You are on page 1of 2

Switcher Top Tips

by Michael Bradbrook
People who move over from using Windows PCs to Apple Macs are
often referred to as “Switchers”. Here is a list of some of the most
common mistakes Switchers make once they have moved from PC to Mac.

1. Trying to use the Apple mouse, which is a pretty poor controller. Switchers should stick with their PC two-
button mouse (with a middle track-wheel if possible) as it is so much easier to use. (I do recommend an Ap-
ple keyboard though)

2. Closing an application window, thinking it has quit (to quit, one has to right-click or command-click and
select quit; or press command-q)

3. Not knowing what the Option and Command keys look like (the Option key is the one next to the key with
the Apple logo)

4. Trying to use the CTRL key rather than Command key for shortcuts

5. Repeatedly hitting the “Apple” key (actually called the Command key) expecting the Apple menu to pop up
(getting confused with the Windows Key and the Start Menu concept)

6. When using an Apple keyboard, getting the @ and " signs the wrong way round (this may just be a UK

7. Not using any keyboard shortcuts

8. People trying to find the menus on a window, not realizing they’re always at the top of the screen

9. Trying to resize windows from the edge rather than the drag area on the bottom right-hand corner

10. Trying to find the close and minimize buttons at the top right of an application's window when on a Mac,
these buttons are on the left

11. Double-clicking a window thinking it will maximize it, but instead sending it to the Dock

12. Minimizing windows all the time rather than using “hide”, leaving the document section of the Dock lit-
tered with forgotten minimized windows

13. Downloading an application and running it from the Disk Image (instead of opening the disk image and
moving the relevant application file to the hard drive location you want to install the application to)

14. Thinking that now they’ve got rid of Windows they won’t have problems of any sort on their Mac. The
Mac is still a computer, so will have software and hardware issues

15. Not finding an eject button for a CD (you can find one on an Apple Keyboard or press the mouse button
while booting up)

16. Looking for the Windows Internet Explorer's “e” icon and not realising Safari is the Mac's internet browser
17. Thinking the green “+” button maximizes a window to full screen (not realizing that Apple’s maximize phi-
losophy is to only make a window as big as it needs to be to comfortably fit the width of content currently be-
ing displayed)

18. Looking in vain for an uninstaller app, because they don’t realize that uninstalling an application on Mac
is as easy as dragging the program icon into the Trash

19. Double-clicking Dock icons rather than single-clicking

20. Not understanding that the Dock is used to both launch and return to a program that is already running

21. Inadvertent click-drags and removing programs from the Dock in the process (I have done this one!!)

22. Cluttering up the Desktop with icons of applications rather than leaving them in the Dock. I recommend
you purchase a copy of DragThing, which gives you more Dock locations. I also recommend Quicksilver,
which allows you to launch applications with just a few keystrokes (the latter is free)

23. Trying to load documents or programs multiple times because they don’t recognize the progress indica-
tors (e.g. sound of hard drive grinding, CD spinning, Mac spinning beachball, browser status bar as they are
used to the spinning hour-glass of the PC)

24. Inability to work with multiple documents on-screen at the same time, because they have only ever
learned to use Windows’ maximize mode which always makes everything full-screen

25. Not realizing that when you copy a folder over an existing one, OS X replaces the destination folder

26. Looking for the “complicated” way of doing everything. For example, trying to go into system preferences
and right-clicking on the networking icon in order to find available wireless networks, rather than just clicking
on the Airport icon in the menu bar and selecting the relevant wireless network. Or, to attach a picture to an
email, in OS X one can simply drag the picture onto the Mail icon in the dock and it will automatically be
added to a new mail message (instead of using the "attach" command as is the usual method in Windows)

27. Thinking they should stay as an Administrator User when they should create a new account as a Stan-
dard User and use that for day-to-day work. Switchers can operate fine as Standard Users (unlike Windows,
which pretty much insists you are an Administrator to do anything)

28. Not realizing that there are many free applications for the Mac that will make their lives even easier and
make the OS X experience even better than it already will be if they only use the inbuilt OS X applications.
Windows has nowhere near the number of FREE applications! Go to and
check them out!