19 keyboard shortcuts Mac users need

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I’m sure most Mac users know Command-C means copy and Command-V means paste, but there’s a host of other useful shortcuts that make a Mac user’s life much easier. I’ve assembled this short collection to illustrate this truth:

Command-W

Closes the active window you are currently in. Use Option-Command-W to close all currently active app windows.

Command-M

Press this combination to minimize the front app window to Dock, or press Command-Option-M to minimize all the windows belonging to the front app.

Command and Option

If you can’t see your desktop for all the open applications, just hold Command and Option down and click anywhere on your desktop. You may just want to get to all the open windows for a specific app, in which case hold down the same keys and click on any available window for that app.

Command-Shift-A

Select this combination when in Finder/Desktop view to get to your Applications folder, or replace the A with U to open your Utilities folder in a new Finder window (or D for Desktop, H for Home or I to access iCloud Drive).

Command-Space

The combination that can change your life, Command-Space invokes Spotlight, just depress these keys and start typing your query. (I guess you know about Command-tab already?)

Command-L

The fastest way to make a search or navigate to a Website in Safari, Command-L instantly selects the address bar: start typing your query and select the appropriate choice using the up/down arrows on the keyboard.

Command-Tab

Open application switcher, keeping Command pressed use Tab to navigate to the app you hope to use.

Command-Option-D

Show or hide the Dock from within most apps.

Fn-left arrow (or right arrow)

Jump directly to the top or bottom of a Web page using the Function key and the right (to the bottom of the page) or left (to the top of the page) arrows on the keyboard. You can achieve a similar result using Command-up or Command-Down. A third way is to use Control-Tab and Control-Shift-Tab.

Command-left/right arrows

Hit Command and the left arrow to go back a page in the browser window. Hit Command right to go forward again.

Tab nav

Navigate between multiple tabs using the Command-Shift-] or Command-Shift-[ characters.

Command-Shift-\

The easiest way to see all your open tabs in one Safari window.

Option-Shift-Volume

Press Option-Shift and volume up/down to increase or decrease the volume on your Mac in small increments. You can also use Option-Shift to change display brightness in small amounts. Read even more Option secrets here.

Fn twice

Press the function (fn) key twice to launch Dictation on your Mac, start speaking and press fn once you’ve finished. Here are some other ideas on controlling your Mac with your voice.

Option-File

In Safari, pressing the Option key while selecting the File menu lets you access the ‘Close all other Tabs’ command. Try the other Safari menu items with Option depressed to find other commands you probably weren’t aware of.

Option-Brightness Up (or down)

Use this command to quickly launch Displays preferences. Or press Option with the Mission Control or Volume (up/down) buttons to access preferences for Mission Control and Sounds.

Command – Comma (,)

This is one of the least well-known keyboard commands on a Mac, but it’s super-useful. It works like this: You are working in an app and want to open the application’s Preferences. You can navigate to the Menubar if you like, or simply press Command-, (comma) to access them in the fastest possible time.

Safari tips

There are lots of keyboard tips for the Safari browser:

  • Command + I: Open new message with content of a page.
  • Command + Shift + I: Open new message containing only the URL of a page.
  • Spacebar: To move your window down one screen.
  • Shift+Spacebar: To move your window up one screen.
  • Command + Y: Open/close the History window.

Command + Shift + T

This web browser tip can sometimes be a lifesaver. Command + Shift + T will open your last closed tab, which can be a lifesaver if you are researching something and close a window without saving the URL.

You can also take a look at Apple’s own extensive collection of keyboard shortcuts for more great ideas.

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This article was written by Jonny Evans from Computerworld and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.