Keyboard shortcuts are keys or key combinations that you can press on your keyboard in order to perform a variety of tasks. In fact, it’s considered as the lifeblood of many productive Mac users. For those who are not yet in the know, these are combinations of simultaneous key presses that perform certain actions as an alternative to using the mouse. And since both of your hands can remain on the keyboard, using a shortcut is definitely quicker than relying to your long-tailed buttoned friend. Keyboard shortcuts are universal — meaning once you learn the hang of it, you can use many of the same shortcuts in a variety of applications. Say for example, you can apply the technique of copy and paste text in a word processor application to perform the same thing in your email, Facebook, and even in your blog.

Not only will keyboard shortcuts cut down the time it will need for them to complete a task, it also makes them a lot cooler than the rest. So here are some of the most useful keyboard shortcuts every Mac user should learn.

1. [Command] + [Option] + [Control] + [Eject]

This keyboard combination is intended to instantly shut down your Mac. So before you try this one out, make sure all the files you’re working on have already been saved. This is a efficient time saver because it bypasses the shut-down counter that you get when going through the Apple menu, then Shut Down. Another related shortcut to this one is you can put your Mac to sleep by pressing [Command] + [Option] + [Eject].

2. [Control] + [D]

For those who just switched platforms (that is, from Windows to Mac), the Mac’s Delete key does not actually do the same thing as it does in Windows. For Mac, the Delete key functions as a backspace. So if you want to delete a text area, press [Control] + [D] to delete the text that is in front of the cursor. Pretty tricky, huh?

3. [Command] + [Shift] + [A]/[U]/[D]

These keyboard shortcuts will enable you to navigate around the Finder. To access the Applications folder, press [Command] + [Shift] + [A] within an open Finder window. Then to open the Utilities folder, use the [Command] +[Shift] + [U] combination. And to open the Desktop folder in the Finder, press [Command] + [Shift] + [D]. These shortcuts can also be useful while you’re in the save dialog and would like to navigate to any of these folders.

4. [Command] + [Shift] + [I]

If you’re using your Safari browser at the moment, this keyboard shortcut can be handy. The combination [Command] + [Shift] + [I] will automatically generate a new email message inside of Mail.app and will paste the link of the webpage you were browsing in the body text of the email. This is cool whenever you would like to share the link of website with your friend via email.

5. [Command] + [Control] + [D]

Sometimes when writing, we often would want to look for the correct meaning of a word. But clicking an icon or going to the Web just to look for it can be a huge effort, especially if we’re in a hurry. Check this out — with your mouse cursor over the top of the word you want to look up to, press [Command] + [Control] + [D], and a dialog will pop up showing the definition of that word courtesy of Mac’s built-in dictionary. Now isn’t that a nicer and quicker way to look up a word?

6. [Command] + [Control] + [Option] + [8]

For users who have visual impairments needing high-contrast screens and can also provide a cool effect, this shortcut can be a savior. In order to make it work, you need to go to System Preferences, then go to Keyboard, and then Shortcuts. Now go to Accessibility, and then check the Invert Colors box. Afterwards, just press [Command] + [Control] + [Option] + [8] and your Mac’s screen colors will be inverted.

7. [Command] + [Option] + [M]

Working on some significantly large tasks can make you lose track of just how many windows you’ve already opened on your Mac. Sometimes, you just want to minimize all these opened windows to help you clear your cluttered mind. Well this shortcut will do just that — pressing [Command] + [Option] + [M] will minimize all opened windows to the Dock. And there was peace…

8. [Command] + [Shift] + [4] + [Space Bar]

For web bloggers and content developers, capturing screenshot is done on almost a daily basis because it allows only the window that we need. If you want to grab just a one-window screenshot, press [Command] + [Shift] + [4]. Then when the crosshairs appear, press the space bar. The crosshairs will change to a picture of a camera, which can be placed over top of the window that needs to be captured and clicked. The screenshot produced will appear on your Desktop.

9. [Command] + [Shift] + [Option] + [Esc]

If in case a program or application crashes or becomes unresponsive, press and hold [Command] + [Shift] + [Option] + [Esc] for three seconds to instantly Force Quit the application, and bypassing the Force Quit app.

10. [Command] + [`]

A great keyboard shortcut that will allow you to cycle through all of the different applications and windows opened on your Mac is [Command] + [Shift] + [Tab]. Now, there is also a way on how to cycle through the current application’s opened windows only. The [Command] + [`] (` is the key located above the Tab, next to number 1) combination lets you cycle through all of the opened windows in the currently active application.

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This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 8:37:50 PM and is filed under Tech Tips & Tricks.

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