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20 secret OS X keyboard shortcuts to turn you into a power user

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 9:10PM EST

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While there are plenty of great tips out there detailing how to get the most out of your iPhone, there aren’t many primers on how to make the OS X user experience more efficient and, in turn, more enjoyable. That being the case, we thought it was a good time to take a step back and cover a good number of lesser-known OS X keyboard shortcuts that will instantly help improve your overall computing experience.

Whether you’re an iMac or MacBook user, many of these shortcuts are definitely worth committing to memory. Sure, you may already be familiar with the basics like cut, copy, paste and other commands like opening and closing windows, but we’re going to go a little bit deeper here.

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Command + Up Arrow – Immediately scroll to the top of any webpage

Command + Down Arrow – Immediately scroll to the bottom of any webpage

Command + Semicolon – Cycle through misspelled words in any given document

Command + 1 (2,3) – Use this shortcut to conveniently cycle through any open tabs you have in your browser. Command + 1 will take you to the first tab, Command + 2 will take you to the second, and so on and so forth.

Option + Delete – This handy keyboard shortcut that will delete words one word at a time, as opposed to one letter at a time. This works all across OS X, whether you’re typing in TextEdit or even when typing a website into your browser’s URL bar.

Command + H  – Quickly hide all open windows from the currently active app

Command + Shift + T  – Instantly open up the most recently closed tab in your browser. This is a lifesaver if you accidentally close a window and can’t remember the URL.

Command + F3 – This is a handy shortcut that instantly removes all app windows from view and lets you take a gander at your desktop. To bring your apps back, simply press the keys again.

Option + Shift + Volume Up/Volume down – Increase or decrease your machine’s volume in much smaller increments. This comes in especially handy when you’re trying to get your audio output levels just right.

For the next two keyboard shortcuts, you’ll need to toggle on OS X’s zoom feature. To do so, go to System Preferences > Accessibility. Next, toggle the “Use keyboard shortcuts to zoom.”

And now, you can enjoy some really great keyboard shortcuts, including:

  • Command + Option + 8 – Quickly zoom in on the screen
  • Command + Option + Plus Key – This particular keyboard shortcut is a lifesaver and lets you zoom in on the screen as much as you want. To zoom back out, simply press Command + Option + Minus Key

Control + Command + D – Highlight a word tapping this keyboard combo will give you the definition of that word.

Command + M  – Instantly minimize the actively open window to the dock

Command + Option + M – Instantly minimize all open windows of the active application

Command + Option + W – Instantly close all active windows in any open application

Command + Option + D – Hide and reveal the Dock

Shift + Option + Right/Left Arrow – Easily select text one word at a time in either direction

Command + Shift + Delete – Empty the trash. Make sure to only implement this keyboard shortcut when you’re actually in the Finder.

Command + Shift + 3 – Take a screenshot of the entire screen

Command + Shift + 4  – Take a screenshot of just a specific area of your computer screen

Fn + F12 – Quickly access your Dashboard. Remember the Dashboard?

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.