Keyboard shortcuts can dramatically increase your productivity, reduce repetitive strain, and help keep you focused. Learning and remembering the various Mac shortcuts can be a tedious task. Thankfully, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of all Mac keyboard shortcuts for you to refer back to at any time.
Why not bookmark (command+D) this handy guide to refer back to whenever you need it?
If you’re curious about MacBook keyboard shortcuts, they are key combinations that perform specific actions on your computer or laptop. These shortcuts save time by eliminating the need for the mouse or menu bar.
Whether you’re scrambling to gain all your MacBook knowledge for a new job or simply want to get your work done faster, this blog is the ultimate Mac shortcut cheat sheet for MacBook newbies. Keep reading as we explore the various Mac keyboard shortcuts and how you can use them to upgrade your tech skills at work.
Getting to know the keys on a MacBook keyboard
Getting your head around a MacBook keyboard can be tricky, especially with the various function keys and shortcuts. If you’re looking to speed up your work and save valuable time, then learning what these different keys do and how they can be used for Mac shortcuts can significantly improve your productivity.
To use Mac keyboard shortcuts, you need to use the important modifier keys (such as shift, command or control) and the keyboard shortcut key simultaneously to perform the correct action.
Here is a quick breakdown of the different modifier keys’ symbols:
- Shift key: ⇧
- Command key: ⌘
- Control key (ctrl key): ⌃
- Option key (alt key): ⌥
- Function key (fn key): fn
It is important to remember that Mac keyboard shortcuts may vary across different laptops, and certain key combinations might change depending on which app windows they are being used in.
If you think your keyboard isn’t working properly, then take a look at this blog post for our helpful Mac troubleshooting tips.
What does the Command key do?
The Command key, which can be displayed on an Apple menu or keyboard as a ⌘ symbol, is one of the most commonly used modifier keys for Mac keyboards. This convenient button is usually found next to the space bar on a Mac keyboard and enables users to enter commands into their computer.
Typical uses of the Command key can be copying and pasting text, quickly undoing previous work, saving a document or printing.
More details about the command key and its everyday functions are listed below.
Why is Shift+Command commonly used together?
The Shift key is usually presented as a ⇧ symbol on a Mac keyboard – its primary function is to allow users to type in capital letters.
However, when it comes to shortcuts, the shift key is another valuable button to perform speedy actions on your Mac.
Shift+Command are often used together as an extension of a previous command shortcut. Typical uses may include taking screenshots on a Mac, which would be performed as Shift+Command+3.
Universal Mac Keyboard shortcuts
Rather than right-clicking or using a menu bar, many of our day-to-day tasks on our keyboards can be performed much quicker using a simple key combination.
This is a guide for all Mac users, including complete beginners. So we have included even the simplest shortcuts (there’s no judgement here). These Mac shortcuts work on a desktop and across the majority of apps, although some shortcuts may vary depending on which app you use.
Here are some of the most commonly used Mac shortcuts:
- Command+C: Copy.
- Command+V: Paste.
- Command+X: Cut.
- Command+Z: Undo.
- Shift+Command+Z: Redo.
- Command+P: Opens the Print dialogue box.
- Command+S: Save the current document.
- Command+O: Open a document.
- Command+H: Hide the current app window.
- Command+Tab: Flick through all the open windows on your computer. Press Enter or Space Bar to select one.
- Command+Space: Open Spotlight search to search for apps and personalised web suggestions.
- Option+Command+Esc: Open the “Force Quit Applications” window.
Whether you are looking to locate a particular file or simply want to access the Finder windows quickly, these handy Finder shortcuts are great for navigating the Finder app.
- Command+N: Open a new Finder window.
- Shift+Command+N: Create a new folder.
- Command+Delete: Move to trash.
- Shift+Command+Delete: Empty trash.
- Command+Down Arrow: Open highlighted item.
- Command+Up Arrow: Navigate through the current open folder.
- Command+ Equals (=): Make tiles/windows larger.
- Command+ Minus (-): Make tiles/windows smaller.
- Shift+Command+D: Open the desktop folder.
What are the screenshot shortcuts?
Memorise these three screenshot techniques for MacBooks and become a screenshot whizz in your office.
- Shift+Command+3: Screenshot the entire screen.
- Shift+Command+4: Screenshot a selected area using your cursor to capture part of the screen.
- Shift+Command+5: Open the screenshot toolbar for more screenshot options.
If you want to learn more about how to screenshot, then check out our step-by-step guide here.
Text editing shortcuts
If your job consists of lots of typing, then these shortcuts should come in handy when typing blocks of text.
- Command+Right Arrow / Left Arrow: Go to the end/start of a line.
- Command+Up Arrow / Down Arrow: Go to the beginning/end of a document.
- Option+Right Arrow / Left Arrow: Move one word forward/backwards.
- Command+B / Command+I / Command+U: Bold, italicise, or underline text.
Boost your browsing efficiency with these Safari and Chrome shortcuts.
- Command+T: Open a new tab.
- Shift+Command+T: Reopen the most recently closed tab – ideal for when you accidentally close a tab!
- Command+L: Highlight the URL bar (you could then use Command+C to copy the URL).
- Command+R: Refresh the current page.
- Command+W: Close the current tab.
- Command+Plus(+) / Command+Minus(-): Zoom in / zoom out.
- Command+1 to Command+9: Switch between open tabs in the current window – great for researchers.
- Control+Command+F: View full screen / exit full screen.
How to view and edit Mac shortcuts
To find the Mac shortcuts that are already set up on your laptop, head to the Apple menu and choose System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts, from here, you’ll also be able to change the settings, amend existing shortcuts or add a new keyboard shortcut tailored to you.
Additionally, Mission Control is another excellent tool for boosting work efficiency. Mission Control is accessed using the F3 button and provides a neat overview of all your open apps, allowing faster access to different applications.
To amend or change these settings, press Option+F3 to open mission control preferences.
Why are Mac keyboard shortcuts not the same as Windows keyboard shortcuts?
Mac shortcuts are typically different to Windows shortcuts due to the difference in keys. For instance, the Command Key on a MacBook keyboard provides the same functions as the Control Key (ctrl key) on a Windows keyboard.
While it may be slightly confusing at first, after some practice and with the help of this handy guide, you will get the hang of it. Soon you’ll be a pro in Mac shortcuts.
To summarise, a MacBook keyboard shortcut is a simple and effective method for speeding up your work. These shortcuts can shave off a considerable amount of time from your workday and keep you in the zone when you’re trying to work efficiently!
Remember, practice makes perfect. The more you use these Mac shortcuts, the more natural they will feel.
If you’re having trouble with your MacBook keyboard, you don’t need to worry about getting a whole new replacement. At Hero Tech Support, we specialise in all things Apple. We provide a fast and efficient keyboard repair service to help customers get the most out of their products.
We provide free pick-up, diagnosis and drop-off – so all you have to do is contact a specialist and tell us what you need support with.