The Mac Observer

Skip navigational links

You're viewing an article in TMO's historic archive vault. Here, we've preserved the comments and how the site looked along with the article. Use this link to view the article on our current site:
Make Your Own Keyboard Shortcuts

TMO Quick Tip - Make Your Own Keyboard Shortcuts

by , 7:30 AM EST, March 8th, 2006

Using a mouse or other pointing device to perform actions by selecting menu items may be easy, but it isn't always the most efficient way to get something done. Take printing, for example: You can slide your mouse pointer up to the menu bar and choose File > Print, or you can use the keyboard shortcut Command-P. Either way opens the print dialog, but the keyboard shortcut saves time since you don't have to take your hand off the keyboard to use your mouse.

If Apple left out a keyboard shortcut for an action you perform all the time, you can create your own in the Keyboard & Mouse Preference Pane. As an example, lets make a keyboard shortcut for burning a CD or DVD in the Finder.

    - Launch System Preferences. You can find under Apple Menu > System Preferences.
    - Click the Keyboard & Mouse icon.
    - Click the Keyboard Shortcuts tab.
    - Click the plus button at the bottom of the shortcut list to add a new keyboard shortcut.

    Click the plus button to add a new keyboard shortcut.
    - Choose Finder from the Application pop-up menu
    - Enter the exact name of the menu item you want to add a shortcut to. In this case, the menu item name is "Burn Disc..." - without the quotes.
    - Type the key combination you want to use in the Keyboard Shortcut field. If you enter something that's already in use, you'll get a warning telling you to try a different combination. I used Command-Option-Control-Shift-B because the keys are close together, and I know the key combination isn't in use by another application on my Mac.
    - Click the Add button.

Entering your shortcut's key combination.

To use your new keyboard shortcut, insert a blank CD or DVD into your Mac, and copy files to it. When you are ready to burn and eject your disc, type your keyboard shortcut instead of dragging the disc to the burn symbol in the Dock.

You can also use the Keyboard Shortcuts tab to reassign your Mac's default shortcuts to different keyboard combinations. This is handy if you use an application that has shortcuts that conflict with Mac OS X. In Tiger, for example, Spotlight's Command-Space shortcut interferes with some design applications. Either give Spotlight a different keyboard combination, or uncheck it to disable it completely.

Recent TMO Headlines - Updated August 25th

Fri, 6:16 PM
My Five “Desert Island” Mac Apps
Fri, 6:10 PM
With Some iPhone Luster Gone, Apple is Pouring it on With Other Products
Fri, 2:21 PM
Stay Connected Anywhere in the World with Any Plan at Minimal Cost: $99
Fri, 1:38 PM
Tim Cook, Taylor Swift, and Cleaning Apple Cards – TMO Daily Observations 2019-08-23
Fri, 11:15 AM
YouTube Cancels Accounts Showing Hong Kong Protests
Fri, 10:41 AM
Taylor Swift 'Lover' on Apple Music
Fri, 10:14 AM
One Day at Disney Trailer Flies Into View
Fri, 10:00 AM
Don't Let Your Kids Download These Apps
Fri, 9:45 AM
Emmanuel Macron Says its Crazy That Apple Gets Tax Haven
Fri, 9:15 AM
Walmart Sues Tesla Over Solar Panel Fires
Fri, 9:00 AM
50 Attorneys General and 12 Carriers Want to End Robocalling
Fri, 8:45 AM
NSA Wants Congress to Reauthorize Section 215 Permanently
  • __________
  • Buy Stuff, Support TMO!
  • Podcast: Mac Geek Gab
  • Podcast: Apple Weekly Report
  • TMO on Twitter!