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Macintosh from the Keyboard: Shortcuts & Tips
A quick reference by Seth Hill

Stuff that you probably didn't know:
An ellipsis character (...) after a menu command means that selecting the command will bring up a dialog box. Look around at the menus to see which commands have an ellipsis, and try to guess why.

Note: Make sure you have the Symbol font installed in your system, or some of the characters in this document will not display correctly.

System Level Commands - These shortcuts are always available, no matter what application you are working in.

Shift 1   Eject floppy disk
Shift 2   Eject second floppy disk (only available on older systems with additional drives)
Shift 3   Take a screen snapshot (named "Picture #" in the root level of the startup disk)
Shift 4   Take a snapshot of part of the screen (MacOS 8 or later)
Power Key   Asks you if you want to shut down the computer.
Control Power Key   Forces the computer to restart. Does not ask! Use this to restart only if your machine is "frozen!"
Option Escape   Asks you if you want to force the running application to quit. Use this only if a program has "frozen," and make sure to restart the computer afterward to avoid any other problems!


Finder Commands - Shortcuts for commonly used commands in the Finder.

N New Folder Creates a new folder in the frontmost window.
D Duplicate Make a copy of the selected item(s).
I Get Info Display information about the selected item(s).
Y Put Away Puts a file that was moved to the desktop or trash back to its original location; ejects removable disks without leaving "ghosts" behind.
M Make Alias Makes an alias of the current selection (MacOS 7.5 or Later)


File Menu Commands - The File menu is used to create, open, or close files, print files, and quit the application (deleting files is not a command that you will find in the File menu; that's the Finder's job).

N New Creates a new (blank) file.
O Open... Opens a previously saved file.
W Close Closes the front window; you will be asked to save if you have made changes to your document since your last save. Hold down the Option key while selecting this to close all windows (in most programs).
S Save Saves the document in the front window. Acts like Save As... for blank files.
P Print... Prints the document in the front window.
Q Quit Quits the application you are working in: first closes any open windows, asking you to save if you have made changes.


Edit Menu Commands - The Edit menu is used to perform document editing tasks, and for manipulating the clipboard. Most applications also use the Edit menu to hold their Preferences... command.

Z Undo Reverses the effect of your last editing action. Does not undo things such as changing the position or size of a window, opening a document, etc.
X Cut Removes the selection, and places it on the clipboard.
C Copy Puts the selection on the clipboard without removing it.
V Paste Inserts the contents of the clipboard, replacing the current selection.
B Clear Removes the selection without putting it on the clipboard. (B is used as Clear by few programs; it is more often a shortcut for "Bold.")
A Select All Selects the entire document (not available in all programs).


Dialog Box Commands - Shortcuts that are commonly used in dialog boxes. Tip: Hold down the key to see the dialog box shortcuts in some programs.

Return or Enter Same as clicking the default button (the one with the bold outline).
. or Escape Same as clicking on the Cancel button.
Tab Moves the insertion point (the blinking vertical line) to the next text field.
Shift-Tab Moves the insertion point to the previous text field (in some programs).


Open and Save Dialog Boxes

¨ Navigate to the previous disk.
Æ Navigate to the next disk.
# Navigate up one directory level.
Ø Navigate down one directory level (same as selecting a folder and clicking on the Open button).
D   Navigate to the desktop.


Confirmation Dialog Boxes - Common shortcuts in dialog boxes that ask you questions.

S Save Same as clicking on the Save button.
D Don't Save Same as clicking on the Don't Save button.
Escape Cancel Same as clicking on the Cancel button.
. Cancel Same as clicking on the Cancel button.
Y or Y Yes Same as clicking on the Yes button.
N or N No Same as clicking on the No button.
C or C Cancel Same as clicking on the Cancel button.


Text Editing Commands - Common shortcuts used in word processors and text editors.

B Bold Applies the bold text style to the current selection
I Italic Applies the italic text style to the current selection
U Underline Applies the underline text style to the current selection
F Find... Locates & selects text on a page
G Find Again Repeats the last Find... command.


Text Navigation Commands - Moving though text documents from the keyboard.

¨ Move the insertion point left
Æ Move the insertion point right
# Move the insertion point up one line
Ø Move the insertion point down one line
¨ Move to the beginning of the line.
Æ   Move to end of line
#   Move to beginning of document
Ø   Move to end of document
Shift ¨   Extend selection left
Shift Æ   Extend selection right
Shift #   Extend selection up one line
Shift Ø   Extend selection down one line
Option ¨   Move the insertion point 1 word left
Option Æ   Move the insertion point 1 word right
Shift Option ¨   Extend selection 1 word left
Shift Option Æ   Extend selection 1 word right
Shift ¨   Extend selection to beginning of line
Shift Æ   Extend selection to end of line
Shift #   Extend selection to beginning of document
Shift Ø   Extend selection to end of document
Page Up   Scroll document up 1 page
Page Down   Scroll document down 1 page
Home   Scroll to beginning of document
End   Scroll to end of document


Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows NT 4.0 System Shortcuts - That "Windows" key on your keyboard is used for more than popping up your Start menu!

WK Activates Start menu.
WK+M Minimize all windows (the "M" is for "Minimize All").
WK+D Also Minimize all windows (the "D" is for "Show Desktop"). Nobody ever said Windows made sense.
WK+F Find Files...
WK+E Activates the Explorer.
WK+R Shows the Run... dialog.
WK+Pause Takes you to the System Properties. Quick way to get the Device Manager.
Alt+Tab   Cycles between all open programs.
Alt+Escape   Cycles between all open windows (like Alt+Tab for windows, not programs).
Alt+Space   Activates the front window's "System" menu.
Alt+Enter   Switches an MS-DOS program between "windowed" and "full screen" mode.
Ctrl+Escape   Activates the Start menu.
Shift+F10   Shows the Context menu. Same as a right-click.


Comments regarding this website? Send an email to: Mr. Webmaster. This page last updated late at night on December 7, 2000.
Copyright © 1999-2000 Seth Hill.
Macintosh and MacOS are registered trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc.
Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows NT are undoubtedly registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.