OS X Mountain Lion: Create keyboard shortcuts for apps

Create keyboard shortcuts for apps

You can assign your own keyboard shortcuts to menu commands in any OS X app or in the Finder. This may be useful if, for example, one of the “global” shortcuts, which works the same in most apps, is used by one app for a different purpose. In this case, you can assign it a different key combination.

You can create keyboard shortcuts only for existing menu commands. You can’t define keyboard shortcuts for general purpose tasks such as opening an app or switching between apps.

  1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, and then click Keyboard.
  2. Click Keyboard Shortcuts, and then click Add (+).
  3. Choose an app from the Application pop-up menu. If you want to set the same key combination for a menu command that appears in many apps, choose All Applications.

    If the app you want to select does not appear in the list, choose Other and locate it using the Open dialog. Some apps may not allow you to set keyboard shortcuts.

  4. Type the menu command for which you want to set a keyboard shortcut in the Menu Title field.

    You must type the command exactly as it appears in the Application menu, including ellipses and any other punctuation. An ellipsis is a special character that looks like three periods. To type an ellipsis, press Option-semicolon, or use the Character Viewer. It may be difficult to know whether the command is written in the menu with a real ellipsis or with three periods, so if one does not work, try the other.

  5. Click in the Keyboard Shortcut field, press the key combination that you want to assign to the menu command, and then click Add.

    You cannot use each type of key (for example, a letter key) more than once in a key combination.

  6. Quit and restart any apps you’re using for the new keyboard shortcut to take effect.

If you assign a keyboard shortcut that already exists for another command or another app, your new shortcut won’t work. Find the menu command that’s using it and reassign the keyboard shortcut for that item.

To remove a customized shortcut, click Delete (–).

If you want to return all the shortcuts to their original key combinations, click Restore Defaults.

Last Modified: Aug 8, 2013

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