Parallel Desktops

Mac: Have you tried using the Option key?


I’m not sure that everyone reads the comments in this blog but for those that don’t sgt-phail mentioned something that I think is worth putting a quick post in about: using the Option key while performing actions with menus. It opens up a lot of different options for the same menu items in most of the native OS X apps. Try it in Finder, Safari, etc.

What I like is that it’s very dynamic. I can pull down (or pop up) a menu and while it’s displayed hit the Option key and the menu immediately changes. I don’t have to be holding down Option initially to see the variations.
One of the reasons I really like the OS X UI is that it does a wonderful job of providing features in a progressive disclosure model that works for me. While I was just starting out on my Mac nearly everything I needed was right there. Once I needed to do something off the beaten path I just had to dig a little bit and the next layer of options became available to me.
I realize that this kind of capability has been on Mac for decades but for the great majority of people that have just adopted Mac as their new platform it’s pretty cool stuff.

By David Alison

I bought my first Mac almost 24 years ago when DOS ruled the world. I didn't keep it too long though. I was just kicking off my career as a software engineer and needed to go with PCs. I bought my 2nd Mac in February of 2008. I didn't expect that I would find myself using the machine as much as I have. It's not that I hate Windows (well, I pretty much hate Vista but XP is a fine OS), it's just that I find myself constantly playing with this machine.

I'll share with you here my experiences of making the move from Windows to Macintosh. I still have a foot in both worlds, hence the name of my section.