MacMost Now 244: Creating Custom Keyboard Shortcuts

Learn how to use the System Preferences Keyboard Shortcuts section to create shortcuts for menu items in any application.

Comments: 30 Responses to “MacMost Now 244: Creating Custom Keyboard Shortcuts”

    Daniel
    11 years ago

    This was great, I already use your tip on making a keyboard shortcut to “Mac
    Speech,” from your Mac Answers podcast. :-)

    Julie Baltins
    11 years ago

    i can’t get this to work i called my apple tec & still can’t help gary ???i went over this time & time again i have a 20” Mac all up dates are good also any thoughts? on something i should do ?

      11 years ago

      Which part, specifically, is not working? If you follow the steps in the video, at what point do you see something different happen?

    Matt Matson
    10 years ago

    Thanks for the tip!
    However, I was wondering if there is a way to make a shortcut for a particular action within a program. For example, there is a short cut for “Special Characters…” in text/edit.app, but I would like to create a shortcut for particular characters that I use often (e.g., the em-dash, the paragraph, and the section symbol).
    Any advice?

    Pax
    9 years ago

    Great ! Now I reboot in a snapshot with my custom ctrl+shift+cmd+R shortcut !
    I really enjoy your vids, keep the good work. Cheers from a french guy in Madrid =)

    Anne Layzer
    9 years ago

    Many of the keyboard shortcuts that are in System Preference don’t work for me, including the send command in Mail, the sleep command systemwide, Google Search in Safari.

      9 years ago

      Are you sure you have assigned a key and turned them on (checkmark). Most of them have no keys assigned and some are turned off. Then, make sure you are in the right application to use them.

    mel
    8 years ago

    I have OS Lion and I would like to be able to delete files (from finder and/or desktop) using my keyboard. The delete key doesn’t work, and either does command+delete. So I tried to create my own shortcut using command+delete, but it won’t let me use the delete key in a shortcut. Any suggestions?

      8 years ago

      Command+Delete should work. That is the default. If you go to the Finder menu, and look for “Move to Trash” you should see it as Command+Delete.
      Are you using the right Delete key? Some keyboards have two: a regular delete key two rows above the return key and to the right of the = key, plus a “forward delete” key above the arrows. Make sure you use the one near =. Some older keyboards may call it “backspace.”

    Vicki B.
    8 years ago

    I printed out your list of shortcuts, but it seems like the Apple Web site has even more than that. There was at least 3 pages of them.
    The guy who helps me with my computer found them for me, so now I have two lists.

      8 years ago

      Right. I compiled a list of what I considered the most useful on a single page. Since you can create your own, and third-party apps add even more, the list can go on almost forever.

    Kathy Cunningham
    8 years ago

    Thanks so much for your video and detailed explanation. What a time saver… this is extremely helpful!!!

    Mojtaba
    8 years ago

    thankssss

    Jamie
    8 years ago

    Hey there- I am trying to create a keyboard shortcut to close a message that is open in mail. In windows if i hit the escape key the message closes- i tried to set this up with a command key and a few different options and no luck- any suggestions? thanks Jamie

      8 years ago

      What do you mean by “closes?” If you have it open in a window, then command+W closes your current window. Or do you mean something else, like archiving the message? That’s Message, Archive. So just assign a shortcut to “Archive.”

    Samuel
    8 years ago

    I’m trying to create a shortcut to “Arrange>Align Objects>Center” in iWeb, but it keeps creating the shortcut under “Format>Text>Center”. Is there any way around this? It’s driving me crazy having to use the drop down menu every time I want to Align objects. Thanks in advance.

    Samuel

      8 years ago

      That’s a problem if the menu has two menu items with the exact same name. No way to do it that I know of.

    John
    7 years ago

    Hey Gary, is there a way to create a shortcut for opening “Pictures” in Finder on OS Lion?

      7 years ago

      Why not just put it in your Dock? Or an alias on your Desktop?

    John
    7 years ago

    I mean the actual “Pictures” menu. I use it so frequently that it would be nice to have a keyboard shortcut. Tried dragging the Pictures menu to the dock but didn’t work.

      7 years ago

      Pictures MENU? Not sure what you mean by that. I thought you meant the Pictures folder. There is no Pictures menu in the Finder. Perhaps you mean something else? Or, perhaps you really do you mean the Pictures folder (in your user folder). Or, maybe you mean the Pictures item you may have in the Finder window sidebar?

    John
    7 years ago

    Sorry Gary. Ultimately, I want the fastest access to my list of folders in my Pictures folder.

      7 years ago

      Then I would drag that folder (right from your user folder) to the right side of the Dock. That’s exactly what it is meant for.

    John
    7 years ago

    Ok. Never done that before, thanks. Am I able to change the view from icons to list from this location?

    Pat
    7 years ago

    I have searched (on and off) for years on a shortcut for inserting comments into a Numbers cell. Thanks to you, I just created my own, plus a shortcut for hiding it. This will save me IMMENSE amounts of time. Thank you, thank you.

    Mr cassenoisette
    7 years ago

    In mountain lion I wanted to create a shortcut for ”Show All tabs” in safari. So I went in System Preferences, keyboard, application shortcut, took safari in the list and created my own shortcut. ”Ctrl ⇧ S” for instance. Does not work .. Am i missing something ? Or is there already a shortcut for it ?

      7 years ago

      There is already a shortcut for that. I see it as Shift+Command+\

    Mr Anthony Cotton
    7 years ago

    I have never used keyboard short cuts apart from Photoshop. When i am on the internet i can take a full screen shot or select the part you want you want. I can`t see the point of a shortcut unless you have to type in a lot of numbers using the Command,Alt,Ctrl,and Options,then i would agree.When this guy was learning me the system i asked when he clicked a shortcut. He said it`s up to you if you want. This guy was that clever he could operate Photoshop by just using the Keyboard alone,and never touch the mouse.

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