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3 Quick Mac OS X Keyboard Tips for Windows Users

Posted by Robert Lee on 28 June 2011

3 Quick Mac OS X Keyboard Tips for Windows Users

After being a Windows user for many years, switching to Mac OS X was quite a daunting prospect. But I needn't have worried - it was far easier than I expected.  However, there were a few missing keys that threw me for a while:

  1. Where on earth is the # key? I couldn't believe that standard Mac keyboards just didn't have the # key anywhere!  Maybe it's not such a big deal for many people, but for any programmer or developer it's a very commonly used character. Well here's the solution: just press Alt-3 (or Option-3) et voila!
  2. Why no delete? Windows users are used to having delete AND backspace. But not so on the standard Mac keyboard - you just get the backspace key. But don't worry, you can still delete by pressing Fn-Backspace.
  3. And print-screen? I don't know about you, but I used the print-screen key pretty much every day on my Windows keyboards. So how do you get a screenshot on a Mac? Well the answer is that there are several ways to do this, and whilst they're not as straightforward as just pressing one key, there are far more options making it more flexible and capable than Windows. But for now, let's try to do a basic print-screen: to copy the screen to the clipboard, press Command-Shift-Control-3. You'll hear the camera shutter sound which confirms the command has been completed. If all you want to do is save the screenshot as an image, then simply leave the Control key out (so you just press Command-Shift-3) and the screenshot will be saved to the desktop as a PNG image file.


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