12/21/209:00 am Mac Basics: Learning To Use Keyboard Shortcuts Keyboard shortcuts are one of the primary productivity tools on your Mac. You can discover shortcuts by looking in the Menu Bar and in System Preferences. You can also create your own. Video Transcript: Hi, this is Gary with MacMost.com. Today let's look at the basics of using Keyboard Shortcuts on your Mac. MacMost is brought to you thanks to a great group of more than 800 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 a keyboard shortcut is when you use a combination of keys on your keyboard to perform an action in an app on your Mac that normally you would do with the mouse and cursor. For instance you could go to the Menu Bar, choose a menu, go down to a menu item and choose that command or you can simply use the keyboard shortcut. People love keyboard shortcuts because if they're already typing on the keyboard they don't have to move one of their hands from the keyboard to the mouse or trackpad in order to perform an action. Instead they could just hit the right keys. So, for instance, here the app I'm using is the Finder. I have a Finder window open and I've got my Menu Bar here with all of the different commands. I have a file selected and I can go to a menu like File and then do various things with that file from the commands here in the menu. But notice, for instance, the Get Info command which will bring up an information window about that file. To the right I see a keyboard shortcut for that. So instead of going to the File Menu, going down to Get Info and selecting this item I could have simply pressed Command and i. The symbol that you see there is the symbol for the Command key. If you look at your keyboard you'll see that symbol printed on the Command key. Now most keyboard shortcuts have a letter or a number or perhaps another key, like the arrow key, as the trigger. Now it's easy to see the keyboard shortcuts when you're looking at the menu. But sometimes there's an action we perform without the Menu Bar and we don't realize there's a keyboard shortcut for it. For instance I could double click on this file and it will open up the file. But most commands like that have an equivalent in the Menu Bar even if you don't usually use the Menu Bar for it. So, for instance, with this file selected I can go to the File Menu and then Open to open the file. It's the same as double clicking it. But here I can see that Command O is actually a keyboard shortcut for that. So if there's an action that you suspect has a keyboard shortcut look for the equivalent action somewhere in the Menu Bar. There you'll find the keyboard shortcut. Now it's important to learn the symbols that are used in the menu for keyboard shortcuts. So, for instance, I could see a variety of symbols here to the right side of the View Menu. These each correspond to what's called a Modifier key on the keyboard. So we have this symbol here that corresponds to the Command key. This symbol corresponds to the Control key. This could be confusing for new Mac users, especially if they've used Windows before, because typically you use the Control key for most keyboard shortcuts. But on the Mac you use the Command key as the primary modifier key for keyboard shortcuts. So, for instance, for copying text you would use Command C instead of control C. But Control is also there on the keyboard and that's also used, sometimes, for modifier keys. So make sure you don't get the Command and Control keys mixed up. Then there's this symbol here. You'll find this on the Option key on your keyboard. The Option key is also sometimes referred to as the ALT key and some Mac keyboards actually have the word Alt on that key in addition to Option. But the proper way to refer to it on the Mac is the Option key. You also commonly see this symbol here which represents the Shift key. So those are the four primary modifier keys. Command, Control, Option, and Shift. Most keyboard shortcuts use one or more of those modifier keys and a letter to trigger the shortcut. So, for instance, in the Finder here if I want to create a new folder I could go to File, and then New Folder but I can also note that Shift Command N is the keyboard shortcut for that. You could also go to View, and notice there are keyboards shortcuts for each of the Finder views. I can switch between those using Command 1, Command 2, Command 3, and Command 4 for the Finder views. I can do that instead of choosing the button in the Toolbar to change it. Now to type keyboard shortcuts with modifier keys what you do is you press and hold down the modifier keys first. Then you hit the trigger key, usually the letter, and then you release the modifier key(s). Now this quickly becomes second nature to all Mac users and you don't even think about it. It's often useful to look through the different menus and see what other keyboard shortcuts there are. For instance in the Go menu you'll find keyboard shortcuts that take to you some of the most commonly accessed folders on your hard drive. For instance Desktop, Documents, Downloads and even Applications and Utilities. Becoming an expert at using an app on your Mac is often a matter of learning the keyboard shortcuts. So, for instance, here I am in Pages. If I want to learn the keyboard shortcuts I would just start by going to each menu item and then seeing what the shortcuts are. So, for instance, I could see various shortcuts here for formatting text. The Arrangement tools also have lots of shortcuts. There are shortcuts under View, Insert, and Every Menu. The next time you find yourself going to the Menu Bar to access a command that you've used before, instead of using the Command note the keyboard shortcut for it. Click away from the Menu Bar and then use the keyboard shortcut instead. You can try to train yourself to learn the shortcut. After a while you'll be using apps on your Mac faster than you ever imagined. Now if you want to take it to the next level you can create your own keyboard shortcuts. Notice that some menu items don't have a keyboard shortcut. For instance Clean Up here in the Finder doesn't have one. But we can create one. The first thing to do is note the exact name of this command. It's Clean space Up. Now we can go to System Preferences and go to Keyboard and then click on Shortcuts. Here you'll see other keyboard shortcuts for other things. For instance, with Mission Control here on the left selected notice that there's a keyboard shortcut for Mission Control. Control up arrow. Also, you'll find some that aren't turned on like Show Notification Center isn't checked so it isn't activated. You'll find others that might be turned on but not have a keyboard shortcut set. So, we'll set one for Turn Do Not Disturb On/Off. I'll double click there and then I'll use Command Option Shift D and now that keyboard shortcut will work to turn on and off Do Not Disturb. You can look through the rest of these to find other keyboard shortcuts that you could use that don't necessarily appear in the Menu Bar anywhere. You can turn them on or off or customize them. Now under App Shortcuts you can add your own. So let's add one for that Clean Up command in the Finder. I'm going to use the Plus button here and then select the Application. In this case it will be Finder. Then I'm going to type the exact name of the menu item. I don't have to type which menu it's in or a full list of submenus. Just the name of that one item. So Clean Up. I'll make sure that it is exactly as it appears in the menu with the space and everything. Then let's assign a keyboard shortcut. So I'll do Shift Option Command U. Then Add. Now I can see it appear here. I can always Select it, Edit, either one of these two fields and use the Minus button to remove it. Now here in the Finder I can see if I go to View, Clean Up, that keyboard shortcut is assigned to it. You want to make sure you use a fairly obscure set of modifier keys and a letter for this. For instance Command C would have been a bad choice because Command C is the universal keyboard shortcut in all apps for Copy. So one of the steps in mastering the use of your Mac and any apps that you use is to learn keyboard shortcuts for all of the commands that you use often. You don't need to know all of them. If it's a menu command that you rarely use there's no point in learning the keyboard shortcut. But if it's something you're constantly using then using the keyboard shortcut will save you lots of time and make you more productive. If it's a menu command that doesn't have a keyboard shortcut then adding one and then using it all the time will also help. Related Subjects: Keyboard Shortcuts (77 videos), Mac Basics (34 videos) Related Video Tutorials: No related posts. Comments: 4 Responses to “Mac Basics: Learning To Use Keyboard Shortcuts” Gene 3 years ago Thanks Gary. I have a large spreadsheet (over 1000 rows). I would like to be able to scroll quickly to the top of the table and to the bottom of the table and have tried Fn+Up Arrow. But it doesn't do what I think it should do. Could I have something miss-configured? Gary Rosenzweig 3 years ago Gene: fn+Up Arrow will scroll up one page. If you want to jump to the top and your keyboard doesn't have a Home key, use fn+Left Arrow. Char Berry 2 years ago What is the shortcut to close a page? Gary Rosenzweig 2 years ago Char: What do you mean by "close a page?" Which app? What sort of page? For instance, in Pages it doesn't make any sense to "close a page." You would scroll up or down, but no close anything. Maybe you mean close a window (File, Close Window) or close a tab (File, Close Tab). Those are Command+W and Command+Shift+W depending on if you are using tabs or not in that app. Comments Closed.