Mac Shortcuts You Need to Know

Newer Mac operating systems are made for your computers and laptops to run efficiently, but did you know that you could perform some of the tasks you usually do on your Mac even faster? There are a number of shortcuts that you can take advantage and experience working on your unit a more enjoyable experience. With these Mac tricks, you can cut your dependence on the mouse and trackpad.

Before we begin, first, you need to make sure that your Mac is running on latest OS, the High Sierra. You should also have an original and certified Mac keyboard if you’re using a desktop. Next, familiarize yourself with the Mac keyboard as there are Mac-exclusive keys often needed for the shortcuts we’ll share. Look for the following keys to know where to find them as we go along:

  • Command key (⌘)
  • Option (also “alt”)
  • Shift

Now, you’re ready to explore these keyboard tricks:

1. Quitting a Program: Command + Q

If you’ve been a Windows user for the majority of your life before switching to Mac, you’ve probably closed programs and applications by clicking on the X button all your life. Mac also has the red X button, but clicking on it will not fully quit the app. To completely exit out of a program on Mac, just hit Command + Q.

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2. Closing Windows: Command + W or Option + Command + W

If you need to quickly close an active window you are currently using, use the Command + W combo. Meanwhile, if the app has multiple windows open and you want to close them all, use the Option + Command + W shortcut. These shortcuts might come in handy when you don’t want anyone nosing around what you are doing or if you’re just really in a hurry to log off or shut down.

3. Open a New Browser Tab: Command + T

Whether you’re using either Safari, Chrome, or Firefox doing this shortcut will let you open a new tab in the fastest way possible. In Chrome, an additional shortcut, Command + Shift + T, will open the most recently closed tab. Just repeat the combination to load other tabs.

4. Switch Between Applications: Command + Tab or Command + ~

The shortcut Command + Tab will activate the built-in application switcher feature on Mac. It lets a user switch between apps that are currently running. Just keep holding down on Command and tap Tab repeatedly to switch between multiple apps from left to right. Meanwhile, if you want to go back to the left, use the shortcut Command + ~.

5. Cut, Copy, and Paste: Command + X or C or V

These are probably the top commands we use for document-related tasks. Luckily, you can also perform these shortcuts on your Mac. These are the ultimate time-savers if you often use content processing software and programs. The shortcuts are similar when you use Windows, but instead of Control, you use Command, then X to cut, C to copy, and V to paste.

6. Take Screenshots: Command + Shift + 3 or Command + Shift + 4

Knowing how to quickly take screenshots can be useful in different situations. Command + Shift + 3 lets you take a screenshot of the entire screen. Meanwhile, Command + Shift + 4 turns your cursor into a set of crosshairs, which you can click and drag to the portion of the screen you want to take a screenshot of.

7. Hide an App: Command + H or Command + Option + H

So you don’t want to completely close windows as suggested in number 2? You can simply hide them. Command + H will hide the current app or window you’re on. Command + Option + H, on the other hand, will hide the other apps or windows in the background.

8. Force Quit Apps: Command + Option + Esc

If an app you’re currently using freezes and stops responding, forcing it to quit could be the only way to reset it. While you can launch the Force Quit dialog by right-clicking the app’s icon in the Dock, you can do it more quickly with the Command + Option + Esc shortcut.

9. Show and Hide the Dock: Command + Option + D

Sure, the Dock is a very useful Mac feature. But there are times when you might find yourself wanting to get rid of it so you can have more screen space. Pressing Command + Option + D lets you hide the Dock. Doing the shortcut again will reveal the Dock.

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