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Navigating with a PC Keyboard and Mouse

One of the pleasant surprises for me when I first set up the Mini was that it recognized my PC keyboard and mouse (two-button with roller wheel). The biggest thing you have to get used to is the different use of the Ctrl and Apple keys (the Windows key on my keyboard). I frequently use the Ctrl+C/Ctrl+V key combination to copy and paste text between windows. On the Mac, the same function uses the Apple+C/Apple+V key combination.

OS X also makes much more use of the function keys than does Windows. My favorite key is F12, which brings Dashboard to the forefront. This function has no equivalent on the Windows side because there is no Dashboard. There are some similar third-party products, but that's beyond the scope of this article.

One of the keyboard combinations I frequently use on the PC is Alt+Tab, to switch between applications. I frequently have Microsoft Outlook, Word, Firefox, and Internet Explorer open at the same time. If I'm typing an email and I need to refer to something on a web page, I just hit Alt+Tab to switch over to the other task.

On the Mini, you have the equivalent function with the Apple-Tab key combination or the choice of using the Exposé feature. Exposé uses several different methods to let you select what task you want to access. Pressing the F9 key tiles all active applications and allows you to select the one you want with a single mouse click. The F10 key tiles all open windows for the current application, and F11 clears everything off the desktop so you can see what's underneath. OS X also supports gestures, meaning you can assign a specific mouse movement to correspond to an Exposé function.

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