Keyboard shortcuts are the long-reigning heavyweight champs of digital efficiency. They may seem unintuitive before you get used to them but once you do, you’ll be saving time in everything you do on your Mac. We’ve compiled a list of the essential shortcuts for any Mac user.
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From copying and pasting to printing in a pinch and more, keyboard shortcuts cover a wide range of functions you might use every day without even thinking about it. With these keyboard shortcuts, your Mac will feel more responsive than ever and you’ll see yourself accomplish digital tasks with newfound speed.
Simple Mac shortcuts and what they do
- Command-C: Copy selected content, either text or files, to the Clipboard.
- Command-V: Paste content into a selected window or document.
- Command-Z: Undo your last action, i.e. un-delete a file or un-paste a selection.
- Shift-Command-Z: Redo your last action, i.e.reverse an Undo.
- Command-A: Select all text or files in a document.
- Command-F: Search for items, opens a Find window.
- Command-M: Minimize the currently open window to the Dock.
- Command-P: Print the currently open document.
- Command-S: Save the currently open document.
- Command-T: Open a new tab.
These are simple actions most Mac users will use every day. If you can transition into using these keyboard shortcuts not only will life be easier, but you’ll be ready for more shortcuts that can save you even more time.
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More helpful Mac keyboard shortcuts
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There’s no end to what you can do with shortcuts across not only macOS but the enormous suite of macOS applications out there. The following shortcuts are by no means a comprehensive list, instead, it’s a list of commonly used shortcuts that can benefit any Mac user.
- Command-Space: Open Spotlight search. From the Spotlight search window, you can type in the name of any file you’d like and Spotlight will locate it.
- Command-Q: Close any open application. If you’d like to quickly shut down an app you’re using, and not minimize it, simply use this shortcut to save yourself a mouse-click.
- Command-Tab: By holding Command and pressing Tab, you can cycle through your open windows and quickly switch between them.
- Command-Tilde: (Note: this is what the Tilde symbol looks like ~) Switch between windows within an app. Just like the Command-Tab shortcut, the Command-Tilde shortcut allows you to cycle through different windows within a single application.
- Command-Control-Power: Restart your Mac immediately without any confirmation windows.
- Command-Shift-Delete: Empty the trashcan. A confirmation window for deletion will appear.
- Command-Comma: Open Preferences for the application you’re using.
- Command-L: Select the address bar in Safari. Use this shortcut and immediately start typing an address or what you’d like to search for.
- Command-Option-D: Either show or hide the Dock from within most applications.
- Control-Command-Space: Open the Character Viewer you can use to insert special characters and emojis.
Remember these shortcuts or bookmark this article and you can reference it whenever you want to work more efficiently. It’s that easy!