blog home about our NYC Mac support site

Top 10 Keyboard Shortcuts for the Mac

Photo courtesy BildSpracheundCo.de, from Flickr Creative Commons.

Photo courtesy BildSpracheundCo.de, from Flickr Creative Commons.

The less you need to grab for your mouse while at the Mac, the faster you can get stuff done. I use lots of key commands, also known as keyboard shortcuts, which replace the need for going to the dropdown menus using the mouse. Increase your productivity by learning these keyboard shortcuts.

Note: The Command key is also known as the Apple key.

1. Command-S for save
This has become habit to me, whenever I’m in Word or Excel (or TextEdit or almost any other application). Hitting command-S ensures I won’t accidentally lose what I’ve worked on.

2. Command-Q for quit
Quick way to quit out of any application.

3. Command-tab for moving between open applications
Instead of mousing down to the Dock to go from, say, Word to Safari, I use command-tab to jump from one application to another. Keep holding down command, and hit the tab key until you get to the application you want.

4. Command-C for copy and command-v for paste
So much faster and easier than going to the menu. Also don’t forget command-X for cut, if you want to do this instead of copying.

5. Command-A for select all

6. Command-click for selecting multiple items in a list
Okay, this one does use the mouse. But it’s still a huge timesaver. If I want to select five files, I select the first one, and then I press and hold the Command key before selecting the other 4.

7. Command-delete for moving items to the trash

8. Command-Shift-3 for taking a screenshot
A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Sometimes the easiest way to show somebody a problem is to send them a screenshot. This keyboard shortcut takes a picture of your whole screen, and saves the file to your desktop.

9. Command-[ to to the previous page, in a web browser
How often do you go to a page on the internet, and you realize it’s not what you wanted, so you need to go back? Instead of using the mouse to click the back button, hit command-[ (that’s a square bracket). And of course command-] is the forward button in the web browser.

10. Command-Z for undo
We all do stuff on the computer that we didn’t mean to do. Command-Z undoes the last thing you did. Doesn’t work for everything, some things can’t be undone.

Related Posts:

How to Set Your Own Keyboard Shortcuts on the Mac

Control-click or Right-click to Compress Files and Folders on the Mac

Sign up to get our blog posts by email

Sign up for our monthly email newsletter

Meta