How-to: macOS Keyboard Shortcuts

Screen Capture to disk:

  command Shift Key 3              Screen to jpeg file on desktop.
  command Shift Key 4 + Drag       Selection to jpeg file on desktop.
  command Shift Key 4 + Spacebar   Window (click camera) to jpeg file.

Screen Capture to clipboard:

  command Shift Key 3 + Ctrl             Screen to clipboard.
  command Shift Key 4 + Drag + Ctrl      Selection to clipboard.
  command Shift Key 4 + Spacebar + Ctrl  Window (Camera effect) to clipboard.

Copy and Paste

  command X      Cut.
  command C      Copy.
  command V      Paste.
  command option ⇧ V Paste and match style, may not work everywhere.

Dock /Switch Applications

  command option D     Show/Hide Dock.
  command Ctrl F   Enter or exit Full Screen mode (or press option + Green zoom button).

  command Tab      Switch applications (even while dragging a file).
  command `        Switch between document Windows in current application.
  option Dock     Switch application, hide previous one.
  command Dock     Switch application, hide all others.
 Ctrl option command 8  Toggle Monochrome Hi Visibility (Accessibility).
  command +drag will prevent dock icons from moving out of the way.
             (useful when dragging items to the trash).

Apple Finder

  option + Drag   Explicit COPY (will copy even if destation is on same volume).
  command + Drag   Explicit MOVE (will move even if destation is on different volume).
  command option + Drag Make alias in new location.
  ⌘ ⇧ .     Show/Hide hidden files (toggle). 
  command D        Duplicate.
  command L        Make Alias.
  command R        Show original.
  command O        Open item.
  command ↓        Open item.
  command option C     Copy File/Folder pathname to the clipboard.
  command S        Save.
  command Shift Key S      Save as.
  command N        New Finder window.
  command Shift Key N      New Folder.
  command Q        Quit Application.
  command W        Close Window.
  command option W      Close all Windows.
  command I        Get Info.
  command option I      Super Get Info (change whatever you click on).
  command option S      Show/Hide the Finder sidebar.
  command option Y      Toggle Slideshow mode (show selected graphic files full-screen).
  command P        Print.
  command T        Open new Tab.
  command ⌫       Delete/Move to Trash.
  command option ⌫    Delete immediately.
  command E        Eject.
  command F        Find.
  command ~        Cycle finder windows (including desktop).
  Tab        Highlight next item.
  ⌘ + double-click folder icon will open in new window.
  ⌘ + ↑      Move up one directory.
  ⌘ + [      go back.
  ⌘ + ]      go forward.
  ⌘ ⇧ ⌫     Empty Trash (Finder Menu ).
  ⌘ ⇧ ⌥ ⌫   Empty Trash without dialog.

Finder, plus Open/Save dialogues:

  ⌘ ⇧ A     Jump to /Applications
  ⌘ ⇧ U     Jump to /Applications/Utilities/
  ⌘ ⇧ D     Jump to ~/Desktop
  ⌘ ⇧ H     Jump to Home Folder ~/
  ⌘ ⇧ C     Jump to /Computer (a virtual folder displaying all mounted disks).
  ⌘ ⇧ G     Go to folder - allows you to type in a path (with tab-completion).
  ⌘ ⇧ K     Go to network.
  ⌘ K        Connect to server.
  ⌘ ⇧ .     Toggle hidden files (only in apps that support this.)

Finder-Hide App:
  command H        Hide Application.
  command option H      Hide other applications.

Hide all other apps:
  option command + click on dock icon.
  option command + click inside app window.

Hide all other apps that are in front:
  option + click dock icon (of running app)
  option + click inside app window.


  Spacebar (or command Y)   Activate QuickLook on the selected file(s).
  command option Y               Full Screen QuickLook on the selected file(s).


  option + Click            Move the insertion point (this emits arrow keys).
  command left/right arrow   Switch windows.
command 1 Switch to 1st terminal window. command 2, command 3... Switch to 2nd, 3rd window.

QuickTime Player

  J   Play backwards/speed.
  K   Stop (also spacebar and . )
  L   Play forwards/speed.
  ←   Move one frame forward (or 0.25 sec on audio).
  →   Move one frame back.
  I   Set start point (QT 7 only)
  O   Set end point (QT 7 only)


  command Spacebar           Activate/deactivate Spotlight.
  command option Spacebar         Open Spotlight window.
  command Return / command Click   Open the top/next item.
  command ↓ / ↑              Move to next/previous category.

Editing Text (email, TextEdit etc)

  option ←       Move one word left.
  option →       Move one word right.
 Ctrl A     Beginning of Sentence (Home).
 Ctrl E     End of Sentence (End).
  command ←       Beginning of line.
  command →       End of line.
  command Ctrl Spacebar    Open Emoji character panel 😎 (Emoji, symbols and punctuation)
  option [       “  Smart quote (open/left)
  option Shift Key [     ” Smart quote (close/right)
  option ]       ‘  Smart quote (open/left) Also Apostrophe: O‘Brien
  option Shift Key ]     ’ Smart quote (close/right)
  up          Scroll one page up. (cursor retains position)
  down          Scroll one page down. (cursor retains position)
  option up        Move one page up.  (reposition cursor)
  option down        Move one page down.
  command ↑ or up/left  Scroll to beginning of document.
  command ↓ or down/right  Scroll to end of document.

  Add shift key Shift Key to the above to also select the text.

  option ⌫      Delete previous word . 
  option Del     Delete next word.
 Ctrl D     Delete next character (Del)
  command Shift Key .     Show hidden files in open and save dialogs. (Snow Leopard only)
  command Shift Key /     Open Application Help (Search)

  option Scrollbar           Jump to exact scrollbar location.
  option Scrollbar arrows    Scroll page at a time (page up/down)
  option Volume up/down      Open Sound preferences.
  Control Shift Key Eject       Turn display off (brightness=0)
  option Brightness up/down  Open Display preferences.


  POWER         Sleep now.
  POWER         Hold for 10 seconds (force shut down).
  Ctrl Eject    Restart, Sleep, Shutdown dialog box.
Ctrl Shift Key Eject Sleep the display now. command option Eject Sleep the computer now. command Ctrl Eject Quit all applications and restart. command option Ctrl Eject Shut down the computer now (Graceful Shutdown). command option Esc Force Quit menu - selectively force quit applications. command option Shift Key Esc Hold for three seconds to Force Quit the foremost application. command .(period) Stop a process. command Ctrl+power Immediate restart (dangerous, only use if the system is frozen).

To boot into Safe mode:

  1. Shut down, and wait 10 seconds before pressing the Power Button to start up.
  2. As soon as you hear the startup chime/chord, press and hold down Shift Key (Shift).
  3. Once the Apple logo and progress bar appear, you can release the Shift key.

To return to normal mode, restart the Mac without holding down any keys.

To Restart a system that fails a normal shutdown, open a terminal window and type: sudo shutdown -r now

Log out:

  command Shift Key Q         Log out. (Apple Menu)
  command Shift Key option Q      Log out immediately. (Apple Menu)

During Startup:

  Shift      Safe Boot mode - Press shift asap AFTER the startup chime.
  command V        Start up in Verbose mode.
  command S        Start up in Single-User mode (command line).
    X        Force macOS startup.
    C        Start up from a CD (if it has a system folder).
    D        Start Apple Diagnostics from first partition (or Apple Hardware test on Pre 2012 Macs).
    N        Attempt to start up from a network server(NetBoot).
    R        Force PowerBook screen reset.
    T        Start up in FireWire Target Disk mode.
  Option     Select a startup disk.
  command option Shift Key ⌫   Bypass primary startup volume (will seek DVD or external disk)
  command option P R   PRAM Reset - Hold down Cmd-Option-R with your left hand,
              then press POWER to start up and immediately press P with your right hand.
              See HT204063  At the prompt you can  type: reset-nvram and/or reset-all 
  command option O F   Open Firmware
  command E        Eject CD (press during/after startup chime)
  mouse      Eject CD (hold mouse button down during startup)

macOS Recovery (Restore/Repair/reinstall macOS)
At startup, press and hold one of the following key combinations:

  command R  Install the latest macOS that was installed on your Mac. [recommended]
  command option R Upgrade to the latest macOS compatible with your Mac.
  command option Shift Key R Install the macOS that came with your Mac, or the closest version still available.

command is the Command or Apple key
option is the Option or Alt key
Shift Key is the Shift key
⌫ is the Backspace key

System Preferences

To disable or change any keyboard shortcuts, open System Preferences | Keyboard | Shortcuts
per-application settings can be added under App Shortcuts press [+]
To reset to the default settings, open Keyboard Shortcuts and press [Restore Defaults]

To enable keyboard control in dialog boxes: Keyboard | Full Keyboard Access=All Controls
Full keyboard access will allow you to use Tab,Shift-Tab,Enter, Esc and the Space bar to navigate a dialogue box.

To display an on screen keyboard: System Preferences | Language & Text | Input sources | Keyboard/Character viewer

Function Keys

F3 or Ctrl + ↑ Open Mission control / Spaces.
F8 Toggle Space.
F9 Exposé - Show all open windows.
F10 Exposé - Show all open windows for an application.
F11 Hide all windows.
F12 Open/close Dashboard.
Add Shift Key to the above F.Keys for a slow-motion effect

You can discover additional keyboard shortcuts by opening a menu and pressing the ⌥ (Option) and ⇧ (Shift) keys. For example, in Finder, open the File menu and press the ⌥ (Option) key.

'Command + Tab' cycles through Applications,
'Command + ~ (tilde)' cycles through an individual Applications windows"

Related macOS comands:

Bash Terminal Keyboard shortcuts
nvram - Manipulate or reset firmware variables.
macOS Key bindings - Remap the Home and End Keys.
HT201236 - Keyboard Shortcuts Quick Reference (Apple).
screencapture - Take Screenshots.
Applications:Utilities:Grab - Copy the screen to a TIFF file with (optional) 10 second delay.
DanRodney - macOS Keyboard Shortcuts.

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