loading...
Cover image for 5 things I miss after switching from Windows laptop to MacBookPro.

5 things I miss after switching from Windows laptop to MacBookPro.

oleksandr profile image Oleksandr Originally published at Medium on ・4 min read

How I tried to substitute missed functionality.

A while ago I was employed and what was new for me — I got MacBookPro as a work laptop. It was a new experience for me (since the last 20 years I've been using only Windows 95/../10).

Whilst overall I am quite satisfied with the Mac experience, but I have a few small things that I still miss on Mac that was possible on Windows.

Feel free to advise your favorite Mac apps that may cover these gaps — I would appreciate it.

So let's go 😎

When you ask the community how to do that on Mac :-D

#1. I cannot stretch the application window on two screens.

I often work with Chrome Dev Tools. And on Windows computer I placed DelTools panel to the right and stretched window so panel appeared on another monitor.

One window stretched to two screens

Unfortunately, I didn't find the way to do this on Mac. The only solution is to open Chrome Dev Tools as a separate window and then move DevTools window to another monitor screen. But it is not the same experience.

Chrome Dev Tools as separate window

#2. There is no shortcut ‘Minimize all windows’ 😢

There are often many open apps on my screen. Some sometimes I just want to minimize them all and open the one I need. But there is no 'Minimize all windows (Show Desktop)' button like on Windows 7 taskbar. I miss it a lot.

I did find such a button in Windows 10 but:

"In Windows versions prior to Windows 7, there was a button which minimized all opened Windows and showed the desktop. In Windows 10, there is no such button. Instead, to minimize all open windows and show the Desktop, you need to move the mouse pointer to the right edge of the taskbar (or the bottom edge if your taskbar is vertical) and click a tiny invisible button."

Add the Show Desktop button next to Start in Windows 10

I didn't find such a shortcut in macOS. But to archive a bit similar experience you can use:

1.Use Mission Control button to see all open windows and switch between them

Mission Control button

How apps look after pressing Mission Control

2.Show Mac Desktop with Command + F3

But it doesn't work the same way as in Windows. Yes, you see the Desktop but once you press any app on a Dec — all the apps windows will return to its screen positions. While in Windows they become minimized and you can maximize the app you want to work with.

#3. Dock only visible on one screen at the moment

In Windows, you see the taskbar on each screen while in MacOS you have to choose on which screen you have it. Maybe for someone, it is a benefit but for me, it is not convenient to make it appear each time I need to maximize other apps.

You should choose the screen for Dec to be shown

You can adjust taskbar multi-display appearance

#4. No 'Delete' button on a keyboard

Actually there is but it works as BackSpace on PC (deleting character before the cursor).

You can achieve this behavior by pressing fn+Delete button but not the same experience.

#5. PuntoSwitcher (keyboard layout input language correction) works for 2 languages only

I am a native speaker for Ukrainian and Russian language (what is quite usual in Ukraine). And also uses the English language quite often too. Sometimes if you forget to switch languages — you get some abracadabra (Jabberwocky) text.

Not to erase it and then input again I used to use PuntoSwitcher. It works quite good and by hotkey press changes language layout for last edited work so you don't have to re-type it again:

Press Shortkey (Option for Mac, Break for Windows) and Punto will change keyboard layout for the last word entered

If you have 3 languages — then in windows just press twice to convert to a language you need. But not on Mac — you cannot convert to language 1, then 2 and then 3 — just 1 and 2. And you should choose in options (in Punto for Mac) which two languages you will be able to switch between 😭.

Conclusion

Well. All these imperfections are not a disaster for me. And after being fired from my last job I still continue using MacBookPro (I was allowed to buy my work laptop for a good price). But these are things I definitely would like to have:-) Do you have such staff you miss too? Share in comments!

BTW usually I write articles on Angular and RxJS! So if you are interested -let’s keep in touch on Twitter .

Cheers!

Posted on Apr 11 by:

oleksandr profile

Oleksandr

@oleksandr

Senior Front-End dev in itecgurus.com, 'Hands-on RxJS' video-course author — https://bit.ly/2AzDgQC, codementor.io JS, Angular and RxJS mentor. Angular-in-Depth blog writer .

Discussion

markdown guide
 

2 you could use Alt+Cmd+H maybe it's configured like this only on my machine but it's work just perfectly, you hide all windows and leave the active one

5 yes you couldn't change the language while typing, but you could use this config

System preferences -> Keyboard -> Input Sources -> Automatically switch to a document's input source

 
 

I think there is a shortcut to switch input languages. I think it is alt/option + Tab but it may be turned off by default

 

Most of your window manipulation woes can be remedied by a tool like Hammerspoon. While it has a bit of a learning curve, it is extremely powerful once you dig in. You can find some examples of window management in the sample configurations

 

For #3, the dock problem, I recommend uBar (brawersoftware.com/products/ubar). Provides a very similar experience to Windows taskbar on Mac. For me the killer feature is to show each instance of, eg. Chrome, as a separate item on the taskbar, so I can easily switch between them rather than having all of them collapsed under a single dock icon.

 

1 I don't have any problems stretching the Chrome window to multiple monitors. But since my monitors are different resolutions and sizes, I have to be careful the window is not larger (taller) than the 2nd monitor, else dragging the side border stops at the monitor edge; shrink the window size, then it will stretch to 2nd monitor.

 

1 has been a problem for OSX for a long time. There are a lot of glitches in Mac multi-monitor systems, like:

  • If you have Preview open and drag the window from one monitor to the other, it re-initialises Preview, which means it re-loads the file from disk and re-renders it. This makes no sense, no other app does it.
  • If you set the monitors to behave independetly, you can switch workspaces on either but not drag windows correctly or let them overlap.
  • if you set the monitors to behave together, you can't make an app full screen without turning the other one blank. You know, stuff other OS sorted out a decade or two ago.

2 is solvable to an extent with a combination of workspaces and Spectacle. Spectacle lets you resize, snap and move windows with keyboard shortcuts and is a really useful tool. Workspaces on the other hand... if you set a shortcut to go to a different workspace and that one has no windows open, it's effectively showing your desktop.

3 is an option in the latest versions of MacOS I believe. It works on my MBP now anyway :)

4 is achievable by either using a real ISO keyboard plugged into your mac or a tool like Karabiner to map a different key. I say like karabiner because I'm not certain it works with the latest MacOS, but there are probably tools to achieve it.

Hope any of this helps. I've been using MacOS for donkey's years now and the thing that sets it apart isn't that it's better or worse than anyone else's UI (ok, I lie, it's worse than everyone else's UI) but that it's harder to force it to behave in the way you want as a user.

 

3 is an option in the latest versions of MacOS

Cool! I should check it

 

I'd like to read another article about what new things you did enjoy about macOS that don't exist in Windows.

 

I should think about it, hm..
Possibly linux-like terminal (but windows has gitbash)
ScreenSlide with three fingers
MacFanSpeed control app (I dony know if windows laptops has such app)
Possibility to install/run MidnightCommander :)
Notes app is quite good
Nice MacBookPro design with metal case

I think such article may appear if I switch back to windows in 10 years and notify the diff :-D

 

You cannot really compare gitbash with any cmd tool on macOS. Gitbash also has limitations and let's not talk about powershell... Try iTerm2 on mac together with the zsh prezto plugin and powerlevel10k theme. IMO best terminal experience ever.

Possibly yes for experienced user, but for me gitbash was quite good. PowerShell has another purpose I guess - more for admin specific tasks.
I am Linux admin in the past so for me macOs term is nice old good days memories)

 

The only thing I miss is Windows + D and select only external displays without closing my laptop

 

My dock is available on every screen(but not at the same time). But maybe that’s because I keep it hidden and it only appears when I mouse over the bottom of a screen.

 

Yeah, this is what I do too. But sometimes I'd prefer having Dock on all screens at once

 
 

the annoying thing about #1 is that it used to work and then it didn't and then it did. I think this happened when Apple introduced "Spaces"

 

Yeah, got advice to turn off spaces to make it work should try