Wondering how to use a MacBook computer? If so, you must have just joined the more than five million customers who purchase a new unit each year.
Opening up your MacBook for the first time requires something of a learning curve. This is particularly true if you come from the world of Windows-based computers, the way so many individuals and professionals across the world do.
In the following article, we’ll be discussing how to make the transition easily and effectively so you can start enjoying the benefits of your MacBook right away. However, let’s first look at the transitional challenges you’re most likely to face.
Table of Contents
- 1 Going from Mouse to Trackpad
- 2 Understanding the Header Bar
- 3 Mastering File Transitions
- 4 Learning the Keyboard Shortcuts
- 5 1. Get Comfortable With Basic Navigation
- 6 2. Play With Window Sizes
- 7 3. Find Your Volume Control
- 8 4. Explore System Preferences
- 9 5. Visit the App Store
- 10 6. Visit the Finder
- 11 7. Figure Out How to Open Commonly Used Files from Windows
- 12 8. Embrace Keyboard Shortcuts
- 13 Learning How to Use a MacBook Is Fun
Going from Mouse to Trackpad
One of the most glaring changes of pace the typical MacBook user will face is the transition from mouse to the trackpad. Most personal computers come with a mouse that handles most of the navigation and selection.
The mouse tool has been around for about as long as the home computer, and it has offered a convenient way to interact so saying goodbye to it may not come easy. That said, you can get a mouse for your MacBook, but you’ll have to pay extra.
To avoid this expense, many prefer taking the time to learn and get comfortable using the trackpad. We’ll discuss how to handle this later in the article.
Understanding the Header Bar
Most of the functions like Time, Date, Volume Control, and WiFi Connectivity are found in the lower right-hand corner of the typical PC. MacBooks keep this positioned at the top, but the iconography is mostly the same, making transitions as smooth as possible.
Mastering File Transitions
Used to working with Word documents and Excel spreadsheets? Some of the Windows-based programs may not be readily available on a MacBook.
Never fear. There are ways you can still get the benefits of them without actually needing the programs installed on your computer. (No, you don’t have to pay for a subscription to Office for Mac or anything like that.)
Learning the Keyboard Shortcuts
Keyboard shortcuts, if you ever bothered learning them on a PC, are going to be somewhat different on a MacBook. As we move further into this analysis, we’ll talk about some of the different aspects to watch out for.
Now that you know what the biggest obstacles you’re likely to face are, let’s look at how we can go about overcoming them. Here are eight actions you should take right away if you want the transition to be a quick one.
There are only a few MacBook tips you’ll need to know with regard to basic navigation using a trackpad. For starters, the “right-click” function you were probably so fond of on your PC is still there in the form of clicking the pad with two fingers.
Standard clicks only require a single click. Swiping the pad right-to-left or left-to-right will switch to the last program or application used. Swiping from center-to-edge with two fingers will zoom in, and siping from edge-to-center will zoom out.
Using two fingers to swipe up and down will allow for a vertical scrolling experience. Doing the same from side-to-side will take you back or forward to the last spot in your application or program.
2. Play With Window Sizes
A great Mac for beginners tip is to resize your windows using either the arrows that display when hovering over the borders or by using the Split View function. To enter Split View, simply single-click and hold the green circle in the upper-left of the window.
A drop-down menu will appear allowing you to tile left or right. From there, you can select a second program to display side-by-side with the program you tiled. This is great for when you only have one monitor but need to see two things at once.
3. Find Your Volume Control
When getting started with Mac, you’ll want to get acquainted with Volume Control in your header bar. It’s the megaphone with the curved lines coming out of it. Clicking this will drop down a slider scale that lets you select the volume of your choosing.
4. Explore System Preferences
Another Macintosh for beginners tip is to explore the System Preferences feature in the upper-left of the screen. Bring it up by clicking the small Apple logo and selecting it from the drop-down menu.
System Preferences allows you to customize all the functions of your MacBook from keyboard to trackpad. It also gives you the power to decide what extensions and applications are allowed on your computer.
5. Visit the App Store
You can find a number of Mac how-tos online that don’t require any extra investment whatsoever. That said, there are some beautifully-designed apps that take a lot of the guesswork and learning curve out of things. Go visit the App Store as soon as you’re comfortable with the functionality of your computer and see what awaits.
6. Visit the Finder
The Finder feature is most like My Computer on a Windows-based machine. Once you pull it up, you’ll be able to see all your files, including any external hardware (flash drives, external hard drives) that are operating on your system.
7. Figure Out How to Open Commonly Used Files from Windows
You can pretty much open or use any file on Mac that you could on Windows although some functions, such as how to open RAR files on Mac, may take a bit more finesse. By finesse, we mean a third-party unarchiver.
For Word and Excel, Apple’s Pages and Numbers work wonderfully. They also export to these file types if you’re interchanging with Windows users.
8. Embrace Keyboard Shortcuts
The Apple keyboard shortcuts are fun, easy-to-use, and can save you hours in productivity once you know how to use them. Some of the most common are Command+V for pasting, Command+X for cutting, and Command+C for copying.
Another great one, Shift+Command+4, switches your arrow to a crosshairs that you can then use to grab sections of screen and instantly screengrab. Take some time to explore the various keyboard shortcuts, and you’ll be falling in love with your MacBook in no time.
Learning How to Use a MacBook Is Fun
Above all, make your journey of how to use a MacBook a focused one. Take an hour after unboxing to simply play with it and get comfortable. From there, the experience will become one of the most intuitive you’ve ever had.
Best of luck! For more Mac-related tips and tricks, check out some of our additional posts.