I seemed to have accidentally become a Mac fan after being given a MacBook Pro by my awesome employers. Making the transition from Linux to Mac was pretty seamless… except for the keyboard. My fingers muscle memory is going to have to be retrained quite hard to make the adjustment. Just a couple of things I want to get off my chest:

  • Why does the command for closing an application (cmd + q) have to be right next to the command to switching applications (cmd + tab). I have lost track of how many times I have closed an application rather than switching to the one behind it
  • Why do commands change when in a terminal? Go to the end of a line in the rest of OSX is (cmd + right arrow) but in the terminal it does nothing (or worse: in iTerm it switches tab!).
  • Why are there seemly two names for the same key? What the hell is ‘option’ key or the ‘^’ key? No keys on my MacBook Pro say ‘option’. It turns out ‘option’ is actually alt and the ‘^’ key means ctrl.

So here is the shortlist of commands I wish someone had told me on the first day of Mac ownership:

Hash key

alt + 3


fn + Backspace

Page up

fn + Down arrow

Page down

fn + Up arrow

Top of page

cmd + Up arrow

Bottom of page

cmd + Down arrow

Go to next word

alt + Right arrow

Task Manager

cmd + alt + esc


cmd + spacebar

Go to Home Page in Firefox

alt + fn + Left Arrow

Previous tab in Firefox

shift + cmd + [

Go back in Firefox

cmd + Left arrow

Go forward in Firefox

cmd + Right arrow