On a Windows machine, pressing and holding a keyboard key results in the character being repeated. For example, if I press and hold q for a few seconds, I end up with the following:
Similarly, I can press and hold the Backspace key to delete multiple characters.
On a Mac pressing and holding a key for several seconds results in the character being typed only once. To type it repeatedly, it is necessary to physically press it multiple times.
I'm unclear about whether that is a bug or a supposed-feature, but I am interested in replicating this functionality on a Mac.
A couple of notes and additional ideas to supplement the selected answer:
The speed of repetition of characters (how many characters are added per second when a key is held down) can be controlled by adjusting the "Key Repeat" option under System Preferences => Keyboard (Keyboard tab). However, if the fastest speed is not fast enough (it wasn't for me), you can further adjust this setting by opening Terminal and typing:
defaults write NSGlobalDomain KeyRepeat -int 0
0 indicates the minimum speed (smaller is faster). The fastest that can be set by the system preferences is
2, so the other two remaning, faster options are
1 (fast) and
The amount of time it takes for key repetition to begin can also be set by adjusting the "Delay Until Repeat" option under System Preferences => Keyboard (Keyboard tab). Again, if this is still too slow for you (as it was for me), you can set an even faster speed by opening Terminal and typing:
defaults write NSGlobalDomain InitialKeyRepeat -int 4
4, again, can be adjusted (smaller is faster). I'd highly recommend you do not set this option under
4, though, because that would just be impossibly fast (touching a key for a mere split second would type about 10 repeating characters). I ended up setting mine to
7, which might still be too fast for me.
Use at your own risk! :)
Source for information: MacWorld