in column view, that's easiest, but you could also just open the folder you want the new folders in and create the subfolders that way.

You also don't need to use the icons to create new folders, you can right-click or use keyboard shortcuts. There is always multiple ways to do things.

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davtt

 
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Thanks again to all of you, especially the kind ones.
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Sawday

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davtt View Post
Okay. That last bit helped. To create a folder that resides as a subfolder within an existing folder, I must:
1. Open the Existing Folder
2. Click on Perform Tasks with the Selected Item icon
3. Click on New Folder

The catch was that in order to create a New Folder that is a SubFolder of an Existing Folder, the existing folders must be in Column View.

Thanks for your patience.
In answer...
1. True. How do you it it otherwise in Windows?)
2. This is once only - once the +new folder is in the header of your finder window it's there for all time until YOU remove it.
3. You've got it. Simples!

'course if you don't like (1) you could create your new folder anywhere you like then move it to where you want it in the hierarchy.

Happiness is not getting what you want, but wanting what you get.
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