New to Macs?

For those accustomed to the Windows version of the Duxbury Braille Translator (DBT), you will find that most of the features and functions are familiar. However, there are differences in appearance, in some of the menus, and in the keyboard shortcuts.

f you are new to using an Apple Mac, you may wish to browse through this section. First it lists the Mac's special keys and their symbols. Next, it presents some of the most used and useful keyboard shortcuts.

The Mac Keyboard

Before you embark on using a Mac in anger, it is worth taking a close look at the keyboard to determine what some of the unusually marked keys do. You will see many of these in DBT's menus indicating keyboard shortcuts.

Command Key: indicated by the symbol in the keyboard shortcuts. The symbol also appears on the command key along with the keyboard text legend "command" or "cmd".

(The character is Unicode 2318 which Unicode describes as, "Place of Interest Sign".)

Option Key: indicated by , this is also known as the "Alt" key.

(The character is Unicode 2325 which Unicode describes as "Option Key".)

Shift Key: indicated by , a hollow up-arrow.

(The character is Unicode 21E7 which Unicode describes as "Upwards White Arrow".)

BackSpace Key: sometimes indicated by the symbol . The arrow in the symbol indicates the direction of the delete to be done. The BackSpace key may also be labeled "delete". When the keyboard has only one delete key it erases the character to the left of the cursor. On such keyboards, holding down the function key and pressing delete (fn + delete) erases to the right.

(The character code for BackSpace is Unicode 232B which Unicode describes as "Erase to the left".)

Keyboard Shortcuts

Select All: ⌘ + A - Select everything in your current context, for example, all the text in a document or all items in a Finder window.

Copy: ⌘ + C - Copy a selected item to the Clipboard.

Cut: ⌘ + X - Remove a selected item and copy it to the Clipboard.

Paste: ⌘ + V - Paste any copied content from the Clipboard.

Undo: ⌘ + Z - Undo a previous action.

Redo: ⌘ + Shift + X - Redo a previous action.

Open: ⌘ + O - Select an item and press these keys to open it.

Close: ⌘ + W - Select an item and press these keys to close it.

Quit: ⌘ + Q - Quit the application.

Force Quit: ⌘ + ⌥ + Esc - Open the Force Quit Applications dialog box. Choose an application to force quit. Or, hold ⌘ + Shift + ⌥ + Esc for three seconds to force the application you are using to quit.

New: ⌘ + N - Open a new window or document.

Print: ⌘ + P - Print the current file.

Find: ⌘ + F - Open a "find" window or find items in a document.

Find Again: ⌘ + G - Find the next occurrence of an item previously found.

Find Previous: ⌘ +Shift + G - Find the previous occurrence of an item.

Hide: ⌘ + H - Hide the windows of the front application.

Hide all windows but front: ⌘ + ⌥ +H - View the front application but hide all other applications.

Minimise (Front window): ⌘ + M - Shrink the front window down to an icon and add it to the dock.

Minimise (All current application windows): ⌘ + ⌥ + M - Minimise all the open windows of the current application.

Spotlight: ⌘ + Spacebar - Show or hide the spotlight search bar.

Open Preference: ⌘ + , (comma) - Opens the preferences for the application you are currently using.

Switch Applications: ⌘ + Tab - Scroll though all of the different applications open on your Mac.

Move to Trash: ⌘ + Delete - Select an item and press this key combination to move it to the Trash.

Empty Trash: ⌘ +Shift +Delete - Delete all items held in the Trash folder.

Restart: ⌘ + ctrl + power button - Force your Mac to restart.

Sleep: ⌘ + ⌥ + power button - Put your Mac to sleep.