Simple Tasks in Windows 11 vs macOS Sonoma

Today, we’re going to take a look at how simple tasks differ between Windows 11 and macOS Sonoma. As you’ll see in this video, the core UX philosophy behind most of what we’re going to discuss is actually very similar, despite all their differences. At the end of the day, both of these are desktop operating systems in which you get things done either by clicking on UI buttons or by using keyboard shortcuts. However, from a practical standpoint, the two user interfaces are quite different, as is the case with their respective keyboard layouts. So, it’s only natural that the steps you need to take in order to get things done are going to be a bit different themselves.

Now, while I personally may prefer one OS over the other, when it comes to a couple of simple tasks, I really feel like the question of which OS does it better for pretty much everything else really just boils down to familiarity and workflow preferences.

Regarding Windows, we’ve already discussed these things in my previous comparison between Windows and Linux Mint. However, for the sake of this new comparison, it’s worth repeating. To access a File Manager in Windows, you can either click on the File Explorer icon or use the Windows + E shortcut. Alternatively, you can bring it up by double-clicking on This PC. If you do not see this icon on your desktop, here are the steps to add it: first, open up the Settings app, navigate to Personalization, Themes, and then click on Desktop Icons. Once the dialogue box pops up, simply add a check mark next to Computer and click OK.

But File Explorer is to Windows what Finder is to macOS. To bring up the Finder, you can either click on the icon on the dock or hold down Command + N on the keyboard. This shortcut, however, works only if you’re on the desktop or if you’re already working in a Finder window. If, for example, you’re currently working in Safari, hitting Command + N will actually bring up a new Safari window. Alternatively, you can also hold down Option + Command + Spacebar to bring up a Finder search window and then just navigate to the desired location from there.

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In Windows, it’s Ctrl + C, Ctrl + V to copy and paste, and Ctrl + X, Ctrl + V to cut and paste a file or folder. Alternatively, you can also perform the commands via context menus. In macOS, the first step is always Command + C. The second step determines whether a file will get copied or removed, so Command + V will simply create a copy, while Option + Command + V will move the file, effectively cutting it from its previous location.

To delete a file or folder in Windows, you select the icon and press Delete to send it to the Recycle Bin, or you press Shift + Delete to skip the Recycle Bin and just delete it permanently. In macOS, you can press Command + Delete to send a file or folder to the bin or hold down Option + Command + Delete to delete it immediately.

Navigating through open windows in Windows is commonly accomplished through one of two methods: you can either directly select the desired window from the taskbar or use the Alt + Tab key combination for a bit more of a power user’s approach. To achieve the same result in macOS, you can choose the desired window directly from the dock or tap the Tab key while holding down Command.

In Windows, dragging a window to one of the screen corners or edges will snap it to the desired position, and then you can occupy the vacant portions with whatever else you have running. This can also be achieved by holding down the Windows key and tapping the arrow keys. Alternatively, you can also snap windows by utilizing the Snap Layouts feature, which offers a variety of presets when you hover over the Maximize button. Whichever method you use, the great thing is that Windows stores Snap Layouts on the taskbar, meaning that when you minimize a particular layout, you can always jump back to it later without having to organize everything from scratch.

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In comparison, native snapping options in macOS are far fewer. In this operating system, there’s actually only one layout at your disposal, and you can utilize it by hovering over or pressing and holding the Maximize button and then assigning one window to the left side and another to the right. I’m not aware of any keyboard shortcuts to do this quicker, but if by any chance I’m missing something, please let me know in the comments.

The following instructions apply if the Snipping Tool is on default settings and if the “Use the Print Screen key to open screen capture” option is enabled in Windows. You can save an image of the entire screen to the clipboard and documents by holding down Windows + Print Screen. Then, you can paste the image into a document or editing app using Ctrl + V. You can also press Windows + Shift + S to bring up the Snipping Tool and then select the full screen option from there. That will save a copy of the image to the clipboard and documents while also bringing up a popup for quick markup.

To take a quick screenshot of the entire screen in macOS, you hold down Shift + Command + 3, and then you can click on the thumbnail that pops up in the bottom right corner if you wish to add annotations. On the other hand, if you do nothing, the screenshot will simply be saved as a file on the desktop. This method, however, does not save an image to the clipboard. In order to do that, you just have to add Control to the previous shortcut, and then you can use Command + V to paste the image into a document or editing app.

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In Windows, you hold down Windows + Shift + S, choose the rectangular select mode, and then select the part of the screen you wish to capture. That will save an image to the clipboard and documents, but you can also click on the popup for quick annotating, exporting, and sharing options. In macOS, you can press Shift + Command + 4, and then select the part of the screen you wish to capture, just like earlier. That will save a file to the desktop and bring up a popup. But if you wish to save the image to the clipboard, just make sure to also use the Control key.

Both operating systems also have an active window select mode. To utilize it in Windows, you press Alt + Print Screen on the keyboard, which automatically adds an image to the clipboard. In macOS, you have to hold down Shift + Command + 4 + Spacebar, and then click on the active window. It’s also worth noting that Windows offers a freeform select mode, which, as far as I can tell, is not natively available in macOS.

To rename a single file or folder in Windows, you can select the icon and hit F2 on the keyboard or just right-click and select Rename. In macOS, you can select the icon and hit the Return key or again just right-click and select Rename.

Native batch renaming options in Windows are quite limited. You select the files or folders, right-click, choose Rename, type in whatever you want, and hit Enter. That renames the selected items to the name that you specified and adds numbers for differentiation. In macOS, you select the items you wish to modify, right-click, select Rename, and that’ll bring.

By CHM Tech

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Mohamed SAKHRI

I am Mohamed SAKHRI, the creator and editor-in-chief of Tech To Geek, where I've demonstrated my passion for technology through extensive blogging. My expertise spans various operating systems, including Windows, Linux, macOS, and Android, with a focus on providing practical and valuable guides. Additionally, I delve into WordPress-related subjects. You can find more about me on my Linkedin!, Twitter!, Reddit

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