Getting a Mac? Just got a Mac, but having a hard time getting used to the new OS, keyboard shortcuts and such? Well this guide could help. Please Register or Log in to view images Switching to a Mac could be a bit of a struggled. Mastering a new OS, especially if you're accustomed to Windows. The first step is to admit that, whether it's for aesthetic or functional reasons, switching from a PC to a Mac computer can be a good solution for many users. But no matter what convinced you to make the switch from PC to Mac it can be an extremely risky (but good) move, even with an operating system designed for ease of use like OS X. The following is a short guide designed to help get you set up and comfortable when you convert from PC to Mac. Step 1 - Transferring your files. If you don't plan on transferring any files because either you don't want to, or don't need to, just skip this step. If you're using your Mac for business, I suggest transferring them. If you're transferring limited amounts of files, you can use these options: 1.Burn to a CD/DVD 2.Transfer onto a USB drive. 3.Email yourself the files. If You're dealing with more data than can be emailed or fit easily on a disc, there are still solutions: Using an external drive. Even though you're External Drive is formatted for use in Windows, you can use it to transfer files onto your Mac.You will not be able to transfer files from your Mac onto your Windows-formatted hard drive, however. You also can transfer through your network, although I won't get into that. Step 2 - Using your files. Moving your files onto the Mac was only the first step. In order to start making use of them again will require a few tools: Photos 1. Any photos viewable on your PC can be viewed on your Mac without any additional software. By default, your photos will open up in Preview, a program built into OS X. 2. Your new Mac will also come bundled with iPhoto to let you edit your photos and organize them into albums and slideshows. 3. If you're an advanced user but don't want to pay the hefty price for Photoshop, there are many free alternatives: Gimp GimpShop Seashore Office Documents * When you move to Mac you don't have to trash all the documents you've created in Microsoft Office. Of course, just like on your PC you'll need to install software in order to use them. Microsoft makes Office for OS X, and Mac offers iWork, both of which will handle your files in OS X. But both of these programs also cost a pretty penny. * NeoOffice * For a fully-featured open source solution, check out NeoOffice. It is designed to be a free alternative for anything that you'd need Microsoft Office to use. * The NeoOffice Wiki provides a list of supported file formats so you can be sure that it meets all your documenting needs. Music * If you don't currently use iTunes on your PC, simply move all your music over and pop it into iTunes. By default, it will be set to move your music into an iTunes folder and manage the organization of the subfolders. * If you've invested yourself in your iTunes Library on PC, there's more than one way to move your library over, but My First Mac provides the simplest instructions to transfer not only your music, but also all your other metadata goodies like playlists, play counts, song ratings, etc. 1. Prepare your PC iTunes Library for transfer. 1. Open iTunes and click on Edit --> Preferences. 2. Go to the Advanced tab. 3. Within that tab, click on the General tab. 4. Make a note of your PC iTunes Music folder location. * -You will be moving this entire folder over to your Mac in a few steps. 5. Make sure that both Keep iTunes Music folder organized and Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library are checked. 6. Exit the Preferences window. 7. Click on Advanced in the toolbar at the top of your iTunes window. (Note: Not the Advanced tab within the Preferences window you just closed. I know, confusing.) 8. Under Advanced select Consolidate Library... * -Now iTunes will move all the music files in your library from wherever they were previously stored and into the iTunes Music folder. This will make it easier on you when it's time to transfer your files. 2. Prepare your Mac iTunes Library for transfer. 1. Bring up the Preferences window on the Mac by clicking iTunes --> Preferences. 2. Once again, make sure that both Keep iTunes Music folder organized and Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library are checked. 3. Make a note of your Mac iTunes Music folder location. * -This is the folder on your Mac into which you will be moving the PC Music folder. 3. Transfer the contents of your PC iTunes Music folder into the Mac iTunes Music folder. * -The best way to move all your music will depend on the size of your library, so refer back to Step 1 earlier in this guide and review your options. 4. Transfer the iTunes Library control file from your PC to your Mac. 1. On your PC, locate the file iTunes Library.itl which contains all your metadata. * -The file will be located in the folder that contains the iTunes Music folder that you noted earlier. By default this should be Documents/Music/iTunes (My Documents/My Music/iTunes in Windows XP). 2. Copy iTunes Library.itl into the iTunes folder on your Mac. * -The default location on your Mac should be Music/iTunes. 3. Delete the existing file named iTunes Library. 4. Rename iTunes Library.itl that came from your PC to iTunes Library (remove the .itl file extension). 5. Open iTunes on your Mac and pick up right where you left off with the same music library you had on your PC! Transferring Email Coming Soon. Transferring your Address Book Coming Soon. Getting Comfy with Leopard Basically everything you could do in Windows can also be done in OS X. It's just going to be done in slightly different ways in most cases. But before you dive into the Mac interface, learn the basics on Apple's Switch 101 webpage, designed just for those who are moving over from PC. Keyboard Tips and Shortcuts Familiarity with your keyboard will limit your dependence on the mouse for a lot of things, helping you get your work done faster. For example: using your keyboard to highlight and cut some text is much quicker than clicking and dragging over some text, then right-clicking to cut it. A few shortcuts should be familiar to migrant PC users: 1. Nearly all of the Windows shortcuts for which you used the Control key are still there, except that instead of Control, use Command, sometimes called the Apple key. -For example, bolding text in a word processor is now Command-B rather than Control-B, bookmarking a webpage in your internet browser is Command-D rather than Control-D, etc. 2. To move the Windows cursor through text word-by-word—rather than character-by-character—the shortcut was Control-Arrow Key, instead the command is now Option-Arrow Key. 3. To move quickly between open programs, many Windows users relied upon the Alt-Tab command, which is instead Command-Tab. 4. To manually shut down a program in Windows, the command was Control-Alt-Delete (a command with which all Windows users should be intimately familiar), but in Mac you can "Force Quit" a program by pressing Command-Option-Escape. * Many features on the Mac keyboard may take some time to become second nature, however: 1. To eject a CD, press and hold the Eject button at the top right of your keyboard, above the delete key. 2. To toggle a function that lets you magnify portions of your screen, press Command-Option-8, then press Command-Option-+ or - to zoom in or out. 3. F9 to F12 are programmed to provide a few helpful tools for managing your screen space: 1. Press F9 to fit all open windows on the screen at once. 2. Press F10 to fit all open windows in the selected program at once. 3. Press F11 to push aside all open windows and show your desktop. 4. Press F12 to pull up the Dashboard. * And all these are only a small portion of the many keyboard shortcuts that you should try to learn on your Mac. One experienced user has posted a well-organized and comprehensive list of keyboard commands on his site. Read and refer back to it as you play around with your Mac. Navigation Tips * There are plenty of things that keyboard mastery alone cannot handle, so take the time as well to familiarize yourself with how the OS X interface differs from Windows. Make sure to read two helpfully thorough Switch 101 pages: General OS X Tips * Ultimately, Windows and OS X are two distinct platforms that will require more than simply learning different ways to get around. More coming soon.