Throw your Mac out the Window!

Matthew Magain

Off the back of my esteemed colleague’s recap of why he loves his Mac so much, I thought I’d offer a competing view.

OK, so I’m not actually advocating that you throw your Mac out the window. The thing’s not completely biodegradable yet, and you could always use it as a monitor stand. Besides, there might be somebody walking by (unless that somebody is Steve Jobs, and then, by all means — give it the old heave-ho).

But I do think, in light of all the praise that is heaped on OS X for being time-saving, intuitive and just plain pretty, it’s worth exploring some of the aspects of the user interface that the Mac gets plain wrong. My biggest gripe is with an element of the interface that is pretty darned fundamental — keyboard shortcuts.

Disclaimer: I am both a Mac and a PC user, and have been for a long time. Here’s my beef.

On Windows, keyboard shortcuts within an application:

  1. provide complete coverage
  2. are easily discoverable
  3. are intuitive
  4. are consistent, and
  5. generally don’t step on each other’s toes

My experience with OS X has led me to the conclusion that keyboard shortcuts in Mac apps are none of the above. Let me illustrate my point by looking at common commands in some popular applications.

Let’s first look at Adobe Photoshop.

On my PC, executing the Image > Image Size command is pretty quick (just three keys):

ALT-CTRL-I

A similar shortcut is also available on the Mac:

Cmd-Option-I

So far, we have a pretty level playing field. Personally, though, I’m not a fan of having to hold down three keys at once, and prefer an alternative way to execute this command from the keyboard, which I’ll get to in a moment.

So what if I wanted to make use of one of the other items on the Image menu? For example, the Crop function (a command that I use regularly when preparing screen shots for our books).

If we take a look at the dropdown menu, you’ll see that on both platforms, there is no designated keyboard shortcut listed. In this scenario, we’re left to the mercy of the operating system to step up and make things easier for us.A comparison of Photoshop's Image dropdown menu, as viewed in Windows and on a Mac

Windows comes to the party by allowing the user to hold down the ALT key. Doing so highlights the keys that can be pressed to trigger each menu item:

ALT-I, P

That P is a little misleading the first time round, as one would intuitively think that the Crop menu item would be executed by a C. However, as the C key has already been claimed by another option on the same menu, this is a reasonably elegant compromise. Because the key is underlined when we hold down ALT, we can tell at a glance what the shortcut is, and execute it, all in the one motion.

Not so for OS X.

On a Mac you have four options:

  1. use the OS-provided keystrokes to navigate the menu (Ctrl-F2, I, Enter, C, C, Enter)
  2. apply your own keyboard shortcuts at the OS-level
  3. record a macro to perform this function (massive overkill for such a simple function)
  4. use the mouse

None of these are particularly palatable, given the number of menu items that fall into this category. Option number 1 is exacerbated for me, as I own a MacBook that requires me to type Fn-Ctrl-F2 due to the laptop’s compact keyboard. There’s just no way that someone can be expected to type Fn-Ctrl-F2 quickly with one hand.

Which brings me to my next bugbear: conflicts. Take Photoshop and OS X’s built-in document search, Spotlight. Both applications make use of the Cmd-Space combination: for Spotlight, Cmd-Space is the keystroke to search your desktop for emails, pictures and documents. In Photoshop, it’s the command to zoom in on your document. In fact, this is the command to zoom in for every Adobe program!

I can’t begin to tell you how annoyed I have become at having the Spotlight search bar appear every time I’ve wanted to zoom in on a Photoshop image, an Illustrator graphic or a PDF in Reader. Sure, sometimes it works (if you remember to hold down Space and then press Cmd, you can avoid this annoying conflict) and you can remap these keystrokes, but why on earth haven’t Adobe and Apple resolved them yet as the default option?

Which brings me to consistency.

Some of the applications that I use the most on my Mac are Java applications. For native Cocoa applications, cursor navigation using Cmd- and Option- with the arrow keys is completely different from cursor navigation inside a Java app. The fact that this fundamental mode of navigation a document or highlighting text is not consistent simply baffles me, and I curse every time I launch a Java application at having to reprogram my mode of thinking just to select text or move up and down the page. I don’t know whether this is OS X’s fault, Sun’s fault or the individual application developer’s fault, but the fact is that it is an issue for every Java application that I use on the Mac.

Yes, there’s no doubt OS X is pretty. It’s stable. It’s all that. Except if you rely on the keyboard to be more productive — something that is absolutely crucial for a power user like myself.

Keyboard shortcuts can make an application more accessible to disabled users, and more usable to able-bodied users. And in these stakes, Windows rubs the Mac’s nose in the dirt, using only a couple of deft keystrokes, and not even Quicksilver can save it.

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  • http://www.brothercake.com/ brothercake

    Yeah you’re right, keyboard access sucks on the Mac.

  • Anonymous

    I’m sorry but seriously. Get over it. I don’t care much for Mac or PC but what I hate are people with really small ****s trying to stoke a fire.

    What a stupid article. Ooh, someone dissed Windows well considering my mental age is 4 I’d better fire off a rebuttal! This should get me on Digg!

    Seriously, who edits these posts?

  • http://www.brothercake.com/ brothercake

    Nobody’s stoking a fire, we’re just having a conversation. It’s a shame you’d rather shout from a hiding place than step up and join in, but that’s your choice.

  • http://www.sitepoint.com/ mattymcg

    Seriously, who edits these posts?

    I don’t have an editor, it’s all me. Unlike yourself, my name is made very clear at the top of the page.

    Keyboard access is a huge part of being productive for me, and I imagine it’s the same for many others. It can mean the difference between a task taking 3 minutes or 30 minutes — a difference that means everything if you’re working under a tight deadline.

  • http://www.tyssendesign.com.au Tyssen

    It’s been a long time since I used a Mac in a production environment but I do seem to recall it being easier to navigate through folders via the keyboard using a Mac.

  • jboehman

    Sorry, bro, you’re clutching at straws. And you can change all those shortcuts in system preferences. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go click the Start button to shut down my PC. That makes sense.

  • hang on

    i use a pc at work, and a mac at home. i prefer the mac overall – by far.
    i think you are blaming apple for adobe’s poor design.

  • zuneone

    I have to say I much prefer the PC due to its flexibility. I think Vista rocks myself. But them I also prefer IE7!

    The dealbreaker is AutoCAD or Revit are not available the Mac.

  • jasongraphix

    When I first saw the title of this post, my gut reaction was to go into brand defense mode. As a person who made it all the way through a graphic design program as a “pc guy” (with all the ridicule from my professor and classmates which that involves) that’s still a little strange to me. In 3 short years though I’ve become a loyal mac user, despite my intentions of staying unbiased. Anyway, getting back to brand defense mode, I have to say that you have some good points. The reason for all the confusion and conflicts though revolves around the archaic one-button-mouse. There are a lot of mac users out there that still refuse to click with two fingers. For that reason, there are a lot more keyboard shortcuts out there that programs have to work around. With all those minor irritations though, I still feel that I’m more productive working in Photoshop on a Mac than I am on a PC. The Adobe suite seems to run more efficiently, the screenshot tool is a major timesaver, being able to drag images on the dock icon…I could go on and on. Instead though, I’ll get back to work…and avoid the temptation to get an Apple logo tattooed on my arse.

  • hang on

    IE7 is rubbish. try developing a website that works properly on it – microsoft have never heard of complying with standards, or perhaps they are just too arrogant to care

  • hang on

    plug a two button mouse in and away you go, ain’t that hard.

  • http://www.sitepoint.com/ mattymcg

    And you can change all those shortcuts in system preferences.

    Yes, I could go and create 40 or 50 custom keyboard shortcuts for all the different commands I perform in all of the different apps I use, and I probably will. There are three concerns that I have about this approach though: 1) that every keyboard shortcut will require me to hold down three keys at once – something that’s just not very ergonomically sensible, 2) that it’s time I’m investing in a task that might then be undone with the next upgrade of that particular app, and 3) that I’ll run out of keys to use, and have to start using non-intuitive key combinations that I’ll consequently forget (and have no easy way to be prompted for them, such as a character that is underlined)

    i think you are blaming apple for adobe’s poor design.

    On the contrary, OS keyboard shortcuts for navigating the menu with the keyboard is nothing to do with Adobe. A default install of OS X could be doing a heck of a lot more to improve keyboard access pre-customisation.

  • hang on

    if you are continually using the crop function heavily, wouldn’t it be worth your while building a macro?

  • hang on

    i think the problem is that you are comparing operating systems, do you use both machines? settle on one and learn it. easy.

  • krism

    You’re not very smart, are you? 99% of people bitching about a lack of OSX keyboard shortcuts are windows people who came to OSX and are pissed because they don’t know the keyboard shortcuts. LOOK IN THE FUCKING CONFIGURATION. You can even add your own shortcuts if you want, FOR ANY APPLICATION.

  • http://www.sitepoint.com/ mattymcg

    @krism: It’s interesting that you’re using stats as your argument, as you’re contributing to a theory I have that 99% of commenters don’t read previous comments.

  • tuna

    I know the pain. Trolls aside. What gets me is the lack of standardisation between various applications. This can be frustrating. And the lack of ability to open a menu item in a few short strokes, Is the major think on my hit list. If I had all these, without customisation required I would be very happy with OSX instead of just happy.

  • http://www.lowter.com charmedlover

    Valid point, except what about all of us that *don’t* use Photoshop? I have never found this problem before in applications. This, in my mind, is more of an Adobe problem than an Apple problem. Should Apple change its keyboard shortcuts because *one* application conflicts with them? I don’t think so.

  • Anonymous

    Seems like you might have a point at the keyboard shortcuts thing. Using ALT + key to get up a certain menu is nice. Especially when you’re using two screens, where you’re working on one of them and you have the program menu bar on the other. Moving the mouse is tedious… :)

    Still though, the lacking keyboard shortcuts aside, I would never use windows as my primary work OS. OSX has got it beat by a mile in other areas. This topic is of course one of the most thoroughly discussed ones in the world, next to the theory of evolution, so I won’t go any further. All I can say is that among all those people I know who has switched to using a mac, none have gone back to Windows again, and none have complained about lacking keyboard shortcuts :)

    Sooo Matt: Please come up with some more arguements as to why I should throw my mac out the window.

    And: You just got to love textmate, eh? ;)

  • anonymous hero

    I would hope that a power user, like you seem to think of yourself, would be skilled enough to adapt to

    1: pressing 3 whole buttons at the same time and;
    2: recognizing that associating p with Crop is counter-intuitive and just as likely to change with Adobe’s next version of Photoshop.

    But I guess Mac vs. PC flamebait still draws plenty of attention, so it must be quality journalism.

  • http://www.accessify.com/default.asp lloydi

    I can see where you’re coming from to a certain degree – if you are a Windows user, the Mac shortcuts will not be intuitive.

    However, the keyboard shortcuts on the Mac at an OS level for doing things in Finder, such as renaming, creating a new folder, opening and closing etc are *much* better than Window. I noticed a marked speed increase in general file/folder manipulation on the Mac than I used to get on Windows. Combine that with a tool like Quicksilver and soon you’re almost ignoring the mouse/trackpad completely.

    C’mon Matty, admit you love the Mac. We won’t take the micky out of you. Well, not much ;-)

  • greg
  • Bartek

    well, that’s all about keyboard and ‘Quicksilver not being a solution here’ ;-):

    http://www.43folders.com/2007/03/12/tme-quicksilver-application-menus/

  • JohnK

    What about the stupid font rendering on Mac OSX? They got it wrong. Very wrong. I can’t spend an hour reading text on my mac without getting a strong headache. They managed to anti-alias everything, including horizontal and vertical lines that don’t need to be anti-aliased at all. Also, Apple seems to hate font hinting, which makes fonts at small sizes VERY unreadable. I’m better with Windows XP, for sure.

  • Flamtastic!

    3-key commands? Pressing only ‘c’ on the keyboard for mac (and I believe PC as well) will get you to the crop tool. Shift + [whatever tool that has more than one in its group - ex. 'b' for brush] will cycle you through all of the tools in that group. BTW I use PC at work and mac at home, and I still prefer my mac.

  • Greg
  • Ronnie

    It is official now:
    Most mac users are trolls

  • Keith

    I fail to see how a comparison of application-based shortcut keys is a basis for comparison between two operating systems. This is quite poorly thought out. OS X definitely has its own weaknesses, but they aren’t pointed out in this article.

  • http://www.digitalgreenlight.com busy

    The trolls ARE out, but c’mon, that headline was begging for it!

  • csleh

    While I love my mac, wouldn’t switch for the world, I see your point. In fact, adobe shortcuts (and menus) aren’t standardized themselves. In Illustrator ctl f = paste in front; in InDesign it’s some combination with two more keys. Even the menus are different (see transform with align and pathfinder in Illustrator, transform is with font and paragraph in InDesign — and those two options are in opposite order from Illustrator!). Usability is easier on a higher level but the little details have become a bit fuzzy.
    My workaround? Not the menu funtions! Left click (or control click) brings up all the options I need at my fingertips.

  • http://www.sitepoint.com/ mattymcg

    @Bartek: Thanks for the excellent link! I still think that OS X could make things easier inside applications by default, but I will definitely be exploring Quicksilver proxies.

  • http://www.sitepoint.com/ mattymcg

    @Flamtastic: The Crop tool is different from the Image > Crop command, but I see your point. Image > Trim is probably a better example, as there is no equivalent in the toolbar.

  • http://www.realityedge.com.au mrsmiley

    i think you are blaming apple for adobe’s poor design.

    In the instance of the Spotlight shortcut vs Adobe’s zoom function, didn’t Adobe get there first? Spotlight is only a relatively new feature in the OS, yet, the Adobe zoom function has been there for years and years. How does the way the OS handles these shortcut key conflicts make it an Adobe problem?

    It would seem more intuitive to me that is an app is open and being used and it responds to a shortcut, then the OS should give preference to the app and not try and step in unless the command isn’t handled.

    BTW, @mattymcg, thanks for providing an alternate view point even if it did unlease the flood. It is good to be open to both the good and bad points of any system so people can make informed decisions.

  • http://www.sitepoint.com/ mattymcg

    what about all of us that *don’t* use Photoshop?

    @charmedlover: Like I said, the Cmd-Space conflict occurs with every Adobe program that allows you to zoom in, not just Photoshop. It’s a popular keystroke, that one – Quicksilver also uses it by default.

    I would hope that a power user … would be skilled enough to adapt to recognizing that associating p with Crop is counter-intuitive

    @anonymous hero: Here’s the thing – on Windows, I can hold down ALT and tell at a glance what the key is. It’s a terrific prompt for the user, and is a rare interface touch that Apple could learn from Microsoft.

    @mrsmiley: You’re welcome! :-)

  • dave

    As usual, it’s NEVER Apple’s fault – it’s yours, for not spending countless hours building custom keyboard shortcuts or creating a macro, or Adobe’s, for not doing something something something, or Microsoft’s because they’re icky.

    But it’s NEVER Apple’s fault. NEVER!!!

  • Tamber

    (…) and is a rare interface touch that Apple could learn from Microsoft

    Touché!

  • pcarini

    If you use keyboard shortcuts heavily you’ve no doubt noticed that the command key is somewhat awkwardly positioned, ctrl is a little easier to use, particularly one handed.

  • http://www.dustindiaz.com polvero

    Hell, I agree. I’ve used both for years, and I’m still not as great as I was on my Windows PC when it comes to shortcuts.

  • http://www.scs.ryerson.ca/~mrossner rozner

    I don’t use a Mac, but as a Windows user I rely heavily on keyboard shortcuts, saves so much time. One thing about Windows is that keyboard shortcuts are always there, I very rarely have to record a macro. It’s a hard sell to me if I would have to spend a lot of time with every new application just to get my keyboard shortcuts working. I have no problem learning new shortcuts so long as they’re already there. That said, I am planning on getting a Mac in the near future as OS X is solid, but I wasn’t really aware of this keyboard shortcut problem before, something to think about.

  • tigglet

    You know, the real issue is not what each OS does and doesn’t do. It’s how much you’re willing to customize the OS to get it to work the way you work. OSX/Windows/KDE/name-your-interface, it doesn’t matter. Pick your interface of choice and then customize it so that it does what you want, how you want to. In the end, the OSX vs. Windows wars are useless arguments because there isn’t an interface made that will meet the needs of 100% of the people out of the box, 100% of the time.

    Me, I’m willing to spend the time customizing my interfaces to make myself productive. What matters is that I *can* do so, not whether or not Apple or Microsoft personalized the GUI to my tastes.

  • dragonflies

    Matt has a validated point. I must agree with him. I’ve owned both mac and pc. I find that technical support is much more of a problem . Is everything sub (D) out overseas ?

  • UndergroundFX

    Forget keyboard shortcuts. What I hate about Macs is that the programs don’t have a background?!? You can see right through to everything else at most times unless you hide and what not. I can’t stand that. I like to switch around programs alot and always get lost for a quick second.

    I do a ton of 1 on 1 training as part of my business and whenever people show up with Mac’s I notice the same thing they ALWAYS get lost switching between programs and accidently moving the cursor to far to the bottom and what not.

    Most of these people aren’t power users but fairly new. They decide to learn design and some joker has told them to get a Mac because “that’s what real designers use”. Then they can even figure out where there files are because it’s so crappy on the Mac. No file extensions, man come on!

    PC’s are for real power users like myself that have been using computers since the beginning. Apple makes nice gadgets, they should stick to that! :)
    All you new booties can keep playing with Macs. There great looking toys…

  • WorldLight Media

    Apple is the new Microsoft.
    I have been a PC user for life, but lately I’ve been, for the first time in my life, actually considering a Mac when it comes time for me to get a new machine. Why? Several reasons. Primarily because it’s product line is approaching maturity and it’s being supported by more of the industry. But my interest has been keenly piqued because of the cult-like devotion of Mac users.

    I’ve never been into “monkey see monkey do”. My decisions, especially for major purchases and major business tools, are often based on intense research. That research includes user reviews, so I can’t ignore all these people who swear by their macs.

    So, when I read the headline for this post, I thought, “FINALLY, an objective, non-card-carrying-member of the Mac Cult is going to hose down the red-hot-burning-hype that Mac is getting.” But I’m not going to lie, you didn’t really have any groundbreaking points. Besides,can’t you install Windows on a Mac now, making every one of your arguments easily defeatable?

    I am a designer. I’ve heard “rumors” that Mac is more productive for designers. But every single time I find one who uses a Mac, and I question them for the specifics of why they prefer a Mac over PC, they always end up (reluctantly) admitting that they don’t have a valid reason. It’s just what they learned in school as part of their liberal indoctrination curriculum.

    I need some concrete evidence why Mac is more efficent for designers. I use Adobe Photoshop every day on my PC. It works. How does it work better on a Mac?

  • UndergroundFX

    It all comes down to this. Are Macs easier to use for design? Hell no! Do they look better in a creative studio setting on a desk? Hell Yeah!

    Hell you can even charge your clients more with a Mac sitting on your desk! lol

    I put my last Mac back on Craigslist where I found it after discovering I needed to pay $200 for an Airbus to get the stupid thing to use my free WiFi at my house.

  • http://www.calcResult.co.uk omnicity

    @UndergroundFX:
    My PowerBook connects via a standard Netgear ‘G router – no need for Airport if you don’t want.

    @Matt:
    I think you have a half a point about the menus, but this is a fairly minor irritation at best. If you want to knock Apple for not being consistant with Adobe you REALLY need to look at Microsofts own applications – no excuses there, and very little consistancy either.

  • what

    Great conversation on a sticky matter.
    MACs, we can live without them unlike WinOS.
    Anoth simple comparison. Open a window on both platforms and attempt to drag or resize or close it from any of the four corners. On a MAC, you can only do so from the right-bottom. On a PC, from any corner. Yes, the simple thing matter.

    If I had 100k (not a dime more) I would simple purchase all of Apples MAC assets and make them go away.

  • http://www.heulog.co.uk cymrojazz

    I started working in desk top publishing on a Mac using Quark (what a joy), but otherwise used a PC. I currently moved into web design and but in between have had to work for companies that insisted i used Publisher on under powered PCs (i spent my nights crying into my beer). At home I use a PC for my Web design, graphics and music recording and have no problems. So I have always tried to remain neutral and had a horses for courses attitude towards the PC Mac/ debate.

    However there are number of issues which have put me off macs recently
    – the networking nonsense – loosing settings etc even after you’ve clicked the little padlock
    – the usb memory stick nonsense
    – kernel panic?!!?
    and the tedious and patronising religious zealousness of some macheads.

    I now use macs too infrequently (out of choice) for keyboard shortcuts to be an issue.

  • Breton

    Where’s the eject button?
    On the keyboard? You’ve gotta be kidding me!
    Drag it into the trash? but I don’t want to throw my files out.
    Oops, I dragged an icon off the dock, it just went *poof*, where’d it go? Hrmn. I can’t undo it. Grrr….

  • tigglet

    @breton: every platform has it’s quirks. How do you shutdown windows? By clicking on the start button? Oy! I’ll stop there…

    As I said before, the fact that you can customize the system to meet your needs makes all of these complaints irrelevant. Nothing meets everyone’s needs out of the box.

  • Anonymous

    I could see the shortcuts being a pain…

    my pet peeve is on the PC side I am SOOO used to resizing browser width to fit my screen or have 2, 3 browsers open side by side, just click+drag the browser edge, ANY EDGE WORKS. however on a Mac the ONLY way to do this is to click+drag the lower right corner. I REALLY want to click+drag the browser edge on a mac.

    lame I know, but still one of those MAC things that BUGS!!!
    the mac could be MORE user friendly

  • http://brandaggio.com/ brandaggio

    Shortcuts are generally more intuitive on Windows that on the Mac, and 3 key combinations is pushing it for sure. I agree with you.

    I think that other aspects of the way the Mac OS functions – in particular that those balloon dialogs don’t pop up all the time interrupting you, as they do in Windows, mitigate and/or compensate for its other shortcomings, such as the one/s you point out (and Spotlight is pretty bad a$s in spite of not being perfect).

    For me, at the moment, I am feeling the most productive on a box with ubuntu studio on it (really love it – can do almost anything very well – there is an app for it within click with Synaptic), but that is mostly because I have PowerPC Macs that are a little slow.

    In particular, I have been trying to find a great code editor/IDE on ubuntu/Linux in an effort to really use it as my primary development platform (and design) – so far the best I have found is Quanta – it is pretty sick -it has syntax highlighting and intellisense for many languages.

    I have even found that I even can use ubuntu with my new Sony Cybershot DSC-H7, and the color, design and font tools for creatives are quite solid. It is really an eye opening experience to have so much great software (man these open source apps are maturing fast) – free or not – when you remind yourself it is all free it just too much really. I spent a lot on my Macs and do love them, but well configured, ubuntu studio is a contenda for shaw.

  • stikkybubble

    I find most of the time keyboard shortcuts arn’t worth the bother, except for copy & paste. If there is a function you use all the time, why not customise it? As for the eject button/ dock comment, eject is really no problem, and just drag icons back on to the dock if you want them there- you must be new to macs.
    What HAS been bugging me recently is that the mini-keyboard I have has PC keys on it- meaning shortcuts don’t work at all (and some keys do’t work as expected either). I found it a more practical issue that the keyboards are differently arranged, and there is no ‘hash’ key on a mac keyboard…..

  • Luigi193

    So you main complaints are Keyboard shortcuts!!! Hey, I can live with that! OS X sucks cause adobe’s keyboard shortcuts suck!!! woot!!!!

    Hey, as an apple fan myself I could think of better reason why OS X is annoying! AND THEY WOULD BE WAY BETTER THOSE THOSE!!!!!

    But, whatever you want!

  • http://www.sitepoint.com AlexW

    So you main complaints are Keyboard shortcuts!!! Hey, I can live with that! OS X sucks cause adobe’s keyboard shortcuts suck!!! woot!!!!

    Hey, as an apple fan myself I could think of better reason why OS X is annoying! AND THEY WOULD BE WAY BETTER THOSE THOSE!!!!!

    But, whatever you want!

    Gee, I’m guessing a broken ‘exclamation point’ key isn’t one of them.

  • http://www.sitepoint.com/ mattymcg

    That caps lock key seems to be working well too, so must be something else! :-P

  • http://www.heulog.co.uk cymrojazz

    “IE7 is rubbish. try developing a website that works properly on it – microsoft have never heard of complying with standards, or perhaps they are just too arrogant to care”

    Which is why Firefox is my default browser on my pcs – hey it even works on the nonsense that is Vista!

  • Ben Overmyer

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go click the Start button to shut down my PC. That makes sense.

    Or you could just push the power button, which DOES make sense.

  • Chris

    Apple has published a list of shortcuts that are reserved for the system. Some of these are already in use by OS X, and some are for future implementation. Cmd-space is/was among those shortcuts reserved for the system. It is certainly not Apple’s fault that Adobe’s developers made a poor choice for the shortcuts; Apple gave them sufficient warning that they would conflict with system shortcuts.

    Also, It is not objective to criticize Apple’s keyboard shortcut implementation, when they have included the ability for users to easily customize those shortcuts.

    Apple has a far superior menubar location (at the top of the screen) compared to Windows’ (at the top of the window), which significantly speeds up access via mouse. I am MUCH faster on a Mac mousing (actually track padding) around, compared to using keyboard shortcuts (especially in combination with the bottom row enter key, which I use far more often that the return key, since I don’t have to remove my hand from the trackpad). Studies have shown this to be consistently true with nearly all users. Of course, studies have also shown that keyboard shortcuts nearly universally SEEM faster to the user, despite the stopwatch showing otherwise, due to the increased complexity of keyboard shortcuts compared to mousing. (Google: tog keyboard vs mouse)

    @UndergroundFX

    I suspect if you were a real power user, you would be aware that showing file extensions (or not) can be toggled in Finder’s preferences.

  • http://www.heulog.co.uk cymrojazz

    I now use macs too infrequently (out of choice) for keyboard shortcuts to be an issue.

    “I suspect if you were a real power use”

    Perhaps I should first of all revise my first statement that it isn’t entirley out of choice that I no longer use Macs but I’m not missing using them.

    and as far as some of the shouting and posturing, (and I’m not saying which side is the worst culprit) your Mac/PC may or may not be better than my PC/Mac but my dad is bigger than yours …..

  • Terrapin

    Ha!

    I honestly completely disagreed with 98% of what you said.. I find keyboards on a mac easier than windows, and I have also been using both for some time now, up until my studio officially “switched” in 2003.

    Anyway, kudos for taking such a long time to get one over on your friend.

    *Command-Q’s screen*

  • psnyder

    I got suckered by the hype about how great the Mac would be for java development.

    If you are a switcher who uses the mouse heavily and doesn’t even know that CTRL-RIGHTARROW should take you to the beginning of the next word, you won’t notice much difference.

    If, like me, you rely on keyboard navigation, (word-left, word-right, end-of-line, etc.) to boost your productivity, RUN AWAY FROM THE MAC — IT WILL KILL YOUR PRODUCTIVITY.

    The answer is not for me to retrain myself (I will install Linux on this hardware as soon as I can.) The answer would be for Apple to provide an alternate mode to make their product more switcher-friendly.

    PS. Don’t believe someone who tells you these can all be re-mapped, I don’t believe that anyone has done this successfully for consistent behavior in different applications the way we expect from Linux or Windows.

  • Bill Gates

    Windows sucks, ive been a windows user for 6 years of my life, and ive just started using mac, i’d rather not go back to shitty ass windows

  • Dragon

    I know the tiny bit of pointing and clicking is easily worth the realiability of my Mac Pro.

  • oblivion

    If you do not know how to use a mac then don’t use it- Macs are made for shortcuts, consider the buttons labeled with symbols for shortcuts and ALL shortcuts can be changed in System Prefs so get a better excuse.

  • ohmz

    I dont know about everyone else but where i might save 3.5 seconds using a keyboard shortcut on windows i might say, have my file systems destroyed on my external hard drives or perhaps have a nastly little infection in the system 32 department, which would say require as it often does a reinstall of windows and the restoration of everything that made your computer different from all the factory defaults, how many 3.5 seconds does that take (at least a couple thousand i would say and before anyone replys to this you should know all of these things have happened to me MANY MANY MANY times and in a myriad of different ways) since i went mac after 7 odd years of windows i couldn’t be happier. everything works, theres consistency, stability and the windows dont rub off on each other or on other programs (something windows never managed to work out). I now seriously resent the !!!VAST!!! amount of time i have wasted maintaining and re-downloading all my beloved media. I would say to anyone who has not had anyone describe them as a geek, go mac and never look back. all the super command line and anti gui gimps out there, keep your shoddy OS just dont go around telling people that it works because its simply not true.