The best keyboard shortcuts for Mac — 2022

When working with Mac, you always want to be productive and this is achieved thanks to the multitude of quick keyboard actions that are included in macOS. In this article we are going to try to collect the main shortcuts that exist as well as the possibility of creating some custom ones.

Essential shortcuts

If you are migrating from Windows to macOS, surely an action as simple as copying and pasting a text is something you get lost in. We must bear in mind that between Windows and macOS the keyboard shortcuts differ, and that is why we are going to compile below the most common keyboard shortcuts that we all use on a daily basis.

    Command + C: action of copying to the clipboard. Command + V: Pastes what you have copied to the clipboard into any document. Option + Command + V:paste respecting the source style. Option + Shift + Command + V:paste with the same style as the destination document. Command + X: move file or text from one part to another (cut). Command + Z: if you have made a mistake you can go back, which is known as undo. Shift + Command + Z:redo function to reverse the undo command explained above. Command + A: Select all text or all files in a folder. Command + F: Search in a document or open the Finder . Command + G:find the next item that matches the search of the previous command. Command + space bar: Opens the search bar for Spotlight . Command + S: Saves any changes made to a document. Shift + Command + S:'Save As...' dialog box. Command + H: Hides the open file in the foreground. Command + M: to minimize the open document, placing the icon on the desktop. Command + P: Print the document in the foreground or the web page you are visiting. Command + Q:close the application you're in. Command + W: Close all open windows. Command + U: displays the code of an html page. Option + Command + Escape:force quit an application. Command + T:open a new tab. Control + Command + F:use the application open in full screen mode.

mac keyboard

Shortcuts in documents

If you work a lot with documents, whether in word processors like Word or Pages, or in the Preview application, these shortcuts are of interest to you. They allow you to move very easily through a text that you are writing at the moment as well as being able to edit it easily.

    Command + B:bold the selected piece of text or activate/deactivate the option. Command + I:italics the selected text or activates/deactivates the function. Command + U:underline the chosen text or activate/deactivate the function. Command + K:add a web link. Command + T:show or hide the 'Fonts' window. Command + D:select the 'Desktop' folder from the Open or Save dialogs. Control + Command + D:displays the definition of a chosen word. Shift + Command + Colon:displays the spelling window. Command + Semicolon:Find the misspelled words. Option + Delete:delete the word on the left. Control + H:removes the character to the left of the insertion point. If instead of the H, we press D it will delete the one on the right. Control-D:simulates the 'Delete' functions in case you don't have the specific key. Control + K:deletes the text between the insertion point and the end of the line. Fn + Arrow keys:depending on the arrow you press you will move to a specific part of the document. If you click on the left you will go to the beginning of the document, and if you click on the right arrow you will go to the end. In the event that you press the arrow above you will return to the previous page and if it is below you will return to the next page. Command + Arrow keys:if you press the up arrow you will move the insertion point to the beginning of the document, and if you press the down arrow you will place it at the end. In the case of pressing the left arrow you will move the insertion point to the beginning of the left line and with the right arrow to the end. Control + A:you move to the beginning of the line or paragraph. Control + E:you move to the end of the line or paragraph. Control + F:center the cursor. Control + O: insert a new line. Command + P:scroll up one line. Command + N:scroll down one line. Command + O:insert a new line. Option + Command + F:go to the search field. Command + open curly braces:align text to the left. Command + closing curly braces:align text to the right. Shift + Command + Pipe:align center. Shift + Command + Plus Sign:Increase the size of the selected text or image. Shift + Command + Minus Sign:decreases the size of the selected text or item.

Shortcuts in Finder

    Command + Space bar:open Spotlight Finder. Space bar:preview of a selected item. Command + D:duplicate selected files. Command + E: Eject a disc as a USB storage device. Command + F:start a search in Spotlight. Command + I:display the ‘Get Info’ window for the selected file. Command + J:show document viewing options. Command + K:open the ‘Connect to server’ window. Command + L:create an alias. Command + N:open a new Finder window. Command+ Shift + C:open the Computer window. Command + Shift + D:open the Desktop folder. Shift + Command + F: Open the Recents window. Shift + Command + N:create a folder. Shift + Command + L: Open the Downloads folder. Shift + Command + I: Open the iCloud Drive folder. Shift + Command + O:open the documents folder. Shift + Command + R:open AirDrop. Shift + Command + U:open the utilities folder. Shift + Command + D:show or hide the Dock. Shift + Command + F:open the Recents folder. Option + Command + N:create a Smart Folder. Command + 1: View Finder window items as icons. Command + 2: View the items in a Finder window as a list. Command + 3: View items in a Finder window in columns. Command + 4: View the items in a Finder window in a gallery. Command + double click:open folder in another new tab. Option + double click:open file in a new window. Command + Delete:move item to trash. Shift + Command + Delete:empty trash can Option + Shift + Command + Delete:empty the trash without asking. Option + Shift + Brightness up or down:adjust the brightness in a more precise way. Command + Brightness up:turn target screen mode on or off. Command + Brightness Down:enable or disable video mirroring. Command + down arrow:open selected item. Command + click on a window title:view the folders contained in the active folder. Option + volume up:open sound preferences. Option + Shift + Volume up or down:decrease or increase the volume in smaller steps. Option + Brightness up:Open keyboard preferences. Option + Shift + brightness up or down:lower or raise the brightness in shorter intervals.

Shortcuts on and off

Although the task of shutting down a Mac or restarting it is extremely simple, sometimes a series of errors can occur that force us to resort to different keyboard shortcuts to shut down or restart a Mac:

    Option + Command + Power Button:put the Mac to sleep. Control + Shift + Power Button:put the screen to sleep. Control + Power Button:show dialog box to shut down, reboot or put to sleep. Control + Command + Power Button:force the Mac to restart. Control + Option + Command + Power Button:shut down the Mac. Control + Command + Q:lock screen. Power button:pressing it will put your Mac into or out of sleep mode. Shift + Command + Q:Sign off. Control + Command + Disk Eject:quit all applications and restart the Mac.

Keyboard shortcuts during startup

If you are a somewhat advanced user and you have a problem with your Mac, you can use some commands at the start of the computer to enter the safe mode or recovery mode. As we mentioned, these commands should be used if you have knowledge about the operating system and what you are going to do.

    Command + R:launches 'macOS Recovery', ideal for restoring your computer. Option or Alt:Start up your Mac from a specific disk partition or a different volume. Option + Command + Q + R:reset the NVRAM. Capital letter:boots in safe mode. D:Start Apple Diagnostics. Ideal for checking if any hardware component is failing. N:boots the Mac from a NetBoot server. Command + S:boots in single user mode.

Create new shortcuts in macOS

In addition to all these keyboard shortcuts that we found, you can include many others according to your tastes. It is important that it does not conflict with the rest of the shortcuts, something that can undoubtedly be complicated, although shortcuts can be created for specific applications. This is ideal for those professional editors who are looking for shortcuts in specific editing programs. In order to create these shortcuts, simply follow these steps:

  1. Go to System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts.
  2. On the left you can select 'Quick app functions' and by clicking on the '+' icon you can display a series of applications and choose the one in which you want to create the custom shortcut.

shortcuts in macOS

In the window that pops up you will be able to select the application in which you want to create this shortcut. This is very useful especially if you are a professional video editor. You can choose the tool you use to edit video and have a set of shortcuts to make your task quite easy. But you can also choose to apply it to all applications on the Mac by choosing the 'All applications' option from the drop-down menu.

Once you are clear about the application in which you want to create this shortcut, you simply have to enter the specific path. For example, in the case of exporting a document from Pages to PDF, you have to go manually to 'Files' and then click on 'Export as PDF'. This is the path that you must enter, separating each of the steps by an arrow (->). In this particular case you should enter ‘File -> Export as PDF’. It is vitally important to put that arrow and not put the route as it appears in the application menus.

Once you have filled in the 'Menu title' section with this path, you must go to 'Keyboard shortcut'. You simply have to click on the empty box and hold down the keys that you want to be registered so that the task you have established is executed. When you press them you will see them filled in this box, without having to enter them manually.

Once you add it, it will appear reflected in the configuration window so that you always have a clear view of all the shortcuts that you have configured. This can be useful if you don't remember the exact key combination you've set. In this same list you can eliminate those that you no longer use. You simply have to select it and at the bottom click on the '-' button. At the moment this shortcut will be totally useless and cannot be used until you reconfigure it following these same steps.

And you, do you use this type of commands on a regular basis?