macOS Sierra: What’s it called on my Mac?

What’s it called on my Mac?

If you’re not sure what something is called on the Mac, here’s a list of Windows and Mac terms to help you find what you’re looking for.

Note: On a portable Mac, you must press and hold the Fn key before pressing the other keys of a shortcut; for example, press Fn-Control-F2.

Windows term

Mac term


Alt key

Option key

To enter special characters, press and hold the Option key in combination with letter keys. For example, to enter é, press Option-E, then press the E key again.

Alt key


To use the keyboard to open menus in the menu bar at the top of the screen, press Control-F2, then use the arrow keys to select a menu. Press Return to open the selected menu, then use the arrow and Return keys again to choose menu options.



To switch between open apps, press Command-Tab. Release the keys when the app you want is selected.



To see all the open windows in the current app, press and hold its icon in the Dock. Release the trackpad or mouse when thumbnail images of the windows appear. To see another app’s windows, press Tab.

Close button

Close button

To close a window, click the red button in the top-left corner of a window.

Control key

Command key

To perform actions or shortcuts, use the Command key with keyboard combinations. For example, pressing Command-S usually saves a document or file.

Control Panel

System Preferences

To select preferences such as your desktop background, choose Apple menu > System Preferences.

Device Manager

System Information

System Information gives you detailed information about your Mac hardware and software. Choose Apple menu > About This Mac.

Disk drive eject button

Media Eject key

To open and close the optical drive, press the Media Eject key ⏏ on your keyboard. To eject disks in other types of drives (or if your keyboard doesn’t have the Media Eject key), select the disk in the Finder, then choose File > Eject.



To exit from an app, choose Quit from the app menu. (The app menu is labeled with the app’s name; for example, Safari or Mail.)

Flip 3D

Mission Control

To see all your open windows, press the Mission Control key (or use the Control Strip) or press Control-Up Arrow.

To temporarily move all windows so you can see the desktop, press the Command and Mission Control keys at the same time.


Dashboard widgets

Notification Center Today view

Dashboard includes widgets to do things like take notes, monitor stocks, and show the weather.

To open Dashboard, click the Launchpad icon in the Dock (or tap the Launchpad button in the Control Strip).

You can also get quick information in Today view in Notification Center. To open Notification Center, click its icon in the menu bar.

Microsoft Photo Editor


Use the Photos app to import your photos from your iOS device or camera, edit your photos, share your photos, and more.


Mouse (one-button)

If you have a one-button mouse and want to open a shortcuts menu, press and hold the Control key as you click.


Magic Mouse, Mighty Mouse, or Apple Mouse

If you have a Magic Mouse or other multiple-button mouse, you can customize the buttons by choosing Apple menu > System Preferences, then clicking Mouse.

My Computer, This PC

In the Finder, choose Go > Computer

You see disks connected to your Mac, CDs and DVDs inserted in your optical disc drive, network volumes you’re connected to, and any disk partitions you have.

My Documents, Documents folder

Documents folder

To store a document, use the Documents folder. To see your Documents folder, open a Finder window, then click Documents in the sidebar.

My Pictures, Pictures folder

Pictures folder

The Pictures folder is located in your home folder. In the Finder, choose Go > Home.

My Recent Documents

Recent Items (in the Apple menu)

As you open apps and files, their names are kept in the Recent Items list in the Apple menu. You can use Recent Items to quickly reopen apps and documents.

Many apps include an Open Recent command in the File menu that lists documents you worked on recently.

Network Connections

Network preferences

To configure network settings, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Network.

For help setting up or solving network problems, click “Assist me” in Network preferences.

On-Screen Keyboard (OSK)

Keyboard Viewer

To open the Keyboard Viewer, in the menu bar click the Input menu (identified by the Show Emoji & Symbols icon or an input method character), then choose Show Keyboard Viewer.

If you don’t see the menu, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Keyboard, click Keyboard, then select “Show keyboard and emoji viewers in menu bar.”

Performance control panel

Activity Monitor

To see how your Mac is performing and which processes it’s running, open Activity Monitor (located in the Utilities folder in the Applications folder).

Printers & scanners

Printers & Scanners preferences

To select and set up printers, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Printers & Scanners.

Print Screen



To take a picture of the entire screen, press Shift-Command-3. To take a picture of part of the screen, press Shift-Command-4, then drag the pointer to select an area.

Programs menu


For quick access to all your apps and utilities, click the Launchpad icon in the Dock (or tap the Launchpad button in the Control Strip).


Get Info

To see information about a file, folder, disk, server, or other item, select it in the Finder, then choose File > Get Info. In the Info window, you can set ownership and permissions for the item. For files, you can select the app that you want to open the file.

Recycle Bin

Trash (in the Dock)

To delete files and folders, drag them to the Trash. To permanently delete the files, choose File > Empty Trash.



To find files, documents, apps, email, and other items, click the Spotlight icon in the menu bar, then enter a word or phrase.

Many apps, such as the Finder, Mail, and Contacts, provide a search field in the toolbar where you can quickly search for items in the app.



To make an alias, select the file or app, then choose File > Make Alias.

Snipping Tool


Use the Grab app (located in the Utilities folder in the Applications folder) to take pictures of a window, the screen, or a section of the screen.


Sleep (in the Apple menu)

Sleep is a low-power mode. To put your computer to sleep, choose Apple menu > Sleep.

Start menu and Task bar


Use the Dock to open your favorite apps, files, folders, and websites. By default, the Dock appears at the bottom of the screen. To add a file or folder to the Dock, drag it to the right of the Dock’s separator line.

Start menu


To find files, email, and other items, click the Spotlight icon in the menu bar.

Status icons

Status menus

Status menus appear as icons in the right half of the menu bar. Use status menus to connect to a wireless network, check the battery status of your portable Mac, and more.

Task Manager

Activity Monitor

To see how your Mac is performing and which processes it’s running, open Activity Monitor (located in the Utilities folder, which is in the Applications folder).

Windows Explorer


To organize files, folders, and apps, use the Finder. To open a Finder window, click the desktop, then choose File > New Finder Window.

Windows Media Player

QuickTime Player


To play movies and music, use QuickTime Player.

To listen to music CDs, purchase music from the iTunes Store, and create your personal digital music library, use iTunes.

Windows MovieMaker


To download video from your digital video camera and create your own movies, use iMovie.



Ask Siri to do things like open files or apps, or find things on your Mac or on the Internet. You can easily keep your Siri results handy on your desktop or in Notification Center.

To use Siri, click the Siri icon in the menu bar (or use the Touch Bar).

Published Date: Mar 28, 2017
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