You may remember back in June, we wrote about important keyboard shortcuts for Windows. We didn't want our Apple friends to feel left out, so we've created a little something that we believe, covers the most useful keyboard shortcuts for Mac. Whether you're a beginner with your Mac or it's a trusty companion, we hope you pick up a tip or two from this article.
Firstly, most Mac keyboard shortcuts work similarly to the Windows shortcuts but use the Command and Option keys instead. Mac keyboards have the Option and Command keys where the standard PC keyboards have Alt and Windows keys. Ready for some shortcuts?
Launching and Quitting Applications
Spotlight Search: Press Command + Space to open the Spotlight search field. You can then quickly type to search and press Enter to launch an application or open a file. Just like pressing the Windows key and typing to search and launch applications on Windows.
Force Quit Applications: Press Command + Option + Escape to open the Force Quit Applications dialogue, this allows you to forcibly close applications if they’re frozen. This is the Mac equivalent to Windows Task Manager.
Force Quit The Current Application: Press Command + Shift + Option + Escape and hold down the keys for around three seconds. Your Mac will then force-close the front-most application, which is a God send if it isn’t responding and you can’t even open the Force Quit Applications window. Please note that this can cause applications to lose your work. Just like the Task Manager on Windows, you should only use this feature when necessary.
Each different web browser shares standard keyboard shorcuts that work the same on all operating systems, including Mac OSX. The big difference on a Mac, is that you'll be using the Command key as opposed to the Ctrl or Alt keys you'd use on Windows.
- Command + F – Start searching the current page. This also works in other applications.
- Command + Left Arrow – Go back a page.
- Command + Right Arrow – Go forward a page.
- Command + T – Open a new tab.
- Command + W – Close the current tab.
- Command + L – Focus the browser’s location bar so you can start typing a search or web address
- Ctrl + Tab – Switch between open tabs.
- Ctrl + Shift + Tab – Switch between open tabs in reverse.
When it comes to editing your documents, keyboard shortcuts also function similarly between Mac and Windows. Again, you’ll just be using the Command key instead of the Ctrl key.
- Command + A – Select All
- Command + X – Cut
- Command + C – Copy
- Command + V – Paste
- Command + Z – Undo
- Command + Shift + Z – Redo
- Command + Left Arrow – Go to the beginning of the current line.
- Command + Right Arrow – Go to the end of the current line.
- Option + Left Arrow – Move the cursor left one word.
- Option + Right Arrow – Move the cursor right one word.
- Option + Delete – Delete the word to the left of the cursor. Please bear in mind that the Delete button on a Mac functions like Backspace on Windows.
As on Windows, you can press Shift to select text while using these shortcuts. For example, hold down Shift and Option and tap the left arrow repeatedly to select entire previous words.
Managing Open Applications
Macs have an application switcher that works just like Alt + Tab does on Windows, but there are many more keyboard shortcuts that tie into the Mission Control feature.
- Command + Tab – Move through a list of open applications. This is like Alt + Tab on Windows.
- Command + Shift + Tab – Move through the list in reverse.
- Command + Q – Quit the current application. This is like Alt + F4 on Windows.
- F3 – Open Mission Control to view all open application windows and desktops.
- Ctrl + Left Arrow – Move one desktop to the left.
- Ctrl + Right Arrow – Move one desktop to the right.
If you want to take a screenshot on your Mac, just press Command + Shift + 3. You can also press Command + Shift + 4 to take a picture of part of the screen. The screenshot will be saved to your Mac’s desktop.
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