Skip to content

Call our free helpline

0800 048 7642
How to use common keyboard shortcuts in macOS

How to use common keyboard shortcuts in macOS

To use a keyboard shortcut, hold down one or more modifier keys (usually the Cmd, Alt or Shift key) while pressing the last key of the shortcut. For example, to use the shortcut Cmd-C (copy), hold down the Cmd key, press C, then release both keys. Mac menus and keyboards often use symbols to illustrate which modifier keys to use in a shortcut.

Many program menus will show the keyboard shortcut for a command or button when you hover over it with the mouse. Every program can have its own shortcuts, and shortcuts that work in one program may not work in another.

Terminology:
Cmd’ refers to the ‘Command’ key ( ⌘ )

Alt’ refers to the ‘Option’ key ( ⌥ )

If you have enabled ‘Use F1, F2, etc. keys as standard function keys’ under ‘Keyboard’ settings in ‘System Preferences’ then omit the ‘Fn’ (Function) key from keyboard shortcuts.

Common keyboard shortcuts:

Shortcut keys

Shortcut action

Description

Cmd + X

Cut

Remove the selected item and copy it to the Clipboard.

Cmd + C

Copy

Copy the selected item to the Clipboard.

Cmd + V

Paste

Paste the contents of the Clipboard into the current document or app.

Cmd + Z

Undo

Undo the previous command.

Cmd + A

Select All

Selects all items in a list or folder.

Cmd + F

Find

Open a Find window, or find items in a document.

Cmd + G

Find Again

Find the next occurrence of the item previously found.

Cmd + H

Hide

Hide the windows of the front app.

Cmd + M

Minimize

Minimize the front window to the Dock.

Cmd + N

New

Open a new document or window.

Cmd + O

Open

Open the selected item, or open a dialog to select a file to open.

Cmd + P

Print

Print the current document.

Cmd + S

Save

Saves the current document.

Shift + Cmd + S

Save As

Save the current document with a new name.

Cmd + T

Tab

Open a new tab in a web browser and other applications that support tabs.

Cmd + W

Close

Closes the front Window.

Cmd + Q

Quit

Quits the current app.

Cmd + Space bar

Spotlight

Show or hide the Spotlight search field.

Cmd + Tab

Switch apps

Switch to the most recently used application or press tab repeatedly to cycle through your open applications.

 

Related information:

For a comprehensive list of all Apple keyboard shortcuts please go to Apple’s support page: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201236

Apple’s guide to symbols shown in menus:
https://support.apple.com/kb/PH18802?locale=en_GB

Need some more help?

Call our free helpline 0800 048 7642 or email enquiries@abilitynet.org.uk

Need free IT Support at Home?

If you are older or disabled and need IT support at home, you can book a free home visit.