MacOS for the Windows user

I’m making this topic for the many long-time PC users here that are finding themselves wandering the sometimes offbeat paths of the walled garden (you’re using it wrong!).

Hopefully we can pool our knowledge the tips and tricks to make the transition easier, or at least complain/wallow together about “Apple’s way”…starting of course, with @dstrauss’ tribulations maining MacOS for work.


Still up in the air, but the headache of always carrying two devices (MBP + iPP) vs just the SP8 is wearing on me - mentally, not physically.Just a headache juggling OneNote and my work files…maybe I’m just getting lazy…


What a mood.


I have finally realized (admitting) that I can’t handle change when the going gets tough. The MBP14 and iPP11 are beautiful fun devices until it becomes crunch time, then I can’t find and edit my “stuff” that I have to have, and this past week brought that into crystal clear focus. For some reason my mac just wouldn’t search my files. I could see my files and folders in Finder, but when I even searched for document i had worked on a few days before the search window was blank. Finally found someone who knew of the problem (Finder uses Spotlight, which was corrupt) and I had to “unindex” then “reindex” my entire drive and voila, there were my files in a search again.

Same goes for those times when I forget “how do I do that in Mac-ese” and I panic and forget that it is CMD+ instead of Ctrl+ again.

Old man syndrome I’m afraid, and I still gotta make a livin’. I think what I need right now is a crescent wrench (SP8) and NOT a toolbox packed to the gills with 1/4"-1" sockets, nut drivers, and extensions…

So despite (1) my love for the pretty screens, performance, and interconnection of the Apple walled garden, and (2) my disdain for the current M$ administration and narrow focus on chasing today’s dollar…

It’s back to my trusty crescent wrench as I bench the iPP11 to home duty only and struggle forward with just the SP8 and 15PM…maybe Timmy will spring for a crescent wrench this Spring…


More like split personalities…the Sybil of the tech world…

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I’ve been asked to explain the “no search results” issue. I am a one man shop with no staff or support person. Railroad crossing permits can be a real problem for a transportation pipeline, and among my hundreds of thousands of files I need to find the different ways I’ve handled these in various contracts, asset sale agreements, and archived research articles, so the need to search for “railroad crossing boring permit” is critical and has to be dead reliable…

Hope that explains the angst and panic - and every time anything like this happens (like last time I melted down it was getting solid marked up comparisons of contract drafts - not Apple’s fault but a nuanced difference between Office on Windows and Mac) I pick flight over fight…

So the iPad Pro will go to the bench (leaving it home for “iPaddy things” there) and it will just be the SP8 and my iPhone for now.

This does NOT mean I won’t be my old cranky ranting opinionated self on tech issues of the day.

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I certainly hope you continue to be you. Your adventures in tech make for great reading.

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But somehow I feel like “boring” would be better for both my blood pressure and heart health…

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No clue what that refers to heh. Sorry.

But the frustration of the different workflows and ecosystems is definitely relatable. More than I’d like to admit.

120/70 :wink:


“Sybil” was a character played by Sally Field who had multiple personality disorder(±9)

The real key is @Bronsky’s reply - striving for 120/70!

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This is a lot of the reason I ended up with an SP9 and a gaming laptop. For work trips I can just take the SP9 and go. It’s very convenient to only have to take 1 device. I had to give up on the glitz and glam of Apple, but it does work very functionally well for me.

So I currently use: iPhone 15 Plus 128GB, Surface Pro 9 i5 8GB/512GB, Acer Predator Helios Neo 16" with -7-13700HX/ RTX 4060. It isn’t perfect, but I don’t have to manage both Windows and Mac.


In the spirit of the post, I used Alfred to create shortcuts that matched windows to mac. So I would take CTRL+V and Alfred would forward that to the system as CMD+V and so on.

I have always found OS built-in search to be very unreliable—Windows and Mac. I always use an indexer that scans and stores an independent cache per drive.

On Windows, Everything is the bees knees, lightning fast search results and very configurable to index exactly where you want: local and network.

On Mac, it took me a while to find a substitute, but I think I got it: ProFind. I highly recommend it, as it is lightweight and indexes very quickly and configurably.

The developer is generous enough to make all the core functionality completely free, even network indexing. (And no obnoxious nag screens for the paid advanced search filter.) A+.

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Appreciate you making the new topic.

I will definitely be checking this out. The file system on Mac is by far my least favorite thing about it.

I honestly use my Mac as a Mac very rarely, but when I do, (and probably because it’s rare) just finding my files I want is always a pain.

This past week we were dog/house sitting and I would go back home to work from my home office, while my wife and kids stayed with the dogs at their house. I had some early morning meetings, and sometimes had work carry over late, so I tried out the VM client app on my 12.9 IPP so I wouldn’t have to keep undocking my MBP. It worked surprisingly well as a stop gap for quick things. The aspect ratio was wonky with how my VM client handles it, but it was definitely passable for smaller tasks. I wouldn’t want to use it 8 hours a day, but I do think it’ll make future travel a lot lighter, as I’m used to taking both and having the MBP there “just in case”. I might even put it on my 11" IPP and use that on the go with the VM client.


I tried this with a gaming desktop and an iPad Pro 12.9" back in the day, and it was okay but I found it to be annoying over time. It’s just weird to use in a meaningful way over time. The change in aspect ratio certainly doesn’t help, but yes, this is a big advantage for my SP9. I can literally plug in a smart card reader and use it to remote into work (Azure Virtual Desktop) and then play Teamfight Tactics at night. I can write my novel in the morning, and everything is just in one light device.

That’s what I was hoping the MacPad could be! To be honest, it wouldn’t have mattered for work though as ARM Macs can’t use my smart card–even in ARM windows on a mac (parallels).

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Big things:

  • enjoy having a Miller column filebrowser
  • enjoy having as many persistent items in the Sidebar as you wish
  • enjoy drag-drop into file dialog boxes which doesn’t perform file move/copy
  • enjoy emacs keyboard text editing shortcuts
  • learn AppleScript
  • figure out which Services the apps you are using are helpful to how you work
  • find and install Services which meet your needs such as: DEVONtechnologies | How to Use WordService
  • enjoy working with PDFs w/o needing Adobe Acrobat — make use of
  • learn the difference betwixt Carbon and Cocoa apps, and where possible, enjoy Cocoa
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I like MacOS a lot more since I found that Cmd-Space brings up search, allowing you to basically use it as a ‘start menu’. I also like that holding down the Cmd key for a few seconds shows available shortcut keys, at least on my iPad. Pretty handy when learning.


There is a PowerToy that does this for Windows as well. Also a PowerToy that takes Windows Snapping to a whole new level. Run and FancyZones, respectively.


I know I’ve mentioned this site before, but if anyone here is trying to make the Indiana Jones leap of faith between Windows and Mac, be sure to check out Gary’s site. I’ve been using DOS/Windows since 1983/84, and I have NEVER seen such a comprehensive and easy to understand “help” site on the dark side (yes, I just called WIndows the dark side) like MacMost for Mac users. If you have a problem with MacOS (and often iOS/iPadOS) there’s a 90+% chance that Gary has a video on his site that can help. I quickly became a monthly Patreon supporter because of the helpfulness of Gary’s training videos.

:+1: :+1:

Above all else he reinforced the best advice I’ve ever gotten here on this subject - try NOT to make your Mac a Windows-like experience. In fact, the only place I break that rule (it’s Gary’s rule as well) are with Magnet for Windows-like window placement and Alt-Tab to give you true app switching between every open windo of all apps (otherwise the “Mac-way” only cycles you through the open apps, not all their windows - this way I can choose among my 14 Word windows I have open, hahaha).