A year ago, I decided to move from Windows to Mac. As an iPhone user, this made sense. My mobile and desktop computing resources integrated very well and solved a lot of workarounds and incompatibilities that plagued me as a Windows user. And to be brutally honest, I got tired of fixing my Windows machine. Macs are not perfect (by a LONG shot), but they’re predictable which makes them more dependable.
Being a long-time Windows user, I brought a lot of muscle memory problems and habits with me as I started the Mac. Since I must use Windows for work, I have a KVM to share keyboard, mouse, and monitors. So I use a Windows keyboard and PC mouse with my Mac.
Here were my biggest problems:
- I like using the Forward and Back buttons on my mouse, especially for navigating websites. (On Macs, these mouse buttons are dead.)
- I prefer natural scrolling on the MacBook trackpad and directional scrolling on the mouse wheel. (On Macs, you are prevented from configuring these differently. It’s bewildering.)
- I like to press the Home and End keys to go to the beginning and end of a text line, respectively. (On Macs, these actions take the cursor to the top or bottom of the message body.)
- Closely related to the above, I like to press Shift+Home and Shift+End to select (aka, highlight) text to the beginning and end of a text string respectively. (On Macs, these actions take the text selection to the top or bottom of the message body.)
As any Windows user will tell you, Macs don’t work that way.
I tried to get used to it. I really did. But in the end muscle memory won, and Mac lost. But not without some help.
This utility is simple, and it’s free.
Scroll Reverser breaks the connection between the mouse scroll setting and the trackpad scroll setting. It allows me to have directional scrolling when I use mouse, and natural scrolling when I use the trackpad. Perfect!
This utility is a fairly simple power user’s tool, and it costs $4.99 (or more if you wish) with a 45-day trial period.
BetterTouchTool (BTT) allows you to override default actions on your keyboard, mouse (including Magic Mouse), trackpad, MacBook Pro TouchBar, and even the Siri Remote. I leverage the keyboard and mouse functionality. My mouse navigation buttons work in any application with a navigation history (web browsers, Finder, etc.). My keyboard brings familiar behavior to the Home and End keys. What a relief!
Quick Tip: Like any power user tool, the interface could be confusing to some. When adding a new shortcut or key sequence, click into the text fields and then press the keys. BTT will record the key or key combination. As you click into the text fields, you are also offered commands in a pop-up list. At first, I thought those listed commands were the only ones available.