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OS X keyboard shortcuts

A keyboard shortcut is a way to invoke a function in OS X by pressing a combination of keys on your keyboard. Learn about common OS X keyboard shortcuts.

To use a keyboard shortcut you press a modifier key with a character key. For example, pressing the Command key (it has a symbol) and then the "c" key copies whatever is currently selected (text, graphics, and so forth) into the Clipboard. This is also known as the Command-C keyboard shortcut.

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. You may need to use the Fn key in some of the key combinations listed below. For example, if the keyboard shortcut is Control-F2, press Fn-Control-F2.

Here are the modifier key symbols you may see in OS X menus:

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

Startup shortcuts

Press the key or key combination until the expected function occurs/appears (for example, hold Option during startup until Startup Manager appears). Note: If a startup function doesn't work and you use a third-party keyboard, try again with an Apple keyboard.

Option Display all bootable volumes (Startup Manager)
Shift Start up in Safe Mode
Left Shift Prevent automatic login
C Start from bootable media (DVD, CD, USB thumb drive, and so forth)
T Start up in Target disk mode
N Start from a NetBoot server
X Force Mac OS X startup (if non-Mac OS X startup volumes are present)
D Use Apple Hardware Test
Command-R Use OS X Recovery (OS X Lion or later)
Command-V Start up in Verbose Mode
Command-S Start up in Single User Mode
Command-Option-P-R Reset NVRAM / parameter RAM
Hold down the Media Eject (⏏) key or F12 key, or mouse or trackpad button Eject removable discs

 

Sleep and shut down shortcuts

 

Power button – OS X Mavericks Tap to power on. Once powered on, tap to wake or sleep. 
Hold down the power button for 1.5 seconds – OS X Mavericks Show restart / sleep / shutdown dialog
Hold down the power button for 5 seconds Force the Mac to power off
Command-Control-power button Force the Mac to restart
Control-Media Eject (⏏) Show restart / sleep / shutdown dialog
Command-Option-Media Eject (⏏) Put the computer to sleep
Command-Control-Media Eject (⏏) Quit all applications (after giving you a chance to save changes to open documents), then restart the computer
Command-Option-Control-Media Eject (⏏) Quit all applications (after giving you a chance to save changes to open documents), then shut down the computer
Shift-Control-Media Eject (⏏) Put all displays to sleep

 
Finder keyboard shortcuts

Command-A Select all items in the front Finder window (or desktop if no window is open)
Command-Option-A Deselect all items
Command-Shift-A Open the Applications folder
Command-C Copy selected item/text to the Clipboard
Command-Shift-C Open the Computer window
Command-D Duplicate selected item
Command-Shift-D Open desktop folder
Command-E Eject
Command-F Find any matching Spotlight attribute
Command-Shift-F Find Spotlight file name matches
Command-Option-F Navigate to the search field in an already-open Spotlight window
Command-Shift-G Go to Folder
Command-Shift-H Open the Home folder of the currently logged-in user account
Command-Shift-Control-T Add to Dock
Command-I Get Info
Command-Option-I Show Inspector
Command-Control-I Get Summary Info
Command-Shift-I Open iDisk
Command-J Show View Options
Command-K Connect to Server
Command-Shift-K Open Network window
Command-L Make alias of the selected item
Command-M Minimize window
Command-Option-M Minimize all windows
Command-N New Finder window
Command-Shift-N New folder
Command-Option-N New Smart Folder
Command-O Open selected item
Command-Shift-Q Log Out
Command-Shift-Option-Q Log Out immediately
Command-R Show original (of alias)
Command-T Add to Sidebar
Command-Shift-T Add to Favorites
Command-Option-T Hide Toolbar / Show Toolbar in Finder windows
Command-Shift-U Open Utilities folder
Command-V Paste
Command-W Close window
Command-Option-W Close all windows
Command-X Cut
Command-Option-Y Slideshow (Mac OS X v10.5 or later)
Command-Z Undo / Redo
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-Accent (`) (the Accent key above Tab key on a US English keyboard layout) Cycle through open Finder windows
Command-Shift-Question Mark (?) Open Mac Help
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
Command-Shift-Up Arrow Make the desktop active
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 window
Command-click the window title See the folders that contain the current window
Command-Tab Switch application–cycle forward
Command-Shift-Tab Switch application–cycle backward
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 (Mac OS X v10.5 or later)
Command key while dragging Move dragged item to other volume/location (pointer icon changes while key is held--see this article)
Option key while dragging Copy dragged item (pointer icon changes while key is held--see this article)
Command-Option key combination while dragging Make alias of dragged item (pointer icon changes while key is held--see this article)


Application and other OS X shortcuts

Note: Some applications may not support all of the following application key combinations.

Command-Space bar Show or hide the Spotlight search field (if multiple languages are installed, may rotate through enabled script systems)
Control-A Move to beginning of line/paragraph
Control-B Move one character backward
Control-D Delete the character in front of the cursor
Control-E Move to end of line/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/paragraph
Control-L Center the cursor/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 one page
Option-Delete Delete the word that is left of the cursor, as well as any spaces or punctuation after the word
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 application in a list of open applications
Command-Shift-Tab Move backward through a list of open applications (sorted by recent use)
Shift-Tab Navigate through controls in a reverse direction
Control-Tab Move focus to the next grouping of controls in a dialog or the next table (when Tab moves to the next cell)
Shift-Control-Tab Move focus to the previous grouping of controls
Command-esc Open Front Row (if installed)
Option-Media Eject (⏏) Eject from secondary optical media drive (if one is installed)
Fn-Delete Forward Delete (on a portable Mac's built-in keyboard)
Command-F1 Toggles "Mirror Displays" for multi-monitor configurations
Command-F2 Toggle Target Display Mode
Command-F3 Show Desktop
Command-F5 Toggle VoiceOver On / Off
Option-F1 or F2 Opens "Displays" System Preference
Option-F3 or F4 Opens "Mission Control" System Preference
Option-F10 or F11 or F12 Opens "Sound" System Preference
Control-F3 App Exposé
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
F9 Tile or untile all open windows
F10 Tile or untile all open windows in the currently active application
F11 Hide or show all open windows
F12 Hide or display Dashboard
Command-Accent (`) Activate the next open window in the frontmost application
Command-Shift-Accent (`) Activate the previous open window in the frontmost application
Command-Option-Accent (`) Move focus to the window drawer
Command-Minus (–) Decrease the size of the selected item
Command-{ Left-align a selection
Command-} Right-align a selection
Command-| Center-align a selection
Command-Colon (:) Display the Spelling window
Command-Semicolon (;) Find misspelled words in the document
Command-Comma (,) Open the front application's preferences window (if it supports this keyboard shortcut)
Command-Option-Control-Comma (,) Decrease screen contrast
Command-Option-Control-Period (.) Increase screen contrast
Command-Question Mark (?) Open the application's help in Help Viewer
Command-Option-/ Turn font smoothing on or off
Command-Shift-= Increase the size of the selected item
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 to a file
Command-Shift-Control-4 Capture a selection to the Clipboard
Command-A Highlight every item in a document or window, or all characters in a text field
Command-B Boldface the selected text or toggle boldfaced text on and off
Command-C Copy the selected data to the Clipboard
Command-Shift-C Display the Colors window
Command-Option-C Copy the style of the selected text
Command-Control-C Copy the formatting settings of the selected item and store on the Clipboard
Command-Option-D Show or hide the Dock
Command-Control-D Display the definition of the selected word in the Dictionary application
Command-D Selects the Desktop folder in Open and Save dialogs
or
Selects "Don't Save" in dialogs that contain a Don't Save button, in Mac OS X v10.6.8 and earlier
Command-Delete Selects "Don't Save" in dialogs that contain a Don't Save button, in OS X Lion and Mountain Lion
Command-E Use the selection for a find
Command-F Open a Find window
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 application
Command-Option-H Hide the windows of all other running applications
Command-I Italicize the selected text or toggle italic text on or off
Command-Option-I Display an inspector window
Command-J Scroll to a selection
Command-M Minimize the active window to the Dock
Command-Option-M Minimize all windows of the active application to the Dock
Command-N Create a new document in the frontmost application
Command-O Display a dialog for choosing a document to open in the frontmost application
Command-P Display the Print dialog
Command-Shift-P Display a dialog for specifying printing parameters (Page Setup)
Command-Q Quit the frontmost application
Command-S Save the active document
Command-Shift-S Display the Save As dialog
Command-T Display the Fonts window
Command-Option-T Show or hide a toolbar
Command-U Underline the selected text or turn underlining on or off
Command-V Paste the Clipboard contents at the insertion point
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 Command)
Command-W Close the frontmost window
Command-Shift-W Close a file and its associated windows
Command-Option-W Close all windows in the application without quitting it
Command-X Remove the selection and store in the Clipboard
Command-Z Undo previous command (some applications allow for multiple Undos)
Command-Shift-Z Redo previous command (some applications allow for multiple Redos)
Control-Right Arrow Move focus to another value or cell within a view, such as a table
Control-Left Arrow Move focus to another value or cell within a view, such as a table
Control-Down Arrow Move focus to another value or cell within a view, such as a table
Control-Up Arrow Move focus to another value or cell within a view, such as a table
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

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 (*)
Shift-Right Arrow Extend text selection one character to the right (*)
Shift-Left Arrow Extend text selection one character to the left (*)
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-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-Space bar Toggle between the current and previous input sources
Option-Control-Space bar Toggle through all enabled input sources
Command-Option-esc Force Quit
Command-Shift-Option-Esc (hold for three seconds) Force Quit the front-most application (Mac OS X v10.5 or later)
Command-Left Bracket ([) Previous browser webpage
Command-Right Bracket (]) Next browser webpage

*Note: If no text is selected, the extension begins at the insertion point. If text is selected by dragging, then the extension begins at the selection boundary. Reversing the direction of the selection deselects the appropriate unit.


Universal Access - VoiceOver keyboard commands

For information about VoiceOver key combination differences in Mac OS X v10.6, see this article.

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)
Option-Control-F7 or Fn-Option-Control-F7 Display VoiceOver menu (if VoiceOver is on)
Option-Control-Semicolon (;) Enable/disable VoiceOver Control Option-lock
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 (OS X Lion or earlier)
Command-Option-Control-Comma (,) Reduce contrast (OS X Lion or earlier)
Command-Option-Control-Period (.) Increase contrast (OS X Lion or earlier)

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.

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
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

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.

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


Universal Access - Mouse Keys

When Mouse Keys is turned on in Universal Access preferences, you can use the keyboard or numeric keypad keys to move the mouse pointer. If your computer doesn't have a numeric keypad, use the Fn (function) key.

8 Move Up
2 Move Down
4 Move Left
6 Move Right
1 Move Diagonally Bottom Left
3 Move Diagonally Bottom Right
7 Move Diagonally Top Left
9 Move Diagonally Top Right
5 Press Mouse Button
0 Hold Mouse Button
. (Period on number pad) Release Hold Mouse Button

See also: Shortcuts for Mouse Keys.

Additional Information

Advanced: This article refers to the default modifier key assignments. Modifier key assignments can be changed in the Keyboard preferences pane of System Preferences. For example, you can change the Command key to act as an Option key, and vice-versa. You can also restore default modifier key settings.

See also:

Last Modified: Jan 13, 2014
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  • Last Modified: Jan 13, 2014
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