OS X Mountain Lion: Use global keyboard shortcuts

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Use global keyboard shortcuts

You can use keyboard shortcuts to quickly perform tasks on your computer by pressing keys on your keyboard. You can disable or change many of the computer’s “global” keyboard shortcuts, which are shortcuts that work the same in most apps (for example, taking a picture of the screen by pressing Command-Shift-3).

Changing or disabling a shortcut may be useful if, for example, one of the global shortcuts is used by a specific app for a different purpose. In this case, you can either disable the shortcut that you do not need, or assign it a different key combination.

Note: You can create keyboard shortcuts only for existing menu commands. You cannot 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.
  3. Select the action in the Description list that you want to change.
  4. Double-click the characters in the Shortcut column, and press the new key combination that you want to use.

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

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

To disable a shortcut, deselect the checkbox next to its description in the list.

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

Last Modified: Sep 4, 2015

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