Getting the Most Out of Keyboard Shortcuts

There are lots of ways to improve your computer efficiency. When someone asks me how they can improve theirs, my first thought turns to apps like Dropbox, Evernote and TextExpander. Not all efficiency improvements need to be big and/or require apps. Even the little improvements can make a big difference in the long run.

For as long as computers have been around, there have been keyboard shortcuts. In fact, keyboard shortcuts were around long before the modern-day GUI (Graphical User Interface) with windows and a mouse. In the early years (when computers displayed nothing more than green text on a black screen), keyboard shortcuts were the only way to get some tasks done. Fortunately, they have withstood the test of time (and technology), and they're still around for us to use today.

One of the challenges with keyboard shortcuts on many Operating Systems is that they tend to vary, depending on the app you are using. In the case of Mac OS X, they're actually pretty standardized. The more you use keyboard shortcuts, the more natural they become and the more time they can save you in the long run. 2 seconds won't save you a lot of time as a single instance, but when you add up lots of 2 seconds throughout a day, that could mean going home 30 minutes early.

Here is a list of some of my favorite OS X keyboard shortcuts that will work in any app:

  • ⌘+C > Copy
  • ⌘+V > Paste
  • ⌘+N > New file/window
  • ⌘+P > Print
  • ⌘+S > Save
  • ⌘+Q > Quit application
  • ⌘+Shift+4 > Selective screenshot
  • ⌘+Ctrl+Space > Insert special characters

For a complete listing of keyboard shortcuts, click here.

Posted on May 2, 2014 and filed under How To, Mac, Opinion.