Everything you can do with the 'Option' and 'Shift' keys on your Mac — 2022

When a user lands on Mac surely some things squeak quite a lot. This happens especially when you come from Windows where, for example, the keyboard is very different, since on Mac we have the 'Command' or 'Option' keys. In this article we are going to delve a little into the 'Shift' and 'Option' keys and the utilities they can have.

Where are the 'Option' and 'Shift' keys

If we want to be as efficient as possible with our Mac, we must get used to using the different quick functions that we have in the operating system. To do so, you have to become familiar with some keys such as Shift and Option, which are tremendously useful on a day-to-day basis.

If you are new to Mac and coming from Windows the first thing you will see is that there is no 'Alt' key. Actually yes it is included but not it is called 'Alt' but 'Option' . Two of these keys are included on the Apple keyboard, one at the bottom left and one next to the arrow keys.

The 'Shift' key is the one we find in some Windows as 'Shift'. Apple represents this key as an arrow pointing up below the caps lock/unlock.

Quick functions with 'Shift'

At first we can think that the 'shift' key only has the function of capitalizing a word while we are pressing it, but it goes much further. It is true that the 'Command' key has a clear role in macOS to perform most everyday functions such as copying and pasting. But the truth is that it goes much further, having quick functions in combination with the Alt key. For example, when editing documents we can use the Shift key to be able to select specific text by following the following commands:

    Shift-Up Arrow: Extend the text selection to the nearest character at the same horizontal location on the line above. Shift-Down Arrow: Extend the text selection to the nearest character at the same horizontal location on the line below. Shift-Left Arrow: Extend the text selection one character to the left. Shift-Right Arrow: Extend the text selection one character to the right.

But together with the 'Command' key we can have at our disposal many other options within the operating system, such as opening 'Go to the folder...', or opening the AirDrop window among many other possibilities. Among these we can highlight the following:

    Shift-Command-C: Open the Computer window. Shift-Command-D: Open the Desktop folder. Shift-Comando-F: open the Recent window, where you can see all the files you have recently opened or modified. Shift-Command-G: open the Go to folder window. Shift-Command-H: Open the home folder of the active macOS user account. Shift-Command-I: Open iCloud Drive. Shift-Command-K: Open the Network window. Shift-Command-L: Open the Downloads folder. Shift-Command-N: create a folder. Shift-Command-O: Open the Documents folder. Shift-Command-P: Show or hide the preview pane in Finder windows. Shift-Command-R: open the AirDrop window. Shift-Command-T: Show or hide the tab bar in Finder windows. Shift-Shift-Command-T: Add the selected Finder item to the Dock (OS X Mavericks or later). Shift-Command-U: Open the Utilities folder. Shift-Command-D: Show or hide the Dock. Shift-Command-T: Add the selected item to the sidebar (OS X Mavericks or later). Shift-Command-P: Hide or show the path bar in Finder windows. Shift-Command-S: Hide or show the sidebar of Finder windows. Shift-Command-N: Create a new folder in Finder.

Mac option and shift keys

Shortcuts with 'Option'

With the 'Option' key we find less interesting shortcuts that you can use in your operating system.

    Option + Command + Esc: Force close an app. Option + Command + power button:put the Mac to sleep. Option + Command + L: Open the Downloads folder. Option + Command + D: Show or hide the Dock. Option + Command + P: Hide or show the path bar in Finder windows. Option + Command + S: Hide or show the sidebar in Finder windows. Option + Command + N: Create a new Smart Folder. Option + Command + T: Show or hide the toolbar when a single tab is open in the current Finder window. Option + Command + V: Move files placed on the clipboard from their original location to the current location. Option + Command + Y: View a Quick View presentation of the selected files. Option + Shift + Command + Delete: empty the trash without confirmation dialog.

As you can see, having a knowledge of all these commands will save us a lot of time when working with our Mac in documents or simply to move around in the Finder or in general through the system.