If you want to become a Mac power user, you should first remember some essential keyboard shortcuts. These most commonly used Mac shortcuts alone can cost you a hell lot of time to remember them.
Luckily, most of the shortcuts are derived by adding modifier key to the initial shortcut. These initial shortcuts are easy to remember and shorter than their derivation (i.e. addition of Option, Control, Shift, etc). With only half of your work, you can get your productivity double-up; It sounds like iPhone ads: Twice as Fast. Half the Price.
I also have included some nifty tricks to give you an idea on how you can intuitively apply this to your daily needs.
Table of Shortcuts
|1||Command-I||Get Info (Move Content to Mail from Safari)|
|Command-Shift-I||Mail Link to Webpage|
|Command-Control-I||Get Summary Info|
|Command-Shift-Option-Escape||Force Quit Application|
|Command-Shift-F||Find by Name…|
|Command-Shift-W (TextEdit)||Wrap to Page|
|Command-Control-O||Open in New Window|
|Command-Shift-Option-Delete||Empty Trash Without Warning|
|Command-Shift-C||Hide/Show Color Palette (Some Apps)|
|Command-Shift-Option-V||Paste Text and Match Style|
|Command-Shift-Q||Quit All Applications and Log Out|
|Command-Shift-Option-Q||Quit All Applications and Log Out without Warnings|
|13||PowerKey||Turn Off Mac|
|Command-Shift-Option-PowerKey||Force Shut Down|
|14||Command-UpArrow||Go to Enclosing Folder|
|Command-Control-UpArrow||Go to Enclosing Folder in New Window|
|Command-Option-UpArrow||Go to Enclosing Folder and Close Current Window|
|15||Command-A||Select All Items|
|Command-Option-A||Deselect All Items|
|16||Command-N||New Application Window|
|Command-Shift-N||Create New Folder|
|Command-Option-N||Create New Smart Folder|
|Command-Option-Spacebar||Open Spotlight Window|
|18||Command-Shift-3||Capture Entire Screen|
|Command-Control-Shift-3||Capture Entire Screen to Clipboard|
|19||Command-Shift-4||Capture Selected Region|
|Command-Shift-4 + Spacebar||Capture Hovered Items|
|Command-Shift-4 + Hold Spacebar||Move Selected Region|
|Command-Shift-4 + Hold Option||Resize Selected Region|
|Command-Shift-4 + Hold Shift||Resize Selected Region Vertically or Horizontally|
|Command-Control-Shift-4||Capture Selected Region to Clipboard|
|20||Some Actions||Invoke Animation|
|Shift-Some Actions||Invoke Slow-Motion|
|21||Command-Option-8||Toggle Zoom Mode|
|Command-Option-Control-8||Invert Display Color|
|22||Click Dock Icon||Launch Application|
|Command-Click||Open Application’s Enclosing Folder|
|Control-Click||Show Item’s Contextual Menu|
|Option-Click||Switch Application and Hide Current|
|Command-Option-Click||Switch Application and Hide All Others|
|Command-S (Terminal)||Export Terminal Output|
|Command-Shift-S||Export Selected Terminal Text|
|24||Command-T||Open New Tab|
|Command-Shift-T||Toggle Hide/Show Tab Bar|
|Command-T (Finder)||Add to Sidebar|
|Command-Shift-T||Add to Favorites|
|25||Tab||Select Next Input Field|
|Shift-Tab||Select Previous Input Field|
|Command-Tab||Switch to Next Running Application|
|Command-Shift-Tab||Switch to Previous Running Application|
|26||K||Input a character ‘K’|
|Option-Shift-K||Draw Apple logo|
|27||Control-Eject||Show Restart, Sleep, Shutdown Dialog Box|
|Command-Control-Eject||Quit All Applications and Restart|
|Command-Option-Control-Eject||Quit All Applications and Shut Down|
|Command-Control-D||Show Word Definition|
Inside the table, there are 80+ keyboard shortcuts, but you only need to remember 20+ of them and apply some modifier keys for various situations. It’s less painful than having to memorize all of them.
Of course, that table alone won’t be quite informative for you. Here are several important information regarding to some keyboard shortcuts.
By using the same basic keyboard shortcuts Command-I, you can make a variation on what kinds of information you want your Mac to display.
Using Get Info, you’re asking your Mac to display you the information of a single file. Even though you select many files, your Mac will assume that you want to display information of every single files. Let’s say you’ve selected hundreds of files, you will get the same amount of info panes (hundreds of them) displayed by your Mac.
Get Summary Info
With this keyboard shortcut, your Mac will know that now you want to have the Summary Info of your multiple files, i.e. if you’ve selected hundreds of files, you will only see one info pane which is the total of everything from those files. It’s always useful to know that by selecting only one file, you won’t be able to call up this kind of info pane.
This is slightly different than Get Summary Info. When you’re activating this info pane, you can move your focus wherever you want, either to single file or to multiple files, and the info of the files you selected will be displayed. So you can go around and quickly see the information of your files. But there is a little bit of troublesome thing here, you need to use the same keystrokes as when you called it to close the inspector pane.
With a simple change of your Mac modifier keys, you will notice that there exist a slight different in getting the information of your files but obviously it adds a huge difference to your productivity.
Force Quit is the Mac term for Windows CTRL-ALT-DEL in a slightly more stylish manner.
When the keyboard shortcut Option-Command-Esc is triggered, a pane displaying your running applications will pop up. You can kill selected application by force quitting it. Note that you can’t force quit Finder, you can only Relaunch it instead.
- Force Quit Application
Keyboard shortcut for this Shift-Option-Command-Escape has the same function as usual force quit but with different purpose, i.e. this operation will instantly kill your current active application.
This will be the most essential operation. Do you know that there are two kinds of searching purposes ever exist on your Mac?
The purpose of using this is to search for keywords. This searching covers not only filenames but also contents of the file. This is so powerful that it will be like killing an ant with a nuclear bomb (and will kill yourself) if you use this just to find certain filename.
- Find by Name…
As the name suggests, this function is very recommended to be used to search for a filename from your hundreds of files.
Everyone should already know Quick Look, how cool it is and with Spacebar or keystrokes Command-Y it can be invoked. But maybe you don’t know this, by adding a modifier key Option in front, you can change the behavior into displaying Slideshow view, which is the full screen mode of Quick Look.
This is an interesting shortcut. With Command-Delete, you can delete selected files, after that what you would actually do? Empty the trash is the answer; Apple’s programmers figure it out beforehand and assign keyboard shortcut Command-Shift-Delete to empty trash, for the continuation of deleting files.
There is one important thing that you need to know here: they’re two different places to store copied text and copied font style.
Maybe, you’re a bit curious why they should design in such a way that there are three behaviors of going to enclosing folder. Here I will share you what I usually do with these different techniques.
- Go to Enclosing Folder
I will use this shortcut if from the first I only intend to dig down to the depth of the folder. I am not going to do any kinds of file transferring or file moving. And I am not going to resize the Finder window. In short, I just simply want to expand the folder quickly and get what I want from inside.
- Go to Enclosing Folder in New Window
If I think that I will still need current Finder window either to move files or to open other files, I will use this keyboard shortcut Command-Control-UpArrow. In this way, I don’t need to open a new window and redo my Finder path.
- Go to Enclosing Folder and Close Current Window
The purpose of this action is to expand the folder and get the convenient view of what’s inside the folder. When you expand to new window, the new Finder window will be resized in such a way that you will feel more comfortable with it than with the old one.
Some actions are including:
- Expose and Spaces Actions
- Window Minimization/Maximization
- Dashboard Activation
- Stack and Grid View Expansion
- New Finder Window Creation
- Widget Deletion
All of the actions mentioned above can be animated in slow-motion mode.
This is the example of the phenomenon that Apple has run out of available keyboard shortcut to be used. We can’t draw any connections between these three actions.
My Last Word
It’s not just the operating system you use. It’s how you use it.
It’s not just how you use it. It’s how you master it.