12/30/219:00 am The Many Uses For the Delete Key On a Mac You can use the Delete key on yoru Mac's keyboard to delete text in both directions, delete selections, objects, files and more. Sometimes you need to add modifier keys to delete or access special functions. Check out The Many Uses For the Delete Key On a Mac at YouTube for closed captioning and more options. Video Transcript: Hi, this is Gary with MacMost.com. Let's look at the many uses of the Delete Key on your Mac's keyboard. MacMost is brought to you thanks to a great group of more than 1000 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 the Delete Key is near the upper right corner of your Mac keyboard. You can use it for a variety of different things, most of them, of course, having to do with deleting or removing something. So the most obvious use is in a text document you can place the cursor anywhere by clicking and then you press the Delete key and it will delete a single character before the text cursor. Another way to delete text is to select the text first and then press Delete. So you can select several things like that then press Delete and it will delete whatever is selected. Now on Windows keyboards there's a delete key and a backspace key. What we're doing here when we press delete is really backspacing. So how do your Delete or as it's known on the Mac forward delete. The way to do that is look for the fn key on your keyboard. On newer Mac keyboards this has a globe on it. Hold the fn key and press Delete and it will delete the character after the text cursor. Another way to do this is to use the keyboard combination Control and then D. That will also forward delete in most apps. Now if you hold the Option key down and you press Delete it will delete from the text cursor all the way back to the beginning of the word. So look where the blinking text cursor is and watch what happens when I Option Delete. You can combine that with the fn key. Option Delete will then delete to the end of the word. Now when you use the Command key with Delete it deletes from the current text cursor position all the way to the beginning of the paragraph. Now if you want to delete to the end of the paragraph you would think that fn and Command Delete would do that. But it doesn't. However you can use Control K to delete to the end of the paragraph. Now in the Finder you can use Delete to put something into the Trash. But selecting a file, or several files, and hitting Delete won't do anything. However, if you use the Command key and then Delete it's the same as dragging the file to the Trash in the Dock. Now you also can use the Delete key to empty the Trash. You can open the Trash folder and there's a button there. But if you go to Finder, Empty Trash, the keyboard shortcut is Shift Command Delete. That will empty the trash. If you add to that the Option key it will empty the trash but without prompting you to confirm. You also can skip the Trash with a keyboard combination. Notice if I go to the File Menu with something selected you could see Move To Trash is Command Delete. But if you hold down the Option key you could see that changes to Delete Immediately. In other words skip the trash. So selecting a file or files and using Option Command Delete will skip the trash and delete those files right away. In most apps when you select an object, like an image or text box or chart or whatever it is in the app that you're using the Delete key will actually remove the item from the document. I know that kind of seems obvious to some people but I do get asked this a lot. Sometimes there's an object in an app and somebody wants to remove it and there's no menu item for it. A lot of times that's not included in the Menus anywhere. It's just a matter of using the delete key once the item is selected to get rid of it. Now using Command Delete, instead of Delete, is sometimes the key to being able to delete things with the keyboard. For instance, here I am in Photos. If I select a photo and I press Delete it's going to prompt me, is it okay to delete this from all my devices, since I'm using iCloud Photo. If I want to skip that I can use Command Delete and it will just delete it without that prompt. In some apps, particularly third party ones, sometimes selecting an item and pressing delete won't do anything. But Command Delete will actually delete the item. In iMovie, if you select a clip here at the top in your Library, you can press Delete and it simply marks the clip for deletion. However, if instead you use Command Delete it will actually delete the clip. So if you're ever in a situation where you're using an app and you want to delete something you have selected and the delete key doesn't seem to do it, try Command Delete. Of course one last thing I want to mention is that on some keyboards the Extended Mac Keyboards that have the numeric keypad on the right, there is a second Delete Key. So the main one is the traditional backspace key and the forward delete key is a separate smaller Delete key near the Home and End button. In that case you can use that instead of fn and Delete. Now some third party apps make use of the delete key in creative ways. If there's a third party app that you use that uses the Delete key in some different way I'd love to hear about it in the comments below. Thanks for watching. Related Subjects: Keyboard Shortcuts (66 videos) Related Video Tutorials: How To Delete Extra Pages In Mac Pages ― 20 Ways To Free Up Disk Space On Your Mac ― 200 Mac Tips And Tricks Comments: One Response to “The Many Uses For the Delete Key On a Mac” Eric 1 year ago Various music notation apps use the Delete key in the expected manner - i.e. delete the selected object (a note, a measure, etc). Comments Closed.