10 Things I've Finally Gotten Used to in OS X – Confessions of a Switcher

About 7 months ago, I replaced my Dell laptop running Ubuntu with a new 12″ Apple iBook. At that time, I was still using a Windows XP PC at work. The more I used OS X, the more frustrated I became because I had to unlearn my Windows ways. Luckily, Dan was a big help and kindly told me that I needed to just learn to do it the Mac way.

About two months ago, I replaced my PC at work with a Mini. So, now it has been about 7 months that I've been using OS X and two months that I've been using it exclusively for day-to-day activities (I still use Linux, FreeBSD, and Windows for servers). This is a list of ten things that I have finally gotten used to in OS X, mostly keyboard shortcuts:

  1. Cmd+Delete instead of just Delete to delete a file. It makes it harder to accidentally move a file to the Trash compared to Windows. Now, when I use Windows I'm afraid I'm going to accidentally do Shift+Delete and permanently delete a file.
  2. Cmd+Backtick for switching windows within an app instead of Ctrl+Tab. For me, this makes more sense in OS X than Windows since Cmd+Tab switches open applications–OS X uses the same modifier key (Cmd) for similar actions.
  3. Home and End keys don't do the same thing as Windows. This one took a while to get used to.
  4. Delete is a backward delete. On my iBook, Fn+Delete is a forward delete. On my Apple keyboard the small Delete (by the End key) is a forward delete.
  5. Cmd+D duplicates a file. When you want to make a quick copy of a file, this is nicer than the Windows alternative of Ctrl+C then Ctrl+V to copy then paste the file.
  6. Exposé. Finally, a good use for F9-F11.
  7. Cmd+H hides the current application.
  8. Cmd+Q to quit an application. Breaking the habit of clicking the X to close an application to a bit of training. Having all those dock icons still showing a triangle under them when you thought you closed them helps 🙂
  9. Adium. I used Trillian on Windows. Adium is the best replacement I've found. If only file transfers worked…
  10. Browsing folders in Finder. Now that I'm used to it, I like this method better than Windows Explorer. Like every other Mac user, there's many a thing I could bitch about with regards to Finder but that's another article.

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