Here’s my list of tips to optimise OSX for PC users that can help you transition from Mac to PC like I did.
DISABLE AUTO ARRANGING DISPLAYS
OSX has an auto-enabled function to arrange multi-tasking screens by how much you use them. It’s annoying if you use your screens for rapid multi-tasking. Luckily, you can disable this feature:
Go into System Preferences -> Mission Control -> Disable “Automatically arrange spaces based on most recent use”
DISABLE DASHBOARD AS A SPACE
The dashboard on OSX enables you to add widgets like clocks and other info displays to it. It’s fun but not always useful and if you multi-task a lot you often move too far to the left and end up on the dashboard. Again luckily, you can disable this feature.
Go into System Preferences -> Mission Control -> Disable “Show dashboard as a space”
RE-MAP HOME AND END BUTTONS LIKE PC
The home and end buttons have different functions on a Mac. On a PC they move to the beginning or end of a line. In OSX they move to the beginning or end of a page. I prefer the former. There’s an app that can re-map these and other keys for you that works well:
READ/WRITE WINDOWS NTFS FORMATTED EXTERNAL DRIVES ON OSX
OSX only supports reading NTFS drives, not writing to them unfortunately. You can use Tuxera NTFS to enable writing. Some people have recommended formatting your external drives as exFAT but that format is known to corrupt files.
Download Tuxera NTFS.
DO NOT US exFAT AS A FILESYSTEM
It is known to corrupt files when switching between Windows and OSX, use Tuxera NTFS instead to mount NTFS partitions on OSX.
QUICKLY ZOOM IN 200%
Cmd+Alt+8 (sometimes you need to enable this shortcut in System Preferences -> Keyboard)
SHOW FULL PATH IN FINDER (e.g. /users/dev/)
You can enable the display of the path to each Finder window as that window’s title by typing the two following commands in the terminal:
defaults write com.apple.finder _FXShowPosixPathInTitle -bool YES
SHOW HIDDEN FILES TEMPORARILY
SHOW HIDDEN FILES ALWAYS
You can show hidden files by typing the following two commands in the terminal:
defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles YES
GO TO FOLDER BY PATH IN FINDER
Cmd+Shift+G and then you can enter the path (e.g. /Users/)
FINDER GO FOLDER UP (PARENT FOLDER)
FINDER GO FOLDER DOWN (CHILD FOLDER)
QUICKLY OPEN UP SPOTLIGHT (e.g. Start Menu -> Run in Windows 7)
On OSX it’s called TextEdit.
NOTEPAD++ ON OSX
There’s no print screen button on OSX, use this shortcut:
Cmd+Shift+4 then press space to print the whole screen or make a selection
PRINT SCREEN WINDOW
Only print screen the window, use:
Cmd+Shift+4 and press Spacebar
HIDE & SHOW DOCK INSTANTLY
Set an Ultra-Fast Dock Hide & Display Animation This leaves the Docks
animation intact, but speeds it up dramatically. You can adjust this
yourself by changing the numbers after the -float flag:
defaults write com.apple.dock autohide-time-modifier -float 0.00;
REMOVE MOUSE ACCELERATION (MAKE MOUSE MOVEMENT LIKE WINDOWS)
BROWSE IPHONE/USB PHOTOS & VIDEOS IN A SIMPLE INTERFACE
Use OSX’s built-in but not widely known Image Capture, very superior to iPhoto, if you like a more raw interface.
PRINT TO PDF ON MAC
At the top left of the Cmd+P (print) window, it says something about Print to PDF or PDF Preview. Click that and you’ll be able to print to a PDF file. This is integrated in OSX, so you won’t need any extra software.
P.S. I wrote a book on building indie startups called MAKE. And I'm on Twitter too if you'd like to follow more of my stories. I don't use email so tweet me your questions. Or you can see my list of posts. To get an alert when I write a new blog post, you can subscribe below:Follow @levelsio