The Leopard has landed

apple-logo-black-xsanNo posts for a while, partly because I’ve been on holiday and busy with other things, but also because I have a new toy. I’ve gone over to the dark side, as a few of my friends have commented, and now have a foot in the MacBook camp.

So I’ve been spending time getting to grips with the myriad of differences between Windows, which I’ve used for the last 20 years or so, and the platform of choice for the creative world. The butterfly finds another flower to alight on, so to speak.

So, how’s it going so far?

The machine stats up and shuts down in a fraction of the time of a Windows box. While this may seem like a small thing, it makes dipping in for a quick check of something so much more convenient.

As I knew, the UI is significantly different, it’s quick and has a nice look and feel to it. The taskbar, or ‘Dock’ as it’s called here is quite funky and there’s a cool concept called ‘Spaces’ which gives you a number of virtual desktops to reduce clutter on your main desktop space. There’s lots of opensource apps kicking about out there for OS X so I’ll be playing with a few of them too.

Bizarrely (well I thought so) there’s no delete key on the keyboard. Nope, I looked and looked for it; definitely not there. Maybe it’s just the MacBook keyboard to conserve space, but definitely not there. I didn’t realise how much I used it till I didn’t have one. There is a Backspace key though and so with a little digging it apears that fn + Backspace works the same as Delete. Phew.

While I was at it, I dug around for a few more keyboard shortcuts and compiled a little list for things I do when in Windows:

Text manipulation keyboard shortcuts

Note that these are broadly similar to Windows keyboard shortcuts. All you need to do is change the equivalent Windows shortcuts (prefixed with Ctrl) to be prefixed with the Mac’s Cmd key, with a couple of exceptions.

Navigating text

  • Left/right arrow – move one character left
  • Right arrow – move character right
  • Alt + left arrow – move one word left
  • Alt + right arrow – move one word right
  • Cmd + left arrow – move to beginning of line
  • Cmd + right arrow – move to end of line
  • Cmd + up arrow – move to beginning of document
  • Cmd + down arrow – move to end of document

Selecting text

  • Obviously you can click and drag with the mouse, but we’re talking keyboard here.
  • Shift + left/right arrow – select character
  • Shift + any of the above navigate text combinations – select same

Other text manipulation commands

  • Cmd + C – Copy selection
  • Cmd + X – Cut selection
  • Cmd + V – Paste previously cut/copied selection
  • Cmd + Backspace – Delete (on MacBook keyboard)
  • Cmd + Z – Undo
  • Cmd + Y – Redo
  • Cmd + B – Bold
  • Cmd + U – Underline

File/Application actions

  • Cmd + O – Open
  • Cmd + W – Close
  • Cmd + Q – Quit
  • Cmd + S – Save
  • Cmd + P – Print
  • Cmd + Tab – Switch between apps


  • Cmd + Shift + 3 – Take screenshot

I’m sure there will be more as I progress on my fairly steep learning curve.

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