• Marie Robertson-King

The A To Z of Mac Keyboard Shortcuts

Updated: Oct 26

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!



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