7 Tools for Easing the Switch from a PC to a Mac

Have you recently made the switch from a Windows PC to a Mac? If so, even though Mac OS X has a great interface, you probably are used to a few applications and interface conventions that you’d like to have on your new platform. In this post, I’ll round up some good, free applications for the Mac that will immediately be familiar to Windows users.

File Renamer. When you move from a PC to a Mac, it’s very convenient to be able to rename files, including batch renaming jobs, so that you’re following conventions for the Mac. Renamer4Mac (see above) is a free utility for Mac OS X that makes it easy to give new names to large groups of files in patterned ways. You can see previews of how groups of files will be renamed before you make the switches.


Multi-Protocol Instant Messaging. Many Windows users are fond of applications such as Trillian and Miranda that allow you to do instant messaging with other people regardless of what IM client they use. On the Mac, Adium is a good, free way to do this, and you’ll appreciate its similarity to the Windows equivalents.

Flexible Screen Captures. Doing screen captures works differently on the Mac from the Ctrl-PrtScrn method that most Windows users are familiar with. I find it easiest to use a good utility for these on the Mac. Try Capture, which can handle all your screen capture steps or copy to the clipboard, just like doing clipboard-based copies in Windows.

Familiar Old Firefox. Most people who use the Mac use the Safari browser, for the same reason people climb Everest—“because it’s there.” If you were a Firefox user on Windows, there are some good reasons to use it on the Mac. It will definitely handle your bookmarks better than Safari.

Accessing Remote Computers. If you got used to turning on a remote PC and accessing files from far away as a PC user, try WakeOnLan for the Mac. It works the same way as most of the similar Windows utilities.

Stumble the Same. If you were a Wi-Fi user and you used hotspots with a Windows PC, you may well have used NetStumbler to sniff for available networks. On the Mac, MacStumbler works very similarly.

Mystified By System Resource Tools? The tools for checking system resources and the status of files within directories are totally different on the Mac from their Windows counterparts. WhatSize is a free Mac utility that easily gives you the size in bytes of folders and subfolders, and can filter for particular file sizes and types in ways similar to how Windows Explorer does so.

Do you know of any good tools for people converting from a PC to a Mac?

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