The Macintosh offers a key labeled Control (or, on laptops, “ctrl”), but it isn’t the equivalent of the PC’s Ctrl key. The Mac’s Control key is primarily for helping you “right-click” things, as described earlier. Instead, the Macintosh equivalent of the Windows Ctrl key is the ⌘ key. It’s right next to the space bar. It’s pronounced “command,” although novices can often be heard calling it the “pretzel key,” “Apple key,” or “clover key.” Most Windows Ctrl-key combos correspond perfectly to ⌘-key sequences on the Mac.


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The Save command is now ⌘-S instead of Ctrl+S, Open is ⌘-O instead of Ctrl+O, and so on. Note Mac keyboard shortcuts are listed at the right side of each open menu, just as in Windows. Unfortunately, they’re represented in the menu with goofy symbols instead of their true key names. Here’s your cheat sheet to the menu keyboard symbols: represents the Shift key, means the Option key, and refers to the Control key. On North American Mac keyboards, a key on the bottom row is labeled both Alt and Option.

This is the closest thing the Mac offers to the Windows Alt key. In many situations, keyboard shortcuts that involve the Alt key in Windows use the Option key on the Mac. For example, in Microsoft Word, the keyboard shortcut for the Split Document Window command is Alt+Ctrl+S in Windows, but Option-⌘-T on the Macintosh. Still, these two keys aren’t exactly the same. Whereas the Alt key’s most popular function is to control the menus in Windows programs, the Option key on the Mac is a “miscellaneous” key that triggers secret functions and special characters. For example, when you hold down the Option key as you click the Close or Minimize button on a Macintosh window, you close or minimize all open desktop windows.

And if you press the Option key while you type R, G, or 2, you get the ®, ©, and ™ symbols in your document, respectively. (See to find out how you can see which letters turn into which symbols when pressed with Option.) • key. As you probably could have guessed, there is no Windows-logo key on the Macintosh. Then again, there’s no Start menu to open by pressing it, either. Tip Just about any USB keyboard works on the Mac, even if the keyboard was originally designed to work with a PC.

Depending on the manufacturer of the keyboard, the Windows-logo key may work just like the Mac’s ⌘ key. • Backspace and Delete. On the Mac, the backspace key is labeled Delete, although it’s in exactly the same place as the Windows Backspace key. The Delete key in Windows (technically, the forward delete key, because it deletes the character to the right of the insertion point) is a different story.

As of Mac OS X Lion 10.7, Terminal will do this by default if you're using bash as your shell (which is the default). The code to do this is in the system-wide bash configuration file /etc/bashrc. You can set preferences to decide whether to have new tabs and/or windows open at the same directory as the current terminal: Terminal > Preferences > Startup > New windows/tabs open with > Same Working Directory This works by having your shell (or other programs) send an escape sequence to tell Terminal the current working directory. Use terminal on mac

On a desktop Macintosh with a full-size keyboard, it’s labeled with Del and the symbol. On small Mac keyboards (like laptop and wireless keyboards), this key is missing. You can still perform a forward delete, however, by pressing the regular Delete key while pressing the Fn key in the corner of the keyboard. Most full-size Windows keyboards have two Enter keys: one at the right side of the alphabet keyboard and one in the lower-right corner of the number pad. They’re identical in function; pressing either one serves to “click” the OK button in a dialog box, for example. On the Mac, the big key on the number pad still says Enter, but the key on the alphabet keyboard is labeled Return. Most of the time, their function is identical—either can “click” the OK button of a dialog box.

Every now and then, though, you’ll run across a Mac program where Return and Enter do different things. In Microsoft Word for OS X, for example, Shift- Return inserts a line break, but Shift- Enter creates a page break. How are you supposed to pronounce “Fn”? Not “function,” certainly; after all, the F-keys on the top row are already known as function keys. And not “fun”; goodness knows, the Fn key isn’t particularly hilarious to press. What it does, though, is quite clear: It changes the purpose of certain keys.

That’s a big deal on laptops, which don’t have nearly as many keys as desktop keyboards. So for some of the less commonly used functions, you’re supposed to press Fn and a regular key. (For example, Fn turns the key into a Page Up key, which scrolls upward by one screenful.). Tip Tap either or to skip to the previous or next track or chapter. Hold one down to rewind or fast-forward. •,, (F10, F11, F12).