macOS Ventura For Dummies
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Whether you’ve purchased a new Mac with macOS Ventura pre-installed or you’ve upgraded from a previous version of macOS, you’ll find that Ventura makes your computer easier to use and offers myriad improvements to make you more productive.

This Cheat Sheet includes information on things you should never do to your Mac; a compendium of useful and timesaving keyboard shortcuts; recommendations for backing up data; and website recommendations for smart Ventura users.

What not to do with your Mac running Ventura

Treat your Mac and macOS Ventura with care. To keep your work and leisure projects safe, never do any of these things with your Mac:
  • Never shut off your Mac by pulling the plug. Always use the Shut Down command from the Apple menu (or press the power button and then click the Shut Down button).If you’re using a MacBook, you can usually get away with pulling the plug while it’s running because the battery automatically kicks in. The only caveat is that if your battery is totally depleted, damaged, or missing entirely, you could suffer directory damage or data loss by pulling the plug. Just use the Shut Down command, and you’ll sleep well.
  • Never bump, drop, shake, wobble, dribble, drop-kick, or play catch with a hard drive while it’s running macOS. Don’t forget: Your desktop Mac has a hard or solid-state drive inside it, too.
  • Never get up from your Mac without saving your work. Just before your butt leaves the chair, your fingers should press Command+S (the keyboard shortcut in macOS that saves your work). Make it a habit.
  • Never keep only one copy of your important documents. Make at least two backup copies and keep one of them in another physical location. Period.
  • Never clean your monitor with a glass cleaner, such as Windex (or another product not designed to be used on a video display). And nix the paper towels or tissues, too. Use a soft cloth (microfiber is best) to avoid scratching the display.
  • Never pay attention to anyone who says that Windows is just like the Mac. Yeah, right. And a Kia is just like a Porsche.

Handy keyboard shortcuts for macOS Ventura

Make your work go faster by using these macOS keyboard shortcuts with your flying fingers. Print this chart and refer to it while you work or play.
Command Keyboard Shortcut
Add Selected Item to Dock Command+Control+Shift+T
Add Selected Item to Sidebar Command+Control+T
Close All Windows Command+Option+W
Close Window Command+W
Copy Command+C
Cut Command+X
Duplicate Command+D
Eject Disk Command+E
Empty Trash Command+Shift+Delete
Find Command+F
Get Info (on selected item or items)

Get Info Inspector (on selected item or items)
Command+I

Command+Option+I
Go to Recents Command+Shift+F
Go to Applications Folder Command+Shift+A
Go to Desktop Command+Shift+D
Go to Documents Folder Command+Shift+O
Go to Home Folder Command+Shift+H
Help Command+Shift+?
Hide Current Application Command+H
Hide Other Applications Command+Option+H
Log Out Current User Command+Shift+Q
Make Alias Command+L
Minimize Window Command+M
Mission Control: All Windows Control+Up Arrow (F3 on Apple keyboards)
Mission Control: Application Windows Control+Down Arrow (Control+F3 on Apple keyboards)
Mission Control: Show Desktop F11 (fn+F11 on laptops) (Command+F3 on Apple keyboards)
Move to Trash Command+Delete
New Finder Window Command+N
New Folder Command+Shift+N
New Smart Folder Command+Option+N
Next Window Command+` (backtick)
Open Command+O
Paste Command+V
Quick Look (at selected item) Command+Y or Spacebar
Redo Command+Shift+Z
Select All Command+A
Show Original (of selected alias) Command+R
Show View Options Command+J
Show/Hide Dock Command+Option+D
Show/Hide Path Bar Command+Option +P
Show/Hide Sidebar Command+Option +S
Show/Hide Status Bar Command+/
Show/Hide Tab Bar Command+Shift+T
Show/Hide Toolbar Command+Option+T
Turn VoiceOver On/Off Command+F5 (fn+F5 on laptops)
Undo Command+Z
View Window as Columns Command+3
View Window as Gallery Command+4
View Window as Icons Command+1
View Window as List Command+2

Tabbing around Ventura's Save As dialog

In the expanded view of macOS Ventura’s “Save As” dialog, if you press the Tab key while the Save As field is active, it becomes inactive and the Tags field becomes active. Press Tab again, and the Search field becomes active. Press Tab again and the sidebar becomes active. And if you press Tab again, the Save As field will, once again, be active. That’s because the Save As field, the Tags and Search fields, and the sidebar are mutually exclusive, and only one can be active at any time. You can always tell which item is active by the thin blue border around it. When you want to switch to a different folder to save a file, click the folder in the sidebar or click anywhere in the file list box to make the file list active. The following tricks help you get a hold on this whole active/inactive silliness:
  • If you type while the file list box is active, the list box selects the folder that most closely matches the letter(s) that you type. It’s a little strange because you won’t see what you type: You’ll be typing blind, so to speak.
  • When the file list is active, the letters that you type don’t appear in the Save As field. If you want to type a filename, you have to activate the Save As field again (by clicking in it or using the Tab key) before you can type in it.
  • If you type while the sidebar is active, nothing happens. But you can use the up- and down-arrow keys to move around in the sidebar.
  • Pressing Shift reverses the order of the sequence. If you press Shift+Tab, the active item moves from the Save As field to the Sidebar to the Search box and back to the Save As field again.

Backup made straightforward

When working in macOS Ventura, would you like to ensure that you won’t lose more than a little work no matter what happens — even if your office burns, floods, is destroyed by tornado, hurricane, or earthquake, or robbed? If so, follow these recommendations. Keeping a single backup is — frankly, my dear — not enough. Two backups might be okay. Three is much safer and gives you the option of keeping the third somewhere offsite, such as at a friend or relative’s house or in a safe-deposit box at your bank. To make those three backups, you need to create a set-and-forget system that runs automatically in the background without you needing to start them. Consider these options:

Time Machine

Use macOS’s excellent Time Machine feature as your first line of defense. Time Machine is so easy and so effective that there’s no excuse not to use it. But although Time Machine maintains multiple copies of files, they’re all stored on the same disk. If something’s worth backing up to one place, it’s worth backing up three times. You can add a second or third backup disk (or even more) to Time Machine if you like. Connect the disk and choose System Settings; then choose General; then choose Time Machine to display the Time Machine pane in System Settings. Click the Add (+) button, select the disk in the dialog that opens, and click Set Up Disk. Choose backup options — you’ll probably want to encrypt the backups — and then click Done. Time Machine then backs up to both the disks. But (you’ll have spotted the problem here) both your Time Machine backup disks are in the same place, so a single natural disaster (conflagration, inundation, fulmination…) or deliberate disaster (your choice) can take them both out.

Online backup services

You can use an online backup service, such as iDrive () or Backblaze () to back up your Mac to the cloud. These services start around the $5 to $10 per month level, so they’re good value. Most can back up your other computers and devices as well as your Mac.

Cloning apps

You can use a cloning app, such as ($39.99) or ($27.99) to clone your Mac’s startup disk to another hard drive every day (for example, in the early hours of the morning). This gives you a bootable backup you can use for recovery if your Mac goes south.

iCloud

Another options is to store your current work in iCloud or a competitor, such as Dropbox or Microsoft’s OneDrive, so that you have an instantly accessible online backup, as well as being able to work on your documents no matter where you happen to be. One final thing: You must test the integrity of each backup to make sure it will work when you need it. Just restore a few files and make sure they’re usable. You’ll then be sure you can recover fully should disaster strike.

10 favorite websites for macOS Ventura users

To learn about all things Macintosh and macOS Ventura, check out these sites, and stuff your brain with Mac information:
  • offers insightful opinion pieces in addition to the usual Apple news and product reviews. The quality and depth of the writing at The Mac Observer is superior to most other sites covering the Apple beat.
  • The and are treasure troves of tech notes, software update information, troubleshooting tips, and documentation for most Apple products.
  • , the site formerly known as VersionTracker, is the place to go to find freeware, shareware, and software updates for macOS. If this site doesn’t have it, it probably doesn’t exist.
  • describes itself as, “Your best source for all things Apple,” and it’s not far from the truth. Macworld is especially strong for comparative reviews of Mac and iPhone/iPad products. If you want to find out which inkjet printer or digital camera is the best in its price class, Macworld.com probably has feature comparison charts and real-world test results.
  • bills itself as “Thoughtful, detailed coverage of everything Apple for 30 years” but there’s much more to TidBITS than just news. You can also find thoughtful commentary, in-depth analysis, and detailed product reviews, written and edited by pros who really know the Apple ecosystem.
  • is Jason Snell’s magazine on the web. The former editor for Macworld magazine for over a decade, he and his team provide daily coverage of Apple, other technology companies, and the intersection of technology and culture. Six Colors has been around for a few years, and the writing continues to get stronger, more opinionated, and even more fun to read.
  • is a great place to learn what experts consider the best peripherals, tech tools, and toys. Now a New York Times company, Wirecutter has the resources to objectively evaluate many products in a category and declare one of them the “best.”
  • is a terrific favorite maker of accessories and peripherals for Macs. They have a wide array of storage upgrade kits and memory upgrades that are guaranteed for life, as well as great documentation and instructional videos.
  • is the place to shop for deals on Mac stuff. With a motto like “How to go broke saving money,” this site is often the first to find out about sale prices, rebates, and other bargain opportunities on upgrades, software, peripherals, and more.
  • can save you up to 30 percent on like-new Apple products.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Guy Hart-Davis is author or coauthor of various technology books, including iPhone For Dummies and Teach Yourself VISUALLY iPhone 14.

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