Mac Keystroke Shortcuts

by John Carroll on October 27, 2011

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Tasks you do every day on your Mac using a mouse or trackpad can be accomplished faster with keystrokes. All you need to do is get into the habit of using these shortcuts.

And the best way to approach this is… slowly..


What Do I Need To Do?

Start by learning no more than one or two shortcuts. If you see a benefit after a week, try a couple more.

Keystroke Shortcuts use the modifier keys: Shift, Control, Option or Command. These keys are located at the bottom left hand corner of your keyboard.

To execute a command, hold the modifier key down and then press another key.


The Most Common Mac Commands Are:

Use Hold Command Key and press the P Key – Print

Hold Command Key and press the S Key – Save

Hold Command Key and press the Q Key – Quit the current application

Hold  Command Key and press the Delete Key – Send item to trash

Hold Command Key and press the Z Key – Undo last command

Hold Command Key and press the X Key – Cut

Hold Command Key and press the C Key – Copy

Hold Command Key and press the V Key – Paste

Hold Command Key and press the Space Bar – Open Spotlight

Hold Command Key and press the I Key – Provides an information window on any selected item

Hold Command Key and press the N Key – New window. This may vary among applications.

Apple Mac Keyboard Shortcuts

Click the image above to open a PDF that you can print and keep near your keyboard.


Other Tips To Help Speed Up Your WorkFlow:

In any open dialogue box, the button that is highlighted in blue can be chosen by hitting the Return key.

Apple Mac Keystroke Shortcut Tip - A

Pressing and holding down on an open Application icon in the dock will reveal a menu of useful commands.

Holding the Command Key and tapping the Space Bar opens Spotlight. Spotlight is used to search for any file on your Mac, but it has many other useful functions. If you type in a math equation Spotlight gives you the answer. If you type a word in, Spotlight provides a definition.

Apple Mac Keystroke Shortcut Tip - B - Spotlight

Under System Preferences > Sound, choose the tab “Text to Speech.” Click the check box labelled “Speak selected text when the key is pressed.” Close System Preferences. Now, highlight any passage of text in an email or a document. Hold the Option key down and press the Escape key (top left hand corner) and your Mac will read the text to you. Use the same keystroke and it will stop. This is useful when you need to read an email or document and you’re hands are busy preparing dinner or using the TV remote.

In Lion, the Dictionary gives you direct access to an American Dictionary and Thesaurus, a British Dictionary and Thesaurus and the Apple and Wikipedia databases.

Holding the Command Key and press Shift and the 3 key to take a screenshot. Screenshots are saved to the desktop in JPEG format and can be emailed as an attachment.

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