Changing from a PC to a Mac can prove beneficial for many people because they may want to either switch companies or change to a specific Mac computer after hearing good things about it. If this sounds like you, and if you have never owned a Mac device before, the system can feel like completely unfamiliar territory to you. Sure all the keyboard buttons are there, but the look of those buttons is different from those found on a Windows PC, and some Mac keyboard symbols look like hieroglyphics.
With this handy article, if you are a complete beginner to the entire Mac scape you will find out what most of the keyboard symbols mean and what their functions are. That way, you will feel more comfortable once you familiarize yourself with those buttons and the functions they are able to perform because some of those functions will greatly help you out.
Why Do I Need to Know Mac Keyboard Symbols?
Let's create a small scenario for now: imagine getting something new for yourself that you do not know of or about. Are you going to start using the item right away, or are you going to take the time to familiarize yourself with it? It's safe to say that learning about the item and what it does is the right answer, and perhaps, the more logical answer.
Speaking about the devices, if you are going to be using one from the Mac family system (no matter which one it is), it's still important for you to know what the buttons do because they are all the same across the devices. Whether it's just a Mac, an iMac, a Mac Mini, or any other Mac, they are all essentially the same.
Significance of Mac Keyboard Symbols
You might be asking yourself the following question: "What is the significance of Mac keyboard symbols?" As a beginner, that would be a fair question to ask because you are in an unfamiliar territory and you do not yet know the significance of the symbols. Of course, you want to know what the symbols mean and what they do so that you can get the most out of them.
By pressing specific buttons simultaneously, you can do things for which you would normally need an input device. For example, in the English language, you capitalize the letter "i" when using it as a word that refers to yourself, as well as the first letter in the names of people, cities, certain titles, countries, and so on, as well as the beginning of each sentence.
The functions between the PC and the Mac are the same, but the commands to perform the functions are different in terms of looks. As such, knowing the significance of the buttons and commands makes your life easier.
24 Mac Keyboard Symbols for Beginners
Mostly, a Mac device's keyboard has the same layout as any other keyboard. But what about the strange-looking symbols that you have never seen before? What do they do? Are they even helpful in any way, shape, or form?
Now that you have familiarized yourself with the most basic buttons and how they look like (which essentially means what they do), here are the 24 shortcuts associated with Mac keyboard symbols. The purpose of them is to make your life easier when using the device. (If you're reading this on a Mac, try some of these out as you go through the list to see firsthand what they do!)
Closes the active window you are currently in. You can also use Option-Command-W to close all app windows that are currently active.
This for QuickLook, an application that allows users to preview items they might be searching for. To use QuickLook, select an item in Finder, and press the Spacebar. There's also a keyboard shortcut alternative: select an item and then press Command-Y.
Mainly used when working on an app. The command lets you open up the application's Preferences quickly.
Press this combination to minimize the front app window to Dock, or press Command-Option-M to minimize all the windows belonging to the front app.
Command and Option
If you can't see your desktop for all the open applications, just hold Command and Option down and click anywhere on your desktop.
Select this combination when in Finder/Desktop view to get to your Applications folder.
Invokes Spotlight. Spotlight helps you to find apps, documents and files on your Mac device.
The fastest way to make a search or navigate to a Website in Safari.
Open application switcher, keeping Command pressed, and press Tab to navigate to the app you want to use.
Show or hide the Dock from within most apps.
Fn-Left or Right Arrow
Jump directly to top (Left Arrow) or bottom (Right Arrow) of the web page.
Command-Left or Right Arrow
Allows you to go back a page in a browser window.
Navigate between multiple tabs using the Command-Shift-] or Command-Shift-[ characters.
Allows you to see all your open tabs in one Safari window.
Adjusts volume on your Mac in small increments.
Press the Fn button twice to launch Dictation on your Mac.
In Safari, pressing the Option key while selecting the File menu lets you access the ‘Close All Other Tabs' command.
Option-Brightness Up or Down
Allows you to quickly launch Displays preferences.
Allows you to to move between open windows in your currently active app.
Touch Bar Tip #1
Mainly for MacBook Pro, if you use the Touch Bar, you can press Shift-Command-6 to grab an image of what is on your Touch Bar.
Touch Bar Tip #2
If you often tap the Siri button by accident, you can change where that button is located so you're less likely to tap it again.
Touch Bar Tip #3
This is useful if you use function keys regularly within certain apps. First, open Keyboard System Preferences, then select Function Keys, and press the + button.
Here are some basic key combinations you can use while browsing in Safari. Command + I is used to open a new message with the web page's content. Command + Shift + I is mainly used to open a new message containing the page's URL. Spacebar can be used to move your window down a screen. To move your window up a screen, use Shift + Spacebar. Finally, you can press Command + Y to open or close the history window.
Command + Shift+ T
The command is used to open your last closed tab, which can be helpful if you are searching for something and close a window without saving the URL, whether by accident or if you made a mistake.
With the help of these 24 useful shortcuts, plus the knowledge that you have because of the symbols associated with them, it'll be much easier for you to familiarize yourself with any Mac device and eventually it will become second nature!
You may have been using a Microsoft/Windows device for a long time now, and probably think it's time for a change. If you do plan on making the change and getting yourself a Mac device, you will now be more familiar with Mac keyboard symbols. However, if you are planning on getting a Mac device for someone as a gift, this article can still be used to either help you or help the person who'll be receiving the gift. Knowledge is power, and with a new device ready to be used, it's always a good idea to get acquainted with it.