Favourite keyboard shortcut on MacOS?

What’s your favourite keyboard shortcut, custom or built-in, on MacOS that people probably would’t know about?

Mine is one I setup alt+c that shows me the Today section of Notification Center :blush:


(Option-space )

Invokes LaunchBar for me – use it dozens-to-hundreds of times daily.


Invokes LaunchBar for me – use it dozens-to-hundreds of times daily.

I intended to write the same :slight_smile:

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I very recently learned (and learned to memorize — that’s the real “key”) Control-Shift-Eject to put the Mac in Sleep mode. I love that one and wish I’d known it years earlier.

But the comically faded D and N keys on my keyboard suggest to me that Command-Shift-D, to send in Mail, and Command-N, to make something new everywhere, are my favorites.


I don’t want to talk to Siri on my Mac, so I invoke Type To Siri with a custom key-command after enabling it in System Prefences > Accessibility

I tend to use it most for (currency/length/weight) conversions, but it’ll does all the Siri stuff, speaking and offering widget info and links.


That’s really useful! Thanks for sharing! I’m gonna set that up right away :blush:

Great trip - thanks! I just started using it.

My favorite shortcut is swiping down on the trackpad with 4 fingers to put my Mac to sleep. It feels very satisfying to do that after accomplishing a lot of work on the Mac.


⌘W to close a window without closing the application. By default, applications that follow the Apple UI guidelines will resume where they left off if you close them using ⌘Q or shutdown the computer. This is not convenient if you are finished with the document although it is handy if you are not. ⌘W closes the window and document such that it won’t reopen automatically. As an advantage, it keeps the app running so there is no startup delay when you go to another document. Stop using ⌘Q!


great tip, I’ll use it too :smiley:

Mine is probably the “double” ⌘P to print in PDF directly in the download folder, and Command-Space to invoke LaunchBar.

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I have remapped my right-option key to (left-)option + space for Alfred, so I use that one … a lot.

And I’ve remapped my right cmd key to a hyper key (shift+ctrl+opt+cmd) so I also use that one for lots of shortcuts. One of my most-used ones is right-cmd + I to open my “inbox”-folder (which is also my Downloads-folder).
I often use that one even if I actually need another folder, just because it’s a quick way to open the Finder.

One of my favorite “hidden” shortcuts on the Mac is the option-key when using cmd + tab. (And for many non-power users “cmd + tab” is my favorite shortcut to show them.)
For example: if you use cmd + tab to go to the Finder without any windows open, and you hold down option before you let go of cmd, it will open a new Finder window for you.
If you can get that in your muscle memory it’s a quick way to open up a new Finder window.


I simply made Spotlight’s Command-Space (a key-command Apple originally stole from LaunchBar many years ago) my mapping for Alfred, and if I need to use Spotlight - a very rare occasion - I just click on it in the menubar. One reason it’s so rare is that if I need more than any kind of search Alfred can perform (eg looking inside files) I’ll use HoudahSpot for that.

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I used to do that, but stll… Pressing one key is 50% the effort of pressing two keys, right? :wink:

And I just use the search feature in Alfred (starting a command with ', e.g. 'my_testfile.txt) for search.
Houdahspot does seem powerful though. I think I should really look into it! (Think I have tested it once upon a time, but not really sure.)

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That’s genius. Right cmd is possibly my least used key .


CMD+ALT+V in Finder, it moves a file after you have copied it instead of creating a copy.


⌘space: invokes Alfred.

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Wow didn’t actually know that. I have used Yoi j for years

Oh, there are so many keyboard shortcuts that I love :slightly_smiling_face:

Here are two that many people might not be aware of:

  • When you’re hovering over a word with your mouse pointer in the active window and you hit Command-Control-D, you get a dictionary popup for that word. (Just hit the esc (escape) key to dismiss.)

  • In Finder, hitting Command-Shift-. shows you hidden files. Hitting the same shortcut again toggles this back off. (I use Path Finder instead, and there the shortcut is Command-Shift-i.)

Some more commonly known but useful shortcuts:

  • In most browsers, Command-L takes you to the URL bar. (You can esc out of it. Double-esc in Safari.)

  • In Safari, use ⌘= (Command key and equal sign) to increase the size of the content on the page (text and images), ⌘- (Command key and minus sign) to decrease the size of the content, and ⌘0 (Command key and zero) to return to the default size. If you want to increase/decrease only the text, but not the images, add the Option key to the above shortcuts.

  • In mail.app, use Command-1, Command-2, etc., to jump to your favorite mailboxes. These are the ones listed towards the top of the window, below the toolbar. If you create your own smart mailboxes and put them there, you can access them the same way. E.g., put a mailbox in the 3rd spot from the left and access it with Command-3.

  • Command-, (Command and comma) opens the preferences for the active app.

  • Command-` (Command and backtick) to cycle through the windows of the currently active application. (Add in the Shift key to cycle backwards.)

  • (By the way: did you know that you can hit the up or down cursor key on any app while you are Command-tabbing, and it will bring up all the open windows of that app? I never use this, but thought I’d mention it.)

  • Cursor navigation using the cursor keys in combination with the Command and Option keys, respectively. (Add in the Shift key for selecting). An absolute must for efficiency.

Third-party app-specific/custom-made shortcuts:

  • Control-Space to access Launchbar (I prefer this over Option-Space, mainly because I find the Control key more convenient)

  • Similar to the “Print to PDF” shortcut that @memex mentioned above and that @MacSparky has described here, I have configured Control-Option-Command-P to save a PDF directly to my DEVONthink Pro Office global inbox from any print dialog. Super useful.

  • Option-` (Option and backtick) to display/hide my Path Finder window. TL;DR: I don’t use TotalFinder, but they had a “Visor” feature that I liked where it would slide in the TotalFinder window from the bottom of the screen. I have used Keyboard Maestro to implement this idea with Path Finder: I have a Path Finder window that spans the entire width of my screen and goes from the bottom edge to about a third to half of the way up the screen. With Option-`, Keyboard Maestro displays that window if it’s currently hidden or hides it if it’s currently shown. You don’t get the sliding effect, but that’s fine. It’s faster like this anyway. I love this solution because it allows me to keep all my Path Finder tabs open and yet easily hide the window when I don’t need it anymore. This is one of the reasons I use Path Finder, because the same can’t be done as beautifully with Finder: on the Mac, you can’t hide all apps. At least one app must be active at all times. So, if I wanted to keep my Finder window with all my tabs open, then in order to hide it temporarily, I would have to have at least one other app on the screen - and since most apps have windows, that means there’s at least one app that’s on my screen that I can’t get rid of. For me, I use Path Finder to hold my active tabs, and I can hide it along with everything else, and then the only app that stays active when everything else is hidden is Finder - and since Finder is running without any open windows, I can hide everything and see nothing but my desktop (yet without losing my open tabs). I just like that clean look that comes with hiding everything :relieved:

And here’s a mostly unnecessary but fun shortcut:

  • Option-Shift-K gives you the  symbol :hugs:

Here’s one I forgot that I really like: Anywhere you’re editing text, Control-T will transpose the two letters on either side of the cursor. So if you typed “teh” when you meant “the”, put the cursor between the e and the h and hit Control-T. It switches the letters around.

(This doesn’t work in Microsoft Word. Naturally.)


You can make ⌘P be a link to ‘Save as PDF’ from System Preferences -> Keyboard -> Shortcuts -> App Shortcuts. That way you can save to PDF with ⌘P ⌘P from anywhere.


⇧⌘3 will screenshot the current screen(s), and ⇧⌘4 will change the cursor and let you select an area and capture it to an image. All screen shots are saved to your Desktop. I use the ⇧⌘4 all the time for web receipts that I might need a copy of.

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