Mac OS X switch guide

Now that I’ve switched to a PowerBook at work, I’m trying to figure out what the Mac OS X equivalents are of various things that I was accustomed to in Windows. I wrote down a few things that I’ve found helpful, which hopefully will be helpful to other switchers. I’ll update this over time.

Keyboard Shortcuts – Text Editing

Description Windows Mac OS X
Go to beginning of line (Home) (Cmd)(Left)
Go to end of line (End) (Cmd)(Right)
Go to beginning of document (Ctrl)(Home) (Cmd)(Up)
Go to end of document (Ctrl)(End) (Cmd)(Down)
Select from cursor until end of line (Shift)(End) (Cmd)(Shift)(Right)
Select from cursor until end of document (Ctrl)(Shift)(End) (Cmd)(Shift)(Down)

Keyboard Shortcuts – Firefox

Description Windows Mac OS X
Focus cursor in URL field (Alt)(D) (Cmd)(L)
Focus cursor in searchfield (Ctrl)(K) (Cmd)(K)

Keyboard Shortcuts – Screenshots

Key Combination Result
Command+Shift+3 Capture entire screen and save as a file
Command+Control+Shift+3 Capture entire screen and copy to the clipboard
Command+Shift+4 Capture dragged area and save as a file
Command+Control+Shift+4 Capture dragged area and copy to the clipboard
Command+Shift+4 then Space bar Capture a window, menu, desktop icon, or the menu bar and save as a file
Command+Control+Shift+4 then Space bar Capture a window, menu, desktop icon, or the menu bar and copy to the clipboard

Keyboard Shortcuts РApplication Switching: Expos̩, Dashboard, etc.

Description Windows Mac OS X
Toggle between applications (Alt)(Tab) (Cmd)(Tab)
Toggle between windows in an application (Ctrl)(F6) (Cmd)(Backquote)
Focus on menubar (Alt) (Ctrl)(F2)
App preferences Not consistent (Cmd)(Comma)
Hide app ??? (Cmd)(H)
Exposé: Tile all open windows N/A (F9)
Exposé: Tile open windows for current app N/A (F10)
Exposé: Hide all open windows, show desktop N/A (F11)
Dashboard – toggle N/A (F12)
Bring up a list of applications to kill (Alt)(Control)(Delete) (Command)(Option)(Escape)


Description Windows Mac OS X
Mouse gestures StrokeIt xGestures
Mouse snap to default button built-in LazyMouse
Keyboard app (search) launcher AppRocket Quicksilver
Keyboard app (keyword) launcher SlickRun ???
Install UNIXy software Cygwin Fink, MacPorts (formerly called DarwinPorts)
Show date in system clock + calendar TClockEx MenuCalendarClock

Must-have Software

More cool stuff

  • Automator
  • Platypus – Make GUI apps that wrap scripts such as Perl, Python, AppleScript, etc.

Software I’m playing with or might want to play with

Miscellaneous links

Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard
Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard is packed with over 300 new features, installs easily, and works with the software and accessories you already have.

15 thoughts on “Mac OS X switch guide

  1. Marc,
    Useful guide. Keep on updating it. Check out these apps too, if you haven’t done so already:
    – CheckOff
    – Alarm Clock
    – TextWrangler/BBEdit
    – VLC media player
    – Cocktail (sys. utility)

    Also, from what I’ve read above, it seems like you haven’t fully realized the power of QuickSilver =) Read tutorials and tips/tricks. And… install -at least- the recommended modules (such as MouseGestures, calculator, etc.) you can replace several apps from your list with QS.
    Again, you may have read this already, but just in case:
    – these are some additionl tricks with the dock: e.g. opt+cmd+click -> will switch to that app and hide the rest.


  2. This is exactly the Mac shortcuts that I have been looking for! Thanks a million, Marc.

  3. Pingback: 4 Wochen Switcher: Mein Zwischenbericht - Seite 10 - Apfeltalk

  4. Thanks a lot for these great links. This are exactly the shortcuts I´ve been looking for.

  5. On my Maverick MBA, as opposed to the desired “move cursor to the beginning of document”effect, (Cmd)(Up) results in all windows being displayed simultaneously. Any idea of what has replaced the Windows equivalent of Ctrl+Home???

  6. Mac User:
    The keyboard shortcut (Command-Up) is correct, but seems to be overridden in your settings to display windows (which is usually Control-Up if I remember correctly).

    Either way, go to System Preferences » Keyboard » Shortcuts » Mission Control, and you can just remove or change the shortcut to get that “Command-Up to Home” functionality back.

    I also recommend taking a look at the “Services” pane while you’re in there—it lets you set up some fantastic shortcuts.

  7. Hey Marc! Do you have any idea as to how to shift-select multiple items on a Mac ?

    Software OS X 10.9.4 (13E28)

    MacBook Air Early 2014

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