The Most Useful Keyboard Shortcuts

Mac OS X offers a fantastic opportunity for anyone who believes that life is too short: the menu control, dialog boxes, pop-up menus, and even pop-up menu icons in the Dock – in general, almost all – with the help of the keyboard. In fact, any menu in any program can be used without a mouse or other programs. The keyboard can control any part of any dialog box including the pop-up menus and checkboxes. You can even assign your own shortcuts instead of those installed in Mac OS X (for example, Shift – 3 to save the screen image file).

Moreover, you can add or change any menu command in any program. This is a paradise for keyboard lovers, isn’t it?

Here are some ways to manage Mac without a mouse.

As you know, the most important keys on Mac’s keyboard are Command, Shift, Caps Lock, Alt, Control, Tab.

Quit the applications

The applications in OS X can have several windows that is why closing a window doesn’t mean quitting the application. In order to close the applications you should simply press command-q. Do you see how it is fast?

Application switching

Users can easily switch among the open applications by pressing command-tab. After that, a window with all open application appears. If you press the key combination once, it will show you the previous application. Keeping the command pressed down allows browsing between applications and selecting the right one. Is it quicker than you’ve thought?

Closing windows

To close the current window, you should press command-w. Remember that this key combination closes only the active window not the whole application.

Opening a new tab

A lot of applications support working with multiple tabs allowing you not to clutter the screen but just to open a tab. It’s enough to press command-t.

To minimize windows

For minimizing the active window, press command-m and it will minimize in the right of the dock.

Hiding an application

For hiding a current application, press command-h. All the applications will hide. To have them again is to click them in the dock.


Command-s allows you to save.


Command-o is used to open documents, images, etc.


To copy something you should use command-c.


Press command-v in order to paste a copied object.


For printing, you should use command-p. Provided the active window is printable, it’ll print what you want.


When it’s necessary to take a screenshot, press command-shift-3.

Opening Spotlight

One of the most useful features of OS X is Spotlight (a search engine). To open it, use the menu bar or press the key combination ^ – Space

Searching for documents and web pages

Searching for specific words or phrases in applications is widely used in OS X. An open page in Safari or any other document can be. So, for searching, just press command-f.

Quick preview

This quick preview of documents and images is a simple but incredibly useful function in OS X. For its launching, select any file in Finder and press Space.

As you see, using specific keys makes easier to navigate through the system and get quick access to various functions.