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Putting a keyboard shortcut to an OS X menu

Today we bring you one more of those tricks that teach you how to get every last drop of juice out of OS X. Once again we’ll show you a trick related to keyboard shortcuts, those so hated by some but that we like so much as advanced users of the operating system of the apple. This time you’ll learn how to apply custom keyboard shortcuts to application menus

If you are a power user on OS X you probably know that applications have lots of keyboard shortcuts, which allow you to execute an action of the program by using a combination of keys. However, it may also be the case that in a certain application you do an action very often, and that this action does not have a keyboard shortcut.

Putting a keyboard shortcut to an OS X menuPutting a keyboard shortcut to an OS X menu

It happens to me a lot with Preview, that every time I want to resize an image I have to go to Tools> Resize , and there is no keyboard shortcut for that. But OS X has as always a solution for us, which is called Keyboard Shortcuts .

What this preference panel does is let us add menus from the applications we want and assign the keyboard shortcut we want. To do this we’ll need to follow these steps:

  • We’re going to Preferences , Quick Keyboard Functions.
  • Click on Applications in the left bar.
  • Click on + and choose the application to which you want to assign the keyboard shortcut, the exact menu title and the quick keyboard function you want:

In my case, I have added the same shortcut to resize the image that Photoshop has, so I will be very comfortable doing the same in Preview. Now it’s just a matter of raising your similar problems with the applications and putting as many keyboard shortcuts as you need, your productivity can really improve a lot. My advice is to get lost in this panel for a while, because you can learn a lot.

But perhaps there is a trick to keyboard shortcuts that is certainly essential, and that in OS X will be very grateful, especially if you come from Windows. As you may know, when we do Cmd + Tab in OS X we switch between applications even if it has several windows open, while in Windows we jump between windows all the time, which gives us more control.

Well, in this same menu of Quick Keyboard Functions, if we go to the section of Keyboard and text , we will see that there is an option called Center in next window . This will jump between the different windows of the active application, which will be of infinite help in our case. Another option is to emulate exactly the same Windows system, and jump window by window, no matter which application is active, with the option Center on active window or on next window , but I personally am more convinced by the first method.

For example, I have configured the shortcut Cmd + º , and so it catches me just above the tab, which I find most intuitive. And you, do you have a favourite shortcut in your system?