Nearly a year ago, I started using a Mac for the first time. People ask how I like the Mac. I think it’s summed up in this:
- On Windows, to switch between windows using the keyboard, press Alt-Tab. Repeat until you’re at the window you want.
- On Mac, to switch between windows using the keyboard, press Command-Tab. Repeat until you’re at the window you want. Unless…
- To switch to a different instance of the same program (e.g., two Chrome browsers open at the same time), instead of Command-Tab, you’ll need to press Command-Backtick.
- To switch to a minimized window, press Command-Tab until you’re at the desired window. Then, before releasing the Command key, press the Option key, then release the Command key, then the Option key. If you didn’t notice that your desired window was minimized (which you can only tell if the dock doesn’t automatically disappear) and released the Command key without pressing the Option key, the window just stays minimized. At that point, the Command-Option key dance won’t restore the window. You need to press Command-Tab, then Command-Shift-Tab, then the Command-Option key dance before releasing the Command key.
- If the desired window is a minimized window that’s also a different instance of the active window, the Command-Backtick keypress won’t get you there, even with the Command-Option key dance. You’ll need to first go to a different window using Command-Tab. Then you can use Command-Tab and the Command-Option key dance to go to and restore the minimized window.
When I complain about this to my keyboard-loving, Mac-using friends, they respond, “Yeah, I never minimize windows.”
And don’t get me started on how the Finder displays folders and files together,1 the lack of a dedicated Delete (a real Delete key that deletes forward, not the mislabeled Backspace key on the Mac), Home, End, PageUp, and PageDown keys, how apps can have individual volume settings, but there is no way to control them, Shift-Command-4 to screen capture, Safari doesn’t display favicons in its tabs, no real ability to snap programs to the edges of Windows without purchasing BetterSnapTool… ;-) To be fair, I love, love love the Mac’s hardware. Maybe I should just run Parallels.2 :-D