Tired Of Clicking? Use The Keyboard To Navigate The Menu Bar [OS X Tips]

Back in the day, Apple popularized the point and click interface so well that Microsoft decided it would use the same system, thereby paving the way for decades of mouse pointers and menu systems.

Still, one of the great things about Mac OS X is the way it caters to the power user with keyboard shortcuts, both built in and customizable. Heck, in Mavericks, you can even sync these custom tricks with iCloud.

It comes as an obvious surprise, then, when you realize that you can even navigate that most mouse-centric of innovations, the menu bar.

Let’s say you’re needing to choose a menu item, but–due to space or even the lack of a ready mouse or trackpad–you can’t use the cursor. What to do?

Simply hit Control-F2 on your keyboard, of course. You may need to hit the Function (fn) key, as well, if you have your Mac set up to use the F keys as media buttons, with brightness, volume, and the like.

This works in any Mac app including the Finder, so just hit Command-F2 (or Command-Fn-F2) and the Apple menu will highlight with your system highlight color (I use the default blue color). You’ll then be able to move the highlighted menu item right or left, up or down, using the arrow keys.

When you’re ready to make a menu selection, simply hit the Return key on your Mac and it will assume you meant to click on that menu item.

This is a boon for those who can’t use their mouse or trackpad due to physical disabilities that make their hands shake, for example, as well.

Related
  • lambaline

    So is it voiceover?

About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre is Cult of Mac's Culture Editor. He has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef

(sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)| Read more posts by .

Posted in OS X, Tips & Tricks | Tagged: , , , , |