Technology

10 useful Mac keyboard shortcuts you need to know

Shortcuts. The word itself carries a heavy weight in our household. Growing up, my parents relentlessly instilled in me the idea that one must work hard to succeed. They always said, “shortcuts are for the lazy and the uninspired.” It was that simple. 

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Oh, Mom, if you could see me now. I mean, she can. She would just have to drive several miles in LA traffic. If she were to endure that agony, she could witness her son taking all the shortcuts. Instead of breaking her heart, however, I would break the good news. 

Shortcuts are a lifesaver, and for all MacBook lovers, they will guarantee an increase in productivity and a decrease in headaches. Okay, I can’t promise that, although what I can promise is by the end of this brief article, you’ll be an equipped keyboard warrior ready for any scuffle. 

The MacBook offers a wide range of keyboard shortcuts that save you time and effort and make your workflow smoother. Keyboard shortcuts are key combinations that perform a specific action on your MacBook, and they can complete tasks quickly and efficiently without using your mouse or trackpad. This means you can work faster and more comfortably, reducing the risk of repetitive strain injuries (finger cramps are the worst!) 

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apple macbook

Cat paw on a mac keyboard (Apple)

10 Keyboard Shortcuts 

1. Open Spotlight Search 

First, we have Command + Spacebar, which opens up Spotlight search. It’s a great way to find files, launch apps quickly, or even search the web.

macbook apple shortcuts

Keyboard shortcut on Macbook allows you to open spotlight search (Apple)

2. Switch between applications 

Next, we have Command + Tab, which lets you easily switch between open applications. It’s like having a superpower to multitask on your Mac. 

macbook apple shortcuts

Keyboard shortcut on Macbook allows you to switch between applications (Apple)

3. Screenshot your entire screen 

If you’re someone who loves to take screenshots, then you’ll love the Command + Shift + 3 shortcut. It captures and saves your entire screen as an image file on your desktop. 

If you only want to grab a portion of your screen, use Command + Shift + 4 instead. 

Drag the crosshair  

 to select the area of the screen to capture.  To move the selection, press and hold Space bar while dragging. To cancel taking the screenshot, press the Esc (Escape) key. 

To take the screenshot, release your mouse or trackpad button. 

If you see a thumbnail in the corner of your screen, click it to edit the screenshot or wait for the screenshot to save to your desktop. 

macbook apple shortcuts

Keyboard shortcut on Macbook allows allows you to screenshot your entire screen (Apple)

4. Navigate the Menu with your keyboard 

If you’re a keyboard warrior who hates using the mouse, you’ll appreciate Control + F2, which focuses on the menu bar, so you can navigate through it using your keyboard.   

On many Mac keyboards, you may also need to press the fn key located at the bottom left of the keyboard.  So you would press fn+Control+F2.  You will see the apple icon in the upper left-hand corner highlighted.  Then in order to navigate the menu, use your left, right, up and down keys to locate the menu item you want to select. 

5. Move a file to the trash 

Next, we have Command + Delete, which moves a file to the trash, and Shift + Command + Delete, which empties the trash. It’s a quick and easy way to keep your Mac clutter-free.

6. Re-open a browser tab you accidentally just closed 

Have you ever accidentally closed a tab in your web browser and wished there was an undo button for that? Well, there is! Just press Command + Shift + T to reopen the last closed tab. It’s a real time-saver and can prevent you from losing important information. 

7. Force applications to quit 

Another helpful shortcut is Command + Option + Esc, which opens the Force Quit Applications window. It’s like a panic button when an app freezes or becomes unresponsive, and you need to force it to quit. 

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macbook apple shortcuts

Keyboard shortcut on Macbook allows allows you to screenshot your entire screen (Apple)

8. Bold, italicize, and/or underline 

If you work with text a lot, you’ll appreciate Command + B, Command + I, and Command + U. These are the shortcuts for bold, italic, and underline, respectively, and they work in most text-editing applications. 

9. Find and insert an emoji or special character 

Need to add an emoji or special character to your document or email? This command opens up the Character Viewer, so you can easily find and insert the symbol you need: Control + Command + Space

macbook apple shortcuts

Keyboard shortcut on Macbook allows allows you to screenshot your entire screen (Apple)

HOW TO BACK UP YOUR MAC COMPUTER  

10. Create a new folder 

Last but definitely not least, we have, Command + Shift + N. This one creates a new folder in Finder. It’s a great way to keep your files organized and tidy without clicking through multiple menus. 

Final Thoughts 

Those are 10 of my favorite and most used shortcuts that guarantee a more comfortable experience with your MacBook. By using these commands, you can save time, increase productivity, and reduce strain on your hands and fingers. Give them a try and see how they can make your life easier! 

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What’s your favorite shortcut?  Let us know by writing us at CyberGuy.com/Contact

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