The Mac Observer

Skip navigational links

Computing with Bifocals - A (Near)-Complete List of Mac Keyboard Shortcuts
by - April 22nd, 2005

Some people prefer to use a keyboard to execute commands rather than a mouse.  Since I prefer a mouse I sometimes forget that many people would rather use their keyboards.

Recently, reader Andy King reminded me that I have been quite remiss in not updating information about keyboard commands that work with OS X.  He is so right. 

I don't even have a viable excuse so I won't offer one.  I will, however, offer the following list of keyboard commands that work with OS X for the benefit of everyone who prefers this option when using their Macs. 

I gleaned this list from a number of Internet sources, Mac OS X's built-in Help screens, my friends, and dumb luck -- not necessarily in that order. 

The first table of information demonstrates the symbols (in a size larger than the head of a pin) that are frequently used to represent specific keys on the Mac keyboards.


Some Symbols Associated With Mac Keyboards

Full Keyboard Access for Activating Access

If you set the following controls you can completely navigate menus, the dock, dialogue boxes, etc. using just the keyboard.  To make this work you much set the F1 key (turn full keyboard access on or off by selecting Control + F1) first.


Using Control With The "F" Keys

And here are the actual keyboard commands that can be used in place of a mouse.  Note:  These shortcuts work in most applications.  They may not function in all applications, most particularly those made by Adobe.

  KEYBOARD SHORTCUT   
DESCRIPTION
MENU COMMANDS
Shift+Apple+Q 
Log out
Shift+Option Apple+Q
Log out immediately
Shift+Apple+Delete  
Empty Trash
Apple+H   
Hide Active Application (Doesn't Work With Adobe Applications)
Option+Apple+H   
Hide All But The Active Application
Control+Eject   
Shut Down, Sleep, or Restart Options
Apple+Control+Eject   
Quit all applications and Restart
Apple+ . (period)   
Stop a process
Apple+ , (comma)   
Open Preferences for Active Application
Option+Apple+D   
Show/Hide Dock
Control+Up Arrow   
Move up one page
Control+Down Arrow  
Move down one page
Option+Apple+Esc   
Force Quit
FILE MANAGEMENT
Command+N   
New Finder window (or New Blank Page in Some Applications)
Shift+Apple+N   
New Folder (Must Be In Finder Window For It to Work)
Apple+O   
Open Another Existing Document
Apple+S   
Save
Shift+Apple+S   
Save as
Apple+P  
Print
Apple+W   
Close Window
Apple+Command+W
Close all Windows
Apple+I   
Get Info
Option+Apple+I   
Show Attributes Inspector (Limited use – varies by application.)
Apple+D  
Duplicate
Apple+Q   
Close Application
Apple+L   
Make Alias
Apple+R   
Show Original
Apple+T   
Add to Favorites
Apple+Delete   
Move Highlighted Items to Trash
Apple+E   
Eject
Apple+F   
Find
EDITING
Apple+Z   
Undo
Apple+X   
Cut
Apple+C   
Copy
Apple+V   
Paste
Apple+A   
Select All
Apple+ {   
Align Left - Only Works in Some Applications
Apple+ }   
Align Right - Only Works in Some Applications
Apple+ | (pipe)   
Align Center - Only Works in Some Applications
Apple+ ; (semicolon)   
Check Spelling - Only Works in Some Applications
Shift+Apple+C  
 Show Colors palette in application - Only Works in Some Applications
Apple+T   
Show Font palette in application - Only Works in Some Applications
VIEW MENU
Apple+1  
View as Icons
Apple+2   
View as List
Apple+3   
View as Columns
Option+Apple+T  
Hide Toolbar
Apple+J   
Show View Options
MOVING AROUND
Apple+ [   
Back -  Must be in Finder Window
Apple+ ]  
Forward -  Must be in Finder Window
Shift+Apple+A   
Applications -  Must be in Finder Window
Shift+Apple+F  
Favorites -  Must be in Finder Window
Shift+Apple+G   
Goto Folder -  Must be in Finder Window
Apple+K   
Connect to Server -  Must be in Finder Window
CONTROLLING WINDOWS
Apple+M   
Minimize Window
Option+Apple+M   
Minimize All Windows
GETTING HELP
Apple+ ?   
Open Mac Help
UNIVERSAL ACCESS
Option+Apple+* (asterisk)   
Turn on Zoom
Option+Apple+ = (equal)   
Zoom in
Option+Apple+ - (minus)   
Zoom out
Control+Option+Apple+* (asterisk)  
Switch to White on Black
COMBINE KEYBOARD WITH MOUSE
Option+Drag   
Copy to new location
Option+Apple+Drag   
Make alias in new location
Apple+Drag   
Move to new location without copying
SCREEN SHOTS
 will leave a .pdf file on desktop to convert to a graphic
Apple+Shift+3
Take a picture of the screen
Apple+Shift+4   
Take a picture of the selection
Apple+Shift+4, then press Control while selecting
Take a picture of the screen, place in clipboard
Apple+Shift+4, then Spacebar
Take a picture of the selected window

I do hope keyboard-only enthusiasts find this list to be useful and that mouse enthusiasts find a trick or two that will help you save time for frequently executed commands.


Copies of Nancy's book Tips, Hints, and Solutions for Seasoned Beginners Using Apple Macintosh Computers With OS X are available in PDF download versions  for US$9.57 and in print version for $18.15 plus $4.00 shipping.   To view sample pages and get ordering information visit the September 14, 2004 column.


Post your comments below.

Check out Nancy's complete index of all her columns for the most complete list of tips anywhere. The list is categorized and is a great reference when you are looking for help!

A Capacious Catalog Of Computer Tips

Talking to a generation that remembers what the world was like before there was color, covers issues for people who don't care how their computer works, but rather what their computer and the internet can do for them.

Nancy has a Master's degree in Human Services Administration and prior to her retirement she worked for almost 30 years in field of mental health and mental retardation. She has been a Mac user for 11 years, and has recently developed an avocation of teaching basic computer skills in both group and one-to-one settings.


Most Recent Computing With Bifocals Columns

Other "Computing With Bifocals" Columns

Recent Headlines - Updated September 20th

Sat,7:27 PM
Fun Rant about Those Who Claim Apple is the Copier
12:27 PM
How to Make Your iPhone 6 Work with Your AT&T MicroCell
Fri,7:51 PM
iOS 8 App Store Bundles Explained
7:23 PM
WSJ Lines Up Tim Cook to Kick Off Inaugural WSJDLive Conference
5:42 PM
Learn Apple’s New Swift Programming Language for $19
5:00 PM
Apple iPhone 6 Plus - the Word That Shall Not be Spoken: Phablet
1:44 PM
TMO Daily Observations: 2014-09-19
11:20 AM
Launch Day Survey Says iPhone 6 Plus is the Go-to Choice
10:35 AM
AT&T’s Next Plan May be the Cheapest Way to Buy an iPhone, Despite the Hype
6:40 AM
iOS 8: How to Change Safari’s Default Search Provider to DuckDuckGo
2:45 AM
First iPhone 6 Sold in Perth Dropped by Kid During TV Interview
Thu,10:22 PM
Dragon Dictate for Mac 4: $99.95
  • __________
  • Buy Stuff, Support TMO!
  • Podcast: Mac Geek Gab
  • Podcast: Apple Weekly Report
  • TMO on Twitter!