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16 Keyboard Shortcuts for Mac Users

Simple keyboard tricks to do everything faster

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Time is precious. We’re always looking for ways to use it wisely. Having a few tricks up our sleeves to shave off time spent at the computer are welcome shortcuts and just a click — or combination of clicks — away.

Using keyboard combinations on Windows and Mac is quick and fun, whether you’re on a laptop or desktop, and often more accurate than maneuvering a mouse. To get you started, we’ve assembled 16 Mac shortcuts here, and Windows users have their own set of 16 shortcuts.

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Note: We use a (+) to identify a combination of keys to hold down for an action to take place, for example, Command + (and) another key.

Mac Shortcuts

Mac users have an assortment of special keys to master, often in combination with a letter or number. This includes the Command key (which may look like this ⌘), as well as Shift ⇧ and Option or Alt (which may look like this: ⌥)

1. Command + B: Bold

2. Command + I: Italic

3. Command + U: Underline

Not only can you quickly format words to bold (CTRL B), italics (CTRL I) and underline (CTRL U), but applying the same combinations removes the bold, italic and underlined text.

4. Command + A: Select All Items

If you’re looking to select all content in a word document or a group of documents in a folder, there’s no need to drag the cursor over the entire screen. Instead, press Command + A and it will immediately select everything in one fell swoop. You can then cut and paste the content somewhere else, copy everything, or format the content using the bold, italic and underline tricks above.

5. Command + C: Copy

6. Command + V: Paste

7. Command + X: Cut

If you’re looking to duplicate information somewhere else, once you’ve selected and highlighted text on the screen, you can then copy that information using Command + C. Then paste the information to your desired location using Command + V. This keeps the original content intact.  

Alternatively, if you want to remove content from one place altogether, you can delete it using Command + X. If you want to use that information in another location, use Command + V to paste it.

8. Command + F: Search for Text

When you’re looking for a specific word in a document or on a website, Excel spreadsheet or PowerPoint deck, rather than manually combing through all the text, press Command + F as a shortcut to find a word or series of words. Type in what you’re looking for and press Enter to begin the search.

9. Command + S: Save

10. Command + P: Print

If you haven’t set up your computer to save your work automatically, save your progress periodically by pressing Command + S. And if you’re looking to print a document or image on your screen quickly, press Command + P.

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11. Command + Z: Undo

12. Shift + Command + Z: Redo

If you mistakenly delete a bunch of text or paste the wrong information into your document, press Command + Z to “undo” what you just did. Similarly, if you want to “redo” the previous action, like restore deleted text, press Shift + Command + Z, which reverses the undo command.

13. Command + Control + Q: Lock Your Mac

If you need to step away from your computer and want to lock it, press Command + Control + Q. When you return, type in your PIN or password, or scan your face or finger, to resume.

14. Command + Comma (,): Preferences

This little-known Mac shortcut can help you access the Preferences window for any application you’re in. Rather than navigating your mouse to the menu bar and searching for Preferences, press Command + Comma (,).

15. Control + Command + Space: Insert Emojis

Want to quickly add an emoji into something you’re typing on your Mac? Press Control + Command + Space (space bar) simultaneously to pull up emojis and other special characters.

16. Command + Shift + T: Open a Closed Tab in Safari

When you accidentally close a tab you’re working in, rather than searching through your browsing history, press Command + Shift + T to open your last closed tab.


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