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Learn how to use keyboard shortcuts on the Mac.

The Mac’s graphical User Interface (GUI) is great for getting to know your Mac, and getting around it. Just move your cursor where you want to go and click, it’s that easy. But the Mac can even make it easier for specific commands, like printing with it’s keyboard shortcuts. The Mac has dozens of keyboard shortcuts that can help you get around your Mac. learn how keyboard shortcuts can help you be more productive in this video for the Mac.

Video TranscriptIn this video, we’re going to take a look at how we can get around our Mac using keyboard shortcuts. I find using keyboard shortcuts a lot easier to use than using the mouse or the trackpad for certain cases. Let’s see what I mean. Let’s go to my Mac.

What is a Keyboard Shortcut? Now, if you’re not sure what a keyboard shortcut is, what a keyboard shortcut will do is use a combination of keys to perform a certain function. As an example, we know now that when we click on our Finder here, it’s going to open up a new window. Let’s go ahead and click on it. We have a new window. Also, what we can do is we can go up to File as long as we’re in the Finder, and you’re going to see New Finder Window. I select it, and we have a new window.

But also what I can do is I can use a keyboard shortcut. When we go up under File again, you’re going to see to the right of New Finder Window we have Command-N, the Command being the Command key on your keyboard. So if I hold down the Command key on my keyboard along with the N key, guess what’s going to happen? It’s going to open up a new Finder window. So now, let’s go ahead and do that. Command-N, we have our new Finder window.

If I want to close it, we know that we can click on the red X. Also, what you can do is you can go up under File. You’re going to see Close Window, but if we look to the right, we also have a keyboard shortcut, Command-W. So now what I’m going to do is I’m going to hold down the Command key with the W key, and it closes that window.

Using Keyboard Shortcuts across multiple apps: Now what’s nice about these keyboard shortcuts is they work across multiple apps. We know that when we hit Command-N, let’s go ahead and hit Command-N, we get a new window in the Finder. Let’s see what happens when we go into Safari. I’m going to open up Safari here. It opens up a new window. What I want to do is I want to open up another new window. Now what I can do is I can go up under File in the menu bar and then go and select New Window. But if we look, we have Command-N. It’s the same keyboard shortcut as we used to open up a new window in the Finder. Now, let’s go ahead and type Command-N. Now, we can see we have two windows. Command-N again. We now have three windows. If I were in Pages, if I hit Command-N, it would open up a new Pages document. If I’m in Microsoft Word, Command-N is going to open up a new Word document.

So how do you think I close these? Well, in the Finder, we use Command-W. While I’m in Safari here, if I go up under File, you’re going to see we have Close Window and Command-W. So now I use Command-W and it closes it. I want to quit out of Safari. I go up under Safari, and you’re going to see Quit. But also you’re going to see I have a keyboard shortcut, Command-Q. So now, let’s go ahead and hit Command-Q, and it quits out of there. Now let’s open up my calendar. How do you think I quit out of this? Again, I can go up to Calendar and then go to Quit Calendar, but also, you’re going to see I have my Command-Q.

So with a lot of these shortcuts, I’m going to hit Command-Q, and it quits, a lot of these keyboard shortcuts you can use in multiple apps. So once you learn one keyboard shortcut, in a lot of cases, you’ll be able to use it in other apps. This is why they are so powerful.

Command, Option, and Shift Keys for Keyboard Shortcuts: Now, keyboard shortcuts can also use other keys. In addition to the Command key, they can also use the shift key, Control key, and the Option key. I’m back in my Finder, and I want to go to the Applications folder. We go over to Go, and then I can go and select Applications, but if we look, you’re going to see I also have a keyboard shortcut. I can use the shift key, the Command key and the A key. So now, let’s go ahead and do that. Hold down the shift key, the Command key, and then the A key. Now I have my applications.

Let’s take a look at Downloads. I go back under Go, I go over to Downloads, and you’re going to see that I have a different symbol. This is the Option symbol that is to the left of the Command symbol. So now if I hold down the Option key along with the Command key and the L key, let’s go ahead and do that, Option, Command, L, it opens up my Downloads folder.

I want to close this, Command W. I want to throw something away, let’s go ahead and select this File here. Now, I could drag this down to the trash, but if we look under File here in the menu bar, you’re going to see we have Move to Trash. Of course, I can select this. But if we go over to the right, we have Command with the X. This is the delete key. So if I hold down Command, delete, it’s going to delete that or move it to the trash. I want to print; I can select Print, or what I can do is I can use Command-P. Again, this works throughout different apps. If I’m in Pages, I want to print it, Command-P. If I’m in Numbers or Excel, I want to print it, print my document, Command-P.

If we go up to the top here, you’re going to see I have a function for creating a new folder with the travel brochure. What this will do is this will create a new folder and then place the travel brochure, because I have it selected, into that folder. If we go over to the right, you’re going to see that we have a key Command. Now, this one has a little up arrow. This is the Control key.

If you’re not sure which keys these symbols represent, on new Macs, you can see these symbols on the keyboard.

So now if I hit Control, Command, and N, what it’s going to do is it’s going to create a new folder and place this travel brochure in there. So let’s go and do that. Control key, Command key, and the N key. And now we can see we have a folder, and what do you think is going to be in this folder? The travel brochure.

So that’s how we use keyboard shortcuts on the Mac.

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