Mac Keyboard Shortcuts You Need to Know

June 8th, 2018

hot keys

Apple put a lot of thought into making their products easy to use. Some of this is obvious, like the way macs can boot up straight out of the box, but other ways take some insider know how. Keyboard shortcuts are a great way to get stuff done faster and easier. Just by pressing a combination of keys, you can do things that normally need a mouse, trackpad, or another input device. Here’s a quick list of the shortcuts (sometimes called hot keys) we think are the most helpful.

  • Command-C – Copy the selected item to the Clipboard. This also works for files in the Finder.
  • Command-V – Paste the contents of the Clipboard into the current document or app. This also works for files in the Finder.
  • Command-Z – Undo the previous command. You can then press Command-Shift-Z to Redo, reversing the undo command. In some apps, you can undo and redo multiple commands.
  • Command-A – Select All items.
  • Command-F – Find items in a document or open a Find window.
  • Command-M – Minimize the front window to the Dock. To minimize all windows of the front app, press Command-Option-M.
  • Command-N – New: Open a new document or window.
  • Command-O – Open the selected item, or open a dialog to select a file to open.
  • Command-P – Print the current document.
  • Command-S – Save the current document.
  • Command-Q – Quit the app.
  • Command-Spacebar – Spotlight: Show or hide the Spotlight search field. To perform a Spotlight search from a Finder window, press Command–Option–Spacebar. If you use multiple input sources to type in different languages, these shortcuts change input sources instead of showing Spotlight.
  • Command-Tab – Switch apps: Switch to the next most recently used app among your open apps.

There are more shortcuts you can use within specific applications, so be sure to check for those. If you feel like the combination of keys could be more ergonomic, you can change the command combination in settings. Open system preferences, click keyboard, click shortcuts, find the command you want to change, and click on the key combination set to input the new combination.