The Ultimate New Mac User Guide

So, if you are reading this article, then chances are, you just got yourself a Mac. Despite the Mac being an easy machine to master, it is a different ballpark for individuals used to using Windows. You must learn about Finder, docks, Macintosh HD, and everything in between. Today, we’ll give you a preview of how great your new machine is. Once you master Mac, you’ll find the machine is worth every single penny.

MacGuide_Transfer

One of the hardest things about switching to a Mac, let alone any computer, is transferring all of the files from one computer to another. Regardless which OS you are using previously, you sure have ton of files that need to be transferred to your new Mac. The fastest and easiest way is to use an external hard drive. All you have to do is connect, transfer, connect to Mac, and transfer.

Once you connect the hard drive to your Mac, you can transfer files by simply dragging in dropping in the section known as “Finder”. This is the beating heart of your Mac. You can access all files, and specifically look up documents, photos, and more. Dragging the files from your hard drive to the respective folders is all you have to do.

Alternatively, you can sync your files with Dropbox. By installing the Dropbox app for Mac, you can get all your files in your new machine once it is synced with the online account.

MacGuide_Software

Your files are finally all organized in your Mac computer, but you find yourself missing some of your favourite software that you’ve been using on Windows. Luckily there are a bunch of pre-installed software that serve as a great alternative for the Windows counterpart.

The group of applications at the bottom of your Mac is an area known as docks. You have applications like Mission Control, allowing you to see at a distance all of the active applications. You can also click F3 to access Mission Control. This feature is more helpful than I thought at first. You have Safari, which is the browser, iChat is the IM software, iCal as your calendar, Preview which allows you to view PDF and lightly crop and export photos, FaceTime which is also a chat application, and more. The App Store also allows you to download more applications seamlessly.

MacGuide_Dock

When you first get your Mac out of the box, you’re surprised with the applications that are already available for you. However, once you get hold of Mac App Store, you’ll find yourself downloading way more programs. This can create a cluttered dock. You must remember that removing an application from the dock doesn’t delete the application from your hard drive. Remember not to take this tip as a way of showing you how to clear your hard drive. To remove an application from the dock, first quit the program, then drag it away from the dock and release. It’s quite simple and pretty quick.

If you want to add an application, it’s just as easy. If you are currently using the application, simply press with your two fingers, go to options, and click on “keep in dock”. You can also add applications you aren’t currently using by dragging and dropping them in the dock to their respective location. It’s super easy to learn, and even easier to do. So there’s no worry about getting this wrong, it’s almost foolproof. Now time to understand Mac OS.

MacGuide_Mac-OS

If you have noticed, the keyboard in Mac is not exactly the same as the one in Windows. There is the “Command” button that will essentially replace the functionality of “Control”. For example, “Command + H” hides an application, “Command + Q” quits it. Other keyboard shortcuts include: F1 and 2 regulates screen brightness, F3 brings you to Mission Control, F4 takes you to widgets, F7 – 9 are exclusively iTunes controls. If you try to press them when iTunes isn’t active, the program will automatically launch. F10 – 12 controls all volume.

When looking at your Mac screen, there are more differences. For example, there isn’t a start menu. All of your programs are in docks, the closest start menu cousin is the menu bar at the top. This area is where you can access controls, and click the Apple to check for updates, access preferences, and shutting down/sleeping/restarting your Mac. Unlike Windows, the menu bar is always there, so once you get acquainted with it, you’re set.

MacGuide_Secured

There’s no secret, Windows computers are more prone to viruses than Macs. This shouldn’t necessarily be your sole factor in getting a Mac. The only reason Macs aren’t as prone is due to the fact that Windows computers are more common. Macs also have many safeguards right out of the box to protect you. Aside from the fact that Mac viruses exist, they rarely, if ever, do damage on the level of Windows viruses. I personally don’t have any virus protection I personally downloaded myself and I have been fine for the years I’ve been a Mac user, but hacks and viruses still are on my mind.

One huge thing to help protect yourself is keeping up with those software updates. They usually aren’t excessive, you will get a dozen or so a year, but they are well worth it and take a very short time in updating. Some help with application performance and experience, but most are for your Mac security and protection. In the end, you should know that your Mac is there for your protection and Internet safety.

What more do you want to know about a Mac OS?