Device Tips

Notes for using SIMnet on computers that don't have Windows installed as the main Operating System

SIMnet works seamlessly with Windows computers. The Microsoft Office content taught by SIMnet was created by Microsoft who also creates the Windows Operating System. However, SIMnet can be used by a variety of systems to effectively complete your course in the right circumstances.

Using SIMnet on a Mac

Macs can seamlessly complete the vast majority of SIMnet coursework. There are a few areas where using a Mac can cause issues:

  1. When using the Function Keys F1-F12, Mac keyboards require holding the Fn key before pressing the desired function key. This is because Mac computers have their F keys automatically set to control things like speaker volume and screen brightness. The F Keys can be set to use standard function keys by going to the System Preferences menu and selecting Keyboard and clicking the Use F1, F2, etc. keys as standard function keys check box.

  2. The Microsoft Access application is not available for Mac. To complete assignments using Microsoft Access you will need to use a separate computer or set up a Virtual Machine to run Windows 10 on your Mac. Your school may offer access to a virtual machine but this is not available through SIMnet.

  3. To-right click on a Mac press and hold the Control key while you click an item using your mouse or trackpad. You can also set up additional Control-click options for your mouse or trackpad.

    1. To Control-click items using only your mouse, you can change its settings.

      1. Click the “Secondary click” pop-up menu on the right, then choose an option.

        You can choose to click the right or left side of the mouse surface, whichever is most comfortable for you.

    2. To Control-click using only your trackpad, you can change its settings.

      1. Click the “Secondary click” pop-up menu on the right, then choose an option.

        You can choose to Control-click by clicking with one or two fingers.

On a Chromebook

Chromebooks are fully compatible with SIMnet Lessons, Exams, SIMpaths, and SIMbooks. Auto-graded project assignments are only compatible with Chrombooks if the project is labeled as Office Online and require using Microsoft 365 in your web browser. Check with your instructor about whether or not they are assigning these projects before you select a chromebook for your course. Using Office Online, Google applications, or other browser-based applications like Office will not work for Project assignments.

Chromebooks also have limitations when using the Function Keys. To use F keys on a Chromebook keyboard users must hold the Search button and the corresponding Here are the appropriate key combinations to use Function Keys:

KeyOption 1Option 2


Search + 1


Search + 2


Search + 3


Search + 4


Search + 5


Search + 6


Search + 7


Search + 8


Search + 9


Search + 0


Search + -


Search + +

On a Windows 10 Virtual Machine

Virtual Machines running Windows 10 can work effectively with SIMnet. This is an effective method for using the Microsoft Access application on your Mac computer. However, running a Virtual Machine is not a straightforward task and may be best suited when suggested by your school.

A Virtual Machine is a computer within a computer. As such, it has lower power than the computer that is being used to run the Virtual Machine. Users may have issues running their virtual machines if the Virtual Machine is not given enough computing power. When using a Virtual Machine, set the number of available Processors to 3 or greater and set the amount of Memory available to 4 GB or greater. If you are having issues with your Virtual Machine see 👉 Running a Windows 10 Virtual Machine

Last updated