Apple and All Things OSX

[Last updated: 07-Feb-2021]

This page was created after buying my first Apple Mac computer. Being reasonably familiar in using a British English keyboard with Microsoft Windows (and totally unfamiliar with Apple hardware), I wanted a resource that I could access from anywhere. The Apple Mac operating system (more commonly known as OSX, and more recently MacOS) uses the keyboard in slightly different ways. Hence this reference page.

The aim of this page is to include as many keyboard commands as possible, along with other Apple Mac topics, to make the transition from WIndows to Mac as smooth as possible.

Note: Although this page was updated (or more correctly, redesigned to match other pages on this site) in early 2021, the information has not been significantly changed; only the layout.

Click the following links to navigate to the relevant part of this page.

Keyboard Commands

To use a keyboard shortcut, or key combination, press a modifier key with a character key. For example, pressing the <Command> key (having the symbol) and the <C> key at the same time (Apple's equivalent of the Windows' key combination <Ctrl> + <C>), copies whatever is currently selected (text, graphics, etc.) onto the Clipboard. This is also known as the Command-C key combination (or keyboard shortcut).

A modifier key is a part of many key combinations. A modifier key alters the way other keystrokes or mouse clicks are interpreted by Mac OS X. Modifier keys include: Command, Control, Option, Shift, Caps Lock, and the fn (Function) key; if present.

The modifier key symbols (as seen in Mac OS X menus) are as follows:

Symbol Description
<Command> Key - On some Apple keyboards, this key may have an Apple logo ().
<Control> Key - This key may have "ctrl" written on it.
<Option> (or <Alt>) Key - This key may have "alt" written on it.
<Shift> Key - This key may have "shift" written on it.
<Caps Lock> Key - This key may have an illumination on it.
fn <fn> Key - This modifies the Function <F1> to F12> keys.

Using one or more of the above modifier keys, in combination with other keyboard keys, the following link opens four tables that illustrate how to produced certain symbols for each of the main keys, row-by-row on the keyboard, starting with row the containing the numbered keys (not the row containing the Function (F) keys).
Character Shortcuts

In order to produce effects or actions within various applications (including Microsoft's Word for Mac and Excel for Mac), click the following link. Be aware that some applications may not support all of the application key combinations.
Application Key Combinations

Several non-English languages contain specific accented characters. The following link lists a few types of character that mighe be required, and the key combinations to be used to produce the required character.
Accented Character Combinations

The following link opens to show the keys or key combinations that need to be pressed during system startup (either before or after the start-up tone sounds) in order to produce the required result.
System Startup Key Combinations

These Startup Shortcuts were created at the time of OSX Lion. They may be appropriate for macOS Big Sur, but I do not know as I have not needed to use them. That aside, the information has been taken from Mac startup key combinations and About macOS Recovery on Intel-based Mac computers. See also Mac keyboard shortcuts.

OSX Tips

This part of the page cover aspects of OSX that may be everyday activities that are done on a Windows computer (and how they are executed under OSX), plus additional Apple-/OSX-specific activities.

Mac users can gain a wealth of information about their system with tools provided with their operating system. Clicking the Apple icon in the upper left-hand corner of the screen and then choosing “About This Mac” allows you to investigate many details concerning the hardware and software components that comprise your system. Utilities such as Activity Monitor, Terminal, and System Information also give you insight into the workings and performance of your machine.

Screen Capturing

Force-Quit Applications

System File Check

Displaying the Source Code (in Safari) of a web page

Importing PST Files into Outlook for Mac

Placing an icon onto the Dock

Enabling 'Right-Click' on a Mac Laptop Trackpad

Selecting an iPhoto Library

Adding a Refresh icon to Finder

Displaying Geolocation Data to Images

Remove Password when Deleting Files

Printing Only Odd/Even Pages

Boot Camp

It is possible to have Microsoft Windows installed on an Intel-based Mac. This is achieved by firstly installing a product named Boot Camp. Its drivers are available from the Mac OS installation disc. Installation instructions are available from Install Windows 10 on your Mac with Boot Camp Assistant.

Boot Camp Drivers

Switching from OS X to Boot Camp Windows

Switching from Boot Camp Windows to OS X

Using Boot Camp

Creating a 'container' file of a Windows Boot Camp Partition

Restoring a Windows Boot Camp Backup Image


Universal Access - VoiceOver Keyboard Commands

Universal Access - Mouse Key Commands

Note: A number of these keyboard commands/shortcuts can be seen in some of the following Related Links.


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