New Macbooks at the Library

In case you haven’t noticed, some of our meeting rooms here at the library have been supplied with brand new Macbooks. For people who have Macs at home and are familiar with most Apple products, this may be exciting news.  But if you haven’t used Macs before and have been a PC user for as long as you can remember, adapting to Macs can be extremely frustrating.  After discussing some of the common confusions about using Macs with some of my colleagues, I was inspired to write a guide and a few tips to help those who are foreign to Mac usage.

The first thing one notices about the trackpad on a Mac is that it only has one button, as opposed to a right and a left button, which other computer brands use. To right-click, press the CTRL button while also clicking the trackpad button. If you are trying to copy/paste text, you have to press down the trackpad button while you use your finger to scroll over the text you want (copied text will become highlighted in blue). Then ctrl-click to view the copy/paste menu.

To search for documents, applications, and other items on the computer, you go to ‘Finder’, as you would go to ‘File’ on a Windows computer. There everything is categorized alphabetically by what kind of programs and documents are available or saved on the computer. To move items to different folders, simply drag (click and hold trackpad) the icon for that item into a different folder. A shortcut for this is ‘Command + Spacebar’.

Command vs Control Keys

The command key is to be used with additional keys in order to perform various tasks and shortcuts. You will notice that if you close a window or program, it doesn’t disappear, and the program will still be running. To officially close a window or program, you have to press ‘Command+Q’.  Here are some more shortcuts:

Command + C= Copy (you have to highlight or select what you need copied)
Command + V= Paste
Command + T= Opens a new browser window

Here is an extensive, more elaborate list of Control/Command shortcuts:

Using Macs in the Meeting Rooms

Introducing Macbooks to the library’s meeting rooms can enhance the efficiency and communication for attendants and their hosts. Several programs and software that come with Macbooks allow one to audio or video record their meeting, video chat, take photos, and other applications.

Each laptop has a built in camera on the top of the monitor. You can use Photobooth and iMovie to photograph or film your event. If you need to include someone in your meeting who lives  far away or couldn’t attend, you can video chat with them over the internet using the built in camera. Another useful tool is Garageband, with which you can make an mp3 recording of your meeting or lesson.

To set up the projector with the laptops in our meeting rooms, click the Apple logo in the upper left corner, then System PreferencesDisplay, and then Mirror Display.

I hope all of this information was helpful. Never hesitate to ask the librarians to help you set up equipment.