Basic stuff you need to know about a Mac

How to power on a Mac?
Somewhere on you Mac there's a round button with a stripe and a circle on it.
This is the power button.

Username and Password
The very first time your new Mac boots, it will ask you to choose an Username and Password.
Do choose these well, especially your Username.
You'll see this name all the time you'll be using your Mac.
Make up a password that is at least 6 characters long, with numbers in it. Write it down somewhere safe (!!!)

The Desktop
After boot sequence, the Mac shows you the Desktop. On top there's the transparant Menu Bar:

At the upper left corner there's the Apple logo, home of the Apple Menu.
At the upper right you'll find a little magnifying glass. It represents Spotlight, the local search engine of MacOS.
At the bottom of your desktop there's a row of icons. This is called The Dock.

How to turn off a Mac?

You'll find Shut Down in the Menu down the Apple logo, in the so-called 'Apple Menu'.
Move the cursor on the Apple, click and move your cursor down. Select 'Shut Down...' and the Mac will close all applications and turn itself off.

You can also find Restart... and Sleep* in the Apple Menu.

*Sleep means that the computer is powered on, but using as little energy as possible.
Sleep occurs after a while when you leave your Mac alone for some time. To awake a sleeping Mac? Touch its keyboard or click it's mouse.

The Mac and it's keyboard

Windows users may notice that an Apple keyboard is slightly different compared to a Windows keyboard:

- A Windows keyboard (the black one) uses Control (Ctrl), Windows, Option (Alt).
- The white Apple keyboard: Control (Ctrl), Alt (Option) and Command keys.

Delete key on MacBooks
The Mac doesn't have a Forward Delete key as Windows has. You can use Fn + Delete.

NOTE: Fn is the key at the lower left of your keyboard.

Eject removable disks
USB sticks, external hard drives and all other removable discs can be removed by dragging the disk into the Trash. The trash' icon will automatically change into an 'eject' symbol:

Just drag and drop a disk into the Trash and it will eject

Don't pull out a USB stick or hard drive without ejecting it first!
Otherwise you can damage the file system on the drive. This is not Mac-only, this rule is also for Windows!

Ejecting discs
Mac-keyboards also have a special eject-key on the upper right:

The Mac's keyboard: using special characters
Alt + e = accent aigu é
Alt + u = Umlaut ü
Alt + ` = accent grave è
Alt + i = accent circonflexe î
Alt + 2 = Euro €

How does this work?
To get an accent aigu (é), type the key combination (shortcut) Alt + e. Nothing will happen after doing that. The accent aigu will only appear at the character you type after that shortcut. It will appear on this character only in case it's allowed for that character to have that accent. This is how it goes with all kinds of special characters.

Another way
Just press the key of the character a bit longer than you normally would. A little pop-up appears. Use your mouse to choose the proper accent. You may recognize this from the iPhone/iPad.


What operating system is my Mac using?
Watch this little movie to find out how.
The latest operating system is MacOS Catalina. Or version 10.15.

Note: The biggest differences between Mac operating systems are mainly 'under the hood'. User experience and visual quality don't change that much.

Disclaimer: MacMiep is independent. This means she writes what she wants, based on 25+ years of Mac-experience. She doesn't get paid for stories (positive or negative) on this website.