The Option / ALT Key Symbol is “⌥”
Join , subscribers and get a daily digest of news, geek trivia, and our feature articles. The keyboards are otherwise pretty similar, but new Mac users will need to understand these different keys. When running Windows on your Mac via Boot Camp, the keyboard mappings are changed so they make more sense in Windows. The Option key functions as Alt and the Command key functions as the Windows key. This can be a bit confusing when going back and forth between OS X and Windows.
Where is the Option Key on Mac Keyboards?
These keys are in different places, so it can interfere with your muscle memory. The Command and Option keys may seem a bit foreign, but everything works fairly similarly on a Mac. Image Credit: The iPhoto example is an example of a control whose behavior is governed by a preference which is temporarily inverted by holding down the Option key. The preference in this case is which way to rotate the image: If the user changes the default rotation direction in the Preferences to clockwise, holding down Option will make the button rotate counterclockwise instead, and vice versa.
It is common for such controls — that is, those whose behavior is governed by a preference — to be invertible in this way.
In text areas , the Option key can be used for quick keyboard navigation. In browsers such as Safari and SeaMonkey , the option key can be used to download a file. Pressing down the option key when hitting return in the address bar causes the URL-specified file to be downloaded. Also, pressing the option key when clicking a hyperlink causes the link target to be downloaded.
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