Keyboard shortcuts

Pressing modifier keys on their own does nothing.

Modifier keys:

Hold them down and then press another key – that's when magic happens.

You have been using one of them for for ages

⇧ Shift

This is how you type capital letters and all punctuation already.

By pressing a combination of keys, you can do things that normally need a mouse, trackpad, or other input device.
It takes time and effort, but keyboard is twice as fast mouse will ever be.

Any application

Action Keystroke
Show App's Preferences
⌘ cmd
,
Quit App
⌘ cmd
Q

Hide current App
⌘ cmd
H
Hide all other Apps
⌘ cmd
⌥ alt
H

Find text in current window or app
⌘ cmd
F
Will let you start typing text to search for
Find next occurrence of text
⌘ cmd
G
Will highlight next occurrence

Windows

Action Keystroke
New window or document
⌘ cmd
N
Close active window
⌘ cmd
W
Close all App windows
⌘ cmd
⌥ alt
W

Switch between apps While holding
⌘ cmd
, press
⇥ Tab
once:
  • keep pressing
    ⇥ Tab
    to scroll right
  • press
    ⇧ Shift
    ⇥ Tab
    to scroll left
  • press
    or
    keys
  • aim with the mouse

Show the Desktop
⌘ cmd
F3
Press it again to return to where you were
Show all open windows of all applications
⌃ctrl
Press it again to return to where you were
Show all open windows of current application
⌃ctrl
Press it again to return to where you were

Finder

Action Keystroke
Change Finder views
⌘ cmd
1
Icon view
⌘ cmd
2
List view
⌘ cmd
3
Column view
⌘ cmd
4
Cover Flow
Switch to next window
⌘ cmd
~
Switch to previous window
⇧ Shift
⌘ cmd
~
See where the File/Folder is located (a menu will pop-up displaying the folder hierarchy). Works in most programs, including the Finder.
⌘ cmd
on name of the window (in the titlebar)
Move a window in the background without switching to it.
⌘ cmd
– Drag on the window’s titlebar
Move or Remove item in toolbar (at the top of the window). Works in most programs.
⌘ cmd
– Drag

Files and Folders

Action Keystroke
Select a file Type first few letters of it's name
N
A
M
E
Select next or first file
Select previous or last file
⇧ Shift

Open Quick Look (Previews most types of files without having to open them)
Space bar
Press it again to close the preview
Show File Info
⌘ cmd
I
Show File Inspector
(a single, live refreshing Info window)
⌘ cmd
⌥ alt
I
then select any files to see the info
Rename the selected file/folder
↩ Return
Press again to confirm
esc
to cancel change
Open Folder in a new Tab or Window (depending on Finder Preferences)
⌘ cmd
Open selected folder or the selected file
⌘ cmd
Go to parent folder
⌘ cmd
Go Back
⌘ cmd
[
Go Forward
⌘ cmd
]

Duplicate selected files
⌘ cmd
D
"copy" will be added to the new file name
Copy and Paste files
⌘ cmd
C
, then
⌘ cmd
V
Copy and Paste files Exactly
(Keeps original ownership permissions. Requires Admin username & password.)
⌘ cmd
C
, then
⇧ Shift
⌥ alt
⌘ cmd
V

Copy files or folder
⌥ alt
– Drag file to disk
Move a file instead of copying
(Copies to the destination and removes it from the original location)
⌘ cmd
-Drag file to disk
Cancel a drag-n-drop action while in the midst of dragging
esc

Move selected files to the Trash
⌘ cmd
Empty the Trash with warning
⌘ cmd
⇧ Shift
Empty the Trash without warning
⌘ cmd
⌥ alt
⇧ Shift

Undo the last action
Such as rename, move, copy, move to Trash.
It will not undo emptying Trash
⌘ cmd
Z

Find Files
⌘ cmd
F
In List view, expand a folder
In List view, collapse a folder
Resize one column to fit the longest file name (Column View) column divider (or the resize widget at the bottom of the column divider, depending on your setup)
Resize all columns to fit their longest file names (Column View)
⌥ alt
column divider (or the resize widget at the bottom of the column divider, depending on your setup)

Dock

Action Keystroke
Show/Hide the Dock
⌘ cmd
⌥ alt
D
Temporarily turn magnification on/off Hold
⌃ctrl
⇧ Shift
while moving over Dock icons
Hide all other applications (except the one you're clicking on)
⌘ cmd
⌥ alt
an App’s icon in Dock
Reveal a Dock item’s location in the Finder
⌘ cmd
on the icon in the Dock
Force a file to open in a specific app While dragging the file onto an app’s icon in the Dock, hold
⌘ cmd
⌥ alt
Force Quit
⌘ cmd
⌥ alt
esc

Firefox

Action Keystroke
Scroll DOWN
Space bar
Scroll UP Hold
⇧ Shift
and then press
Space bar
Switch to next tab Hold
⌃ctrl
and press
⇥ Tab
once
Switch to previous tab Hold
⇧ Shift
⌃ctrl
and press
⇥ Tab
once
Find text in page
⌘ cmd
F

Mail

Action Keystroke
New message
⌘ cmd
N
Next field
⇥ Tab
Previous field
⇧ Shift
⇥ Tab
Paste and Match Style
so it looks the same as the text you are pasting into
⇧ Shift
⌥ alt
⌘ cmd
V
Send email
⇧ Shift
⌘ cmd
D

Any text in any app

Action Keystroke
Go to end of line
⌘ CMD
Go to beginning of line
⌘ CMD
Go to end of all the text
⌘ CMD
Go to beginning of all the text
⌘ CMD
Go to end of current word
⌥ alt
Go to beginning of current word
⌥ alt
Add
⇧ Shift
to the above keystrokes to make a selection to that point
Non-touching (Discontinuous) text selections
⌘ CMD
-drag
Select non-linear areas
⌥ alt
-drag
Paste and Match Style
so it looks the same as the text you are pasting into
⇧ Shift
⌥ alt
⌘ CMD
V
Display Emoji pop-up (10.9 Mavericks +)
⌃ctrl
⌘ CMD
Space Bar

Spotlight search

Action Keystroke
Show Spotlight Search
⌘ CMD
Space Bar
Launch selected result
↩ Return
Next result
Previous result
Next section of found results
⌘ CMD
Previous section of found results
⌘ CMD
Reveal selected item in Finder
⌘ CMD
↩ Return
Clear Spotlight Search
esc
clears to do another search.
esc
a second time closes Spotlight

Troubleshooting

Action Keystroke
Force Quit - displays a list of running apps
⌥ alt
⌘ CMD
esc
All other commands here are used after startup chime
Parameter RAM reset Hold
⌥ alt
⌘ CMD
P
R

Computer will restart and chime.
Keep holding...
Let go after 3rd chime
Safe boot Hold
⇧ Shift
until you see Apple logo
All extensions will be disabled, most caches will be cleared
Start up in Verbose mode Hold
⌘ CMD
V
until text starts pouring
See what the system is doing during the startup
Start up in Single-User mode Hold
⌘ CMD
S

Command prompt only
Type reboot followed by
↩ Return
to end single-user mode and restart normally.
Choose Startup disk Hold
⌥ alt
until you see list of available startup disks