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14 Productivity-boosting Mac keyboard shortcuts you NEED to use!

Last Updated 2022/04/12

Updated 10/06/2020

If you’re like me and use a Mac as your desktop or laptop of choice, then I’ve got a few keyboard shortcuts that will help you boost your productivity... you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them!

Delete

FN + Backspace or CTRL + D Don’t have a Delete key on the board? Simple, FN + Backspace works a treat. You can also do the same thing with CTRL + D. This also means you can reach it quicker with your left hand.

Delete Word

Option + Backspace If you find yourself wanting to delete a whole word, but the slog of pressing backspace over and over feels cumbersome, simple: Option + Backspace will remove whole words for you. Super handy!

Home/End (Scroll to Top/Bottom)

CMD + Up/Down Similar to the Delete Key, if you’re missing the Home and End keys, or you just want to get to it quicker: CMD + Up/Down Arrow.

Take a Screenshot

CMD + Shift + 3 (Full Screen) / CMD + Shift + 4 (Part Screen) Screenshots can be taken super easily on OSX, and you have a few options. CMD + Shift + 3 will take a screenshot of the whole screen and save it to your desktop. Similarly, Command + Shift + 4 will allow you to select a specific part of the screen to screenshot, rather than the whole Holding CTRL while performing either of these shortcuts will also copy it to the clipboard rather than saving it to the desktop, which allows you to paste it instead - useful!

Make a Screen Recording

CMD + Shift + 5 (Mojave) As above, if you need to make a quick video recording of the screen, consider using this super quick shortcut instead.

Paste and Match Style

CMD + Shift + V Do you ever copy some content from one app/website to another, only to be frustrated at the unwanted formatting? Simply holding Shift, along with Command + V will paste the content without any formatting. No more unnecessary bold, italics or weird font sizing.

Minimising:

CMD + Option + H As mentioned in our previous article on tabs - if your screen is full of distractions, it can negatively impact your productivity. Quickly minimise the window you are on by using CMD + M. Alternatively, to minimise all windows but the one you are currently using, press CMD + Option + H, allowing you to focus on what matters. If you need to peak at the desktop, use CMD + F3.

Character Map (for emojis, other characters)

CMD + CTRL + Space Emojis are a super effective way of communicating on particular social media platforms. If you need quick access to them, consider using CMD + CTRL + Space. This is also a great way to gain access to the lesser used characters.

Quick Access Settings

CMD + Comma Need to change a setting quickly for the app you are currently using? Rather than filtering through menus, just use CMD + Comma to access the settings/preferences.

Lookup a Word

CMD + CTRL + D This one is fantastic. If you need a quick definition for a word you’re using, don’t worry about Googling it, simply highlight it and press CMD + CTRL + D to look it up.

Switch Apps

CMD + Tab To switch between currently open apps, simply press CMD + Tab. Alternatively, if you want to go through the apps backwards, CMD + Shift + Tab.

Close App or Tab

CMD + Q Quickly close your open app by pressing CMD + Q. Alternatively, if you want to close your current tab, use CMD + W

Address Bar

CMD + L Don’t both using your mouse or touchpad to click the address bar on your browser - simply press CMD + L instead.

Delete items without moving to Trash

CMD + Option + Delete Will allow you to skip moving files to Trash and instead, permenantly removing them. So, there you have it, 14 super easy keyboard shortcuts you can introduce into your day-to-day life to make life a little more simple and boost your productivity.

Adam Sykes