Use the Help Menu to Find Keyboard Shortcuts

While most keyboard shortcuts can be found by looking through the menu items, you can discover more obscure shortcuts by using the Help menu documentation, which often includes a page of keyboard shortcuts for the app you are using.

Video Transcript
Here's the last part in my three part series about this handy Help menu up here. Another thing you can use the Help menu for is to help you find keyboard shortcuts.

Now you probably know that you can look at the menu, click on it, and you can see Keyboard Shortcuts right in there. Like Command T for a new tab, Command N for new finder window. You see a lot of it here if it corresponds to a menu item. But there are keyboard shortcuts that aren't a menu item here that do other things. You can get to those through the Help menu as well. If you really like keyboard shortcuts you're going to like this.

So, for instance, let's run Safari here. Let's go to Help and I'm going to Search here for Keyboard Shortcuts. You're going to see a Help topic, sometime in a slightly different name, Safari Keyboard Shortcuts, Safari Keyboard and Other in this case, and other shortcuts here. You find this page in most apps, not all apps, but in most Mac apps you'll find a detailed page with tons of shortcuts some of which do not correspond to menu commands. All sorts of interesting things that you can read about that might save you time. So if you like keyboard shortcuts finding these little pages here will give you all sorts of information about keyboard shortcuts that you didn't even know existed.

Let's look in, say, Messages. In Messages, something that you're definitely going to be using your fingers on your keyboard a lot and you'd think there would be some good shortcuts here, and sure enough if we search for keyboard shortcuts it comes up with a help topic here that lists all sorts of useful keyboard shortcuts. In this case mostly things that you can find in the menus but a few other gems as well.

Let's take a look at say Calendar. In some cases you don't even have to search for it. As soon as you hit the Help menu, sometimes, the developer of that particular app has actually put it here as a main topic. Calendar Help, Keyboard Shortcuts. So we'll go right to that instead of searching and you come up with that same page. Tons of interesting shortcuts that you can use. If you use Calendar a lot this will come in handy.

Let's go and take a look at Contacts. Sure enough for Contacts we also have a whole bunch of keyboard shortcuts that are listed. A more impressive list is if you go to a big app like Pages. Here you have as a topic too but it's kind of tricky because you click on that and for some reason you get this page here that's really basic Pages. It doesn't tell you much. But there's a link on it. Pages for Mac Keyboard Shortcuts. Go in there and you come up with this huge list of all sorts of ways you can use the keyboard to do things quicker in Pages.

You kind of get the same two step process to get to this for Numbers and for Keynote as well. So it really depends on what app it is that you're using but a lot of them have these detailed pages of keyboard shortcuts. Some don't at all for some reason. For instance Mail where you'd think there would also be some really good detailed keyboard shortcuts has nothing.

So some apps have them and some apps don't but it's definitely worthwhile looking for if you're really into keyboard shortcuts and optimizing your workflow when using those apps.

Comments: 2 Responses to “Use the Help Menu to Find Keyboard Shortcuts”

    2/26/17 @ 7:37 am

    Thanks for another useful post! Is there a way to move a Help page behind other pages? I try to move it out of the way when I want to try a suggestion, but the Help window is always positioned in front of all windows.

    2/26/17 @ 9:49 am

    Wendy: Right, it is a floating window, staying above all other windows. The best you can do is move it mostly off-screen if you are short on space.

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