When you are writing on your Mac, you don't want to have to take your fingers off the keyboard to move the cursor or select text. There are a variety of keyboard commands you can learn to make it easy to move the cursor by letter, word, line or paragraph, delete characters or words, and make selections.
The modifier keys on your Mac keyboard are the Command, Option, Control, Shift and fn keys. You use them for keyboard shortcuts and other functions. Since they differ from Windows modifier keys, it can take new Mac users time to learn how to use them.
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.
In addition to keyboard shortcuts, there are hidden functions you can perform with your Mac keyboard if you know the right combination or setting. You can forward delete, bring up context menus and show hidden menu commands. You can even use the Caps Lock or second set of modifier keys for other things.
When you buy a MacBook Pro you get a narrow touchscreen display at the top of your keyboard that charges as you move between apps. You can customize this Touch Bar to have it display things like F-keys, system controls, desktop switching and more. Even some of the app-specific controls themselves can be customized.
There is a universal keyboard shortcut on the Mac that will allow you to find any menu bar command, easily trigger that command, and also navigate the entire menu bar. If you love keyboatd shortcuts, this one should be among your favorites.
Watch if you want to add keyboard shortcuts for Launchpad, Do No Disturb or Notification Center on your Mac. You can also bring these up using gestures or Hot Corners.
Many Mac users use keyboard shortcuts all the time, but overlook an obvious and useful one. Learn how to jump to items in long lists and find things even when there is no way to search.
I often talk about shortcuts and other ways to be more productive on yoru Mac. Here are 10 shortcuts that I actually use in my work every day including how I prefer to resize windows, switch apps, avoid typing my long email address and more.
When a new Windows user switches to Mac, they can be frustrated by the differences. Here are some of the most common questions and problems that new Mac users face and the solutions. There are some great tips here to get your transition moving forward quickly. Welcome to the world of Mac!
New Mac users sometimes don't understand why the top row of keys on the keyboard don't work as expected. These keys are both the function keys and the special features keys, also knows as f-keys and media control keys. You toggle how these keys behave with the fn key. But a setting in System Preferences determines which mode is the default one and which requires the fn key.
Often those in technical or linguistic professions need to enter specific Unicode characters while typing. You can type characters using their specific 4- or 8-digit codes by using a special keyboard built into your Mac. For other users, it is often easier to search using the character viewer or create shortcuts for commonly-used symbols.
When you save or open a file in an app on the Mac, you get a dialog box with several buttons. You can use keyboard shortcuts inside that dialog to cancel, perform the default action, and do other things. You can choose a location using the keyboard, either with a single shortcut or by specifying a path. You can also navigate to any of the buttons using the tab key and spacebar.
While most Macs have trackpads, most users never bother to learn how to use some of the gestures available. You can see which ones you have available in System Preferences, along with videos that show you how to perform the gestures. Each has a keyboard shortcut you can use instead if you prefer.
In addition to using the Emoji Viewer to type special characters, or holding a key to add accents, you can also learn some special keyboard combinations using the Keyboard Viewer. These allow you to type some symbols like degrees, pi, the Apple symbol and accent marks using standard keystrokes with the help of the Option and Shift keys. The Keyboard Viewer allows you to see exactly which key combinations match which characters. This is dependent on the type of keyboard you own.
Do you use the Shift, Command and Option keys on both sides of your keyboard? If not, you can reassign the ones you don't use to perform a more useful function like triggering Mission Control. You can also set the Caps Lock key to become another modifier key, the Esc key or turn it off completely to prevent accidental use.
There are many different keyboard layouts corresponding to different languages, and usually your keyboard and the system setting will match. But you can switch to use a different layout, such as a French keyboard layout even if you are using a U.S. keyboard. You can add multiple keyboard layouts and easily switch between them. For some lanuages, like Chinese, you need to use a Chinese layout to by able to type. Once you set up multiple keyboard layouts, there are keyboard shortcuts to switch between them.
If you want to launch an app using a single key press, you can do it by creating an Automator Quick Action and assigning it a keyboard shortcut in System Preferences. This isn't usually needed for apps we always have running, but can be useful for apps we frequently bring up and then quit when not in use. You have to be careful not to use a name or shortcut that conflicts with any other. You also may find it is a bit flaky when you first create the shortcut.
If you do a lot of writing on your Mac, here are a bunch of tips to help you type and manipulate text more efficiently. You can use the arrow keys along with modifiers to move around and select text without taking your fingers off the keyboard. You can also quickly delete words and lines without using your mouse or trackpad. You can complete and correct spelling, substitute a few keystrokes for longer pieces of text, and type accent marks and symbols quickly.
When looking for useful Mac keyboard shortcuts you'll come across the same ones over and over. Here are 10 that haven't gotten as much attention, but can seriously increase your productivity. Learn how to quickly switch between windows, get typing suggestions, access app preferences and menu items, rename files and more.