Mac keyboard shortcuts if working on a pc

New Here ,
Feb 09, 2021 Feb 09, 2021

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I have worked solely on a Mac for over 30 years and know my keyboard shortcuts for Indesign, Photoshop, etc. like second nature. I am being asked to move to a pc. I know the keys are switched on a pc and once before found it very frustrating.

Is it possible to use a Mac keyboard on a pc so I can use the key placement I'm used to?

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 10, 2021 Feb 10, 2021

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I don't think so - Alt key is in a different location - and the CMD key is not on a PC laptop/desktop.

 

It won't take long to switch over - trust me. I've been there. I worked on Macs for over 10 years then went to a Windows environment. It took a bit of time to switch over the old keyboard habits and automatic hitting of certainly command keys.

 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 10, 2021 Feb 10, 2021

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Hi @jouelrie ,

 

I'm afraid not.

 

You can use a Mac keyboard on a PC, but... read this

 

https://www.macworld.co.uk/how-to/mac-keyboard-windows-pc-3693542/

 

To @Eugene Tyson 's point, you better off learning how PCs do their thing.

 

Good luck

mj

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 10, 2021 Feb 10, 2021

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Good morning @jouelrie ,

 

It's a pleasure.

 

Once you get past the keys that @jane-e kindly listed for you, you're ready to go.

 

My advice is embrace the PC for what it is and you'll be fine. The upside is you'll be good with both operating systems.

 

Good luck on your journey

mj

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New Here ,
Feb 10, 2021 Feb 10, 2021

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Thank you both @Eugene Tyson and @mj, really appreciate the reply. Years ago I knew there wasn't anything I could do about it (so my boss kindly got me a mac, and that was my last dealing with it). I was hoping there might be something I could do now, but thought it was likely wishful thinking.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 10, 2021 Feb 10, 2021

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Yes, you can use a Mac keyboard on a PC. My husband did this for several years until he finally decided to buy an iMac. You have a keyboard to try it with, right?

 

  • The Control key will be the Control key (equivalent of Command; not equivalent of right-click)
  • The Cmd key will be the Windows key, and will launch the Start menu
  • The Option key is the Alt key
  • If you have a numeric keypad, the Mac does not have a need to toggle to arrow keys, but Windows does. I think it's the "Clear" button, which is located on the numeric keypad in the upper left corner.

 

~ Jane

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New Here ,
Feb 10, 2021 Feb 10, 2021

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It's a new work situation. I've never used a pc. I was just trying to find a way to keep my mac/adobe short key commands while using a pc. Such as option key as it works on mac, not the switch up and location differences.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 11, 2021 Feb 11, 2021

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If we're talking about just knowing the equivalent keys for your Adobe Apps:

 

The Ctrl key matches up with the Cmd key

The Alt key matches up with the option key

The Mac control key has little to no functional equivalent

 

The reach for the key is slightly different, but Ctrl+N will open a new file with your PC the exact same way it will with Cmd+N on the Mac. Ctrl+D pulls up the Place dialog box the same way on your PC that Cmd+D always did on your Mac. You won't find this to always be the case between PC and Mac applications, but Adobe apps are the same between platforms down to the keyboard shortcuts.

 

Bonus Tip: If you really want to learn how to fly with keyboard shortcuts on the PC, explore how the Windows Alt key interacts with menu and dialog box commands. Please let me offer a quick example:

 

  1. Open InDesign on the PC. Do not open a file.
  2. Hold down the Alt key, then look in the menu bar. There will be a letter underlined for each pull-down menu command. It'll be the first letter for all the commands except Table, because Type got dibs.
  3. Keep holding down the Alt key and press the F key. This opens the File pull-down menu, just like if you clicked on the word with your mouse. Release the Alt and F keys. Note that every command in the opened File pull-down menu has a letter underlined as well.
  4. Press the R key to select the Open Recent command, and a pop-up menu appears, showing recent InDesign documents you've worked on. Type the number to the left of any of those files, and as long as you haven't moved said file since you last opened it, it will now appear on the desktop.

 

This is the secret for flying fast with Adobe apps on Windows PCs. Most any command, with the notable exception of moving your cursor around on the screen, can be accessed quickly by keyboard shortcut as well as by using the mouse. Which makes you faster using both than you'd ever be using either one alone.

 

Hope this helps,

 

Randy

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Feb 11, 2021 Feb 11, 2021

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I don't think that's issue here. The issue is that CMD key on a Mac keyboard is where the Alt key is on a Windows keyboard and the OPT key on the Mac is where the Ctrl key is on Windows. It's muscle memory thing when going back and forth.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 11, 2021 Feb 11, 2021

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@BobLevine wrote:
"It's muscle memory thing when going back and forth."

 

Good point on the muscle memory, Bob. The original question was "Is it possible to use a Mac keyboard on a pc" and the answer is a simple "yes".

 

When I teach in a classroom (pre-Covid), the computers are all Macs, with some running Windows through Bootcamp. I never know if I'll be using Windows OS or macOS, but the keyboard is always Mac. It took took a while (maybe a year?) for the muscle memory to let me switch back and forth easily, but I've been doing it for so long that it's become easy.

 

Another thing to add is that Windows has keyboard shortcuts assigned to the Windows logo key, which is the Command key on a Mac keyboard. For example, the Windows Logo Key (Command) with the plus key (+) will open the Magnifier.

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/use-magnifier-to-make-things-on-the-screen-easier-to-see...

 

~ Jane

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 15, 2021 Feb 15, 2021

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UPDATE: Sorry for the dupe answer--I only saw one response when I was typing. I assume it was a glitch.

 

To answer your question, you can use any keyboard on any computer. However, the keys won't work the way you are hoping for unless you do some extra work. Here is a good article on setting it up:

https://www.macworld.co.uk/how-to/mac-keyboard-windows-pc-3693542/

 

That said, I would just learn to use the Windows keyboard setup as Eugene suggested. I switch between the systems all the time and the biggest change is that I use my thumb to access the Command key on a Mac and my pinky to access the Control key on Windows. Also, you will find yourself hitting the Windows key instead of the Option key but soon your muscle memory will kick in (or as I like to call it, your "lizard brain").

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