OS X: Keyboard shortcuts

You can use keyboard shortcuts to do things on your Mac by pressing a combination of keys on your keyboard.

Using keyboard shortcuts

To use a keyboard shortcut, press a modifier key at the same time as a character key. For example, pressing the Command key (it has a ⌘ symbol) and then the "c" key copies whatever is currently selected to the Clipboard. This is also known as the Command-C keyboard shortcut. You can see the keys that map to many shortcuts by looking in an app's menus.

A modifier key is a part of many keyboard shortcuts. A modifier key alters the way other keystrokes or mouse/trackpad clicks are interpreted by OS X. Modifier keys include: Command, Shift, Option, Control, Caps Lock, and the fn key. These keys are represented by special symbols when you see them in menus and other parts of OS X:

Command key
Control key
Option key
Shift Key
Caps Lock
fn Function Key

 

When the fn key is used with the top row of keys on your keyboard, it makes them perform a different function. For example, if a keyboard shortcut is Control-F2, you can press fn-Control-Brightness on your keyboard.. If you look closely at the Brightness key at the top of your keyboard, there is an F2 symbol indicating that this key works as a function ey (F2 or function 2) when you hold fn on the keyboard.

If you use a non-Apple keyboard that includes a Windows key, the Alt key is the same thing as pressing Option, and the Windows key is the same thing as the Command key. You can change how these keys are interpreted from the Keyboard pane of System Preferences

Cut, copy and paste

You can use these shortcuts in most apps to cut, copy, or paste a selected item. This includes text, pictures, music, and more. You can even copy and paste files in the Finder to copy them to a new location.

Key combination What it does
Command-C Copy the selected data to the Clipboard
Command-X Remove the selected item and place a copy on the Clipboard
Command-V Place a copy of (paste) the Clipboard contents into the current document or app

Taking screenshots

Use these shortcuts to take a picture of what you see on your screen. You can also use Grab to take screenshots, an app located in the Utilities folder.

Key combination What it does
Command-Shift-3 Capture the screen to a file
Command-Shift-Control-3 Capture the screen to the Clipboard
Command-Shift-4 Capture a selection of the screen to a file, or press the spacebar to capture just a window
Command-Shift-Control-4 Capture a selection of the screen to the Clipboard, or press the spacebar to capture just a window

Startup shortcuts

Use these key combinations to change how your computer starts up. Press and hold the key or combination of keys immediately after starting your Mac until the expected function occurs or appears. For example, press and hold the Option key during startup until the Startup Manager appears.

Note: If you're using a keyboard manufactured by someone other than Apple, the Alt key is usually the same key as the Option key. If this modifier doesn't appear to work, try using an Apple keyboard instead.

Key or key combination What it does
Option or Alt Display all startup volumes (Startup Manager)
Shift Start up in Safe Mode
C Start from bootable media (DVD, CD, USB thumb drive)
T Start up in Target disk mode
N Start from a NetBoot server
X Force OS X startup (when non-OS X startup volumes are available)
D Use Apple Hardware Test
Command-R Use OS X Recovery (OS X Lion or later)
Command-Option-R Use Internet Recovery on supported computers
Command-V Start up in Verbose Mode
Command-S Start up in Single User Mode
Command-Option-P-R Reset NVRAM
Hold down the Media Eject (⏏) key, F12 key, or mouse or trackpad button Eject removable discs

Sleep, shut down, and log out shortcuts

Use these key combinations after your Mac has started up to sleep, shut down, log out of, or restart your computer.

Key or key combination What it does
Power button Tap to power on. Once powered on, tap the power button to wake or sleep your Mac.
Hold down the power button for 1.5 seconds Show the restart / sleep / shut down dialog
Hold down the power button for 5 seconds Force the Mac to power off
Control-Power button

Show the restart / sleep / shut down dialog
Command-Control-power button Force the Mac to restart

Command-Option-Power button

Put the computer to sleep
Command-Control-Power button
Quit all apps (after giving you a chance to save changes to open documents), then restart the computer

Command-Option-Control-Power button

Quit all apps (after giving you a chance to save changes to open documents), then shut down the computer
Shift-Control-Power button
Put all displays to sleep
Command-Shift-Q Log Out
Command-Shift-Option-Q Log Out immediately

App shortcuts

These keyboard shortcuts work in most apps.

Key combination What it does
Command-A Select all items or text in the frontmost window
Command-Z Undo the previous command (some apps allow you to undo multiple times)
Command-Shift-Z Redo, puts back the last change made with undo (some apps allow you to redo multiple times)
Command-Space bar Show or hide the Spotlight search field
(if multiple languages are being used simultaneously, this shortcut may rotate through enabled script systems instead)
Command-Option-Space bar Show the Spotlight search results window (if multiple languages are installed, may rotate through keyboard layouts and input methods within a script)
Command-Tab Move forward to the next most recently used app in a list of open apps
Option-Media Eject (⏏) Eject from secondary optical media drive (if one is installed)
Command-Brightness down (F1) Toggle "Mirror Displays" on multi-monitor configurations
Command-Brightness up (F2) Toggle Target Display Mode
Command-Mission Control  (F3) Show Desktop
Command-F5 Toggle VoiceOver On or Off
Option-Brightness (F2) Opens "Displays" System Preference
Option-Mission Control (F3) Open Mission Control preferences
Option-Volume key (F12) Open Sound preferences
Command-Minus (–) Decrease the size of the selected item
Command-Colon (:) Display the Spelling and Grammar window
Command-Semicolon (;) Find misspelled words in the document
Command-Comma (,) Open the front app's preferences window
Command-Question Mark (?) Open the Help menu
Command-plus (+)
or Command-Shift-Equals (=)
Increase the size of the selected item
Command-Option-D Show or hide the Dock
Command-Control-D Show or hide the definition of a selected word
Command-D Selects the Desktop folder in Open and Save dialogs
Command-Delete Selects Don't Save in dialogs that contain a Delete or Don't Save button
Command-E Use the selection for a find
Command-F Open a Find window or find text in a document
Command-Option-F Move to the search field control
Command-G Find the next occurrence of the selection
Command-Shift-G Find the previous occurrence of the selection
Command-H Hide the windows of the currently running app
Command-Option-H Hide the windows of all other running apps
Command-Option-I Display an inspector window
Command-M Minimize the active window to the Dock
Command-Option-M Minimize all windows of the active app to the Dock
Command-N Create a new document in the frontmost app
Command-O Display a dialog for choosing a document to open in the frontmost app
Command-P Print the current document
Command-Shift-P Display a window for specifying document parameters (Page Setup)
Command-Q Quit the frontmost app
Command-S Save the active document
Command-Shift-S Display the Save As dialog or duplicate the current document
Command-Option-T Show or hide a toolbar
Command-W Close the frontmost window
Command-Option-W Close all windows in the current app
Command-Z Undo previous command (some apps allow for multiple Undos)
Command-Shift-Z Redo, puts back last change made using undo (some apps allow for multiple Redos)
Command-Option-esc choose an app to Force Quit
Command-Shift-Option-Esc (hold for three seconds) Force Quit the front-most app

Working with Text

Use these key combinations when editing text in a field or document.

Key combination What it does
Command-B Bold the selected text or toggle bold text on or off
Command-I Italicize the selected text or toggle italic text on or off
Command-U Underline the selected text or toggle underline on or off
Command-T Show or hide the Fonts window
fn-Delete Forward Delete (on a portable Mac's built-in keyboard)
fn-Up Arrow Scroll up one page (same as Page Up key)
fn-Down Arrow Scroll down one page (same as Page Down key)
fn-Left Arrow Scroll to the beginning of a document (same as Home key)
fn-Right Arrow Scroll to the end of a document (same as End key)
Command-Right Arrow Move the text insertion point to the end of the current line
Command-Left Arrow Move the text insertion point to the beginning of the current line
Command-Down Arrow Move the text insertion point to the end of the document
Command-Up Arrow Move the text insertion point to the beginning of the document
Option-Right Arrow Move the text insertion point to the end of the next word
Option-Left Arrow Move the text insertion point to the beginning of the previous word
Option-Delete Delete the word that is left of the cursor, as well as any spaces or punctuation after the word

Command-Shift-Right Arrow

Select text between the insertion point and the end of the current line (*)
Command-Shift-Left Arrow Select text between the insertion point and the beginning of the current line (*)
Command-Shift-Up Arrow Select text between the insertion point and the beginning of the document (*)
Command-Shift-Down Arrow Select text between the insertion point and the end of the document (*)
Shift-Left Arrow Extend text selection one character to the left (*)
Shift-Right Arrow Extend text selection one character to the right (*)
Shift-Up Arrow Extend text selection to the line above, to the nearest character boundary at the same horizontal location (*)
Shift-Down Arrow Extend text selection to the line below, to the nearest character boundary at the same horizontal location (*)
Shift-Option-Right Arrow Extend text selection to the end of the current word, then to the end of the following word if pressed again (*)
Shift-Option-Left Arrow Extend text selection to the beginning of the current word, then to the beginning of the following word if pressed again (*)
Shift-Option-Down Arrow Extend text selection to the end of the current paragraph, then to the end of the following paragraph if pressed again (*)
Shift-Option-Up Arrow Extend text selection to the beginning of the current paragraph, then to the beginning of the following paragraph if pressed again (*)
Control-A Move to beginning of line or paragraph
Control-B Move one character backward
Control-D Delete the character in front of the cursor
Control-E Move to the beginning of a line or paragraph
Control-F Move one character forward
Control-H Delete the character behind the cursor
Control-K Delete from the character in front of the cursor to the end of the line or paragraph
Control-L Center the cursor or selection in the visible area
Control-N Move down one line
Control-O Insert a new line after the cursor
Control-P Move up one line
Control-T Transpose the character behind the cursor and the character in front of the cursor
Control-V Move down 
Command-{ Left-align a selection
Command-} Right-align a selection
Command-| Center-align a selection
Command-Option-C Copy the formatting settings of the selected item and store on the Clipboard
Command-Option-V Apply the style of one object to the selected object (Paste Style)
Command-Shift-Option-V Apply the style of the surrounding text to the inserted object (Paste and Match Style)
Command-Control-V Apply formatting settings to the selected object (Paste Ruler)

Accessibility

These keyboard shortcuts help you control your Mac with your keyboard or assistive devices. Some of these shortcuts need to be enabled in the Keyboard pane or Accessibility pane of System Preferences.

Accessibility and VoiceOver keyboard commands

Key combination What it does
Command-Option-F5 Display Accessibility Options
Command-F5 or fn-Command-F5 Turn VoiceOver on or off
Option-Control-F8 or fn-Option-Control-F8 Open VoiceOver Utility (if VoiceOver is on)
Command-Option-8 Turn Zoom on or off
Command-Option-Plus (+) Zoom In
Command-Option-Minus (–) Zoom Out
Command-Option-Control-8 Invert/revert the screen colors
Command-Option-Control-Comma (,) Reduce contrast 
Command-Option-Control-Period (.) Increase contrast

Note: You may need to enable "Use all F1, F2, etc. keys as standard keys" in Keyboard preferences for the VoiceOver menu and utility to work.

 

Full keyboard access

Full keyboard access lets you use your keyboard to navigate and interact with items on the screen. Use these shortcuts to select and adjust controls such as text fields and sliders. This setting can be toggled by pressing Control-F7, or by selecting Full Keyboard Access from the Shortcuts pane of Keyboard preferences in System Preferences. 

Key combination What it does
Tab Move to the next control
Shift-Tab Move to the previous control
Control-Tab Move to the next control when a text field is selected
Shift-Control-Tab Move focus to the previous grouping of controls
Arrow keys

Move to the adjacent item in a list, tab group, or menu or
Move sliders and adjusters (vertical up and down arrows used to increase and decrease values)

Control-Arrow keys Move to a control adjacent to the text field
Space bar Select the highlighted menu item
Return or Enter Click the default button or perform the default action
Esc Click the Cancel button or
Close a menu without choosing an item
Shift-Control-F6 Move focus to the previous panel
Control-F7 Temporarily override the current keyboard access mode in windows and dialogs
Control-F8 Move to the status menus in the menu bar
Command-Accent (`) Activate the next open window in the frontmost app
Command-Shift-Accent (`) Activate the previous open window in the frontmost app
Command-Option-Accent (`) Move focus to the window drawer

You can navigate the menus in the menu bar without using a mouse or trackpad. To put the focus in the menu bar, press Control-F2 (fn-Control-F2 on portable keyboards). Then use the key combinations listed below.

Key combination What it does
Left Arrow and Right Arrow Move from menu to menu
Return Open a selected menu
Up Arrow and Down Arrow Move to menu items in the selected menu
Type the menu item’s name Jump to a menu item in the selected menu
Return Select a menu item

 

Accessibility - Mouse Keys

When Mouse Keys is turned on in Accessibility preferences, you can use the keyboard or numeric keypad keys to move the mouse pointer. 

Key combination What it does
8 or numeric keypad 8 Move Up
K or numeric keypad 2 Move Down
U or numeric keypad 4 Move Left
O or numeric keypad 6 Move Right
J or numeric keypad 1 Move Diagonally Bottom Left
L or numeric keypad 3 Move Diagonally Bottom Right
7 or numeric keypad 7 Move Diagonally Top Left
9 or numeric keypad 9 Move Diagonally Top Right
I or numeric keypad 5 Press Mouse Button
M or numeric keypad 0 Hold Mouse Button
. (period key) Release Hold Mouse Button

Finder shortcuts

Key combination What it does
Command-A Select all files in the frontmost window
Command-Option-A Deselect all items
Command-C Copy selected files, then use Paste or Move to move the files.
Command-D Duplicate the selected files
Command-E Eject
Command-F Find any matching Spotlight attribute
Command-I Show the Get Info window for a selected file
Command-Shift-C Open the Computer window
Command-Shift-D Open the desktop folder
Command-Shift-F Show the All My Files window
Command-Shift-G Go to Folder
Command-Shift-H Open the Home folder of the currently logged-in user account
Command-Shift-I Open iCloud Drive
Command-Shift-K Open the Network window
Command-Shift-L Open the Downloads folder
Command-Shift-O Open the Documents folder
Command-Shift-R Open the AirDrop window
Command-Shift-U Open the Utilities folder
Command-Control-T Add to Sidebar (OS X Mavericks)
Command-Option-I Show or hide the Inspector window
Command-Control-I Get Summary Info
Command-Option-P Hide or show the path bar
Command-Option-S Hide or show the Sidebar
Command-forward slash (/) Hide or show the status bar
Command-J Show View Options
Command-K Connect to Server
Command-L Make alias of the selected item
Command-N New Finder window
Command-Shift-N New folder
Command-Option-N New Smart Folder
Command-O Open selected item
Command-R Show original (of alias)
Command-T Show or hide the tab bar when a single tab is open in the current Finder window
Command-Shift-T Show or hide Finder tab 
Command-Option-T Hide or Show Toolbar when a single tab is open in the current Finder window
Command-V Paste copies of files you've placed on the clipboard to the current location.
Command-Option-V Move the files you've placed on the clipboard from their original location to the current location.
Command-Option-Y View a QuickLook slideshow of your selected files.
Command-1 View as Icon
Command-2 View as List
Command-3 View as Columns
Command-4 View as Cover Flow (Mac OS X v10.5 or later)
Command-Comma (,) Open Finder preferences
Command-Left Bracket ([) Go to the previous folder
Command-Right Bracket (]) Go to the next folder
Command-Up Arrow Open the folder that contains the current folder
Command-Control-Up Arrow Open the folder that contains the current folder in a new window
Command-Down Arrow Open highlighted item
Right Arrow (in List view) Open the selected folder
Left Arrow (in List view) Close the selected folder
Option-click the disclosure triangle (in List view) Open all folders within the selected folder
Option–double-click Open a folder in a separate window, closing the current window
Command–double-click Open a folder in a separate tab or window
Command-click the window title See the folders that contain the current window
Command-Delete Move to Trash
Command-Shift-Delete Empty Trash
Command-Shift-Option-Delete Empty Trash without confirmation dialog
Space bar (or Command-Y) Quick Look selected files
Command key while dragging Move the dragged item to another volume or location
(the pointer changes while key is held)
Option key while dragging Copy the dragged item
(the pointer changes while key is held)
Command-Option key combination while dragging Make an alias of the dragged item
(the pointer changes while key is held)

Learn more

To learn more about this feature of OS X, search the Help menu for "keyboard shortcuts". The following articles also provide information about keyboard shortcuts.

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