Wednesday, January 12, 2011

List of keyboard commands for MAC OS X - Even those Commands you never Knew!

The inside cover of Mac OS X Power Tools contains a list of selected keyboard shortcuts in OS X. Below is a more complete list, divided into sections based on where they are applicable. For mouse/keyboard actions, check out the "Modified Mousing" link to the left. (Letter keys are printed here in CAPS for clarity -- you do not need to press the shift key unless explicitly instructed)

KeyBoard Shortcuts for MAC OS X:

Startup and Login:

command+option+O+FInvoke Open Firmware
command+option+P+RReset PRAM
TStartup in FireWire Target Disk Mode
optionInvoke Startup Manager
command+SInvoke single-user mode
command+VInvoke verbose mode
CBoot from CD/DVD
XBoot into OS X (if you previously booted from OS 9 on the same volume)
shift (immediately at startup)Safe boot
shift (after boot screen, until login screen)Override auto-login
shift (after login screen)Safe login
option+escape, then click on a userPresent name/password login dialog instead of list of users


option+volume up/down/muteOpen Sound preferences
option+brightness up/downOpen Display preferences
command+spaceCycle through active keyboard layouts/scripts
F12Eject CD/DVD drive (hold down for two seconds)
return or enterSelect default button in dialog (OK, Open, Save, etc.)
escape or command+.Exit/cancel dialog
command+shift+QLog out
command+option+shift+QLog out without confirmation dialog
power button (laptops) or control+eject (desktops)Bring up Restart/Sleep/Shut Down dialog
command+option+eject (desktops)Sleep computer immediately
command+option+escapeBring up Force Quit window
command+control+eject (desktops)Restart immediately (chance to save changes in open documents)
command+option+control+eject (desktops) or
command+option+control+power (laptops)
Shutdown immediately (chance to save changes in open documents)
command+control+power buttonForce restart (no chance to save changes in open documents)
hold power buttonForce shutdown (no chance to save changes in open documents)

Universal Access (must be enabled in Universal Access preferences):

command+option+8Toggle zoom (screen magnification) on/off
command+option+=Zoom in
command+option+-Zoom out
command+option+control+8Toggle display inversion (white-on-black) on/off
shift (five times)Toggle Sticky Keys on/off
option (five times)Toggle Mouse Keys on/off

Full Keyboard Access:

control+F1Toggle Full Keyboard Access on/off
control+F2 (or control+M)Focus keyboard control on menu bar
control+F3 (or control+D)Focus keyboard control on Dock
control+F4 (or control+W)Focus keyboard control on active Window or cycle to next window
control+F5 (or control+T)Focus keyboard control on toolbar
control+F6 (or control+U)Focus keyboard control on palette (utility window)
control+F7In windows and dialogs, switch focus to text boxes/lists/controls
arrow keysNavigate active item
return, enter, or spacebarSelect highlighted item
return or enterSelect default dialog control (OK, Yes, No, Save, Open, etc.)
escapeCancel action, menu, or dialog

Finder: General

command+JOpen View Options
command+shift+deleteEmpty Trash (with confirmation dialog)
command+option+shift+deleteEmpty Trash (without confirmation dialog)
command+FBring up Find dialog
command+KBring up Connect to Server dialog

Finder: Files and Folders

command+shift+NNew Folder in active Finder window (including the Desktop)
arrow keysNavigate items in active Finder window
arrow keysSelect next/previous file or folder (alphabetically)
type name of file/folderSelect that file/folder
returnEdit file/folder name
command+OOpen selected item(s)
command+IOpen Get Info window for selected item(s)
command+option+IOpen File Inspector window
command+DDuplicate selected item(s)
command+LCreate alias(es) for selected item(s)
command+R (for aliases)Show target of selected alias ("reveal original")
command+TAdd selected item(s) to Favorites (creates alias in Favorites folder)
command+deleteMove selected item(s) to Trash
command+down arrowOpen item(s); add option key to close current folder
command+up arrowSwitch to enclosing folder (if no windows are open, opens new window to Home); add option key to close current folder
option+right arrow/left arrow (folders in list view)Toggle disclosure triangle for selected folder(s) open/closed
command+option+right arrow/left arrow (folders in list view)Toggle disclosure triangle for all folder(s) open/closed

Finder: Windows (Application shortcuts, listed below, also apply to the Finder)

command+NNew Finder window
command+1/2/3View active window as Icons/List/Columns
control+tab or control+I (in list view)Change column sorting; cycles columns left to right (add shift key to cycle right to left)
command+BShow/hide window toolbar for active window
command+shift+C/H/I/A/FGo to Computer / Home / iDisk / Applications / Favorites in active window (a new window will be opened if necessary)
command+shift+GBring up "Go to Folder" dialog in active window (a new window will be opened if necessary)
command+[ or command+]Go back or forward in window view history
command+W Close active Finder window
command+option+WClose all Finder windows

Finder: Volumes/Media

command+EEject volume/disc

Open/Save Dialog Shortcuts:

tabSwitch between browser and text fields
arrow keys, page up/downNavigate in browser
command+N Create new folder in the current directory
command+DChange directory to Desktop
command+shift+AChange directory to /Applications
command+shift+CChange directory to Computer view (list of volumes)
command+shift+FChange directory to Favorites folder
command+shift+HChange directory to Home folder
command+shift+IChange directory to iDisk (mounts iDisk if necessary)


command+option+DToggle Dock auto-hide on/off
command+tabCycle through active applications; each tab press while holding command changes the application once. Add the shift key to cycle backwards. As long as you keep the command key pressed, you can also quit or hide applications as you cycle through them.

Applications, including the Finder:

command+HHide current application
command+option+HHide all other applications
command+MMinimize active window to the Dock
command+option+MMinimize all windows in active application to the Dock
command+`Cycle through current application's windows (add the shift to cycle backwards)
command+,Open application preferences dialog (not universal yet, but becoming more common)


(By default, screenshots are saved to the Desktop in PDF format; add the control key to any of the combinations below to copy the screenshot to the clipboard instead; you can then paste it into any graphics application -- such as OS X's Preview -- and save it in any format you prefer.)

command+shift+3Full screenshot
command+shift+4Crosshair to allow selection of screenshot area
command+shift+4, then spacebarCamera to capture specific screen object

Text-related shortcuts in Cocoa applications:

bindkey <RETURN>
in Terminal for complete list (in the list, ^ means the control key).

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