More and more people are taking the plunge and switching from their humble, trusty PCs to Apple’s Mac range. Whether it’s a laptop MacBook or a desktop iMac, Apple’s range of computers have an unbeatably sleek design and they are practical for a wide range of applications and uses. However, despite their similar interfaces, switching from Windows to Apple’s operating system is not quite as easy as it seems. We’re all creatures of habit, and even the slightest changes to how we use a computer can cause keyboard frustration. Thankfully, these handy tips are at hand to make sure you make the most of your shiny new Apple technology.

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The Command Key

The most confusing feature of iMacs and the MacBook is the Command [⌘] key. Many new users confuse the Command key as being similar to the Windows key found on most keyboards, but the Command key is actually a keyboard modifier. The Command key is used for most keyboard shortcuts, and any users coming from a Windows background must remember to use it for shortcuts instead of the Space or Shift keys.

Customise Your Dock

Perhaps the most notable difference of the Apple operating system is the dock. The dock sits at the bottom of the screen and it features icons for applications and programs which are currently installed on the machine. The dock is the easiest way to launch applications and switch between them, so make full use of the easy to use interface. You can add, rearrange and delete any apps from the dock without permanently deleting them from the system and also move the dock to other parts of the screen. If you find the dock is too obtrusive or gets in the way, you can always auto-hide it so it only appears when you hover over that part of the screen.

Use the Search Feature

Although it’s easy to find your files, folders and applications thanks to the Finder feature, Apple’s Spotlight is a much faster way to find whatever you are looking for on your machine. As soon as you start typing a search into Spotlight, results will instantly appear matching your keywords. As well as searching for applications, system preferences, files and folders, Spotlight can also search through documents and PDF files for your search terms.

Security and the Internet

One of the biggest benefits of using a Mac computer is that the operating system is much more secure than Windows. The vast majority of trojans, spyware, viruses and other malicious programs are written for Windows, so they can’t infect Mac machines. Mac has antivirus and firewall software built-in so you don’t need to worry about downloading and installing these applications when you first connect your machine to your fibre optic broadband connection. However, if you do need to block any specific incoming connections or you need to resolve a conflict with any applications accessing the Internet, you can simply change your firewall settings in the ‘Security & Privacy’ pane in ‘System Preferences’.