Below, you’ll find a detailed list of more than 40 keyboard shortcuts that we think are the absolute must-know for any Mac user. We’ve carefully curated them from 100s of keyboard shortcuts available for the Mac.
1. Cmd + Shift + 3 : Capture the entire screen to a file
2. Cmd + Shift + Control + 3 : Capture the screen and copy it to the clipboard
3. Cmd + Shift + 4 : Capture the selection of the screen to a file, press the spacebar to capture the window.
4. Cmd + Shift + Option + 4 : Capture the selection from center
1. Cmd + Space bar : Show Spotlight search
2. Cmd + Tab / Command + Shift + Tab : Move to the next/previous most recently used app
3. Cmd F3 : Show desktop (when you’re not in a full-screened app)
4. Cmd + Tilda (`) : Switch to the next open window in the app you’re using
5. Option + Shift + Command + Esc : Bring up the Force Quit application menu
6. Cmd + Delete : Move the selected file to trash
7. Cmd + Shift + Delete : Empty Trash
8. Cmd + S : Save
9. Cmd + Q : Quit
10. Cmd + N : New
11. Cmd + W : Close Window
12. Cmd + M : Minimize Window
Shortcuts For Finder
1. Cmd + A : Select app items
2. Cmd + Shift + A : Open the Applications Folder
3. Cmd + D : Duplicate selected item
4. Cmd + Shift + N : Create a new folder
5. Cmd + 1/2/3/4 : View as icon/list/columns/cover flow
6. Cmd + [/] :Go to the previous/next folder
7. Cmd + Up/Down Arrow : Navigate up/down one level
1. Cmd + Left/Right Arrow : Takes you to the beginning/end of the current line
2. Cmd + Up/Down : Takes you to the beginning/end of all the text on a page
3. Alt + Up/Down : Go to the beginning/end of the current paragraph
4. Cmd + Z : Undo
5. Cmd + Shift + Z : Redo
6. Cmd + F : Find
7. Cmd + Control + D : Define the highlighted word
8. Option + Escape : Auto complete the word that you’re writing
9. Cmd + B : Bold
10. Cmd + I : Italics
11. Cmd + U : Underline
Another great thing about switching from Windows to a MacBook is that the trackpad’s usability is of epic proportions. The trackpad on a MacBook is pretty big compared to that on a standard Windows laptop and it’s made from one smooth piece of glass that you can easily glide 5 fingers on.
Now, I love keyboard shortcuts. When I’m writing and my fingers are already on the keyboard, they sure do come in handy.
But when I’m browsing the web or catching up on RSS, I mostly just rely on the trackpad. Even doing normal Mac app switching and other mundane operations become a joyous affair with the trackpad.
Go to System Preferences -> Trackpad.
Here you’ll see three tabs for Point & Click, Scroll & Zoom and More Gestures
Tap to click is disabled by default. Some people, especially the ones used to the loud mouse clicks from the 90s, like the physical click feedback. If you’re not a fan, enable Tap to click from Point & Click section.
In your shiny new MacBook, the scrolling works like this: when you swipe up, the page actually moves down. This change was made in OS X 10.7 Lion way back in 2011 and it’s been pulled straight from iOS touchscreen scrolling. Because when you’re using a touchscreen, you push the content up using your fingers to scroll down.
I personally find this behavior annoying because I’m used to old ways. If you feel the same, you can uncheck the Scroll direction: natural option from the Scroll & Zoom section.
Here are the more advanced gestures you need to know about:
Four finger swipe up : Mission Control
Four finger swipe left or right : Switch between desktops or fullscreen apps
Swipe in with two fingers from the right edge : Bring up Notification Center
Pinch with three fingers and thumb : Launchpad
Spread three finders and thumb : Show Desktop
The great thing about the Trackpad section is that it shows you a video of how to engage a gesture and what it does right there. All you need to do is mouse over to one.
Spend some time here getting to know all the gestures. They will make navigating the Mac much, much better.
Improving Window Management in OS X Using Keyboard Shortcuts and Trackpad Gestures
The one thing Windows is really good at is window management. I mean, how can it not be, it’s right there in the name. And this is something Apple just doesn’t seem to care about. Yes, fullscreen apps are great, but what if you want to use two or three apps side-by-side on one screen? Resizing them just right manually using the trackpad is nightmare.
This is where we’ll take help of third party apps. This guide is more about the core functionalities in OS X, and we’ll cover third party apps and productivity features in OS X in a guide in future, but this is something I just can’t let go.