Keyboard Shortcuts

I’ve been using a Mac on and off now for probably 12 years.

Today I just discovered the CMD+` shortcut for switching between app windows, after years of getting frustrated that it doesn’t follow Windows Alt+Tab!

It’ll take some getting used to after years of just Alt+Tab, as I still use Windows alongside.

Are there any other shortcuts people have spent years without knowing?


That was The One for me too!

The one I discovered last year was ⌘⇧/ to show help menu, then type to search menu bar item. I discovered that after 2 years of using office’s MBP.
One of the reasons I switched from Windows to Apple desktop as my personal computer!


My own is just how useful a hyper key is (i.e. a single key that replicates command-shift-option-control).

I was getting fed up with trying to remember which global shortcuts were command-option-space vs control-option-space, etc. Instead, I have set up a hyper key and switched all my global keyboard shortcuts to be hyper key based, including:

  • hyper-f: Fantastical input
  • hyper-c: Cardhop input
  • hyper-p: 1Password unlock/search
  • hyper-d: create a new Things task
  • hyper-g: open a specific folder in the finder (via Keyboard Maestro)

I’m sure I’ll add to this, but it’s been a fantastic improvement already.


This is great. I knew about the menu shortcut but, I didn’t realize you could type to search. That makes it much better.

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These have probably been mentioned elsewhere, but:

key function
⌃a jump to the beginning of a line of text
⌃e jump to the end of a line of text
⌃t transpose the two characters on each side of the carat (cursor), so ‘tihs’ becomes ‘this’
⌃⌘. show/hide hidden files in Finder

Oh man, that transpose shortcut is great! Never thought to try it outside of a terminal shell.


[shortcut question/request]
anyone know how to close Emoji Picker (by default summoned by ⌃⌘SPACE) using keyboard?

I often accidentally triggered that shortcut instead of Hook’s shortcut and a bit annoy me having to reach for mouse just to close that. It can be closed by pressing Esc if summoned on a text field, but it is floating freely if summoned anywhere else.

thanks :smiley:
Screnshot of macOS' Emoji Picker

I never knew the hidden folders one - turns out I had a keyboard maestro macro set to that shortcut to (believe it or not) show hidden files in Finder. :roll_eyes: The built in one is far better!


And, although this might be self-explanatory, you can then use the arrow keys to move down to the item you were wanting to select, and trigger it by hitting ‘Enter’.

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Using a M1 Mac?

I’ve just switched and found out that the fn key (Botton left) is mapped to the “globe” and will bring that floating emoji picker window when pressed outside a text box.

Good news is: pressing it again, makes it go away!

as John pointed out, I am looking for the mouse-less solution. It might be achieved by AppleScript, but I have not found the process/window name

Unfortunately I still use Intel Mac. I assume this is the same behavior like pressing fn on keyboard connected to iPadOS no? It acts as globe button too. Thanks though :slight_smile:

Precisely. It’s even represented this way on the key cap:


I noticed that you can type when a menu is being displayed and it will try to match an item with what you typed.
Especially useful for menu-intensive apps like Photoshop so I just open the File menu and
type “Export” instead of trying to figure where it is.

Works with any native menu like when you have to insert your birth year in a long list of years in an internet form.

Combine that with “Move focus to the menu bar” and you have a mouseless menu navigation when shortcuts aren’t available or you don’t know them.


John, those are mostly (all?) Emacs keybindings that are built into macOS going back to the dark ages.

This reference lists those any many others that might be useful:

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These convenient UNIX-y or Emacs-y keybindings (and Vim keybindings) made me a spoiled brat that often make feature requests for any apps to provide Emacs’/Vim’s keybindings.

Just look at my BTT settings:


And the fact that I miss using Obsidian (or TextMate 1) because of Vi keybindings plug-ins.

daaamn im pretty sure i knew this before but completely forgot about it. thanks for the reintroduction!