Use Keyboard Shortcuts To Navigate Spotlight [OS X Tips]

Use Keyboard Shortcuts To Navigate Spotlight [OS X Tips]

Power users know that the more you can keep your hands on the keyboard, the faster you can get things done on your Mac. That’s the reason keyboard shortcuts exist, like Command-C to copy text, or Shift-Command-3 to take a screenshot. It’s perfectly acceptable to move your mouse to select the command from a menu, of course, but the keyboard shortcuts are just faster.

Spotlight, like most other OS X apps, has several shortcuts that can help you get around much more quickly.

First of all, hit Command-Spacebar to bring up Spotlight. Type in a search term, then use the up and down arrow keys on your keyboard to navigate up and down in the list of results. To view the term in the Dictionary app, hit Command-D. To view it in a Quick Look dictionary window instead of the actual Dictionary app, hit Command-L, and to do a web search for your term, hit Command-B.

To reveal the item you searched for and then selected with your arrow keys, hit Command-R. To open the top result, hit Command-O or your Return key. To open the Top Result that Spotlight found, hit Command-T, and to Show a Finder Informational window for the highlighted result, hit Command-I.

Do you know any other Spotlight keyboard shortcuts? Let us know in the comment section below.

  • marienkoen

    Navigate with the arrows to a spotlight result and hit Cmd-enter will reveal that result in Finder.

  • maccouch

    slightly off topic:
    What i would like to know is the keyboard commands for answering the dialog windows that pop out with options as “yes” or “no”, or others like that. I know you can answer the save/don’t save with Cmd+D for don’t save and i think Cmd+S for save, but what about the otherS?

  • Pardonmyfrench

    Other one : use cmd-alt to show the path to the file at the bottom of the preview in Spotlight. Sometimes cmd-R won’t be enough to show the location of the file, that’s the case for emails.

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Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, Creative Screenwriting, Shelf-Awareness, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef, and send him a cookie once in a while; he'll really appreciate it.

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