Tagged With macbook migrant

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Mac OS X is big on not using the keyboard: drag-and-drop is the default approach for many activities. But if you do want to reduce your mouse (or trackpad) dependence, there are some useful keyboard options on offer. Here are the ones recent switchers from Windows will find the most useful.

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Where Windows has Explorer, Mac OS has Finder. Both let you preview and manage files and launch applications, but there's some notable differences in how they work, especially if you use the keyboard for navigating. Here's the main ones to watch out for.

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One of the biggest pet peeves for users who switch to Mac from Windows is the Delete key, because it feels backwards. To make matters worse, the vast majority of Mac users don't use the full-size keyboard (which has Delete keys for both directions). Here are a few quick shortcuts to set the matter straight for everyone, but especially for those MacBook users out there.

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Mac OS X doesn't offer the ability to automatically maximise a window to fill the screen, which can be very frustrating if you prefer to work without distractions (and doubly so if you're on a notebook with a relatively small screen and have come from a Windows background). Free utility RightZoom solves that problem, changing the green window control from "expand to appropriate size" to maximising to the full width and height of the screen (less the Dock).

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Lifehacker's MacBook Migrant experiment has barely gotten started, but unfortunately it turns out the MacBook I'm using has a defective AirPort wireless card, which pretty much renders it useless for the purposes of the exercise. I'm hoping that Apple will arrange a replacement machine, but it's unlikely that will happen in time for the schedule next week.

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While the MacBook Migrant project doesn't start officially until next week, I have been spending time setting up the machine while fielding lots of helpful tips and the occasional nasty comment. Two pieces of reader advice have already proved very useful to me as a keyboard shortcut junkie.