I’ve been given a Mac from work, which is great, but I’ve needed to get back into the habit of its weird quirks again after using Windows again for a while. Some of the ways Mac does things seem so strange when coming from Windows. Here’s a few things I wish Mac did/had.
I wish the delete key deleted files
I have a delete key…
But pressing it doesn’t delete files. To delete files you have to select them and press cmd + backspace instead.
I wish on a Mac I could download free apps without having to enter credit card details
I’m using a company-owned computer, and at first I was told not to login with my personal Apple app store account, so I created a new account. But to download free apps requires adding credit card details.
Seems unnecessary when all I want to download is a free app from the app store.
I wish on a Mac there was a hash key
There isn’t a hash key on my keyboard! Admittedly there is on the laptop, but not the Apple keyboard. So I’ve had to add it myself 😛
It’s there of course, but you have to press alt + 3, a bit of an odd combination when you’re used to pressing ctrl to get the second function of the number keys.
I use the hash key all the time, when writing hex colour values, or creating a hashtag on Twitter. But Apple don’t even think it’s important enough to print one on the keyboard?! (it’s a UK keyboard – do Apple think UK don’t use the # key?) I press it many more times than ` – whatever that is. Yet ` gets it’s own key, not even a second function where you press alt. What’s that about?
I wish on a Mac there was a visible path in Finder
This is the default Finder window:
Where am I?
No idea! Because there’s no visible path, like there is on Windows.
What you have to do to find out where you are is right-click the folder on at the top, which shows a hierarchy of where you are:
…although in the reverse order to what you’d probably expect. This isn’t obvious at first, and I started getting very lost.
Admittedly, you can use the columns view, which is brilliant. But I found myself having another problem which I’ll mention below.
I wish on a Mac there was a copyable path in Finder
Often I have to find the path to a file. This might be to paste into Terminal because it takes me ages to type it out, or to copy into an application where I need to browse to a file in a directory that’s already open right in front of me and would take a long time navigating to again.
On Windows what I’d grab it from the top of the window, like this:
Clicking the path turns it into a copyable string that I can paste into anything. Useful!
But on Mac OSX there’s no such thing. Well, not easily findable anyway, you have to right-click the file folder and “Get info”, where you’ll find a path (of sorts – it doesn’t look like a copyable string).
I wish the way to cut & paste files wasn’t so hidden
Yes that’s right, you can’t just cmd+x then Cmd+v to cut and paste files simply like you can on Windows. The way Mac does it is really hidden and it actually took me a long time to find it, I kept having to open up 2 Finder windows and dragging files from one place to another to move them without creating a copy in the new location.
Funnily enough, cmd+x, cmd+v does work with text. But not with files or folders.
Instead hold down alt+cmd+v to paste and remove the files from the initial location. Not something you’d figure out by yourself – especially as it’s not an option in the edit menu, you have to hold alt to make the option show in the Edit menu, where it’s called “Move items here”, and doesn’t even show what the keyboard shortcut is.
I wish the menu bar was with the application, and not at the top of the screen.
When you have lots of applications on the screen (and on such a nice massive screen, why not?) it makes zero sense for the menu items to be detached, and far away up at the top of the screen. Here’s an article I wrote with an example of why it’s bad:
I wish my Mac laptop didn’t get so hot!
Omg it really does get hot sometimes, and all I have open is PHPStorm (admittedly, this did used to kill my Windows pc!). If I try and put this on my lap in the evening with Unity open (often when it’s trying to bake lightmaps) it can really get too hot to be comfortable.
Although this cat seems to like it!
The monitor can be super hot too, it blows out a lot of hot air underneath onto my desk, and I thought it’d start melting my desk dinos!
Although this seems to only be mine that kicks out so much heat, so perhaps mine is faulty?
I wish Macs had a taskbar as useful as Windows 7
I wrote about this in another article:
Although I’m glad it doesn’t have a stupid start menu full of nonsense.