It might seem strange, but the likely cause of your "Control" key seemingly not working on a Mac is that it is actually acting as "Control," rather than a "Command" key. By default, the "Command" key is either mapped to the "Control" or "Windows" keys on a Microsoft keyboard.
As such, you should be able to trigger keyboard shortcuts by substituting the "Windows" key for the "Control" key. You can reinstate your "Control" key as the primary source of keyboard shortcuts using the Modifier Keys menu. To access this menu, click the Apple logo on the toolbar and open "System Preferences.
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In addition to the altered role of the "Command" key, Apple refers to some standard keys by different names. This could cause confusion for users who are not familiar with Apple's terminology.
What is a Command Key?
However, it is still fundamentally the same key, with identical locations and functions on both Windows and OS X systems. Andy Walton has been a technology writer since , specializing in networking and mobile communications. He was previously an IT technician and product manager. The Apple symbol was removed in the keyboard's redesign, making room for the key's name to appear—the word "command" is now printed on the key. The menus were not marked with a symbol denoting the command key. Besides being used as a modifier key for keyboard shortcuts it was also used to alter the function of some keys.
The functions were printed in green on the front side of the modified keys. The purpose of the Command key is to allow the user to enter keyboard commands in applications and in the system.
Using Your Old PC’s Keyboard and Mouse with a Mac
The Macintosh Human Interface Guidelines have always recommended that developers use the Command key and not the Control or Option keys for this purpose. A small set of keyboard commands such as cut and paste, open and save are standard across nearly all applications, and many other commands are standardized Find, Show Fonts.
One advantage of this scheme, as contrasted with the Microsoft Windows mixed use of the Control and Alt keys, is that the Control key is available for its original purpose: Indeed, the very first Macintosh lacked a Control key; it was soon added to allow compatible terminal software. The Macintosh keyboard's other unusual modifier key, the Option key , serves as a modifier both for entering keyboard shortcuts and for typing text—it is used to enter foreign characters, typographical symbols, and other special characters. The development team originally went for their old Apple key, but Steve Jobs found it frustrating when "apples" filled up the Mac's menus next to the key commands, because he felt that this was an over-use of the company logo.
With only a few days left before deadline, the team's bitmap artist Susan Kare started researching for the Apple logo's successor. When she showed it to the rest of the team, everyone liked it, and so it became the symbol of the Macintosh command key. The symbol was included in the original Macintosh font Chicago , and could be inserted by typing a control q key combination.
In macOS this can be configured in the keyboard preferences Modifier Keys From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the same keyboard key in Windows , see Windows key. See also: The Apple logo.
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Looped square and Bowen knot. Retrieved 30 November Stanford University. February 20, Archived from the original on Why toss a perfectly good keyboard, just because you switched platforms? I've been using a Microsoft keyboard with my Mac for quite awhile.
I just like how the keys feel better than the keyboards supplied by Apple. In fact, I'm dreading the day the Windows keyboard stops working and I have to find another. This model of the keyboard hasn't been made in years. I suppose I'll check out Microsoft, Logitech, and even Apple offerings. The point is you're not compelled to use an Apple keyboard unless you wish to; any wired USB keyboard, or Bluetooth-based wireless keyboard , will work fine with a Mac. In fact, Apple even sells the Mac Mini without a keyboard or mouse , allowing customers to supply their own.
Mac Keyboard Layout
There's just one little problem with using a non-Apple keyboard: There are at least five keys that may have different names or symbols on a Windows keyboard than they do on a Mac keyboard, which can make it difficult to follow Mac-related instructions. It's there; it just looks a little different. Here are the five most commonly used special keys on a Mac, and their Windows keyboard equivalents.
Another helpful bit of information for new Mac users is to know which menu key symbols correspond to which keys on the keyboard.