Even more essential Mac keyboard shortcuts | Cult of Mac

Even more essential Mac keyboard shortcuts


So many shortcuts, save a little time. Photo: DeclanTM/Flickr CC
So many shortcuts, save a little time. Photo: DeclanTM/Flickr CC

There are a ton of Mac keyboard shortcuts to make your digital life easier and more productive. Last week, we showed you 10 of the best shortcuts to keep in mind when using your Mac, and you responded with even more.

Here are Cult of Mac readers’ suggestions for even more fantastic Mac keyboard shortcuts.

Control-F2 – This will give you easy access to your Mac’s menus, letting you highlight any item with only your keyboard’s arrow keys, choosing the final selection with the Return key. This is a boon to those using VoiceOver, but also to those of use who are visual computer users, or who might have a non-functioning trackpad or mouse. If you have the Function keys set as media and settings keys (brightness, volume, etc.), then hit Fn-Control-F2 to do the same thing.

Launch Spotlight with Command-Spacebar. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
Launch Spotlight with Command-Spacebar. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Command-Spacebar – Direct and simple, this shortcut opens up Spotlight, the find-all, launch-all, do-your-math-in OS X feature that we all love. It’s a lovely way to get searching and launching.

Command-M – This will minimize your window to the Dock. It works with any active window, too, whether you’re browsing the web with Chrome or Safari, moving files around in the Finder, or chatting with your buddies in Skype. Long-time Mac users know that it was originally assigned to making file aliases in the finder. Took me a long time to clear that muscle memory out, for sure.

Command-Delete, Command-Shift-Delete – Here’s a pair of keyboard shortcuts that you’ll want to learn right away, too, as they let you trash files and empty that trash with a quick keyboard press. No more click, drag-all-the-way-across-your-screen, drop for you. Highlight a file or set of files in any Finder window, and then hit Command-Delete to send them right to the Trash. Empty the trash right away with a Command-Shift-Delete move. Bravissimo!

Control-Command-Shift-3 and -4 – Without the Control key, these two shortcuts will take a screenshot of the entire screen and just a section of it, respectively. If you add the Control key to the combo, the screenshot–whole screen or partial–will go right to the clipboard and not clutter up your Desktop with a bunch of image files that have similar-looking names.

Command-P – This is an oldie but a goodie – hit Command-P in any application to print the active window. It even works in the Finder, launching whatever app is associated with the selected file and then sending that file to the printer dialog through the app. Handy!

New windows, new folders - you choose! Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
New windows, new folders – you choose! Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Command-N, Command-Shift-N – This is a Finder keyboard shortcut that will open a new Finder window or create a new folder in the current Finder window, respectively. You can even use Command-Shift-N in Save dialog boxes to make a folder to store whatever you’re saving in.

Command-Z – Perhaps the most essential keyboard shortcut ever – this one will undo the last action you took. This even works when you accidentally trash an item in the Finder and when you make a mistake in Photoshop. How many levels of undo you can achieve is controlled by the app you’re in: some only let you undo once, others let you undo an infinite number of times (thank the gods).

Spacebar – The only non-combination keyboard shortcut, Spacebar will do great things for you, like play and pause tracks in iTunes or QuickTime. It will also activate QuickLook in the Finder, letting you view documents and media files right there instead of having to open up the whole app. Super useful!

Thanks to all the readers that contributed to the above – let us know if we’ve missed any others!


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