MacBook Keyboard Closeup - mac keyboard shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts aren’t things that every computer user takes advantage of. It could be because you don’t think about them, don’t use them often enough, or simply don’t know what they are.

But using keyboard shortcuts can help you do many things much faster on your Mac. You can control your system, work with documents, and navigate quicker and easier than you probably think.

For a nice reference you can bookmark, here are 50 common keyboard shortcuts that all Mac users should know.

System keyboard shortcuts

Navigate your Mac with shortcuts that let you put your Mac to sleep, shut it down, and force restart.

  • Put your Mac to sleep: Option + Command + Power button
  • Put your display to sleep: Control + Shift + Power button
  • Log out of your Mac user account: Shift + Command + Q
  • Force restart without option to save open files: Control + Command + Power button
  • Quit all apps and shut down with option to save open files: Control + Option + Command + Power button
  • Display a dialog box to restart, sleep, or shut down: Control + Power button

Show, display, and Dock keyboard shortcuts

Open Spotlight Search, display apps in full screen, and take screenshots.

  • Show and hide Spotlight Search: Command + Space bar
  • Show and hide the Dock: Option + Command + D
  • Show the Character Viewer: Control + Command + Space bar
  • Display the current app in full screen: Control + Command + F
  • Full display screenshot: Command + Shift + 3
  • Selection screenshot: Command + Shift + 4
  • Open Screen Utility: Command + Shift + 5

Finder keyboard shortcuts

Open folders, view items, and create new folders with these Finder shortcuts.

  • Open the Computer window: Shift + Command + C
  • Open the Desktop folder: Shift + Command + D
  • Open the Recents folder: Shift + Command + F
  • Open the Downloads folder: Option + Command + L
  • Open the Documents folder: Shift + Command + O
  • Open the Utilities folder: Shift + Command + U
  • Open the AirDrop window: Shift + Command + R
  • Open a Go To Folder window: Shift + Command + G
  • Open the iCloud Drive folder: Shift + Command + I (uppercase i)
  • View items in Finder as icons: Command + 1
  • View items in Finder as a list: Command + 2
  • View items in Finder as columns: Command + 3
  • Create a new folder: Shift + Command + N
  • Create a new Smart Folder: Option + Command + N
  • Show and hide the Sidebar: Option + Command + S
  • Show and hide the Path Bar: Option + Command + P
  • Show and hide the Status Bar: Option + Command + / (slash)

Document keyboard shortcuts

While these shortcuts may vary depending on the app you’re using, they are handy for working with documents.

  • Bold and un-bold text: Command + B
  • Italicize or un-italicize text: Command + I (uppercase i)
  • Underline or un-underline text: Command + U
  • Page up: Fn + Up arrow
  • Page down: Fn + Down arrow
  • Go to beginning of document (Home): Fn + Left arrow
  • Go to end of document (End): Fn + Right arrow
  • Save document: Command + S
  • Print document: Command + P
  • Undo: Command + Z
  • Redo: Shift + Command + Z

Miscellaneous keyboard shortcuts

Other keyboard shortcuts to keep in mind that you might find useful.

  • Cut: Command + X
  • Copy: Command + C
  • Paste: Command + V
  • Select all items: Command + A
  • Find items: Command + F
  • Minimize the front window: Command + M
  • Close the front window: Command + W
  • Force quit an app: Option + Command + Esc
  • Switch to the next most recently-used app: Command + Tab

More keyboard shortcuts

For additional keyboard shortcuts that we’ve covered on iDB, check these out.

Wrapping it up

Keyboard shortcuts are terrific tools and once you get used to them, you’ll find yourself using them without even thinking about it.

Do you take advantage of keyboard shortcuts on your Mac? Which ones do you use the most?