General Keyboard Shortcut Commands for Mac OS X

Finder Navigation – GeneralNew Finder window:Command-NUp one folder level:Command-Up ArrowOpen selected folder:Command-Down ArrowBack:Command-[Forward:Command-]Finder Navigation – Direct Folder AccessOpen the Applications folder:Shift-Command-AOpen the Computer window:Shift-Command-COpen desktop folder:Shift-Command-DGo to Folder  (Type in folder name):Shift-Command-GOpen the Home folder of the currently logged-in user account:Shift-Command-HGeneral Editing CommandsSelect all (e.g. all text, or all items in the front Finder window):Command-ACopy selected item/text:Command-CPaste:Command-VCut:Command-XUndo:Command-ZRedo:Shift-Command-ZMove to Trash:Command-Delete (or Command-Backspace)Miscellaneous focus to the menu bar:Control-F2Move focus to the Dock:Control-F3Move forward to the next most recently used application in a list of open applications:Command-TabMinimize window:Command-MView as List:Command-2Open selected item:Command-OOpen Mac Help – or current application’s help:Command-Shift-?Spotlight (Find)Command+SpacebarFind any matching Spotlight attribute:Command-FClosing, Quitting and Shutting DownClose window:Command-WEject:Command-EForce Quit  (Equivalent of Ctrl-Alt-Delete):Option-Command-escForce Quit front-most application:Option-Shift-Command-Esc (hold for three seconds) - Mac OS X v10.5, v10.6 or later onlyShow shutdown dialog:Control-EjectQuit all applications (after giving chance to save changes), then shut down computer.:Control Option-Command-EjectApplication and other Mac OS X keyboard commandsNote: Some applications may not support all of the below application key combinations.File CommandsNew document:Command-NOpen document:Command-OSave the active document:Command-SDisplay the Save As dialog:Shift-Command-SPrint dialog:Command-PDisplay a dialog for specifying printing parameters (Page Setup):Shift-Command-PQuit application:Command-QForce quit applications window:Option-Command-QCursor MovementEnd of the current line:Command-Right ArrowBeginning of the current line:Command-Left ArrowBeginning of the document:Command-Up ArrowEnd of the document:Command-Down ArrowOption-Right ArrowEnd of the current wordBeginning of the current word:Option-Left ArrowEnd of the current paragraph:Option-Down ArrowBeginning of the current paragraph:Option-Up Arrow* Pressing Shift with these shortcuts, selects the text between where the cursor starts and ends.  Command-A selects all.Font FormattingDecrease the size of the selected item:Command- - (minus)Increase the size of the selected item:Shift-Command-=Boldface the selected text or toggle boldfaced text on and off:Command-BUnderline the selected text or turn underlining on or off:Command-UItalicize the selected text or toggle italic text on or off:Command-IDisplay the Fonts window:Command-TAlignmentLeft-align a selection:Command-{Right-align a selection:Command-}Center-align a selection:Command-|Miscellaneous the Spelling window:Command-Shift-;Open a Find window:Command-FOpen application&;s preferences window (if it supports this keyboard shortcut):Command-,For a more comprehensive listing of shortcuts go to:



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You are making my day! I teach Assistive Technology for the state of TN, and the post about Mac vs. Windows screen readers was great. This is up there with it! Keep it coming!


Re: Great

Thanks so much for this. I just got my Mac Book Air 2 days after Christmas. While I have since become pretty familiar with Voiceover, this command list will serve as an excellent resource. Not only this list, but I have found Apple Vis in general to be a wealth of information and hope it will continue long into the future!

Thank you for this important list

First,I want to thank you for all the very helpful podcasts and articles you put on Applevis.
When I learned to use VoiceOver on the Mac, I was aware of many of these general commands already. But I think that many new blind Mac users somehow get the impression that all there is, is VO commands which makes life very complicated.
I wish that the VoiceOver Help could add this list of general commands somewhere so that it'd be easier to find them.

Eject replacement in Mac Air

Hi Dave,
Thank you again for these cool lists of tips.
Is there a way to work out any shortcuts for fast shutdown in Mac Air? I don't know whether this eject button you've mentioned here is present in Mac air. Am I to assume that the button at the top right corner to turn on / sleep the mac can be used in place of Eject?
Thanks much!

fast shut down

If you simply press and hold the upper top right key on the keyboard, it will bring up the shut down menu.

Now Able to Access Support Article, But...

Hello all. I'm running the first update to OS X El Capitan, and I'm happy to report that the Apple support article linked to in this post reads just fine on my mid-2013 MBA. However, I'm wondering if there's another shortcut for sorting music in iTunes. I attempted to do this using Command-I for the Info dialog, but every time I sort stuff that I've titled manually the order of things gets screwed up somehow. Or is this just a drag-and-drop thing? In addition, is there a VO shortcut for accessing the iTunes trash? I inadvertently deleted a song which is part of a soundtrack that I like, and I want to put it back if at all possible. I even asked my sister who is also a VoiceOver user, but she didn't know. I'd be happy to drag and drop if necessary, but just wondering about this. Otherwise great job as always, and I'm happy with El Capitan thus far.


I'm using multiple languages on my keyboard and so the default language switcher short-cut has overridden the usual key stroke to call spotlight. I. e. Command + space bar. I saw there's an option to call spotlight using down arrow in the spotlight tab of the system preferences but I don't like to have it that way because it is a bit annoying to find that spotlight popping up every time I press down arrow. Is there a work around in this situation for me to change the default short-cut for language switching to something else like command + shift as in the case of language switching in Windows or it would be good even if I could change the short-cut key for spotlight to something else.
Can anybody suggest a work-around please?