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  • Writer's pictureMarie Robertson-King

The A To Z of Mac Keyboard Shortcuts

Updated: Dec 3, 2021

So you’ve just unboxed your brand new Mac … maybe you’ve switched from a PC or maybe you’ve upgraded … whatever the reason, if you want to save yourself some time, you need to be using keyboard shortcuts.

By pressing certain key combinations, you can do things that normally need a mouse or trackpad.

To use a keyboard shortcut, press and hold one or more modifier keys and then press the last key of the shortcut. For example, to use Command-C (copy), press and hold the Command key, then the C key, then release both keys.

The number of shortcuts out there is huge, so I thought I’d start you with a basic list of common shortcuts that you can use every day to navigate your operating system like a pro and some shortcuts specifically for documents

Common Shortcuts

  • Command A: Select All items

  • Command B: Bold the selected text, or turn bolding on or off

  • Command C: Copy the selected item to the clipboard

  • Control Command D: Show or hide the definition of the selected word

  • Command E: Centre align the selected text

  • Command F: Find items in a document or open a Find window

  • Command G: Find Again: Find the next occurrence of the item previously found

  • Command H: Hide the windows of the front app. To view the front app but hide all other apps, press Option-Command-H

  • Command I: Italicise the selected text, or turn italics on or off

  • Command J: Justify the selected text

  • Command K: Add a web link

  • Command L: Left align the selected text

  • Command M: Minimise the front window to the Dock. To minimise all windows of the front app, press Option-Command-M

  • Shift Command N:Create a new folder in the Finder

  • Command O:Open the selected item or open a dialogue to select a file to open

  • Command P: Print the current document

  • Command Q: Shows the ‘save’ dialogue box

  • Command R: Right align the selected text

  • Command S: Save the current document

  • Command T: Open a new tab

  • Command U: Underline the selected text or turn underlining on or off

  • Command V: Paste the contents of the clipboard into the current document or app. This also works for files in the Finder

  • Command W: Close the front window. To close all windows of the app, press Option-Command-W

  • Command X: Cut the selected item and copy it to the clipboard

  • Command Y: Redo the previous command

  • Command Z: Undo the previous command

Bonus Shortcuts

Now that we’ve got the A to Z, here are some bonus shortcuts you might find useful:

  • Option Command Esc: Force quit an app

  • Command Spacebar: Show the Spotlight search field

  • Control Command Spacebar: Shows the emoji keyboard

  • Control Command F: Use the app in full screen [if supported by the app]

  • Command Tab: Switch to the next most recently used app among your open apps

  • Shift Command 4: Take a screenshot and save it to your desktop

  • Shift Control Command 4 – Take a screenshot without saving it to your desktop

  • Command Comma: Open preferences for the current app

  • Fn Up Arrow: Scroll up one page

  • Fn Down Arrow: Scroll down one page

A full list of every MAC keyboard shortcuts you could ever need can be found on Apple Support.

You can even create your own shortcuts if there’s a repetitive task you want to make easier … how cool is that?

I hope you find these shortcuts useful … have I missed any that you swear by? Let me know in the comments!


Marie Robertson-King is the Head Empress of organisation and systems at Empress of Order.

After spending decades in the corporate world, she is now bringing her wealth of experience in administration, systems, reporting, communications and procedures to the small business community! Marie has worked across multiple industries in her career - construction, mining, aviation and finally oil and gas.

She’s obsessed with detail, loves organisation, order and making life easier for her clients. She gets a kick out of a well-executed spreadsheet or a beautiful presentation, and she’s well known for producing work to a high standard, even under pressure.



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Marie is a Virtual Assistant based in Perth

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