The Best Macintosh Shortcuts

Post 62 of 63

Posted by Paul Stokes

Using shortcut commands can impact your productivity dramatically.  If you begin to use them regularly, they will become second nature and the speed you work at will increase rapidly.

Macs are growing in popularity and we want all the users out there to get the most out of their Mac.  Here is a list of useful shortcuts.  It does not include any F1-F12 shortcuts as these can vary widely depending on the keyboard and age of computer.  But these are our favorites.

Here is a quick overview of the shortcut key symbols used in this article.

⌘ = Command or Apple key is the most common modifier.

⌥ = Option or Alt.

⇧ = Shift

^ = Control. Not used as frequently but is still there.

Basic Shortcuts
This is a list of shortcuts that should be hardwired into your brain. These are usually the most commonly used. Most of the shortcuts on the list are for Finder, although a lot will work in other applications. If I wrote a list for every single application out there I would be here for ever.

⌘ + Q = Quit Program

⌘ + W = Close Window

⌘ + O = Open a file in your application

⌘ + N = New Window or New Document

⌘ + P = Print

⌘ + X = Cut

⌘ + C = Copy

⌘ + V = Paste

⌘ + S = Save

⌘ + Z = Undo

⌘ + A = Select All

⌘ + T = New Tab in Browser

⌘ + H = Hide application

⌘ + M = Minimize

⌘ + E = Eject disk

⌘ + F = Find

⌘ + Delete = Move item to Trash

⌘ + Y or Space = Quicklook

⌘ + ~ Cycles through windows in an application

⌘ + Tab = Cycles through open applications
Bonus – while “command tabbing” (⌘ + Tab), you can continue holding command and press ‘q’ to quit a running application.

Personally I use all of those shortcuts all of the time. It helps to remember them and use them. Most will come naturally over time.

Document or Text Navigation

⌘ + Up Arrow = Beginning of document
⌘ + Down Arrow = End of document
⌘ + Left Arrow = Beginning of line
⌘ + Right Arrow = End of line
⌥ + Up Arrow = Beginning of paragraph
⌥ + Down Arrow = End of paragraph
⌥ + Left Arrow = Backward one word
⌥ + Right Arrow = Forward one word

Add holding shift to any of these to select or deselect as you are navigating.

Other Shortcuts
This is the list where every other shortcut resides. Have a look through and see if there is anything which is of interest to you.

⌘ + ⇧+ 3 = Take fullscreen picture

⌘ + ⇧ + 4 = Take selected area screenshot

⌘ + ⇧ + 4 + Space = Take screenshot of window or menu

⌥ + ⌘ + Escape = Bring up Force Quit window

⌘ + Space = Spotlight search

⌘ + ` (back tick) = Cycle through applications windows

⌘ + . = Cancel operation

⌘ + ⇧ + ? = Open help
⌘ + I = Get Info

⌘ + [ = Go backwards in history in Finder

⌘ + ] = Go forwards in history in Finder

⌘ + Up Arrow = Go to previous folder in hierarchy

⌘ + Down Arrow = Open folder of file in Finder

⌘ + G = Next result in Find option

⌘ + ⇧ + Z = Redo

⌘ + ⇧ + H = Go to Home folder

⌘ + ⇧ + D = Go to Desktop

⌘ + ⇧ + C = Go to Computer

⌘ + ⇧ + K = Go to Network

⌘ + ⇧ + I = Go to iDisk

⌘ + ⇧ + A = Go to Application

⌘ + ⇧ + U = Go to Utilities

⌘ + ⇧ + G = Go to folder

Conclusion

Many of these are used in the Finder and they are very useful to learn, especially if you use a function quite frequently.

One last shortcut just for fun:  control + alt + command + 8
 it reverses all the colors

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