Some people may not be on intimate terms with their Mac keyboard. The buttons do a lot more than simply type letters and numbers onto the screen, or move the cursor around. With certain key combinations, there are many opportunities to perform steps that would otherwise have to be accessed from a menu.
Special Keys of a Mac Keyboard
Whether it is built-in like on a laptop or arrives with a desktop, Mac always uses a traditional QWERTY keyboard layout in the United States. The function keys or F keys make the Mac perform tricks. They can make the Mac screen brighter and the sound louder. Near the bottom of the keyboard, next to the space bar, are modifier keys. When pressed, the modifier keys change the behavior of other keys that are pressed at the same time. When using one modifier key with another key, you can issue a keyboard shortcut.
On the Macbook Pro of today, the FN key is on the bottom row. On older keyboards it may not be present. When pressing the FN key and pushing one of the top keys on the board, specific operations can be achieved by default. If you press the F12 key by itself, audio volume amplifies. Press FN together with F12 on a Mac with Mountain Lion and the display shifts to the Dashboard environment.
The Versitility of a Command Key
Appearing to the right and left of the space bar is the Command key. If used frequently, it can save the user lots of time. For instance, when saving a document, instead of going to the File menu, you can just press Command+S. Or, when quitting the document, you can press Command+Q.
The Control key is mainly used to call up contextual menus. Windows users recognize these as menus that appear when you right-click. On a Mac, nothing happens with the right-click, you must hold down the Control key and right-click to get the menu commands. To get rid of it, click outside of it and do not hold down the Control key.
An Option key is to the right of the Control key. Pressing the Option key causes optional or alternative actions to happen. These common key commands are used with most all applications.
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