Finally. It’s time to make the leap from your old PC to a new Mac. The first few moments with your new computer can be disorienting for anyone and that’s not surprising. It’s a similar operating system and hardware but different in key respects.
A few weeks ago, my father made the leap to a MacBook Air and I’ve had the opportunity to help him set up his new computer. These are the things he needed to learn to start his journey through Sierra MacOS on a Mac. Here we go!
Rather, a mouse that is all button . This is certainly the most striking thing about a switcher (this is what users who switch from one platform to another are called). As there are no buttons (plural) doing some actions can be a mystery.
In System Preferences> Trackpad (the name of the mouse on a Mac) you can configure it to your liking. These are the actions we can do with it :
- Touch or press the mouse: this setting is off by default, but I find it quite comfortable to have it on. It means that both a touch and a click of the mouse are interpreted in the same way.
- Windows right click: this is the command that all Windows users ask themselves where it is. Just touch or squeeze with two fingers on the Trackpad, anywhere on its surface. In Windows, this gesture is usually in a certain area of the mouse.
- Click with three fingers: an action that few people know and that serves to look up the meaning in the dictionary when we click on a word.
Opening Windows Files on a Mac
Your new Mac can open almost all the files on your old PC . Photos, music, movies, and even Excel, Word, and PowerPoint files if you have the Microsoft suite. The exception is .exe files, which usually contain Windows platform-specific programs. In that case, you will have to look for the version for macOS or an equivalent app.
How to install apps on your Mac
This is one of those things that raises eyebrows. Until a user sees it for the first time, they don’t realize how simple it is . First, download an app to install. When the download is complete, you’ll see a file with the .dmg extension and a hard drive icon like the one at the top left.
Double click on it and another icon will appear on your desktop, this time the one on the top right. Double-click the new icon again and the app and applications folder on your Mac will appear.
Here’s the trick that took me years to discover: drag the app into the apps folder and voilà! It’s already installed.
How to uninstall apps on your Mac
This one’s easy too. Go to your Applications folder, find the one you want to delete and right click on it and select Move to trash . Most apps disappear without a trace this way. For more complex ones, I use App Cleaner for Mac.
For more information, I recommend this tutorial of ours about uninstalling apps in macOS.
VLC for viewing videos of any format
Así se desbloquea macOS Sierra con Apple Watch: el adiós definitivo a la contraseña.
VLC is a video player for a wide variety of formats including Windows proprietary formats such as WMV . It has support for .srt files to display subtitles and is completely free. Now that you know how to install apps, you can download it here.
How to install Office
This is one of the ones that gave my father the most trouble. Acquiring the Office 365 license that allows you to use Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook is quite simple, but downloading, installing and configuring them has its theme . This is what you have to do, recommended by Microsoft’s technical service:
- Download Mozilla Firefox here first.
- Access your Office 365 account from this browser and download Office.
- If you created an email account during the checkout process, that’s the one to use.
- Wait until the download is complete.
- Install the suite following the steps indicated by the installer, different from those we have seen before.
Apps for your new team
A few days ago, our colleague Ericka Duarte collected the 22 most interesting apps for a new Mac. One article is worth looking at .
Keyboard shortcuts to avoid going crazy
If you are into keyboard shortcuts , then you have to read our entry with 61 shortcuts for macOS. Some of the essential ones now that you have a Mac are these:
- Command key or simply “cmd” is the one that replaces Control or “ctrl” in Windows. From now on you will be good friends.
- Copy: cmd + c.
- Cut: cmd + x.
- Paste: cmd + v.
- Change window: cmd + tab.
- Take screenshot: cmd + capital letters + 3.
- Take a screenshot of a part of the screen: cmd + capital letters + 4.
- Bold: cmd + b.
- Italics: cmd + i.
- Underline: cmd + u.
Searching for documents with Spotlight
Another star feature of macOS is the search in Spotlight . Activate it anywhere with cmd + space bar and type in the box that appears whatever you want. As you type, search suggestions will appear. To learn more about this function, read this entry by Pedro Santamaría.