The Mac is a powerful computer. You’re a Mac user. How do you become a Mac power user? This is too easy. First, stop using the mouse or trackpad. Uh huh. You’re halfway to power user status already. Second, use the Mac’s built-in keyboard shortcuts. Every app has a bunch and macOS has plenty, too.
How that makes you a Mac power user has nothing– or, at least, not very much– with knowing how the Mac works under the hood. Power means productivity, efficiency, capability, and if you keep your hands on the Mac’s keyboard, learn the keyboard shortcuts, you will become more productive and efficient, and that translates into, well, more power.
How do you get there? Good question.
Yes, it helps to know how to type. So, let me assume that’s where you are. You can type. Most Mac users know the keyboard basics.
- Command-C – That copies a selection.
- Command-V – That inserts a copied selection.
- Command-Q – That quits an application.
- Command-W – That closes an app’s open window.
- Command-P – Think printer (I know; so 1999).
- Command-O – That opens the Open… dialog box.
- Command-Tab – That displays open apps to switch to.
Those are the basic keyboard shortcuts. There are more. Many more. Too many to remember, but the more you know and use keyboard shortcuts, the more you hands stay on the keyboard, the closer you get to Mac power user status.
Here are some of my favorites.
Command-Y – It took me awhile to get the value in this one. QuickLook lets you preview items in the Finder, but to get there requires you to select the item first, then press the space bar. The keyboard shortcut lets you get to the selection faster.
Command-Spacebar – Think Spotlight. If you want a quick search, just hit the Command key and the Spacebar at the same time and Spotlight magically appears, ready for you to search.
Command-Comma – That’s comma as in “,” the comma key. What it does is save you a few steps. Command-Comma opens System Preferences. Handy, right?
Command-Shift – These are easy to remember and very helpful for anyone who wants keyboard productivity. From the Finder, Command-Shift-A opens the Applications folder. Command-Shift-U opens the Utilities folder. Command-Shift-D gets to the Desktop folder, and Command-Shift-I opens iCloud Drive.
After those, keyboard shortcuts get tricky and vary app to app. Each Mac application has their own set of keyboard shortcuts. One of the best tools to find them all is a Mac utility called KeyCue. Think of it as a cheat sheet for keyboard shortcuts.
Just remember– Mac power users keep their hands and fingers on the Mac’s keyboard.