Apple keyboard: Option key on the Mac and other features of the apple keyboard

For most people, Apple computers are something from the realm of fantasy, something strange, incomprehensible and very uncomfortable. In part, these observations are true, because apple laptops and desktop machines are very different from the familiar Windows-computers. The newly-created Mac user already at the initial stage falls into a stupor, colliding with the fact that the keyboard does not work the way it used to.

It is not known whether such drastic changes are caused by Steven Jobs' hatred of Microsoft products, or in the apple corporation, about their anatomy of hands, but the familiar hot keys on their computers look and work somewhat differently. In this material, the reader will find answers to basic questions, such as: "Why does not the layout change work?"; "What does the Option key on the Mac look like?" And so on. The solution to these and other problems is very close, you only need to devote some time to tuning.

Keyboard shortcuts (modifier keys)

Keyboard shortcuts in Apple computers differ little from those in Windows, except for changing the layout. This means that all the usual combinations, such as "copy", "paste", "undo" in place, only the modifier key has changed, instead of Control, Command is used. Command + C, Command + V and so on (which is logical, because it is Command and to execute commands).

Often, modifier keys are denoted by special characters:





It executes the function of the Win key, it is used as the basis of the modifier.


Performs a function similar to the one in Windows.


Calls up alternative options.



Used in complex combinations.

Caps Lock

It can be used as a modifier after installing the Karabiner Elements, and commands can be assigned manually, regardless of system limitations.

Option key on the Mac: where is it and how to apply it?

Some advanced Mac users call this key magic, because almost every function with its application opens new horizons in using the computer. First, find out where the Option key on the Mac is. On modern laptops and keyboards from the Apple Option is located next to the Command buttons, and written on it, attention, Alt. The same Alt, familiar to everyone who has ever sat down in a modern keyboard. What features does this button give?

Access to additional information in the toolbar:

  • Holding Option and hovering over the apple icon, you can access more complete information about the system.
  • On laptops you can get information about the state of the battery.
  • If you open the sound settings by holding down Option, you can select the playback source.

Quick access to settings and alternative options:

  • If you hold Option while pressing the function keys , the system will automatically open the settings related to the specific function key.
  • In all applications, alternative shortcuts are offered, one way or another related to the Option key, it is enough to hold it while viewing the function in the toolbar.
  • When using the Time Machine backup tool, the Option key allows you to identify all the disks on which at least one copy is stored.

Also, the Option button allows you to enter alternative characters, identical to Windows (this applies to those who still put a hyphen instead of a dash).

Keyboard layout

With the fact that the key assignments in the Mac are different from those in Windows, figured out. Now we need to understand how the layout differs and how to fix it. Yes, it is correct, because by default the Mac uses the keyboard layout familiar to those who used a typewriter - the Russian typewriter. The technical structure of the typewriter forced designers to put punctuation marks in the upper row of keys so that they do not touch each other, on the computer, such an approach only slows down the speed of typing, so you must immediately change the layout. This is done simply:

  • Go to the "System Settings".
  • Sub-item "Keyboard".
  • Submenu "Input Sources".
  • Then you need to add a new layout - Russian PC, and delete the old one.

Now all the keys have returned to their places, and although the engraving on the keyboard does not coincide with the real purpose of the buttons, anyone familiar with the blind text input method will be happy after changing the layout. Also after this, the letter Ё will return to its place, which many people use to this day in the press.

Switching the layout

The most stale habit of all Windows users is the combination of Shift + Alt keys - a big problem for beginners in the world of apples. There are two options for solving the problem: either to get used to the new Command + space combination (which is anatomically much more convenient), or to install Punto Switcher from Yandex, which allows using both modifiers at the same time to change the keyboard layout, and also carries a lot of other functions (for example, automatic Change the language without using a key combination at all).

Instead of concluding

As can be seen from the above material, the transition to the Apple universe is not only a pleasure, but also a number of difficulties associated with certain habits that we acquire in the course of using the computer. To put up with them and set up a computer or refuse and return to Microsoft is up to the customer, but the difficulties always have to be rewarded, and in the case of the Mac, it's really worth it. Especially, the habit of sorting, you can understand that the keyboard shortcuts are more logical and convenient than in Windows, and the Option key on the Mac is really magical and the proverbial Alt is not equal to it.

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