Using these simple keyboard tricks will make your life so much better. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Mastering a few crucial Mac keyboard shortcuts will make using your Apple computer easier and much more efficient. Cutting your reliance on your mouse will help you work more quickly, and you’ll undoubtedly impress your family, friends and co-workers to no end. You might end up becoming the go-to Mac person in your office, and we all know how wonderful that will be.
Here are the top 10 Mac keyboard shortcut tricks you really need to memorize right now, whether you’re a Mac newbie or a veteran user who still uses the mouse for everything out of habit.
Sometimes things aren’t as easy as they could be when you’re using your Mac to plow through the day’s tasks. Cluttered screens and excess clicking become irritating and tiresome. In today’s video, we take a look at five useful Mac shortcuts that can make using your Apple computer even more efficient.
Back in the day, I used to care for a couple of labs full of Macs. Invariably, at the end of the day, I’d find myself in the lab, shutting them all down for the night. I’d run up and down the rows of eMacs or whatever they were at the time, and hit the power button, then click on the Shut Down button. Or, if I was feeling frisky, I’d just hold down the power button until they shut off.
This took some time, needless to say. I wish I’d known of these useful keyboard commands to shut down or sleep the Macs, saving myself several minutes each day.
Creating your own Keyboard Shortcuts is a great way to keep your productivity high. To make a shortcut for a menu item that doesn’t already have one, you simply drop into System Preferences > Keyboard, hit the Shortcuts button at the top, and then add your shortcuts (more below). You have to add the full menu path for the shortcut to work, though, and there’s the rub.
Some apps have menu items that are named the same thing. For example, in Pages, there are two submenus named Use Default: one in the Baseline submenu, and one in the Ligature submenu. How can you tell your Mac which menu you want to activate with your new shortcut?
I know it’s probably a tiny thing, but man, do I hate having to click on the web form fields to fill in stuff in a drop down menu, like those State choosers, or Date choosers.
There I am, tabbing along from form field to form field, blithely filling in the data being requested (Name, Address, Phone Number, etc.), when it’s time to hit the State form. The input skips it, every time! I have to take my hands from the keyboard, drop them to the trackpad, or (even worse) the mouse, and click on the dang thing.
Mavericks’ new in-Finder tagging is great, letting you treat your files like you treat your Gmails and effectively keeping the same file in multiple “folders” at once. But actually tagging the files is still kind of a pain. Happily, Brett Terpstra is here to help with a rather simple tip.
If you were used to inverting the colors on your Mac with a Control-Command-Option-8, you might have noticed that this has changed in OS X Mountain Lion. The older keyboard shortcut doesn’t work any more, and has been replaced with the less simple Command-Option-F5 shortcut to bring up an Accessibility Options dialog box. You have to then manually click the checkbox next to Invert Display Colors.
Here’s how to get the old shortcut back, for a quick invert.
The Option key is a powerful ally in your transition from new, beginner user of OS X to the power user that you want to be. There are a ton of features in the Menu Bar that are hidden behind this underrated and unassuming Option key.