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Chapter 1. ✓ Start Here > Coming from Windows

Coming from Windows

If your exposure to computers has only been through the various flavors of Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X is likely to seem strange and non-intuitive at first, even backward. However, with an introduction to a few basic concepts, you should be able to find your way around the system with ease.

The first major difference between Windows and the Mac OS is that on the Mac, applications are modal. This means that whatever application you are currently using is in the foreground, and its controls effectively take over the entire area of your screen, though you can still see everything around and behind the current application window and interact with some of it. The menu bar across the top of the screen changes to reflect the controls provided by the current application. For instance, if you are using TextEdit, the menus shown at the top of the screen are TextEdit's menus. By contrast, Windows is designed so that each application fits within a single window, which can be any size up to the full size of the screen, blocking other applications from sight. Each application window in Windows contains its own set of control menus, and nothing outside the application window applies to any given application.


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