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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Tips for Switching from PC to Mac

If you are used to using a PC and switch to a Mac there are certain things that you will miss. The Mac can do everything that a PC does, but sometimes there are different ways to make them happen.
  • How to right click on a Mac
setting up secondary mouse buttonMacs will respond to a right button if the mouse you use has a right button. If you do not have a mouse with a right button there are two ways to right click. The first is to hold down "control" when you click. The second is to set up your trackpad for secondary clicking. You can do this by going to the System Preferences (black apple at top left and then System Preferences), finding the Trackpad controls and choosing that tapping with two fingers equals a secondary click
  • How to sleep, restart and shutdown
Black apple menuAlways go to the black apple at the top left in order to sleep, restart or logout of your computer. You can also logout in order to switch users without turning off the computer. You should always shut down rather than turning it off with the on/off switch. This process allows the computer to close all of the programs that make it run in a way that does not cause any problems. 
  • How to find a program you want to open on a Mac
There are several different ways to look for a program you want to open. For this article I just want to remind you of the Spotlight. It looks like a magnifying glass in the top right of your window. Type in here what you are looking for and you will find it!

  • How to uninstall a program on a Mac
A Mac does not require you to uninstall software with a program like Add and RemoveAppCleanerPrograms. You can just drag an app to the trash in order to delete it. Remember that anything with a bent arrow (like the programs on your desktop) are not programs. They are just pointers to the programs so you have to find the actual application in the applications folder and uninstall it from there. 

I like to use an app called AppCleaner. It will delete the app and look for any other files that are related to it and delete them as well. It is free and has worked well for me.
  • How to close, maximize and minimize on a Mac.Quit
On the Mac you have a Stoplight system on the left side of a window instead of on the right side. When you click the RED button to close an app the app closes, but the program stays open. To close the program you choose the name of the program and then slide down to Quit.

  • How to control-alt-delete on a Macoption-command-esc
Force Quit in MacOn a PC Control-Alt Delete is a way to force quit an application that is not responding or to force shutdown the whole computer if it is frozen. On a Mac the keys are Option-Command-Escape. When you press these keys a window appears allowing you to choose the app that you would like to force quit or to relaunch the Finder, which is like a force shutdown on the PC.
  • How to find the control panel on a Mac
OSystem Preferencesn a Mac The Control Panel is called System Preferences. You can find it under the black apple in the top left of the screen.

  • How to set up multiple accounts on a Mac
When you turn your computer on you may want to have separate accounts for different users of the computer. This allows you to have your own document folder and set up (background picture, password to get in, etc...) This is especially helpful if you have children using your computer and you want them to have child friendly set up in the browser which will block some things and access to only certain software. Here is how to do this on a Mac. It can also be done on a PC, but I will leave that for another time.Users and Groups
  1. Click on the Black Apple at the upper left side of the screen.
  2. Choose System Preferences
  3. Look for and click on Users and Groups
  4. Users - KeyIf the lock at the bottom left of the screen is closed you will have to put in the admin password and then it will unlock.unlocked
  5. Click on the plus sign at the bottom of the list of users and a new user will appear.
  6. You can give the account a name, a folder name that can be the same or different than the account name, set up parental controls (or not), and put in a password. The password is required, but there is no requirement of length, capitals, numbers or symbols.
  7. Before the account is set up it asks you if you want your computer to Automatically open in the admin account or open so that either account will have to log in. If you choose to have the admin account log in automatically you will have to log out before the other account logs in.
  8. The account will be set up and you will have a chance to change the settings including to put on parental controls if you forgot to do it earlier. You can even change the picture by rolling your mouse over it and clicking edit.
  • How to move between open windows in the same program in a Mac.
Both Macs and PCs are created with the idea that you should be able to have several things open at the same time. Each program has different ways that you can show the windows so that they are horizontally or vertically oriented, but if you want to have several things open that take up the whole screen in order to switch between them look for the menu called "window" at the top. When you click on it the list of the windows open will show and you can switch from viewing one to the other.
  • How to find out how much storage is left on your Mac
This is easy to do, but I always forget how!  If you click on the black apple at the top left of the screen and choose About this Mac you can find out anything you need to know about your computer (including the serial number!). At the top of this window are several choices. Click on Storage to find out how much storage memory your computer is using. It takes a little while for your computer to calculate the amount you are using, but right away you can see the total size of your storage. The picture it shows is like a thermometer showing how much each item takes up. You can roll your mouse over the ones that are too small to have words to find out what they are.

People often ask me what I recommend: a Mac or a PC. My answer is evolving, but it basically stays the same. It depends....  Both platforms have their advantages and disadvantages. If you have limited funds you can find a much less expensive PC than a Mac. If you like to play high end video games often a PC is better than a Mac. If you like to be in control of your computer and put in chips to add capabilities and program so that it is more unique to you a PC is what you want.

On the other hand if you can spend a bit more, do not want to be in control and able to change things a lot, and if you just want it to work reliably a Mac might be better. They can both do way more than most people ask of them. Now it is pretty easy to move documents, pictures, etc.... from Mac to PC and back, so you do not have to stick with only one.

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