The Need for Speed with Keyboard Shortcuts

I work with documents on my Mac. A lot. So I use keyboard shortcuts extensively. Usually without even thinking about it.

I went to a writer’s group last week and watched some fellow authors in action and was surprised at how many of them still use the mouse to do almost everything. It can be painful to watch.

In order to spread more joy and wonderment through the world, here are some common keyboard shortcuts for Mac users (sorry, Windows people) that will help you do things a lot faster.

P.S. you can get a complete list of Mac keyboard shortcuts if you want to really start moving around MacOS like a ninja.

Text Formatting Shortcuts

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 + U
Underline the selected text, or turn underlining on or off.

Command + Left Curly Bracket
Left align.

Command + Right Curly Bracket
Right align.

Shift + Command + Vertical Bar
Center align.

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.

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.

Accessing Windows and Menus

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 + Command + F
Go to the search field.

Option + Command + T
Show or hide a toolbar in the app.

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 + Question mark
Open the Help menu.

Moving Around and Deleting Stuff

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 IX> key. Or use Control + D.

Control + K
Delete the text between the insertion point and the end of the line or paragraph.

Command + Delete
Select Delete or Don’t Save in a dialog that contains a Delete or Don’t Save button.

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
End: 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.

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 + N
Move down one line.

Control + O
Insert a new line after the insertion point.

Control + T
Swap the character behind the insertion point with the character in front of the insertion point.

Selecting Blocks of Text

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.

Hey, I know that’s a lot of keyboard shortcuts. But learning even just a few of these bad boys will help you speed up your life considerably. Especially if, like me, you work with a lot of documents on your Mac.