Okay, the term “greatest” is certainly subjective in this case. But trying to explain myself with a disclaimer in the title would be way too complicated and confusing. I’m not even sure if a web browser could parse a URL that boasted some variant of a concatenated string that incorporated “Top 10 Greatest Mac Keyboard Shortcuts of All-Time as Compiled by One Author Whose Opinion May or May Not Match Your Own and Does Not Necessarily Reflect Any Official Policy or Position of the Rocket Yard Blog, OWC, or any of its Partners or Affiliates.”
See what I mean? Too complicated.
We’ll do this old-school David Letterman Top 10 List style, in reverse order from the least of the greatest to the greatest of the greatest. And no, I am not going to mention the no-brainers like cut, copy, paste and ordering sushi delivery. Sorry.
You may want to cut this out and tape it to your monitor…
Top 10 Greatest Mac Keyboard Shortcuts of All-Time
|10. ||Send mail|
Shift (⇧) + Command (⌘) + D
When you are done composing, stop lifting your hands just to click the send mail button. Seriously, don’t do that. Say no to carpal tunnel syndrome.
|9. ||Move the cursor to the beginning or end of a line|
Command (⌘) + Left (◀︎) or Right (▶) Arrow
You don’t have to point and click or rest your finger on the arrow key for 10 minutes waiting for the cursor to reach the end of a line. This could potentially save you several hours a day if you type a lot.
|8. ||Move the cursor to the previous or next word|
Option (⌥) + Left (◀︎) or Right (▶) Arrow
Same as above, but also keeps you from cruising past the beginning of a word, having to reverse direction, going too far again, reversing once more… That gets annoying quickly – like having your reverse reversed in Uno a dozen times in a row.
|7. ||Open Preferences in any application |
Command (⌘) + Comma (,)
I’ve recently started checking my preferences more frequently. Why? Because this is where so many interesting application updates seem to occur. I can go years without realizing there are features I never knew existed, and that makes me sad.
|6. ||Show details for any word|
Control (⌃) + Command (⌘) + D
Pop-up a window that shows a Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia and more! It even performs Siri searches for news, maps, movies, iTunes and the App store. I use it mostly for the thesaurus to help make my writing more flowery fancy.
|5. ||Move through your Safari viewing history |
Command (⌘) + Left ([) or Right (]) Bracket
Go back, go back, go back, nope too far, move forward.
|4. ||Access Safari address bar|
Command (⌘) + L
This keyboard shortcut auto-selects and replaces whatever is in Safari’s Address Bar, so go ahead and just start typing. Drop in a URL or a search term and let the fun begin! (Note: I associate the “L” in this shortcut with “Location Bar” instead of “Address Bar.” I have no idea why. Was it called that once upon a time?)
|3. ||Cycle through open windows of any application|
Command (⌘) + Backquote (`)
Move quickly through the dozens of windows you have open in Safari. Super helpful if you haven’t yet realized that Apple introduced tabbed browsing in the early 2000’s.
|2. ||Cycle through open applications|
Command (⌘) + Tab
Stop dragging windows all around your screen just to find the open app you want. And stop miss-clicking the wrong app on your Dock, launching yet another program that will sit open and unused for weeks on end.
And the #1 Greatest Mac Keyboard Shortcut of All-Time is…
|1. ||Micro Volume Adjustments|
Option (⌥) + Shift (⇧) + F11 or F12
I know, right?!?! This is for those times when you only need a ¼ more or less. More or less… This keyboard shortcut can fine-tune the volume of my Katy Perry or Perry Como or Oye Como Va jams with more precision than would ever be necessary. Life is good!
So, why are these Mac keyboard shortcuts the greatest? Simply because they are the ones I use most frequently (aside from #1 which is just too cool to not mention 😎).
Perhaps I’ll do a “Top 10 Worst Mac Keyboard Shortcuts of All-Time” post somewhere down the road. I can’t think of anything more useful than a useless list of useless shortcuts counting down from the greatest of the least to the least of the least. It’s like trying to name your 10 least favorite Presidents when you can’t remember 30 of them in the first place.
So, what are your favorite and/or most used keyboard shortcuts? It would be interesting to see if there is commonality or just a random shotgun blast of everything. Extra points for the most bizarre or little-known shortcut!
[UPDATE: Thanks to reader Frederico for pointing out that it would be helpful to include a link to the list of Mac keyboard shortcuts on Apple’s support page.]