TutorialsMacs Tips and TricksMac Keyboard Shortcuts

Mac Keyboard Shortcuts

The fastest way to navigate a Mac is to learn the OS X keyboard shortcuts available at your fingertips.

With just a few keystrokes users can save files, switch between different applications or documents, and even create screenshots on the fly. It's easy, if you know the keyboard shortcuts to use.

The Basics

The Basics

If you're new to a Mac you're probably wondering what some of the keys in front of you are supposed to do. The chart above is a simple outline of the main keys and their symbols used for shortcuts. Get familiar with these core keys on your Mac.

NOTE: Mac laptops do not have the "Forward Delete" key. Instead, pressing the Function (fn) and delete keys at the same time will produce a "Forward Delete".

Shortcuts (Key Combinations)

Shortcuts (Key Combinations)

Most Apple shortcuts are executed using one, or a combination of the above keyboard commands, so it's useful to get familar with them. For example, in most applications it's common to use the Command + S key to save a document you're working on.

To find the correct keyboard shortcut for your favourite application simply use the mouse and click on the file menu. There you will see the corresponding shortcut next to the mouse click. See screenshot above.

Where's my Windows key?

Where's my Windows key?

Looking to alt-tab, copy to clipboard, or print screen like you did in Windows?

Now that you've ctrl-alt-deleted from Windows the good news is the Mac has all of those options and more, but you may just have to learn a few different keys to press. Here's some common shortcuts you probably used in Windows and its comparable alternative on a Mac.

Screenshots (Print Screen, etc.)

Screenshots (Print Screen, etc.)

One of the most handy keyboard shortcuts on a Mac is taking screenshots. By default, screenshots are saved to the Desktop with the name "Screen Shot <date and time>" and are saved as PNG files.

Here are the screen shot options available.

Advanced Keyboard Shortcuts

Right, that's the basics out of the way. The ;previously discussed commands will get you around your Mac a lot faster than pointing and clicking with a mouse or trackpad. However, the shortcuts don't end there. Let's get into some more specific keyboard shortcuts that will turn you into a real Mac whiz.

Finder Shortcuts

Finder Shortcuts

The Finder is the default file management program used on Mac OS X. While it is intuitive to use with a mouse there are some useful keyboard shortcuts which can save users time opening files and moving them around. Here's some of the more useful shortcuts.

Eject, Eject!

Eject, Eject!

Is an application not responding or you need to shut down quickly? Don't move your hand towards the power switch before trying these keyboard shortcuts.