10 Great Mac Shortcuts You Need to Learn

Do you own an Apple computer? Whether you’ve been a fan for years, or are a recent convert from PC to Mac, you’ll know these computers and laptops are amazing.

Switching from windows to mac is a big step and one which can leave you needing to re-learn keyboard shortcuts since there are some slight, and some big difference between the two operating systems.

Even the most experienced Apple users might be surprised by some of the Mac shortcuts on this list – read on to see how many you didn’t know!

  1. The Well-Known PC Shortcuts

We’ll start with shortcuts that everyone should know. The first thing you might notice about the Mac is that there is a button labeled “Cmd” – this is the command button and also has the symbol “⌘”.

If you’re more familiar with a PC keyboard, this button will do the job that control (Ctrl) does.

On PC you’d use Ctrl+C for copy, Ctrl+X for cut, and Ctrl+V for paste. On the Mac,  replace Ctrl for Cmd!

The other shortcut that everyone knows from pc is Control-Alt-Delete. Check out how to Control-Alt-Delete on mac.

  1. Find Word Definitions

The rest of this list will give you some clever shortcuts that you probably didn’t know existed. The first of these is the ability to find the definition for a word.

Highlight the word or double-click on it, then press Cmd + Ctrl + D. A dialogue box will pop up and give you the definition.

  1. Take a Screenshot

If you need to capture the whole screen of your Mac, the shortcut is Cmd + Shift + 3.

But there’s an even more intuitive option. Perhaps you want to screenshot a block of text from a website but you don’t want to capture the surrounding advertisements or pictures.

In this case, press Cmd + Shift + 4. The cursor will change, allowing you to click and drag the area you want to capture. The image will automatically be saved.

  1. Minimize All Screens

There is another small difference on the keyboard itself that it is important to know about when using shortcuts.

The alt key is also shown as the “Option” key on some Mac keyboards. This may also have a ⌥ symbol instead of the word “option”.

One use of the Option key is in a shortcut to minimize all screens. If you have too many open and don’t want to have to click through them all, press Cmd + Option + M.

  1. Intricate Volume Adjustments

This is one that even most Mac-lovers probably won’t know, but it can come in useful!

For those who sometimes get frustrated that one volume level is too high, but the next one is too low, there is a solution! Hold down Option + Shift before you adjust the volume.

This allows you to adjust the volume more specifically and is just one of many small features that make a Mac a very personalizable operating system.

  1. Quick-Scroll to the Top or Bottom of a Page

If you come across a website with a lot of text to scroll through or are working on a spreadsheet and need to quickly scroll to the very top or bottom, there is a keyboard shortcut to do just this.

While swiping the trackpad on a laptop or using a roller on a mouse can be quick, pressing Cmd + Up or Down will instantly scroll you to the top or bottom of whatever you’re working on.

  1. Use the Address Bar

If you’re used to using keyboard shortcuts for almost anything on a PC, you may hardly ever use a mouse. Using the above method to scroll to the top of a page, it’s also possible to use a shortcut to access the address bar so that you don’t have to click, or press Tab until you find it!

As above, press Cmd + Up but then also press the L key. This will scroll you to the top of the page and also highlight the address bar on your browser. From here, you can delete the text or start typing.

  1. Write an Email

If you’re the type of person who is always emailing back and forth for work, or you email friends, this keyboard shortcut could come in very handy.

Rather than having to navigate to an email app, or opening a new window/tab and going to your email website, you can press Shift + Cmd + I.

This will open an email instantly and is a great time-saving shortcut. Another great aspect of this feature is if you use the shortcut from a website, the email will automatically populate with the link. It will also put the website heading as the subject.

  1. Cycle Through Applications

Do you use several apps at once? For people who need to switch between programs, it can be a tiresome exercise to go back and forth between the mouse.

Holding Cmd + Shift, and pressing Tab will cycle through any applications you have open. Once you’re used to this shortcut it will allow you to rapidly switch between applications which will improve your efficiency.

  1. Fast Shut-Down Your Mac

This is a handy shortcut, but it’s important to make sure you save your work before using it. This shortcut allows you to shut down your computer when you’re in a hurry, without having to make sure applications are closed or navigating menus to shut down.

To shut down your Mac, press Ctrl + Option + Command + Power Button – thankfully this is a sequence that is almost impossible to do by accident but make sure you are certain you want to shut your Mac down!

Many More Mac Shortcuts

This list was 10 of the best Mac shortcuts, but there are dozens more to discover. If you’ve recently made the switch from PC to Mac, the shortcuts in this blog will help you feel at home with the new operating system.

And if you have been a Mac user for a long time, there may be some new shortcuts that you didn’t know about!

If you enjoyed this blog and found it useful, why not check out some other articles for advice and information on a huge range of topics.