For those of us who spend long hours in front of a computer, regardless of the operating system, the thought of using keyboard shortcuts to streamline repetitive tasks has likely crossed our minds.
Whether it’s closing a Safari tab, shutting down an application, previewing a file, duplicating content, ejecting a USB drive, or performing a Spotlight search, there’s a plethora of actions we can swiftly and conveniently execute using our keyboards. This minimizes our reliance on the mouse for these routine tasks.
While both macOS and Windows offer an array of keyboard shortcuts, the primary difference lies in the specific keys used to trigger them.
Apple keyboards are equipped with the Command ⌘ key, which takes the place of the Windows key. The Alt key is known as the Option key and is symbolized by ⌥, while the Control (Ctrl) key retains its name and is represented by ⌃. The Fn key functions just like it does on any laptop, and there’s also the media eject key.
This nomenclature shift for some classic Windows buttons can pose a slight challenge for users who frequently switch between operating systems or have grown accustomed to a particular system’s mechanics.
Using Keyboard Shortcuts for Efficiency
Why bother with mouse clicks to format text when keyboard shortcuts offer a quicker alternative? These shortcuts not only enable you to apply formatting like bold or italics to text but also allow you to select paragraphs or entire documents, copy and paste text, undo actions, perform searches, and much more.
Here are some essential text-editing shortcuts:
- Command + C: Copy selected text or element to the clipboard.
- Command + V: Paste text or element from the clipboard.
- Command + X: Copy and delete text or element to the clipboard.
- Command + Z: Undo any changes.
- Command + A: Select all text.
- Command + F: Initiate a search.
- Command + B: Apply bold formatting to selected text.
- Command + I: Apply italics formatting to selected text.
- Command + U: Apply underlining to selected text.
- Control + H: Delete the character to the left of the cursor.
- Control + D: Delete the character to the right of the cursor.
Capturing screenshots is a breeze with keyboard shortcuts. Here are some quick ways to take screenshots:
- Shift + Command + 3: Capture the entire screen.
- Shift + Command + 4: Select and capture a specific screen area.
- Shift + Command + 4 + Spacebar: Switch to application-specific capture mode, allowing you to choose a specific app window.
Streamlining File Management
When working with files, macOS offers keyboard shortcuts to streamline tasks and reduce the need for multiple clicks:
- Command + D: Duplicate the selected file or folder.
- Command + E: Eject all external drives connected to the computer.
- Command + F: Open Spotlight search for file search.
- Command + I: View properties of the selected file or folder.
- Spacebar: Preview the selected file.
- Command + 1: Display Finder files as icons.
- Command + 2: Display Finder files in list format.
- Command + 3: Display Finder files in columns.
- Command + 4: Display Finder files in gallery format.
Managing your computer’s power and sessions can also be simplified with keyboard shortcuts:
- Option + Shift + Command + Q: Log out without confirmation.
- Control + Command + Q: Display the lock screen without closing the session.
- Control + Media Eject Key: Put the computer to sleep.
- Control + Media Eject Key: Open a dialog box with options to restart, shut down, or sleep the computer.
- Control + Shift + Media Eject Key: Turn off the computer screen without sleep mode