Today: Jan 23 , 2020

Mac Computers are Full of Little Helpful Shortcuts

16 October 2016  

 Keyboard shortcuts on the Mac are easy and can help make you more efficient.

Whether you're using a laptop or desktop, these quick little tips can help save you time, and be more efficient at work and play.

First of all, here are some common symbols you might see in discussing keyboard shortcuts:

Command (⌘)

Option (⌥)

Shift (⇧)

Control (⌃)

1. You know how Windows computers can do that fancy right click to get more options on things like menus and icons? Mac users can do that too! Hold down the "Command" (⌘) key next time you click on something that isn’t working right, and you’ll get a set of tools that might be able to help you diagnose the problem.

2. Do you want more control over just how much you turn your volume up or down? Hold that "Option" (⌥) key, along with the "Shift" (⇧) key, then press the volume key. This will reduce the amount of change in volume increase or decrease, granting you more precise control over how loud your speakers play. As an added bonus, this also works for the screen brightness control. 

3. Do you have a problem with apps freezing up on you? Hold the "Command" (⌘), "Option" (⌥), and "Escape" (esc - it's in the upper left corner) keys together to get a handy little popup window. This window will allow you to force close any of the apps that you currently have open. Then you can relaunch them, and get back to work or play.

4. Do you have nosy co-workers that will poke through your stuff if you’re not around? Hold down the "Control" (⌃) key as well as the "Shift" (⇧) key, then hit the power button. This won’t turn the machine all the way off, but it will lock it. Thus preventing anyone who doesn’t have the password from getting in.

5. Are you looking for a photo or a file that you need to locate quickly? Hold down the "Command" (⌘) key and press the spacebar. This will give you the spotlight search bar that you can use to search all over your computer. When you’re done, just hit the same to keys again to get rid of the bar.

6. Here are some other common keyboard shortcuts. These are worth memorizing:

"Command" a (⌘a) Select all

"Command" c (⌘c) Copy

"Command" v (⌘v) Paste

"Command" s (⌘s) Save

"Command" z (⌘z) Undo

Can't remember all the shortcuts? No worries, there's a great app called KeyCue that will be your cheat sheet whenever you need help. Install it on your computer, and then whenever you're searching for a keyboard shortcut, hold down the "Command" key for a couple of seconds and it will pop up. 

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Ryan Scissons

Ryan is an Arizona native, and has lived in Prescott since he was 4. He is a 2015 graduate from Prescott High School.