How to get the iPad’s keyboard shortcut cheat sheet on Mac


Press and hold…
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

One of the iPad’s handiest features is its keyboard-shortcut cheatsheet. Whenever you have a USB or Bluetooth keyboard attached to your iPad, just hold down the Command key and wait for a second. An overlay will pop up showing you all the keyboard shortcuts available for the current app.

Did you ever wish you could do the same with the Mac? After all, you always have a keyboard connected the Mac, so a cheatsheet overlay should be even more useful. Then you need CheatSheet, an app that does exactly that.


The CheatSheet app has been around for years, but that doesn’t make it any less useful. To use it, you just need to download the app, drop it into your Applications folder, and launch it. Then, whenever you’re stuck for a keyboard shortcut, just hit press and hold the command key for a second or two. Here it is in Ulysses:

CheatSheet can get a bit big on some apps.
CheatSheet can get a bit big on some apps.
Photo: Cult of Mac

That’s a lot of keyboard shortcuts right there, resulting in rather a large window. This may be one reason Apple has never added this feature to the Mac. On iOS, there are relatively few shortcuts, making it easy to list them all. Also, there’s no other way to discover them on iOS. On the Mac, on the other hand, you can always just mouse up to the menubar and check the shortcuts next to their menu items.

There’s very little customisation available to users. You can adjust the activation time between short and long, and that’s it. Then again, that’s all you need. Also, CheatSheet is free (it shows ads for other apps in the cheatsheet overlay).

Whether you’re a keyboard power-user who’s always on the lookout for new shortcuts, or a keyboard shortcut noob who wants to learn more, you should at least check the app out. There’s really no reason not to.