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fast keyboard functions to be more productive

When working with Macs, you always want to be productive and this is achieved thanks to the many shortcuts included in Macs. In this article we will try to collect the main shortcuts that exist as well as the possibility of creating some custom.

Essential shortcuts

If you’re migrating from Windows to MacOS, a simple action such as copying and pasting text is probably something you’ll miss. We must bear in mind that between Windows and MacOS the keyboard shortcuts differ, and that’s why we are going to compile below the most common keyboard shortcuts that we all use on a daily basis.

  • Command + C: copy to clipboard action.
  • Command + V: Paste into any document what you have copied into the clipboard.
  • Option + Command + V: paste respecting the original style.
  • Option + Shift + Command + V: paste with the same style as the destination document.
  • Command + X: move file or text from one part to another (cut)
  • Command + Z: if you have made a mistake you can go back.
  • Command + A: selects all the text or all the files in a folder.
  • Command + F: searches a document or opens the Finder.
  • Command + space bar: opens the Spotlight search bar.
  • Command + S: saves any changes made to a document.
  • Shift + Command + S: ‘Save As…’ dialog box.
  • Command + H: hides the open file in the foreground.
  • Command + M: to minimize the open document by placing the icon on the desktop.
  • Command + P: prints the document in the foreground or the web page you are visiting
  • Command + W: closes all open windows.
  • Command + U: displays the code of an html page.
  • Option + Command + Escape: force the exit of an application.
  • Command + T: open a new tab.

Shortcuts in documents

fast keyboard functions to be more productivefast keyboard functions to be more productive

If you work a lot with documents, either in word processors such as Word or Pages, or in the Preview application these shortcuts are of interest to you. They allow you to move very easily through text you are currently writing and to edit it easily.

  • Command + B: makes the selected text piece bold or turns the option on/off.
  • Command + I: puts the selected text in italics or activates/deactivates the function.
  • Command + U: underlines the selected text or activates/deactivates the function.
  • Control + Command + D: shows the definition of a chosen word.
  • Shift + Command + Colon: displays the spelling window.
  • Command + Semicolon: searches for words that are misspelled.
  • Option + Delete: removes the word on the left.
  • Control + H: removes the character to the left of the insertion point. If we press D instead of H, it will delete the right one.
  • D-Control: simulates the ‘Delete’ functions in case you don’t have the specific key.
  • Control + K: deletes the text between the insertion point and the end of the line.
  • Fn + Direction arrows: depending on the arrow you click you will move to a particular part of the document. If you click on the left you will go to the beginning of the document, and if you click on the right arrow you will go to the end. If you press the up arrow you will go back to the previous page and if you press the down arrow you will go to the next page.
  • Command + Direction arrows: if you press the up arrow you will move the insertion point to the beginning of the document, and if you press the down arrow you will place it at the end. If you press the left arrow you will move the insertion point to the beginning of the left line and with the right arrow at the end.
  • Control + A: you move to the beginning of the line or paragraph.
  • Control + E: you move to the end of the line or paragraph.
  • Control + F: center the cursor.
  • Control + O: insert a new line.
  • Command + curve key opening: align text to the left.
  • Command + curved key lock: align text to the right.
  • Shift + Command + Vertical bar: align to the center.
  • Shift + Command + Plus Sign: increase the size of the selected text or image.
  • Shift + Command + Minus Sign: decreases the size of the selected text or item.

Shortcuts in Finder

  • Command + Space bar: open the Spotlight search engine.
  • Space bar: Preview of a selected item.
  • Command + D: duplicate selected files.
  • Command + E: Ejects a disk as a USB storage device.
  • Command C: open the Team window.
  • Command + Shift + D: open the Desktop folder.
  • Shift + Command + F: open the Recent window.
  • Shift + Command + N: create a folder.
  • Shift + Command + L: open the Downloads folder.
  • Shift + Command + I: open the iCloud Drive folder.
  • Shift + Command + O: open the documents folder.
  • Shift + Command + R: open AirDrop.
  • Shift + Command + U: open the utilities folder.
  • Shift + Command + D: show or hide the Dock.
  • Shift + Command + F: open the Recent folder.
  • Option + Command + N: create a Smart Folder.
  • Command + 1: View the elements in the Finder window as icons.
  • Command + 2: View the items in a Finder window as a list.
  • Command + 3: View the elements of a Finder window in columns.
  • Command + 4: View the elements of a Finder window in a gallery.
  • Command + double-click: open folder in another new tab
  • Option + double click: open file in a new window.
  • Command + Delete: move item to trash.
  • Option + Shift + Brightness up or down: adjust the brightness more precisely.
  • Command + Brightness Up: Enable or disable the destination screen mode.
  • Command + Decrease brightness: activate or deactivate video duplication.
  • Command + down arrow: open selected item.

On/off shortcuts

Although the task of shutting down or rebooting a Mac is extremely simple, sometimes a series of errors can occur that force us to resort to different keyboard shortcuts to shut down or reboot a Mac:

  • Option + Command + Power button: put the Mac to sleep.
  • Control + Shift + Power button: put the screen to standby.
  • Control + Power button: display dialog box for shutdown, restart or sleep.
  • Control + Command + Power button: forces the restart of the Mac.
  • Control + Option + Command + Power button: turn off the Mac.
  • Control + Command + Q: lock screen.

Keyboard shortcuts during startup

If you’re a somewhat advanced user and have a problem with your Mac, you can use some commands on your computer’s boot to access safe mode or recovery mode. As mentioned, you should use these commands if you know about the operating system and what you’re doing.

  • Command + R: starts ‘MacOS recovery’, ideal for restoring the equipment.
  • Option or Alt: Boot the Mac from a particular disk partition or other volume.
  • Option + Command + P + R: reset the NVRAM.
  • Shift: starts in safe mode.
  • D: Start the Apple diagnosis. Ideal for checking if any hardware component is failing.
  • N: Start the Mac from a NetBoot server.
  • Command + S: starts in single user mode.

Create new shortcuts in macOS

In addition to all these keyboard shortcuts we found, you can include many others following your tastes. It is important that this does not conflict with the rest of the shortcuts, something that can certainly be complicated, although you can create shortcuts for specific applications. This is ideal for those professional editors who are looking for shortcuts in specific editing programs. To create these shortcuts, simply follow the steps below:

  1. Go to System Preferences , Keyboard , Quick Functions.
  2. On the left you can select ‘Quick App Functions’ and by hitting the ‘+’ icon you can display a series of applications and choose the one you want to create the custom shortcut for.
  3. In the ‘Menu title’ field you must enter the quick function command exactly as shown in the app command. That is, the path to be followed when clicking on the shortcut.
  4. In the ‘Keyboard Quick Function’ field, enter the key combination to be associated with the command specified above.

With these simple steps you can easily execute a shortcut in a specific application or in all of them to make the task a little easier.

And you, do you use this kind of command regularly?