How To Get Windows Features on the Mac

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bigjim847

I have found that many Mac users are resistant to change and totally clueless about what they are missing. Look how long they suffered blissfully without a multibutton mouse! I have a good friend who has always been a Mac user and literally asked me, "Why would you need a right-mouse button? You can always hold down the Ctrl key!"

How do you respond to that comment?

Most of the comments above basically miss the point. I want to copy and paste and move INSIDE a dialog box! NOT the Finder! I lose precious minutes every day on my Mac switching to the Finder to do simple functions like moving and renaming files. Why can't you get this?

Here's another pet peeve: The Mac keyboard has several keys that are still not functional in many areas of the OS. What's the deal with that?

The HOME and END keys were added to the Mac keyboard probably 20 years ao and yet they are still not functional in most dialog boxes in the Mac OS or third-party apps! What's that all about? Try to go to the beginning or end of a URL or some third party apps. These keys don't function. When will Apple implement these keys? And, make the third Party developers use them, too? Microsoft and Adobe are two companies that use these keys extensively, but it's not universal.

These two keys are used everywhere in Windows. Apple continues to ignore them.

Whenever I hear a Mac user tell me that they open two windows to Drag files I have to roll my eyes. What a waste of time and energy. In Windows in any file window (dialog box) I can copy, paste and move files, create folders, RENAME folders, copy, paste and move folders AND I can DELETE files!

In Windows, I do this every day, dozens of times a day. When I am using my Mac, I grit my teeth and switch to the Finder.

OSX is wonderful. It is stable, powerful and fun. It is a vast improvement over OS9. But it is not perfect and has many limitations. AND, it will never be perfect as long as you ignore it's weaknesses!

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mboltz

I think it's interesting that many Windows folk comment on shortcomings of the Mac, then suggest that Mac users are also 'resistant to change'. In the continuation of your comment, you demonstrate great resistance to change yourself. You're asking Apple to design a Windows machine and add all the crap that PCs have, instead of leaving the simple elegance that makes Macs work better.

Let's start with the lack of buttons on the mouse. First, you can get Apple mice that have multiple buttons if you really want. And you can also use just about any other USB mouse out-of-box with Mac with all the buttons if you feel your mouse is too naked without the buttons. But Apple doesn't have buttons for the most part, anywhere on the hardware, nor does it have a disc tray for DVD/CDs, nor do iPods and the rest have power buttons and such. Why? Simple: buttons break. The more moving parts and the more complex the system, the more likely it is to fail. Most users I watch that have mice with 2, 3 or even 6 or 8 buttons never use more than one or two of them. I've seen many an HP or Dell laptop with extra buttons for IE, Windows Media Player and the like, in addition to the Function keys. Why? I've never seen anyone use them. I use the function keys on my Mac for those all the time (play/pause in iTunes, Expose, Dashboard, etc.). When was the last time the average user remapped a function key or used it for, well, anything?

And if you want a "right-click" on a newer Mac, you can easily adjust in System Preferences to set a zone that functions as the "right-click". I have mine mapped to the lower right of the trackpad. Better?

With the HOME and END keys, my Mac doesn't have those. And I don't need them. Command+ left or right arrow will get you to the start or end of any text line just fine. Personally, I find it just as fast, and I don't have to have as many keys on my keyboard (granted, I'm also a vi user, so keyboard shortcuts are familiar and fast for me).

Regarding the dialog box, I'd really like to better understand the use case for this one. So you're working in an application, like Pages. You decide, "Oh, I want to open that report I was working on." So you go to File -> Open (Command+O). You went there to OPEN a file. So how is it that all of a sudden you decide to rename other files, move something to another folder, delete something, etc.?? How is that productive even? I'm sorry but yes, I confess I don't get it. Help me understand why you WANT the distraction of doing something else other than what you set out to do?

If your goal was to rename, copy, move or delete files in the first place, why would you go to the Open or Save dialog to do that? If that's the work you set out to do, wouldn't it make more sense to just use Finder? It's not like Finder is ever far away. Certainly no further than the Open or Save dialogs.

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peters

Sorry option drag copies the file, click on the name and rename or use info, what is so difficult about that?

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janek

How difficult is to have a "cut" keyboard shortcut put into finder "peters"? And the things you mention are not difficult, nobody said they are, you are shooting down straw men. With that said, yes, it's much simpler to cmd x/v than to drag.

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Sunstone

Having made the switch from Windows to MAC earlier this year and despite enjoying the 'nicer' environment in OS X, I too am confused by the extra clicking that is required to perform simple tasks.

I find it a little ignorant and very much 'fanboyish' of the strictly MAC user base who lambast those for pointing out idiosyncrasies found in OS X. Us Windows users are merely surprised that some of these little things are missing that we would ordinarily take for granted. After all we are told that Windows (erm Microsoft) stole most if not all of its OS ideas from Apple !. Appears to me that Apple needs to look at XP for a few ideas themselves.

Its just not good enough for mac folk too tell us ex-Windows users..'to get used to it'..like we're somehow wrong and misguided and are'nt open to change. We're only pointing out stuff here. Crikey relax!.

We Windows users generally like OS X. Its nice. However for us Windows IT Techies OS X has 1 or 2 areas that appear little odd. Like having to double quit programs and the already mentioned inability to fully manipulate files and folders easily via the OPEN/SAVE windows. Just seems oldhat somehow.

Anyway. As I've said, am liking OSX...looking forward to Lion !

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dluck007

I've been using Mac's since the switch to Intel in 2007 (started with Tiger, then Leopard and now Snow Leopard). I just found out about great system utility called TotalFinder that brings tabs to the Finder.

The utility only works with Snow Leopard. After using this, I can't live without tabs in the finder. This should be implemented in next Mac OS X (Lion)!

http://totalfinder.binaryage.com/

Daniel

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mboltz

I've used Windows since version 2.0, and Macs since I got a "Fat" Mac with the 512KB extended RAM back in the mid 80s. I've never understood people switching trying to make one like the other. And there's no need to add various third-party tools to make OS X more "Windows-like". Actually those can be a bad thing, because Apple won't factor them into future OS X updates, leading to incompatibility issues, and maybe even crashing, which you then erroneously blame on the Mac and not on the third party tool.

Instead, try learning the new environment before you and how to maximize it. There are keyboard shortcuts for just about everything, and in OS X, the Command, Option and Control keys tend to consistently change the context of what you are doing. As others pointed out, Option+drag copies a file, Command-drag moves a file instead, Command+Option+drag creates an alias (shortcut) to the file.

As for the Open and Save menus, that's one of the consistencies in Apple's UI that I've enjoyed. Apple's guidelines are that menu items and their buttons should be action verbs, not passive voice nonsense like "OK". Ever notice in the Open or Save dialog the choices are Cancel / Open or Cancel / Save? Much smarter, IMHO. And if you really need to do some kind of quick maintenance, like create a new folder, rename something, you can easily do it in the Finder at the same time the dialog is open. Just click on the little smiley guy in the lower left and go do what you want. Create a new folder; rename a file. It'll show up automatically in the Open/Save dialog. Apple gives you great tools, such as beautiful multi-tasking and threading, and Expose to make it even easier.

The Open and Save menus are to Open, and Save. Simple. Consistent. Logical. That's what they're for. So that's all they should do. You can do the bulk lifting in the Finder, where you can do all kinds of other useful things.

Bottom line, congrats on moving to Mac. Now take the time to learn all that it can do for you. The Help system, the Apple Discussion Forums, and the keyboard shortcuts (outlined in Apple -> System Preferences -> Keyboard) are your friends.

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tanker10a

Scott Rose,
Have you considered the following procedure:
Select the file, Hold down the Option Key while dragging the file?
That will create duplicate the file with a number 2 (instead of copy at the end of it). What is so frustrating about that?
As far as Renaming a file, What is the fuss about selecting file from the the Finder; then do: Get Info and Rename the file or change the File Format?
I guess Windows users must always have something to fuss about. I have used both platforms for years and particularly Windows out of necessity; I have found Windows just as equally frustrating.
I stick to the Mac so that I do not have to be frustrated.
A simple solution to your frustration would be to go back and use a Windows machine and that will relieve you of your frustration "No fuss no mess"!
Otherwise, you can overcome and adapt instead of spending all these resources to make a mac act and feel like a Windows machine.
What a major league waste of time!

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talywkr

You most certainly can "cut and paste" or move files. Just hold down the command key while you move the file from one finder window to another, or from the finder window to one of the shortcuts. Instead of copying the file, it will now move the file. I admit it took me a couple of years to discover that. I'm not sure why none of these articles ever mention it, other than to plug some third party software instead.

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janek

talywkr, I don't know about you, but I don't drag files when trying to copy files, and won't do so to move files, it's just much easier to copy/using the keyboard shortcuts. There already are kbd shortcuts for copy/paste, why not cut/paste? What's the big deal really?

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bmorgan

All the spammers posting on MacLife is ridiculous. You guys need to do something about this. Who wants to come to a site that is full of this crap. How can you report on technology if you can't police your own site?

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ddmak

Totally agree with janek.

OS X is a great operating system. But Finder is getting archaic. No cut and paste. No rename.
The worst is when under an application File>Open dialog box, you can't do anything there except open a file. One should be able to these functions in this dialog box...rename, move, copy, paste, delete...as you would be able to in Windows. Not just the latest Windows 7, even the ten years old Windows XP can do these chores.

ddmak

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shanecbryson

What are you talking about? You probably need to set your apple mouse up to right click, or just use a normal PC mouse. You could also hold command and click at the same time and you will have the option to copy and paste. This has always been a part of OSX. I would say this is user error. I have been using a Mac for about 8 years now. This option has pretty much always been available.

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janek

Have you read the article? Obviously not, since you're asking me what am I talking about. Read it, and you'll see that this is about using keyboard shortcuts to cut and paste files. Why do you think kapeli charges $8 for their app? Because you can do it for free? Get a clue before posting man :D

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janek

Although I like OSX more than any other OS, and it is the OS that I use at home, I was reminded by your article of how in some ways, OSX is really... can't find the right word,... stupid maybe? I mean c'mon, it costs me an extra $8 to cut and paste files?!!! Sorry, that is really dumb!

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shanecbryson

What are you talking about? You probably need to set your apple mouse up to right click, or just use a normal PC mouse. You could also hold command and click at the same time and you will have the option to copy and paste. This has always been a part of OSX. No $8 needed. OSX is really smart. I would say this is user error.

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janek

Have you read the article? Obviously not, since you're asking me what am I talking about. Read it, and you'll see that this is about using keyboard shortcuts to cut and paste files. Why do you think kapeli charges $8 for their app? Because you can do it for free? :D

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shanecbryson

I have read the article and still don't understand the issue. They are charging you for features already completely available in the interface. If you paid 8 bucks for it, you're an idiot and don't really need to be using a Mac. Go back to Windows please.

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janek

Oh and "Go back to Windows please"? Ha, that superiority complex of you people, poor souls :) Why don't you rather go back to your beloved System 7, huh?

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janek

Well if you still don't understand then you're an idiot. You (should) know full well by now that I'm referring to cut&paste using keyboard shortcuts, and NO, it's NOT available, despite your claim of "completely available in the interface".

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