10 Mac Shortcuts I Use Every Day

I often talk about shortcuts and other ways to be more productive on yoru Mac. Here are 10 shortcuts that I actually use in my work every day including how I prefer to resize windows, switch apps, avoid typing my long email address and more.

Comments: 26 Responses to “10 Mac Shortcuts I Use Every Day”

    Will
    9 months ago

    I dictate into Notes on my phone and then transfer from Notes on my iMac into a word processable file, either Word for Mac or Pages. I nearly always dictate short messages from my phone rather than typing them.

    Hal Plimpton
    9 months ago

    Gary – I find using the Safari TOP SITES (12 site option) feature to launch websites improves workflow. Placing a TOP SITES icon on the menu bar next to the URL window (plus the useful forward/back icon). One-click opens a graphic display of 12 frequently used websites with local cookies in most instances providing immediate access to desired site/page. Second click and you are there. 12 sites provide instant access to 90% of my web destinations. Works for me…Hal

    Stephen R
    9 months ago

    Gary – on the screen resizing, is there a short cut to put it back to the original size? Love these tips, thanks for doing the videos.

    9 months ago

    Stephen: No, since you are just changing the size. No previous size is “remembered.”

    Delmar H. Knudson, M.D.
    9 months ago

    I often have and would find it handy to use Option/Shift/Command/V; but seem to forget the shortcut from time to time. It should help to now have seen it again with both the audio-visual explanation, the example, and the Large Highlighted Keys. Also, Option, Command, and V have a certain logic for this maneuver, and I just have to remember to also click on Shift.

    Eric
    9 months ago

    I wasn’t aware of the Option and double-click way to resize windows but do use all of the other shortcuts mentioned. What I do use for resizing/repositioning windows is the app called Magnet (available on the App Store). It gets used a lot! It has 18 keyboard shortcuts available.

    Gail Lewis
    9 months ago

    Currently I only use short cuts to copy and paste. I’m gonna watch your tutorial again and learn how to do at least 2 more things, like maximizing the screen that i’m working on.

    Barry Pless
    9 months ago

    Gary: there must be a way to get an expanded screen back to the original size. I understand that there is no remembering but if not that, what else must one do? there must come a point when the user wants things to go back to normal. How do we get there?

    9 months ago

    Barry: Well, the idea with this technique is you a *changing* the window size. The new size is the new normal. If you want to temporarily enlarge the window, then maybe Full Screen mode is the better way to go. Or, Option+Click the green button to use the standard “maximize” function and then Option+click again to go back. But that doesn’t always get you a window the size of the screen. But if going back to the previous size is more important, then it is the way to go.

    Nick
    9 months ago

    hi Gary, what actually happens when you Archive emails? I find it convenient to create a Filing Cabinet folder and then whatever sub-folders I need within that and store any emails I wanna keep in those sub-folders. Does Archive offer some sort of space-saving advantage? thx Nick

    9 months ago

    Nick: Depends on the email server you are using. In iCloud the emails go into the Archive folder. In Gmail, they simply lose the “inbox” label and are just part of your stored email without a label. There is no special space-saving advantage. I done’ have any folders or subfolders (AKA mailboxes). I archive everything and if I need something later it is easy to search for it. I don’t waste any time organizing email I probably won’t ever need again — and if I do need it again I’ll find it almost as fast with a search anyway.

    nick
    9 months ago

    With regards to hiding apps rather than closing them, I thought there might be a drain on RAM resources when hiding vs closing apps. Do you think this should be a concern?

    9 months ago

    nick: It would only drain the battery if it was doing something. But if it is doing something, then if you quit it will stop, which I assume you don’t want. For instance, you can hide Music or Podcasts while playing, but if you quit, it will stop playing. If you are rendering a video in Final Cut or iMovie, you want it to keep rendering. But otherwise, hidden apps that aren’t doing anything wouldn’t use any noticeable power.

    nick
    9 months ago

    Gary: was thinking about RAM resources, not power (I’m using a desktop Mac Mini), so essentially impact on performance due to multiple apps sitting in the background

    9 months ago

    nick: Memory shouldn’t be an issue. Try it. Try not quitting apps you know you are going back to soon anyway. I never quit apps I use throughout the day.

    Gene Bush
    9 months ago

    Gary, I found a shortcut a couple of years or so ago for maximizing a window and returning the window to its previous size after you have maximized it. Simply click on the toolbar of an open window and drag it to the very top of the screen until it snaps to fill the screen. To return the window to its previous size, click on the toolbar and drag it away from the top of the screen, and it snaps back to its previous size.

    9 months ago

    Gene: That’s another way to activate Full Screen mode for an app. You can do the same thing with the green button or Control+Command+F. The idea behind the Option+click the corner is to set the window to the size of the screen without using Full Screen mode.

    Leslie France
    9 months ago

    Thanks, great tips!

    I like to grab screenshots as a quick way to capture images online including 3D Maps.

    Narelle
    9 months ago

    i have a little A-Z (phone book like) that i write (all your really cool) hints down in. I know i won’t remember everything so i save the shortcuts that i know ill use, and then after 4-5 times they become habit & i don’t need to look at the book any more. Thats quicker (for me) than to got to your web page & try to remember which tutorial you gave the info in.
     💜 your Hints & Tips!! 😆

    Stan Greenberg
    9 months ago

    Is there any way to make the window size you are viewing open in a default size–I usually like to view websites in “theater view”, but I usually have to resize to get there?

    9 months ago

    Stan: Not without some sort of system extension. But if you have a window size you like, then just set it there and leave it there. Just don’t close that window.

    Tim
    8 months ago

    Command Shift V for pasting values in numbers and excel

    Gerry Taylor
    8 months ago

    The screen can also be extended to full screen (retaining the menu bar), and returned, by double tapping the spaces in the tool bar. Though it seems that you can’t extend only vertical or horizontal “strips” so it won’t be much help on Gary’s vertical screen layout, but some trickery with the ‘Magnet’ app might get you there.

    Ken
    8 months ago

    I like the idea that Narelle suggested above and I have started doing the same thing. I am always on my Mac and very rarely use shortcuts. However, I do use some. The one I use most is in Safari. I use “Command T” to open a new page and I have my Safari set up so it opens to my main Google Account (Google Drive). One thing I especially like about your tutorials, even in apps I do not use, is that you always give a “suggestion” or “tip” that can be used in other apps.

    Chris Caldwell
    8 months ago

    One of my favorites is when I’m trying to quickly browse through a bunch of files to find a particular one, is to highlight the file name and then hit the spacebar to bring up a quick look preview.

    Gerry T
    8 months ago

    Regarding hiding”inactive” apps: Activity Monitor”, which i (used to) keep running in the background is powered up while in hiding, I’ve just discovered.Quite expensive too. Also just found that the window expander commands don’t work while the “three finger drag” is chosen.

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