Useful Mac/Apple Keyboard Shortcuts You Should Know

Updated on May 18, 2020
Layne Holmes profile image

Layne is an active freelance writer. She enjoys staying up to date on trends, media, and emerging topics.

Keyboard Shortcuts for Mac
Keyboard Shortcuts for Mac | Source

General Keyboard Shortcuts for Mac/Apple

Learning all the helpful Mac and Apple shortcuts is a must—simply knowing them makes workflow much easier. Some users go as far as to create their own custom keyboard shortcuts for the tasks they frequently repeat. Whatever your needs are, learn some of the most basic shortcuts, as well a some of the most helpful and lesser-known hacks:

When you are exercising these shortcuts, do the following:

For example: Command + C

  1. Hold down the Command key
  2. At the same time, hold down the C key

People commonly search for solutions to functions like: "How Do I Paste Text to Match the Style in a Doc?" A simple command like Command + Shift + V will save you a lot of time.

Learn shortcuts for your Mac
Learn shortcuts for your Mac | Source

Copy and Paste

  • Command + C = Copies the selected text to the clipboard
  • Command + V = Pastes the copied text
  • Command + X = Cuts the selected text and copies it to the clipboard
  • Command + A = Selects/highlights all text
  • Command + Option + A = Deselects all text

Doing and Undoing Actions

  • Command + Z = Undo
  • Shift + Command + Z = Redo

Minimizing and Opening Windows and Apps

  • Command + H = Hides the windows of the app you are using
  • Command + M = Minimizes the front window and drops it to the the dock bar below
  • Option + Command + M = Minimizes all windows
  • Command + T = Opens a new tab

Shortcut for Working in Pages/Documents

  • Command + B = Bolds highlighted text or turns the bold font "on"
  • Command + I = Italicizes highlighted text or turns the italicization "on"
  • Command + U = Underlines selected text or turns the underlining "on"
  • Command + K = Adds a web link
  • Command + P = Prints
  • Command + S = Saves
  • Command + ; = Jumps you through all the misspelled words in a document
  • Command + Shift + V = This is the shortcut for “paste and match style”; you can copy text and paste it so that it will not keep its original formatting

Internet Use Shortcuts in Safari

  • Fn + Up Arrow = Scroll up the page
  • Fn + Down Arrow = Scroll down the page
  • Command + L = Instantly selects address bar in Safari
  • Command + N = Opens a new page
  • Command + F = This function allows you to find text in a document via the search function

Learn the shortcut for a screenshot
Learn the shortcut for a screenshot | Source

How to Take a Screen Shot

  • Command + Shift + 3 = This command takes a screenshot of your entire screen and saves it as a .png
  • Command + Shift + Control + 3 = This will save a screen shot directly to your clipboard
  • Command + Shift + 4 = This command provides a modifiable box for you to stretch or shrink so that you can take a screenshot of a section of your screen
  • Command + Shift + Control + 4 = This will save your screenshot directly to your clipboard

How to Take a Screenshot on macOS Mojave

  • For taking a screenshot on macOSs Mojave, simply hold down Command + Shift + 5

Search Functions, Delete, and Force Quit

  • Command + Spacebar = This allows you to access the spotlight search function immediately; use it to search for files on your computer.
  • Command + H = This shortcut will hide all applications that are running
  • Command + Tab = Jumps from application to application; each time you hit “tab,” you will jump to the next application
  • Option + Command + Esc = Force quit
  • Command + Delete = Moves a selected item to the trash
  • Command + Shift + Option + Delete = Immediately empties trash

How to Dictate on Mac

  • Fn + Fn = You will be able to dictate directly onto a Pages doc

How to enable VoiceOver
How to enable VoiceOver

How to Get Your Mac to Read to You

  1. Go to the Apple icon in the upper left of the screen
  2. Click the "Accessibility" icon
  3. Select "VoiceOver"
  4. Enable "VoiceOver"
  5. Use the preset: Command + F5

How to Customize Keyboard Shortcuts on Mac

Customizing Shortcuts on Mac

If you are looking for more advanced shortcuts, you can customize your keyboard shortcuts by following some generic steps:

  1. Go to "System Preferences"
  2. Find the "Keyboard" icon
  3. Select the "Shortcuts" tab
  4. Consider adding a unique command
  5. Watch the video above for specificity

What's Your Favorite Shortcut?

Do you have advice on how to setup the most useful shortcuts? Share your tips and tricks with the community below.

© 2019 Layne Holmes

Share Your Tips and Tricks Below

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    • Layne Holmes profile imageAUTHOR

      Layne Holmes 

      12 months ago from Bend, Oregon

      Thanks for the read Liz! I find myself searching for these often.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      12 months ago from UK

      This is a very useful guide.


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