The 'Key' to Keyboard Shortcuts

I’ve really been getting into keyboard shortcuts lately. I’m finding that with my unpredictable school workflow, I can’t really optimize my Mac too much for any specific task.

That being said, I’ve been utilizing keyboard shortcuts to switch in between safari tabs, apps, windows, and such, instead of using spaces and mission control and it seems to be saving me a lot of time. (I remapped switching tabs in Safari to CMD+< and CMD+> because it’s easier than ctrl+tab and ctrl+shift+tab).

Also, option+shift+arrow keys is AMAZING and I don’t know how I didn’t know about them for text appending.

So here comes my question. what shortcuts do you use most? what custom shortcuts have you implemented? While I’m on this bender I may as well learn as many neat ones as possible. :joy:

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As far as standard macOS keyboard shortcuts go:

Command + Space to search (remapped to Alfred rather than Spotlight in my case).

The text editing shortcuts: Command or Option + arrow keys to move the cursor, in combination with Shift to select text, Command or Option + Delete to delete text (in fact I used these in composing this reply).

I also really like Control + Tab and Control + Shift + Tab to switch tabs in Safari (especially since they can be run one-handed). Command + Tab to switch apps.

I’ve got a bunch of app-specific and user-defined ones that I use a lot (Control + Option + Space for OmniFocus quick entry, Control + Option + Command for Fantastical quick entry).

I’ve also got Control + Option + Command mapped to the Capslock key (inspired by Brett Terpstra’s Hyper key) and a bunch of shortcuts set up in Keyboard Maestro:

Hyper + S for a new Safari window
Hyper + D to bring up Due
Shift + Hyper + D to bring up Due with the new reminder entry open
Hyper + F to bring up the Finder
Hyper + C to open a Safari webpage in Chrome
Hyper + B to bring up Bear
Hyper + R to bring up Reeder
Hyper + E to bring up Spark
Hyper + Y to bring up YNAB
Hyper + G to copy all my current text and paste it into Grammarly


Most of the time I re-map keyboard shortcuts to a midi pad I have so as to be platform and application agnostic.

The main keyboard ones I use are the eclipse IDE control +shift+o to fix import statements and in most IDE’s control space to bring up suggested complete.


One of the most useful things I did was use Karabiner-Elements to map caps lock to F19. I then defined some macros in Keyboard Maestro to act as toggles. This is now my multifunction key to open and close things I use a lot. If the app isn’t visible, the macro runs the app. If the app is visible, the macro hides the app. So it goes - tap caps lock, Things 3 opens, tap again, Things 3 disappears.

Caps Lock - Things 3
Shift + Caps Lock - Bear
Control + Caps Lock - Ulysses
Command + Caps Lock - DEVONthink Pro Office

Now, it really gets cool. I have a Keyboardio Model 01 that has crazy programmability. It has a “butterfly” key that is now defined as F19. So now “butterfly” opens Things, Shift+Butterfly opens Bear, etc.
It gets better: there is a shift key on the left and right. If I tap a shift key, it types an open or close parenthesis, but if held, they function as normal shift keys. A couple of others are defined for brackets and curly braces.

Similar to @ChrisUpchurch, I have a key defined to be Hyper (Shift+Control+Option+Command), and one defined as Meh (Control+Option+Command), each with associated shortcuts. For example, Meh+R opens my VPN, types my password and ‘push’ so I get a push notification on my watch. Tap on my watch, and I’m connected. Meh+R again disconnects and closes the VPN client.
Another key is defined as Control+Option so I can use Magnet commands to rearrange windows easily.
And more…



I’ve got a bajillion of them, mostly created in Keyboard Maestro or Butler, plus a fair number in the Keyboard system prefpane as well. Beyond a certain number, I found the only way to remember them is to assign meaning to the modifier combinations so that, for example, ⌃-[letter] always means open an application, ⌃⌥-[same letter] means create a new document/entry in that application, ⇧⌃⌥-[same letter] means use the current selection to create a new document/entry in the app associated with the letter, ⌃⌘-[same letter] means search in that application, etc.

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I found that I could not remember the keyboard shortcuts after awhile and was constantly afraid of conflicting with exisiting shortcuts.

My solution was to instead use MIDI as a trigger since it is designed to be a digital event system, abet one for music.


Since I have just moved to keyboard maestro I am in the process of rebuilding my collection of automations, this page handles email functionality for me.

I find it is much easier to remember a colour and location in space rather then a button combination.

The pad itself has 64 main buttons 8 buttons along both the top and the bottom.

I use the top row to control the context of what I am doing, personal, work, etc, and the side role for activities, General, programming, email, file management, etc,

Because I have so many buttons it means that I can have ones for less used but still useful functionality, the orange button in the top right for instance is mapped to bring pocket casts player to the front and pause the playing podcast


Kudos to all of you making great use of shortcuts! Maybe it’s my age, but I just can’t remember them all or keep them straight. Boy did I used to rely on them though – why use a mouse when you can just use the keyboard?

Anyway, to keep track of my application shortcuts I downloaded the free CheatSheet and hold down the ⌘ key to view. Then my major keyboard shortcut is using Alfred which is on ⌥space so I can still keep Spotlight around on ⌘space.


Careful you don’t accidentally drop the bass :slight_smile:


That’s a brilliant idea! I’m geeting one! Can you change the colour of the buttons? I think i saw a streamdeck where each button was a small screen so you could ad logos. I need to look in to this!

Thanks for the idea!

Yes that particular model only has green, red and orange but there are full RGB ones that are just a touch bigger on the desk

I am using the launchpad mini which in Australia you can buy from JB HI FI for about $140

Here is the link to the full range on the manufacturers website.

As an additional note I am using bome midi converter pro, but the copy of ableton that the pad comes with can also do it.

I reckon that keyboard maestro should be able to control the lights but I have not spent the time to find out yet, since I am only a recent convert. To control the lights what you have to do is send a midi signal back to the pad and the volicity of the note controls the colour so for instance my podcast button is on note 90 08 7F and that is what I am feeding back to the pad to make the light be on and orange and 90 08 00 would be off for colour.

⌘+` and ⌘⇧+`` shift a lot of windows for me, particularly in Finder and my mail app. I didn’t realize that there were such good deleting shortcuts that you mentioned!

One that made my life a lot better on Mac and the work PCs I have to use alike was ⌘L to select the address bar in any browser. I used to open new tabs sometimes without thinking just because it was faster to get to the address bar. I’ve halved the number of active tabs I have on my computers since getting used to this shortcut.


Back when I was using a PC, I always used Alt+D to get with the address bar. That muscle memory was ingrained to the point that when I started using Macs I remapped Command + D to go to the address bar in Safari. This came back to bite me when I started using an external keyboard with my iPad (where there’s no way to remap keyboard shortcuts). Eventually, I got frustrated enough with this that I deleted the remapping on my Mac and trained myself to use Command + L everywhere.

In Preview in the Keyboard preference pane, I remap Adjust Color… to cmd-= and Adjust Size… to cmd-`. Just makes it easier when working through a folder of images to quickly adjust color and size.

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