MacMost Now 719: Windows PC to Mac Keyboard Shortcuts

If you are a recent switcher to Macs, you may be having trouble adjusting to the Apple keyboard and the way keyboard shortcuts work. Learn about the Command key and how to get to some basic keyboard shortcuts. Learn the Mac equivalents to how to change a file name, copy a file and Control+Alt+Delete.

Comments: 16 Responses to “MacMost Now 719: Windows PC to Mac Keyboard Shortcuts”

    Brian
    7 years ago

    One of the single greatest advantages of a Mac over a PC is the design of the keyboard shortcuts (as I have been telling my friends since the 1980s). It has always been possible to use Macintosh keyboard shortcuts without contorting one’s wrist and fingers. However, on a PC keyboard, one must physically rotate one’s wrist, thumb, and finger to unnatural and quite uncomfortable positions. It is almost faster and certainly more comfortable on a PC to use a mouse instead.

    The daily and continuous speed gains of using a Macintosh keyboard over a PC keyboard make the Mac a no-brainer for anyone who is a speed typist. As an added bonus, Macintosh users avoid wrist and finger pain!

    Luke Thomas
    7 years ago

    My problem is that I can’t stop using my old IBM keyboard. It’s very loud and clicky – those silent keyboards drive me crazy! I’m willing to spend whatever it takes to use an old IBM keyboard!

    Luke Thomas
    7 years ago

    On my old IBM keyboard I have to press the Ctrl + Esc – the same as the Windows key :-) Hey it’s okay at least I can still use the IBM keyboard.

    Christian
    7 years ago

    Most difficulties I have with Crtl+Home, Ctrl+End, Ctrl+Shift+Home/End and/or sometimes in combination with the arrow key instead of Home/End which I use a lot in code-editors, web-textareas, Excel… everywhere.
    I still didn’t get the corresponding keys on the Mac or at least I’m not getting it right the first time yet. And then instead of going to the beginning/end of a line or text, I end up in other windows, on the launchpad or what else….

      Michael Scott
      7 years ago

      Crtl+Home = fn+left arrow
      Crtl+End = fn+right arrow
      option+right arrow = page down
      option+left arrow = page up

    Chandu Kale
    7 years ago

    The one thing I need badly is the Insert key. I use the Windows MS Office for my translation work which requires Windows apps (All of which I run on Parallels Desktop) I sometimes happen to press some combination and it goes into the overwrite mode. I have to then connect a Windows keyboard, press Ins and then reconnect the Mac keyboard to continue. Any workaround?

      7 years ago

      So it sounds like you are in Windows when this happens, right? So nothing to do with what I’m talking about in the video. This is just a matter of using a Mac keyboard while running Windows. I’d look in the Parallels docs (and help, and support) for how to emulate the Insert key. It must be happening as a result of something they have that does it.

        Pablito
        7 years ago

        Thanks for all your revelations, Gary. I don’t know how you figure out all that stuff! Chandu: Go to Parallels Preferences>Keyboard>+ (to add a custom keystroke). ‘Insert’ mode is one of the options in the pulldown for the “To:” target/Win keystroke, hth. Gary, I suppose a related question would be: Is there an ‘Overwrite’ kb mode in MacOS?

          7 years ago

          Overwriting text could be a feature of some word processors, but I can’t think of one — I haven’t really looked for it.

    Corinna
    7 years ago

    Thanks, Gary… that was really informative.

    Rui Azeredo
    7 years ago

    Thanks Gary, very useful. I haven’t found yet the corresponding F4 on excel which toggles between relative and absolute cell references. The F4 shortcut on windows excel is extreemly useful. Can you help me please?

    Terry
    7 years ago

    I got an iMac, 21.5 monitor (2011) and just updated to Mountain Lion.

    My question is this. I don’t like the Apple Keyboard, it’s too slow for my typing, and also I need ergonomic keyboard for my wrists/arms.

    Is there a way to Program Microsoft Wireless Keyboard 7000 to work with the iMac?

    I know that keyboard does work, but I can only type, I like to program keys so I don’t have to rely on apple keyboard to do this.

    I was told that there’s a program, or something to download, that automatically takes care of this. I can’t believe that, I wouldn’t know what keys/characters to type.

    Bear in mind I’m brand new to iMac, so if anyone can answer me, keep it simple. I’m a Senior Citizen and my brain cells isn’t what it use to be.

    Can anyone help?

    Thank you so much

    Terry

      7 years ago

      If the keyboard is a plain normal Bluetooth keyboard, then it should work fine. Not sure what you mean by “program keys” — what keys do you want to program and what do you want them to do?

        Terry Rubin
        7 years ago

        I see Command Key on Apple, all those fancy charters on Apple keyboard. The keys on microsoft wireless, which works good for typing, there are keys I was told from Apple to Microsoft 7000 that I can Program let’s say “Alt” can be programed as “command” (sorry, i’m so new at iMac, i feel so dumb. I type extremely fast, which is why I can’t use apple keyboard. I didn’t expect such a prompt reply. Thank you Gary. I’ll check tomorrow, tired now.

          7 years ago

          There aren’ that many, just three: Command, Control and Option on the Mac, and Control, Windows/Start, Alt on Windows. Those three “modifier keys” map to each other across keyboards. Option and Alt map to each other. In fact, most modern Mac keyboards have “alt” written above “option.”
          So the Control and Command keys map to the Control and Windows/Start key. Which maps to which? Well, that depends on a few things. But it is easy to find out. Just try them. Try Command+N to start a new window in Safari, for instance. Does Control+N do it, or Windows/Start+N do it. Then you’ve got it figure out.

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