Mac Keyboard Shortcuts

Learn how to find handy keyboard shortcuts by simply looking in the menu at the top of the screen. Also look in System Preferences for more shortcuts. You can change the shortcut used by many system functions. You can also create your own custom keyboard shortcuts. Download and print out MacMost's handy keyboard shortcut guide at
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Mac Keyboard Shortcuts.

Hi, this is Gary with Let's take a look at using Keyboard Shortcuts.

I'm using Mac OS 10.9. We're going to look at Keyboard Shortcuts.

When trying to figure out what keyboard shortcuts are available the easiest thing to do is to look in the menus. We're in the Finder now. If you click on the Finder menu you can see to the right here Command N for Finder New Window. You can find other things. Like Command I for Get Info.

Just about every menu has different shortcuts listed to the right. If you notice here you've got the Option key which is represented by this symbol here. Then we can also find, you can see here in show previous tab, the Control key which is that little carat there. Then we have Shift which is an up arrow.

So we can figure out all sorts of different cool keyboard shortcuts. Like for instance in TextEdit we can look in the different menus and see exactly what is available for everything.

Sometimes you can even hold down a key, like say the Option key, and you can see the menu items change. You can see that Command W is Close. If you hold the Option key, Option Command W is Close All.

Another place you should look for keyboard shortcuts is System Preferences under Keyboard/Shortcuts. You can see them listed by category here and you can scroll up and down the list. There is a lot of them. You can deactivate some and you can change them. So for instance, Show Dashboard, I can double click on it and change it to say Command Option Shift D for dashboard. Or, of course, change it back to F4.

So you have complete control over which keyboard shortcuts match to which kind of systemwide actions.

Now you can also create custom shortcuts. So for instance if I return to TextEdit here and I have some text in there and I want to change it to say outline, which is not something typically used nowadays, but say I want to do that. So I can do it like that but there is no keyboard shortcut for it. What if I wanted to create one?

Well I can look here and I'll see that there is a menu item called Outline. I'll go into the System Preferences here and I'll add an app shortcut here and I'll do it just for TextEdit. So let's jump right to the T's and go to TextEdit and I will type exactly the name of the menu item like that. Then I'll do Control/Option/Command O and add it. That will add that for TextEdit just for that app. This will activate the menu item called Outline.

Now if I return to TextEdit and look in the Format menu under Font you can see it actually added the keyboard shortcut there so I can see that it has been assigned and I can use it now.

If you want to know some of the most common keyboard shortcuts, especially for power users, go to, just like up here, and I've prepared there a free pdf for Mavericks and for previous versions of OS X as well, and you can just download that and view this pdf. You can print it out and learn some of the most common ones that will help speed up your work on your Mac.

Comments: 2 Responses to “Mac Keyboard Shortcuts”

    5 years ago

    Thanks for the tip, Gary. Very useful. As far as I know, you never had the opportunity to change keyboard shortcuts in Windows.

    5 years ago

    Extremely useful. I didn’t know about creating custom shortcuts per app. Thanks, Gary!

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