12 Killer Mac Shortcuts

We get it. You’re incredibly busy – you barely (or don’t!) even have time for lunch! You’ve optimized your walking routes and mastered the art of the 60-second bathroom break.

Cluttered Inbox

You shouldn’t have to live like this! We’ve compiled our favorite Mac keyboard shortcuts to help you save time because every second matters. Hey, you might even have time for lunch (at your desk, of course!)

Heads up: you’ll need a Mac running OS X and a Mac-compatible keyboard.

  1. Quit an application

    ⌘ + Q quits out of the current application.

  2. Hide a window

    ⌘ + H hides the current application (perfect for when someone unexpectedly peeks over your shoulder!) ⌘ + option + H hides all applications besides the current application to help you stay focused on the task at hand.

  3. Copy, cut, and paste

    Perfect for when you don’t feel like typing repetitive things. ⌘ + C copies selected text, ⌘ + X removes and copies the selected text, and ⌘ + V pastes it. This isn’t only for text – if you copy a file in the Finder, for example, you can create a duplicate version of the file by pressing ⌘ + V.

  4. Undo and redo

    The glorious undo feature! ⌘ + Z undoes the previous action you’ve taken. If you’re using a text editor like Word, Pages, Excel, Numbers, etc., ⌘ + Z undoes the last thing you typed, the last formatting change you made, or (heaven forbid!) if you deleted your entire document, ⌘ + Z has you covered. ⌘ + Y, on the other hand, redoes an action you’ve undone (in the iWorks suite, command + shift + Z redoes the previous action.) If you unintentionally close a tab in Safari, ⌘ + Z reopens it. Or, if you accidentally delete a file in the Finder window, ⌘ + Z restores it.

  5. Take a screenshot

    Window Select

    Ever needed to capture something on your screen? ⌘ + shift + 3 takes a screenshot of your entire screen. Or, if you just need a clipping of a small area, ⌘ + shift + 4 allows you to select a rectangular portion of your screen to capture. These screenshots are automatically saved to your Desktop. Bonus: Pressing ⌘ + shift + 4 and the spacebar allows you to take a screenshot of a certain window only. Bonus #2: If you press ⌘ + shift + 4, then select a rectangular portion of the screen, you can press the spacebar to move the rectangular selection to a different area of the screen. These bonuses are great, but keeping all the right keys held down and trying to use the trackpad at the same time can get a bit cumbersome. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

  6. Open a new tab

    ⌘ + T opens a new tab in web browsers (Safari, Chrome, and Firefox) or in the Finder.

  7. Switch between open tabs

    Control + tab allows you to iterate through your open tabs in a web browser or Finder window. Perfect for when you have a bunch of tabs open.

  8. Find on page


    This great trick allows you to quickly find a specific word in a document or article without having to read through the entire thing. Simply press ⌘ + F in Word, Excel, Pages, Safari, Chrome, Firefox, etc. and type in the words/phrases you’re looking for. All instances will be highlighted throughout the document or webpage so you can find what you’re looking for in no time.

  9. Spotlight search


    ⌘ + spacebar opens Spotlight so you can search for what you’re looking for without your hands ever leaving the keyboard!

  10. View open applications

    Command Tab

    ⌘ + tab shows all your applications that are currently open and brings the selected application to the front. Tap the tab key to scroll through your active applications. Bonus: once you’ve scrolled to the desired application, press H to hide it or Q to quit it.

  11. Open Applications and Utilities

    Want to quickly access your Applications folder? ⌘ + shift + A gets you there right away without having to navigate there with the Finder. Similarly, ⌘ + shift + U opens Utilities.

  12. Close an unresponsive application

    Force Quit

    Things don’t always go according to plan. Sometimes an application will freeze and become unresponsive. Luckily, you can Force Quit these problematic applications. Simply pressing ⌘ + option + esc pulls up a list of your currently open applications and allows you to select which ones you’d like to quit.

Hope you get as much use out of these keyboard shortcuts as we do!