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First Time Mac Users: Tips and Tricks for Making Your Mac Work Like a PC

Updated on November 13, 2010

For First-Time Mac Users

I first got a Mac when my college campus required it; they said they were a "Mac campus." After using PCs for my entire computing life, I was irritated and anxious. What if I couldn't figure out how to use it?

Four years later, I love my Apple iBook, which is still my original laptop, but I have my little habits that I don't like to break from my PC-using days. So, here are five ways that you can use your Mac that make it act more like a PC.

  1. The CTRL key. It doesn't have the same use as on a PC, but if you hold the CTRL key and click on something, it's just like right-clicking on a PC mouse. The two-button mouse was something I really missed on my Mac.
  2. The button that I believe is called the Option button. It has a picture of the Apple icon and a character that looks like a square with bubbles coming out of the corners. That button works like the CTRL key on a PC. So, the shortcuts on a PC like CTRL+S correspond to Option+S.
  3. Use Firefox as your internet browser. Firefox is compatible with Windows and PC, and it looks more like Internet Explorer than it does Safari.
  4. Use the Search function in Finder. It works similarly to the Search option in the Start menu on a PC. To find the Search bar, open a Finder window, and look to the top right of the window. Choose where in your computer you want to search by clicking on the magnifying glass icon and selecting the option you want. Then just type in what you're searching for.
  5. Learn how the toolbar works on a Mac. If you know how it works, you can learn to use it in a similar way as a PC.

Mac versus PC (image source:
Mac versus PC (image source:

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