10 Keyboard shortcuts for Macs

10 Keyboard shortcuts for Macs

Everyone loves a good keyboard shortcut, as they can save you time on any number of desired tasks. With these 10 shortcuts for Apple computers, you can reduce your time spent sorting through menu options, or over-using your mouse.

Quit Apps: Cmd+Q
If you would like to completely shut down a program when running macOS, it takes a little more than just clicking the red “x” in the top corner of the application. This is a little different than Windows computers, that typically close the program completely when the “x” is clicked (instead of leaving it running in the background). So in order to correctly shut down an application on a Mac, use this keyboard shortcut, or choose quit from the dropdown menu.

Undo: Cmd+Z
This shortcut is perhaps the most common, as well as most useful. By clicking Cmd+Z, you can undo your last action, which is an identical process to Ctrl+Z on a PC. This shortcut works within most programs, and ensures that you don’t lose or ruin data that is accidently deleted or altered.

Quick Look: Space-Bar
When browsing through a number of files such as images or MP3s, it is possible to take a quick look without actually opening the file in an application. First select the file that you would like to generate a preview for, and then click the space-bar. This will launch a preview within finder, that can then be closed by a second click of the space-bar.

Search: Cmd+F
It is possible to launch a search at any point in time on your computer, despite what application you happen to be using at the moment.  When you click Cmd+F in a browser you can search the website you’re on for keywords, you can search within a folder on your hard drive, or even search your music catalog in iTunes.

Hide Applications: Cmd+H
Sometimes several open windows can muddle up your screen. With this shortcut, you can hide the open windows of any given application that you happen to be using. Once a window is hidden, the computer will switch the foremost app to whichever one has been used most recently.

Switch Apps: Cmd+Tab
Use this shortcut to switch between multiple applications that are being used. If you click those buttons once, the application you are currently using will switch over to the previous application you were using. A second click will revert back to the initial application. By holding down the Cmd key after you click tab, you will see the icons of all of your open apps. In order to cycle through these applications, simply click tab.

Screenshot: Cmd+Shift+3 or Cmd+Shift+4
These two shortcut options provide users with the ability to take a photo of their screen. Cmd+Shift+3 grabs your entire screen, and produces a PNG file that is saved to the desktop. With the other option, Cmd+Shift+4, you can specify the area of your screen that is captured by drawing a rectangle over the desired region of your screen.

Launch Siri: Cmd+Space-bar
If you would like to launch Apple’s digital assistant, and voice a number of commands, this is the shortcut you’re looking for. By pressing and holding these two keys, you can access Siri and search through files, play a song, or make sure that you are prepared for tomorrow’s weather.

Force Quit: Cmd+Opt+Esc
This shortcut opens the force quit dialogue box, which presents a list of the applications that are currently running on your machine. By selecting the app that you need to force quit, you can move past the spinning wheel of death and shut down any given application.

Cancel Operation: Cmd+Period
If there is an operation that is currently underway, and you’d like to cancel it, use this shortcut. Let’s say that you are transferring a large amount of files from one drive to another and your computer is acting particularly laggy. This shortcut quickly cancels the operation, so that you can wait to transfer until your computer is functioning in a higher capacity.