Tips and Tricks for macOS

Collection of Hacks, Tweaks, Tips, Tricks
Mac Tips Make Everyday Tasks Faster

With Short Cut Keys

Updated: September 10, 2022
By: RSH Web Editorial Staff
Mac Tips
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macOS

With plenty of features you may never stumble upon.

macOS is a Unix operating system developed and marketed by Apple Inc. since 2001

Make the most of Mac OS with these great tips, tricks and keyboard shortcuts

Set Up Your Own Keyboard Commands

Navigate to the system preferences menu, then to keyboard, then shortcuts, then app shortcuts. From here you can create keyboard shortcuts to open up any app you want, which is useful if you don’t want to spend time looking through your file systems for different programs that perform different functions.

Reset Your Password Without Logging In

Make sure that your Mac is turned off, and then hold down the command and R keys at the same time. Holding down these keys press the power button so that your Mac boots up into recovery mode - you will know when to let go of the keyboard keys once you see the loading bar appear below the Apple logo.
Once you are in recovery mode, head into Utilities in the menu bar, and then click on the Terminal option. Just type resetpassword into the window that pops up, and hit the enter/return key. From here you are going to be met with a list of all the users on the Mac, from which you can choose one to reset a password for.

Right Click on Mac

For enabling right-click on macOS using the Magic Mouse or the Mac Trackpad, just navigate to the Apple icon menu
"System Preferences", and then select Trackpad or Mouse. In the pop-up Trackpad or Mouse window, check the secondary click option under the Point & Click tab. Then, you can set up your Magic Mouse or Trackpad to enable the right-click function according to your preferences.

The Emoji Picker

The first option is that when you are in any kind of text app to head to edit, then click emoji and symbols and you will be met with a list of different emojis all ready to insert into your document. The other way of getting the emojis into your document is to open up the emoji selection using the keyboard command - space, control, and command all pressed at the same time. This is potentially the speedier option, and might be more useful if you are looking to insert emoji into your text quickly.

Install Apps on Mac

To open App Store, just click the Apple logo from the top menu and then pick App Store from the drop-down list. Now, you can input the app name you want to download in the search box after a successful log-in. Alternatively, you can also download and install the desired application from its official web if this program is not available on Apple Store, but you need to allow apps downloaded from App Store and identified developers first by going to the Apple Menu
System Preferences » Security & Privacy » General

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Screenshot on Mac

To quickly take a screenshot on Mac, here are some hotkeys you can use:
Command + Shift + 3: Implement a full screen capture on Mac.
Command + Shift + 4: Do a selected part capture on Mac.
Command + Shift + 4 + Space: Capture a screen of a single window or menu.

Transfer Files Quickly

Boot up your Mac, but as it is turning on hold down the T key on your keyboard. Why?
Well, this is going to put your Mac into target disk mode, which will allow you to transfer files very quickly between two separate Mac devices using a thunderbolt 3 cable. Its quicker and simpler than doing it via the traditional desktop route.

SMS Messages On Your Mac

First, make sure that you are signed in to the same Apple ID account on both your MacOS device and your mobile device that you are wanting to forward SMS messages from.
Then, on your MacOS device navigate to messages, then preferences, and then click on iMessage. Then, on your mobile device (probably an iPhone) go to settings, messages and then text message forwarding. From here you can choose which devices you want your SMS messages forwarded to. Once you select your MacOS device on your iPhone, your iPhone will automatically forward all SMS messages to your MacOS system as long as its connected to a network via cellular connection or WiFi.

the Inbuilt Password Manager

With macOS Monterey, there is a Dedicated Password Section in System Preferences and a Built-In Authenticator. You can find this in the system preferences which has a new section called Passwords that houses all of your ‌iCloud‌ Keychain logins and passwords so they’re easier to get to, edit and manage. You can also import and export passwords. Monterey also brings an in-built authenticator for sites that use codes as 2FA, the in-built feature will now automatically fill the backup codes when you log in and are stored in the iCloud keychain.

Trash Files in Seconds

To easily trash a file, just click on it and then hit the Command-Delete keyboard shortcut and it will move to Trash.
If you want to skip trashing a file and permanently delete it, use the Shift-Command-Delete keyboard shortcut. Remember, this will permanently delete a file and you will not be able to recover it.

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Hot Corners

Using Hot Corners feature, a user can assign different actions to each of the corners of the display. Dragging your mouse pointer to that corner will execute that action. To set-up a Hot Corner all you need to do is to follow the following path:
Apple Menu » System Preferences » Desktop & Screen Saver » Screen Saver » Hot Corners

Update Your Computer’s Name

Go to Apple Menu » System Preferences » Sharing and click inside the computer name field. Change the name as per your preference and close the System Preferences pane to save changes.

Change Mouse pointer color

Apple has made it possible to change the color of the mouse pointer from the standard while outline and black fill, to pretty much any color combination you want.
To do so, go to the Settings » Preferences » Accessibility. Then click Display in the left column. Click the Pointer outline color and Pointer fill color settings. Click the color swatch to choose a custom color from the palette that appears. You can always click Reset to revert to the default colors.

Show Full File Path In Finder

Open the Terminal app, copy and then paste the following command, and hit return/enter.
defaults write com.apple.finder _FXShowPosixPathInTitle -bool YES; killall Finder
Now you will be able to see the file path in the Finder window
To go back to the original setting just replace the word “YES” with “NO” in the code block.

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Change Screenshot File Type

Using a simple Terminal command, you can tell your Mac to save the screenshots in the format you want. For taking a screenshot in JPG format, use the following command.
defaults write com.apple.screencapture type jpg
You can also save the screenshot directly in the PDF format. Just replace the word jpg in the command line with PDF or PNG to go back to the default format.

Learn more about macOS from Apple

Type emoji, accents, and symbols

Create your own shortcuts and resolve conflicts between shortcuts

Change the behavior of the function keys or modifier keys

Use a spoken command for a keyboard shortcut

Mac Keyboard Shortcut

Cut, copy, paste, and other common shortcuts

Command-X:
Cut the selected item and copy it to the Clipboard
Command-C:
Copy the selected item to the Clipboard. This also works for files in the Finder
Command-V:
Paste the contents of the Clipboard into the current document or app. This also works for files in the Finder
Command-Z:
Undo the previous command
Shift-Command-Z:
reversing the undo command
Command-A:
Select All items
Command-F:
Find items in a document or open a Find window
Command-G:
Find Again:
Shift-Command-G:
Find the next occurrence of the item previously found
Command-H:
Hide the windows of the front app
Option-Command-H:
To view the front app but hide all other apps
Command-M:
Minimize the front window to the Dock
Option-Command-M:
To minimize all windows of the front app
Command-O:
Open the selected item, or open a dialog to select a file to open
Command-P:
Print the current document
Command-S:
Save the current document
Command-T:
Open a new tab
Command-W:
Close the front window
Option-Command-W:
To close all windows of the app
Option-Command-Esc:
Force quit an app
Command-Space bar:
Show or hide the Spotlight search field
Command-Option-Space bar:
To perform a Spotlight search from a Finder window
Control-Command-Space bar:
Show the Character Viewer, from which you can choose emoji and other symbols
Control-Command-F:
Use the app in full screen, if supported by the app
Space bar:
Use Quick Look to preview the selected item
Command-Tab:
Switch to the next most recently used app among your open apps
Shift-Command-5:
In macOS Mojave or later, take a screenshot or make a screen recording
Shift-Command-3:
for screenshots
Shift-Command-N:
Create a new folder in the Finder
Command-Comma:
Open preferences for the front app

Finder and system shortcuts

Command-D:
Duplicate the selected files
Command-E:
Eject the selected disk or volume
Command-F:
Start a Spotlight search in the Finder window
Command-I:
Show the Get Info window for a selected file
Command-R:
(1) When an alias is selected in the Finder: show the original file for the selected alias. (2) In some apps, such as Calendar or Safari, refresh or reload the page. (3) In Software Update preferences, check for software updates again
Shift-Command-C:
Open the Computer window
Shift-Command-D:
Open the desktop folder
Shift-Command-F:
Open the Recents window, showing all of the files you viewed or changed recently
Shift-Command-G:
Open a Go to Folder window
Shift-Command-H:
Open the Home folder of the current macOS user account
Shift-Command-I:
Open iCloud Drive
Shift-Command-K:
Open the Network window
Option-Command-L:
Open the Downloads folder
Shift-Command-N:
Create a new folder
Shift-Command-O:
Open the Documents folder
Shift-Command-P:
Show or hide the Preview pane in Finder windows
Shift-Command-R:
Open the AirDrop window
Shift-Command-T:
Show or hide the tab bar in Finder windows
Control-Shift-Command-T:
Add selected Finder item to the Dock (OS X Mavericks or later)
Shift-Command-U:
Open the Utilities folder
Option-Command-D:
Show or hide the Dock
Control-Command-T:
Add the selected item to the sidebar (OS X Mavericks or later)
Option-Command-P:
Hide or show the path bar in Finder windows
Option-Command-S:
Hide or show the Sidebar in Finder windows
Command-Slash (/):
Hide or show the status bar in Finder windows
Command-J:
Show View Options
Command-K:
Open the Connect to Server window
Control-Command-A:
Make an alias of the selected item
Command-N:
Open a new Finder window
Option-Command-N:
Create a new Smart Folder
Command-T:
Show or hide the tab bar when a single tab is open in the current Finder window
Option-Command-T:
Show or hide the toolbar when a single tab is open in the current Finder window
Option-Command-V:
Move the files in the Clipboard from their original location to the current location
Command-Y:
Use Quick Look to preview the selected files
Option-Command-Y:
View a Quick Look slideshow of the selected files
Command-1:
View the items in the Finder window as icons
Command-2:
View the items in a Finder window as a list
Command-3:
View the items in a Finder window in columns
Command-4:
View the items in a Finder window in a gallery
Command-Left Bracket ([):
Go to the previous folder
Command-Right Bracket (]):
Go to the next folder
Command-Up Arrow:
Open the folder that contains the current folder
Command-Control-Up Arrow:
Open the folder that contains the current folder in a new window
Command-Down Arrow:
Open the selected item
Right Arrow:
Open the selected folder. This works only when in list view
Left Arrow:
Close the selected folder. This works only when in list view
Command-Delete:
Move the selected item to the Trash
Shift-Command-Delete:
Empty the Trash
Option-Shift-Command-Delete:
Empty the Trash without confirmation dialog
Command-Brightness Down:
Turn video mirroring on or off when your Mac is connected to more than one display
Option-Brightness Up:
Open Displays preferences. This works with either Brightness key
Control-Brightness Up or Control-Brightness Down:
Change the brightness of your external display, if supported by your display
Option-Shift-Brightness Up or Option-Shift-Brightness Down:
Adjust the display brightness in smaller steps. Add the Control key to this shortcut to make the adjustment on your external display, if supported by your display
Option-Mission Control:
Open Mission Control preferences
Command-Mission Control:
Show the desktop
Control-Down Arrow:
Show all windows of the front app
Option-Volume Up:
Open Sound preferences. This works with any of the volume keys
Option-Shift-Volume Up or Option-Shift-Volume Down:
Adjust the sound volume in smaller steps
Option-Keyboard Brightness Up:
Open Keyboard preferences. This works with either Keyboard Brightness key
Option-Shift-Keyboard Brightness Up or Option-Shift-Keyboard Brightness Down:
Adjust the keyboard brightness in smaller steps
Option key while double-clicking:
Open the item in a separate window, then close the original window
Command key while double-clicking:
Open a folder in a separate tab or window
Command key while dragging to another volume:
Move the dragged item to the other volume, instead of copying it
Option key while dragging:
Copy the dragged item. The pointer changes while you drag the item
Option-Command while dragging:
Make an alias of the dragged item. The pointer changes while you drag the item
Option-click a disclosure triangle:
Open all folders within the selected folder. This works only when in list view
Command-click a window title:
See the folders that contain the current folder

Document shortcuts

Learn how to use Command or Shift to select multiple items in the Finder.

Click the Go menu in the Finder menu bar to see shortcuts for opening many commonly used folders, such as Applications, Documents, Downloads, Utilities, and iCloud Drive.

The behavior of these shortcuts may vary with the app you're using.

Windows Key:
Open or close the Start menu
Command-B:
Boldface the selected text, or turn boldfacing on or off
Command-I:
Italicize the selected text, or turn italics on or off
Command-K:
Add a web link
Command-U:
Underline the selected text, or turn underlining on or off
Command-T:
Show or hide the Fonts window
Command-D:
Select the Desktop folder from within an Open dialog or Save dialog
Control-Command-D:
Show or hide the definition of the selected word
Shift-Command-Colon (:):
Display the Spelling and Grammar window
Command-Semicolon (;):
Find misspelled words in the document
Option-Delete:
Delete the word to the left of the insertion point
Control-H:
Delete the character to the left of the insertion point. Or use Delete
Control-D:
Delete the character to the right of the insertion point. Or use Fn-Delete
Fn-Delete:
Forward delete on keyboards that don't have a Forward Delete key. Or use Control-D
Control-K:
Delete the text between the insertion point and the end of the line or paragraph
Fn-Up Arrow:
Page Up: Scroll up one page
Fn-Down Arrow:
Page Down: Scroll down one page
Fn-Left Arrow: Home:
Scroll to the beginning of a document
Fn-Right Arrow:
Scroll to the end of a document
Command-Up Arrow:
Move the insertion point to the beginning of the document
Command-Down Arrow:
Move the insertion point to the end of the document
Command-Left Arrow:
Move the insertion point to the beginning of the current line
Command-Right Arrow:
Move the insertion point to the end of the current line
Option-Left Arrow:
Move the insertion point to the beginning of the previous word
Option-Right Arrow:
Move the insertion point to the end of the next word
Shift-Command-Up Arrow:
Select the text between the insertion point and the beginning of the document
Shift-Command-Down Arrow:
Select the text between the insertion point and the end of the document
Shift-Command-Left Arrow:
Select the text between the insertion point and the beginning of the current line
Shift-Command-Right Arrow:
Select the text between the insertion point and the end of the current line
Shift-Up Arrow:
Extend text selection to the nearest character at the same horizontal location on the line above
Shift-Down Arrow:
Extend text selection to the nearest character at the same horizontal location on the line below
Shift-Left Arrow:
Extend text selection one character to the left
Shift-Right Arrow:
Extend text selection one character to the right
Option-Shift-Up Arrow:
Extend text selection to the beginning of the current paragraph, then to the beginning of the following paragraph if pressed again
Option-Shift-Down Arrow:
Extend text selection to the end of the current paragraph, then to the end of the following paragraph if pressed again
Option-Shift-Left Arrow:
Extend text selection to the beginning of the current word, then to the beginning of the following word if pressed again
Option-Shift-Right Arrow:
Extend text selection to the end of the current word, then to the end of the following word if pressed again
Control-A:
Move to the beginning of the line or paragraph
Control-E:
Move to the end of a line or paragraph
Control-F:
Move one character forward
Control-B:
Move one character backward
Control-L:
Center the cursor or selection in the visible area
Control-P:
Move up one line
Control-O:
Insert a new line after the insertion point
Control-N:
Move down one line
Control-T:
Swap the character behind the insertion point with the character in front of the insertion point
Command-Left Curly Bracket ({):
Left align
Command-Right Curly Bracket (}):
Right align
Shift-Command-Vertical bar (|):
Center align
Option-Command-F:
Go to the search field
Option-Command-T:
Show or hide a toolbar in the app
Option-Command-C:
Copy Style - Copy the formatting settings of the selected item to the Clipboard
Option-Command-V:
Paste Style: Apply the copied style to the selected item
Option-Shift-Command-V:
Paste and Match Style: Apply the style of the surrounding content to the item pasted within that content
Option-Command-I:
Show or hide the inspector window
Shift-Command-P:
Page setup: Display a window for selecting document settings
Shift-Command-S:
Display the Save As dialog, or duplicate the current document
Shift-Command-Minus sign (-):
Decrease the size of the selected item
Shift-Command-Plus sign (+):
Increase the size of the selected item. Command-Equal sign (=) performs the same function
Shift-Command-Question mark (?):
Open the Help menu

Other shortcuts

For more shortcuts, check the shortcut abbreviations shown in the menus of your apps. Every app can have its own shortcuts, and shortcuts that work in one app might not work in another. 

Accessibility shortcuts from Apple

Safari shortcuts

Spotlight shortcuts from Apple

Startup shortcuts from Apple

Apple Music shortcuts: Choose Help > Keyboard shortcuts from the menu bar in the Music app.

Other shortcuts: Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Keyboard, then click Shortcuts

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