The Keyboard

The first time you look at your Macbook keyboard, you will notice a few differences. There is now a Command key where Ctrl used to be. There is still a control key but only one – on the left side. The Alt key has become the Option key with the “option” to use it as Alt by holding Shift, and just about every function key from F1 – F12 is already bound to one useful action or another such that to ever use even one of them normally, you would have to hold the function key down as well. Okay, so you probably wouldn’t notice that last part just by looking.

In addition to this, those 6 keys – Home, End, Delete, Pg up, Pg Down, and Insert – are gone without a trace. Well not entirely, the Backspace key is now called Delete and it does both jobs. Oh, and eject now has a key all to itself. Besides those few things (LOL) the rest of the Keyboard remains as you would expect.

So what do all those changes mean to you? For the most part, nothing. The Command and Option keys generally act like their Ctrl and Alt counterparts on a Windows box and in the rare cases that they don’t, both keys still exist albeit in a reduced capacity. As for the function keys, ask yourself this, “How often do I actually use those?” and you’ll find the answer is seldom. So them being bound to useful actions like increasing the brightness of your screen or volume of your speakers makes them in my opinion, more useful than they used to be. That said, for the every once in a while that you actually need F8 and not “Play Music”, you might find it quite irritating to have to hold down Fn as well; But again, that won’t be often.

As far as keyboard shortcuts go, other than the fact that they are different from those of Windows, there’s not much else to say. Most of the standard shortcuts are a 2-key combination of Command or Option and something else but there are a few 3-key combos as well. I have no intention of listing all the various keyboard shortcuts because you can Google them like I did if you’re curious, and more importantly because like any other computer, you can change them to whatever you want, whenever you want. Still they were worth a mention because that’s what matters to any power user.

Damola Mabogunje

Software Engineer by day, Blogger, Poet and Author, by night, I spend my days writing everything from the convex comma, to highly complex code.

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