12/6/229:00 am 8 Custom Keyboard Shortcut Tricks Go beyond basic custom keyboard shortcuts on your Mac with these tricks. See how you can use a single key as a shortcut, launch apps, prevent yourself from accidentally quitting an app, reveal hidden menu commands and more. Check out 8 Custom Keyboard Shortcut Tricks at YouTube for closed captioning and more options. Video Transcript: Hi, this is Gary with MacMost.com. Here are some custom keyboard shortcut tricks for your Mac. MacMost is brought to you thanks to a great group of more than 1000 supporters. Go to MacMost.com/patreon. There you can read more about the Patreon Campaign. Join us and get exclusive content and course discounts. So in a previous video I showed you how to create custom keyboard shortcuts on your Mac. Here are some additional tricks for using custom keyboard shortcuts. So first it seems like you always need to press at least two keys to use the custom shortcut. For instance you can do Command and then a letter or a number or more likely something like Command Option or Command Shift and a letter or number. But you can actually create a custom keyboard shortcut for a single key. For instance you can use the F keys on the top of your keyboard. F1, F2, F3 and so on. To do this first you need to set things up right. So go to System Settings and then go down here to Keyboard and then click on Keyboard Shortcuts. Now you're going to want to look for the Function Keys entry here on the left. Select that and then make sure this switch is turned On. This will allow those keys to be used as traditional F1, F2, and F3 keys rather than being used to control special features like screen brightness, volume playback controls, and things like that. If you have this On to access those special features you need to hold the fn or Globe key and press one of these F keys to do it. So with this turned On let's go to App Shortcuts here and add a custom shortcut. I'm going to click the Plus button to Add a Shortcut and I'm going to create a shortcut for Pages just as an example. Now in Pages under Insert you've got the ability to insert items like say a text box. So we want to assign a keyboard shortcut to text box. We need to remember the exact way the menu item looks. So two works capital T and capital B.Text Box. So we'll type that in here. Now we want to assign the shortcut. We're going to use F1 for this. So I'm just going to press the F1 key. Notice how it accepts it just fine. No need for Command Option Control or Shift although we could do those. We could do Command F1 or Option F1 and set that as the shortcut as well. But the goal here is to just have one key to press. So with that set to F1 now we can see the shortcut here. When we switch to Pages and look under Insert and we see Text Box is set to F1. So now anytime I want to create a text box we can just press F1 on the keyboard and it creates the box. If it doesn't work for you right away try quitting and restarting Pages after you create the keyboard shortcut. It shouldn't be needed but unfortunately sometimes you've got to do it. So now you have twelve customizable keys on your keyboard. You can set custom shortcuts to those and you don't have to press any other key. If you have an extended keyboard it goes all the way up to F19. You've got even more. Now if you have an extended keyboard you've also go a numeric keypad on the right. The numeric keypad, those numbers while they type numbers just like the keys at the top of your keyboard, they are actually separate keys and sometimes you can use those as keyboard shortcuts as well. So, for instance, let's go to Launchpad & Dock up here and there's Show Launchpad. I've got nothing set to that. If I turn that On and I double click here so I can enter in a key, I can use the numeric keypad on my extended keyboard to just put, let's say, the number one. Now I should be able to use Launchpad by just pressing that key. Indeed if I try it works. But if I still use the number 1 in the row on the top of the keyboard it doesn't do it. It recognizes that that is a separate key and it won't trigger the shortcut. Now if I'm in Pages and I'm typing and I press, say, the number 1 it's going to work. But note if I press 2 you see it types number two. So my keyboard shortcut is overriding the text input. Pressing one or two at the top of the keyboard, those just enter the numbers. It's only the numeric keypad where I've changed number 1 to Show Launchpad. Let's turn this Off here. Instead try to create a custom keyboard shortcut, say for adding that text box. I'm going to double click here and I'm going to change that to keypad number 1. Now this should only work in Pages and it should create a text box. But in fact it doesn't. If I press 1 you could see it just types the number 1. It doesn't activate the keyboard shortcut. So it's not quite clear what conditions need to be met for the keypad keys to trigger shortcuts. So the bottom line is if you want to use the keypad keys as shortcuts then you're going to have to experiment. Try it out. See where it works and see where it doesn't and adjust. Now, of course, you can create custom keyboard shortcuts for anything that you see in the menus. That even includes dynamic items. So, for instance, in Safari under Bookmarks I see all my Bookmarks here. I can see things that I've added. These are dynamic. Obviously, there's no standard menu item in Safari for this. But I can still assign a keyboard shortcut to it. So remember this exact name here and let's now add it. I'm going to click the Plus button. I'm going to add this for Safari only and I'm going to type the menu item exactly as it appears. Let's go ahead and use F2. I'll click Done and now you can see it's added. In Safari if we look under Bookmarks we can see it's there. So now anytime I'm in Safari I can press F2 and it will jump to that page. Now you can set shortcuts for items that you don't even see in the menus here. They are hidden. For instance under File in most apps you won't see Save As. It's been years since Save As has been included as a standard menu item. Instead you'll see Duplicate. But if you hold down the Option key Duplicate changes to Save As. We even had a keyboard shortcut for Save As. There's already one there. It's in fact the same one as Duplicate just adding the Option key which makes sense because the Option key is what reveals the shortcut. But a few interesting things happen if we assign a custom shortcut to Save As. So let's add with the Plus button. Set this for just Pages. But we could set it for all apps. In fact let's do that. So we need to site the menu item exactly as we saw before including the three dots. Then we'll set the keyboard shortcut here. We're going to do Shift Command S. Now Shift Command S was the keyboard shortcut for Duplicate. But we're going to use it here. So this will override Duplicate. So now that we've got this here we go back to Pages. There are a few things that have happened. First is Save As is now a regular part of the menu. You don't need to use the Option key to bring it up. Even if you're not going to use the keyboard shortcut it's easier to find it. Also, since we use Shift Command and S that replaced the keyboard shortcut for Duplicate so Duplicate no longer has a keyboard shortcut. Which may be great if you just don't use that function at all. So now we can use Shift Command S and we're doing a Save As. Note that here in TextEdit we have the same thing going on. Since the menu works the same way and we chose all applications when setting up the keyboard shortcut. Now when creating keyboard shortcuts you're always in an app like here I am in Finder and you set a keyboard shortcut for a menu item that is listed. But you could also do it for the Apple Menu. The Apple Menu has some items here with keyboard shortcuts already like Lock Screen but it has others that don't have them. There are often other ways to use the keyboard to put your Mac to sleep. Let's say you wanted to set your own custom keyboard shortcut for Sleep. Then leave it at All Applications. Then put the menu title of Sleep and let's do the keyboard shortcut of Option Command Down and Done. Now if I look here I can see I've got a keyboard shortcut for Sleep. I can do it for the other items here as well. Now often I'm asked if there is a way to do a keyboard shortcut to launch an app. There is! You can simply use the Shortcut's app to do this. So I'm going to launch Shortcuts here. I'm going to create a new shortcut. Pretty much the simplest shortcut you can make is something that launches an app. So we'll search for Open App which is a simple Action here. We can add Open and we can choose the App we want to add. Let's do something like Calculator and add that. That's all the shortcut is going to do. We'll change its name to Launch Calculator and then we'll click on the Info button at the top right. Now if we click the Add Keyboard Shortcut button here then it will automatically check. Uses a Quick Action. Put in the Services Menu and then we can enter a keyboard shortcut. Let's use Command and then equals for this. So now that we've got that let's give it a try. I'll quick shortcuts here and I'll use Command equals and you can see it launches Calculator. Of course this opens up the door for using keyboard shortcuts to launch any shortcut, not just a simple one that launches an app. Now another thing I'm often asked about is is there a way to trigger the Context Menu with a keyboard shortcut. You usually bring up the Context Menu by using Control Click or two-finger click on a trackpad, right click on a mouse, and it will bring up the Context Menu. Now by its nature the Context Menu needs context. So you can't just bring it up as a keyboard shortcut because you have to actually click on something to show that that's the item you want to act on. However, sometimes it would be nice to actually use something in the Context Menu for an item that's already selected. For instance this image here is selected. Could I bring up the Context Menu with a keyboard shortcut? The answer, unfortunately, is no. But there are other ways to do pretty much the same thing. You just have to lookup what you want to accomplish with the Context Menu. For instance, here maybe what I want to accomplish is to go to Open With and then choose Pixelmator Pro and open that image with Pixelmator Pro. It would be nice to have a keyboard shortcut for that. In fact you can. The key to doing that is realizing that almost everything in the Context Menu here is also available in the regular menu. So for instance here's like Rename, Duplicate, Make Alias, Quick Look, Open and Open With. If I had this selected and I go to File I can see all those same things. There's Rename, there's Duplicate, there's Quick Look and there's also Open With. Under Open With there's Pixelmator Pro.app. This is a Menu item. I can assign a keyboard shortcut to this. So let's add that new keyboard shortcut. I'll click here. I'll set the application to the Finder since that's the only case where we'll be using this. The menu title is exactly what we saw. So Pixelmator Pro.app. It doesn't matter what the name of the menu is or the submenu or anything like that. Just the final item name that we need to know. So we can set a keyboard shortcut to this. Let's say Shift Option Command and then P. Then Done. Now here in the Finder we look under File, Open With and we can see the keyboard shortcut is there. So let's give it a try. See there it opens it up. If it doesn't work at first try using the menu item itself once and if it still doesn't work then restart the Finder. One way to restart the Finder is to use Command Option and then Escape. Select the Finder from the list and then click Relaunch. Now you can also set a custom keyboard shortcut to make a command harder to execute instead of easier. Why would you want to do that? Well let's say, for instance, sometimes you find the you accidentally quit an app, like say Safari, by using Command Q. Maybe it is close to another keyboard shortcut you often use so you do it by accident. So in Safari if you look in the Safari menu quit Safari is command q. So back in System Settings we'll use the Plus button here. We'll go set it to the application Safari. We'll do the menu title as Quit Safari and we'll do a keyboard shortcut a little bit harder. We'll do Control Command Q. Then Done. Now back in Safari we see that the keyboard shortcut for quit is Control Command Q. A little harder to execute. We can now do Command Q as much as we want and it won't quit Safari. Unfortunately you can't do it for all apps because another app, like Pages, the menu item here is Quit Pages. Not quit Safari, of course. Not just quit. That won't work. Now another way to do this is to reassign Command Q to something else. Maybe something like About. So let's remove this change to quit Safari here and instead add for Safari Command Q for About Safari. Now if we look in the menu here we see Command Q is About Safari and quit Safari has nothing as a keyboard shortcut. If I accidentally trigger Command Q I just get the About box. Now when you do want to quit Safari, which might be rare since you might be using it all the time anyway you can still go to the Safari menu and choose Quit Safari. So I hope you found this keyboard shortcut tricks useful. Thanks for watching. Related Subjects: Keyboard Shortcuts (68 videos), System Preferences (144 videos) Related Video Tutorials: How To Disable a Keyboard Shortcut On a Mac ― Creating Custom Keyboard Shortcuts on a Mac ― How To Create a Keyboard Shortcut To Open a File In a Specific App ― Adding a Mac Keyboard Shortcut For Moving a Window To Another Display Comments: 9 Responses to “8 Custom Keyboard Shortcut Tricks” Dee 6 months ago Very useful Gary. Some great tips and insights as usual. Andrea Grasselli 6 months ago Thank you very much Gary, really useful! Philip Carnahan 6 months ago I am trying to make a function key to open mail.google.com. In my pref-keyboard-shortcuts, there is not a function keys in the left column???? like you show??? Using Monterey 12.6 on M1Macmini. I am a Patron also and love your stuff. thanks Gary Rosenzweig 6 months ago Philip: This is for Ventura. For Monterey, all of this is there, but it looks different. Andy 6 months ago Option-Hiding "Save As..." and replacing it with "Duplicate" on the file dropdown has bugged me since Apple made that change. I've never used "Duplicate." Showing me how to restore it to the way it was -- across all applications! -- is worth a Patreon donation on its own. Thank you! Joe Grillo 6 months ago I was successful doing the Save As but not successful in creating a shortcut to add link for email. Do you have any suggestions? Gary Rosenzweig 6 months ago Joe: What do you mean, exactly. Like a Shortcut to launch the Mail app? Joe Grillo 5 months ago Numbers - Format - Add Link - Email. I tried to create a shortcut to be able to use on the link to an email address. Gary Rosenzweig 5 months ago Joe: I just tried it and was about to do it. What were you using as the "Title" for the shortcut? Did you check the menu to see if the shortcut appeared there? Also, were you using it in a situation where they menu was active? For instance, you can't just select a cell and use Format, Add Link, Email. It is grayed out (inactive). A keyboard shortcut won't let you use the menu item when the menu item can't be used. Instead, you need to select some text and use it. Leave a New Comment Related to "8 Custom Keyboard Shortcut Tricks" Name (required): Email (will not be published) (required): Comment (Keep comment concise and on-topic.): 0/500 (500 character limit -- please state your comment succinctly and do not try to get around this limit by posting two comments) Δ
Very useful Gary. Some great tips and insights as usual.
Thank you very much Gary, really useful!
I am trying to make a function key to open mail.google.com. In my pref-keyboard-shortcuts, there is not a function keys in the left column???? like you show??? Using Monterey 12.6 on M1Macmini. I am a Patron also and love your stuff. thanks
Philip: This is for Ventura. For Monterey, all of this is there, but it looks different.
Option-Hiding "Save As..." and replacing it with "Duplicate" on the file dropdown has bugged me since Apple made that change. I've never used "Duplicate." Showing me how to restore it to the way it was -- across all applications! -- is worth a Patreon donation on its own. Thank you!
I was successful doing the Save As but not successful in creating a shortcut to add link for email. Do you have any suggestions?
Joe: What do you mean, exactly. Like a Shortcut to launch the Mail app?
Numbers - Format - Add Link - Email.
I tried to create a shortcut to be able to use on the link to an email address.
Joe: I just tried it and was about to do it. What were you using as the "Title" for the shortcut? Did you check the menu to see if the shortcut appeared there? Also, were you using it in a situation where they menu was active? For instance, you can't just select a cell and use Format, Add Link, Email. It is grayed out (inactive). A keyboard shortcut won't let you use the menu item when the menu item can't be used. Instead, you need to select some text and use it.