The Best Mac OS X Keyboard Shortcuts.
No matter what you do, efficiency helps – what better way than using keyboard shortcuts? MacOS has dozens of keyboard shortcuts that help you accomplish simple tasks with a quick combination of clicks rather than a lengthy menu search to perform the same function.
But even experienced users may not know everything. Here’s a list of the best macOS keyboard shortcuts to help you be more productive and reduce the time you spend working.
I previously wrote a list of useful keyboard shortcuts for macOS, but that was over 9 years ago. Surprisingly, all the shortcuts in this article still work!
1. Spotlight (Command + Space)
Let’s face it: Spotlight is one of the greatest features of macOS. The ability to search for any file, any application, and even suggested websites makes it one of the most powerful tools available for Mac users. To open Spotlight, just press Command and then the space bar.
If you find yourself using Spotlight to find out which folder a given file is in, simply highlight the file in Spotlight search and press Command + Enter to open it to the folder it is in.
2. Cut, Copy and Paste (Command + X Command + C, Command + V)
Copy + Paste is probably the most used function on the keyboard. Let’s be honest: nobody wants to print the same thing over and over again. If you are editing a document, it is very important to move text from one section to another.
You can of course use a mouse or trackpad to do this, but the easiest way is to select a line of text and press Command + X to cut, and then press Command + V to paste. If you don’t want to delete the text, but you still need to copy it, use the keyboard shortcut Command + C.
If you make a mistake during the process, quickly press Command + Z under your last action.
If you need to select a large amount of text at once, Command + A is the Select All shortcut. And if you want to copy and paste the text without losing the current style, press Command + Shift + V. This will paste the text into a new document with the same font, effects and size.
3. Switch between applications (Command + Tab)
When you need to switch between tabs (for example, a word document and a web browser for research), clicking with the mouse becomes tiresome. The easiest way is to press Command + Tab to switch between the two most recently used apps.
On the other hand, if you need to navigate to an app that is open but hasn’t been used recently, just hold down Command and press Tab to navigate between all the open ones. If you want to go back, press Command + Shift + Tab.
4. Take a Screenshot (Command + Shift + 3)
Windows users are familiar with the Print Screen feature, but capturing screenshots on a Mac is not easy. To take a screenshot of the entire screen, press Command + Shift + 3.
If you only want to take a screenshot of a specific area of ??the screen, press Command + Shift + 4. This will cause this cursor to turn into a grid. Click and drag the frame to surround the area you want to capture. When you release the button, it will take a photo and send it (by default) to your desktop.
5. Close Windows (Command + Q)
If you want to close a window without hovering over the red X in the upper left corner of your screen, just press Command + Q. This is especially handy at the end of a long day when you want to close a lot of applications quickly.
On the other hand, if the application is frozen or unresponsive, pressing Command + Option + Escape will bring up a Force Quit menu, similar to the Windows Task Manager.
6. Fast save (Command + S)
There is nothing worse than losing a lot of progress on an essay or assignment because you haven’t saved up for some time. The key to avoiding this is to develop a habit of saving quickly. Just press Command + S to save the file you are currently working on. If you have not given it a filename yet, you will be given the option to do so when you enter the command.
If you have already assigned a file name, but you need to assign a new one, use the “Save As” keyboard shortcut: Command + Shift + S.
7. Search (Command + F)
When reading a lot of text, it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact section you want. If you know a specific keyword or phrase that narrows it down, just press Command + F and enter your text. The screen will automatically jump to the first instance of the phrase entered and highlight it for easier searching.
Custom keyboard shortcuts
Mac OS already has a ton of keyboard shortcuts built in, but if you find it doesn’t fit your needs, fear not. There are ways to create your own keyboard shortcuts. Here’s how to do it.
1. First, click the Apple icon in the upper left corner of the screen.
2. Select “System Preferences”.
3. Open the keyboard.
4. Click the “Shortcuts” tab.
5. At the bottom, select application shortcuts.
6. Click the “+” sign below the field.
7. Select the application to which you want to apply the shortcut. (All applications are possible.)
8. Enter the menu item for which the shortcut will be created.
9. Select a shortcut box and enter a keystroke.
10. Congratulations! You now have your own shortcut.
A few things to keep in mind: you must be precise in syntax and spelling when specifying the menu item to change. Otherwise, the shortcut won’t work. In the menu of the specified application, you should see your new custom shortcut displayed next to the action for ease of use.