7/16/219:00 am Controlling Your Mac With Only the Keyboard If you want to maximize the time your hands are on your keyboard and minimize the time you use your mouse or trackpad, here are 10 techniques you need to master. Video Transcript: Hi, this is Gary with MacMost.com. Today let me show you the ten techniques you need to master if you want to control your Mac with only your keyboard. MacMost is brought to you thanks to a great group of more than 1000 supporters. Go the MacMost.com/patreon. There you can read more about the Patreon Campaign. Join us and get exclusive content and course discounts. Now if you'd rather keep your fingers on your keyboard and use your trackpad or mouse as little as possible you can do almost anything using just keyboard commands. The first technique that you need to master is using Keyboard Shortcuts. You probably already use a lot of them. But it's important that you know how to do as much as possible with keyboard shortcuts. You're never going to have an easier way to do something than a keyboard shortcut that activates a menu item. If you go into the Menu of any app that you're using you'll see all the keyboard shortcuts there. You may go to the Menu to actually do something right now but if you're going to use only the keyboard you need to learn all these keyboard shortcuts. For instance in Safari here if you want to go to a new location, Command L is the way to do it. It brings the text cursor up to the address bar here and then you can type a new URL. So if I want to go to a new page here I can just use Command L and then type the URL. I didn't even have to complete it as autocomplete did it for me. Hit Return and I could go to the new page without ever touching the mouse or trackpad. Now if you don't have a shortcut you could easily add your own. All you need to do to do that is to find the Command. So let's go to File, Share and Messages and say this is something you need to do often. It would be great if there was a keyboard shortcut for this but there isn't one by default. So just memorize the name of this menu item, in this case Messages. You don't need to worry about what the menu was in like Share or File. Then go to System Preferences, Keyboard, Shortcuts, go to Add Shortcuts, hit the Plus button, specify the application, so in this case Safari, and then type that exact name. Then do the shortcut. So in this case let's do Command Option Shift and M. We'll make that the shortcut. So now in Safari when I look there I'll see that shortcut. If I want to Share this page with Messages I can do that just by using that keyboard shortcut. But sometimes you do need to access the Menu Bar for something you haven't set a shortcut for or maybe you don't remember the keyboard shortcut. You can do so one of two ways using the keyboard. Make sure you have this activated by going to System Preferences and then in Keyboard under Shortcuts go to Keyboard. Here look for Move Focus to the Menu Bar. Make sure this is turned on and check what it is. In this case it's Control F2. Now note that using F2 depends on this setting here under Keyboard. If you have this turned Off you're going to have to use the fn key to get F2. If you have it turned On then you could just hit F2. So I'm going to turn it on to make it a bit easier. Now I can hit Control and F2 and you could see now the Apple Menu is selected. I can now use the arrow keys to move across menus and down into them and navigate around. When I find something I want I could just use the Spacebar to activate it. Now Control F2 can be kind of finicky. I find that it doesn't always work. But what always works to get you to the Menu Bar is using Command Shift and then the slash key, which is the question mark. This brings you to the Help Menu and right to the field where you can type the menu name to find it. Now you can ignore that and use the arrow keys to go back through the menus just like you can with Control F2. But you could also just start typing the name of the menu you're looking for and it will find it. You can use the arrow key to go down and then select it like that. Here's an additional tip. Whenever you're in a dialogue like this and there's a cancel button, Command and the period key will activate Cancel. The default button, usually Okay or Continue or something like that, that can be done using the Return key. Now you may have noticed that under Keyboard Shortcuts, Keyboard there's also a command for Move Focus to the Dock. So you can use Control and F3 to go to the Dock. You can use the arrow keys to move around there just like in the Menu. You can go up to actually go into the menu for each one of these. However, if you really wanted to just launch an app a better way to do it is to use either Launchpad or Spotlight. Spotlight would be Command Space. It brings up Spotlight and you could type the name of an app. Usually it's the first hit. Then you could hit Return to launch that app. Launchpad has its own dedicated key on older Mac keyboards. Now if you've switched the functionality of the fn key you're going to need to hold that down and then hit the Launchpad key to go to Launchpad. The great thing is once you're in Launchpad you can actually search the same way you do in Spotlight. Get right to the app without getting results for files or anything else. You could also set your own custom keyboard shortcut for Launchpad under System Preferences, Keyboard, Shortcut, and then Launchpad. There's one right here for Show Launchpad. You have to turn it on and give it a keyboard assignment. By default it's set to none. But most of the time when we want to go to an app we already have it running. So you just want to learn the keyboard shortcut for the App Switcher. This is invaluable if you want to spend as much time as you can with your hands over your keyboard rather than your trackpad or mouse. So Command Tab and continue to hold down the Command key as you tab through your running apps. When you get to the app that you want release the Command key to go to it. Sometimes we don't want to go to an App but to a different window inside the same app. So, for instance, here in Safari I could look in the window menu and see I've got three windows open. I could switch between windows using the Command key and the key which is usually over the tab key on the left side of your keyboard. So Command and using that key will go between all of the different windows of the current app. Keep in mind also if you're using Mission Control that you can use Control and right arrow and left arrow to go between the different desktop spaces and full screen app spaces that you've got. Now what about inside of a dialogue box or control. For instance if I go to Print here I've got this control and there's all sorts of things in it. How do you use just the keyboard here? It seems like you need to use the mouse to be able to click on the different things. Well, you can just use the tab key and it will move you between these different controls. So you could see here it takes me between the three boxes with numbers in them. Then, of course, like I showed before you could do Command Period for Cancel or Return to print. But if you want more control over this go into System Preferences, back to Keyboard and then to Shortcuts again. There's a control here for Use Keyboard Navigation to Move Focus between Controls. Now notice here, right in System Preferences if I used Tab it goes between four different things. If I want to move between other things, like say this list here, I can use the arrow keys. But I can't get to things like the buttons. If I turn this On though I can. Tab will now take me between more things including the buttons and switches at the bottom. Back here in this Print dialogue you'll see now that it can go between all of these controls and do all sorts of things. When I want to activate something, like this button here, I could just use the Spacebar to activate it and continue to tab. You could also Shift Tab to go backwards. Now if you want to stick with the keyboard as much as possible chances are that's because you're writing. If you're writing you need to master all the different ways to move around in your text without using the mouse or trackpad. So, of course, the arrow keys will do that for you moving in any direction that you want. Also using the Option key will jump by line. Using Command will jump to the top or to the bottom. You should experiment and play around with using the arrow keys in combination with Command, with Option, and if you've got a keyboard that has a Page Up and Page Down and Home and End keys you could use those as well. For selections you just hold the Shift key down. So here you can see my cursor at the beginning of a paragraph. If I use the right arrow with the Shift key down you could see it selects what I'm doing. The Option key will jump by word but with the Shift key down it's still adding to the selection. So I can easily select things and Copy, Paste, or Change formats and things like that without having to use the trackpad or mouse to make the selection. Alright, here's one more I need to mention because sometimes all those techniques fail and you really do need to be able to position the pointer at a specific location on the screen. You could still do that on the keyboard. You need to go into Accessibility and then look for Pointer Control. Then go to Alternate Control Methods. Then you need to Enable Mouse Keys. Now you also have some options here. One option is to Easily Enable and Disable Mouse Keys by pressing the Option Key five times. So this helps because it's going to take over keys on your keyboard. So in order to type normally you need to turn it off. You can also set the initial delay for using mouse keys and the maximum speed. So with Mouse Keys turned On I can use the Numeric keypad on my extended keyboard to control the mouse. So, for instance, I could hit 4 to move to the left; 6 to move to the right; 8 to move up and so forth. 5 will actually allow me to click so I can do everything that I can do with the mouse or trackpad but with my keyboard. Now if you don't have a numeric keypad then it's the keys surrounding the i key that do this. So 7, 8, 9 to j, k, and l with the i being the mouse button. So this is a little trickier to use because it's on a bit of a diagonal and, of course, you can't use those keys to type normally which is why it's important to be able to turn it On and Off easily. So if you master all of the those different techniques it is possible to control your Mac without a mouse or trackpad at all. For writers and researchers this could be really useful. Especially if you're really good at typing and at anytime you have to move your hands off of the keyboard it really slows you down. But do keep in mind that some apps just won't work very well this way. For instance, editing in graphic's apps, moving lots of sliders and making selections and drawing things, that's just not going to work very well without using a pointing device like a mouse or a trackpad. So some people may think that it's very possible and in fact easy to use only the keyboard to control the Mac while other people may find it impossible. It depends a little bit on your skills. But really more on exactly the kinds of tasks you are trying to accomplish on your Mac. Hope you found this useful. Thanks for watching. Related Subjects: Keyboard Shortcuts (77 videos), System Settings (150 videos) Related Video Tutorials: No related posts. Comments: 5 Responses to “Controlling Your Mac With Only the Keyboard” Aubrey El 2 years ago This video was just what I was looking for, but it did leave a few questions. Referencing the switching between application windows CMD + `, I tried it with Word for Mac and it didn't seem to work. What did I do wrong? Next when creating a keyboard short cut is there a method of preventing override or conflict with existing shortcuts when creating shortcuts? Gary Rosenzweig 2 years ago Aubrey: Command+` should work in all apps. Just tried it and it works for me in Word (version 16.51). Did you maybe switch this off in System Preferences, Keyboard, Shortcuts, Keyboard? Gary Rosenzweig 2 years ago Aubrey: As for preventing conflicts, there's nothing that's going to warn you because each app has its own shortcuts. Just don't use anything obvious (like Command+C) and if you accidentally use one that is already used for something else, just go back and change it. Aubrey El 2 years ago Gary, I tried to find any preferences related to the C+ ` command and I could not find any. The Cmd + ` keys will shift between Safari windows, but not between the Word for Mac document windows. What am I doing wrong. Gary Rosenzweig 2 years ago Aubrey: Perhaps Word has something else using that command? What happens when you do it. Also, maybe you are using Word in Full Screen mode? Try it with two plain windows open on the same desktop to test. Comments Closed.