List of keyboard shortcuts

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Caution icon color.pngThis articles uses characters from extended Unicode ranges that may not display correctly depending on your computer's configuration.

A list of keyboard shortcuts present in the Mac OS.

Special characters not on keyboards

All special characters can be typed using Option+key or Shift+Option+key. In some cases (like accents) the following character is modified rather than typing a character immediately.

In case you do often need different special characters consider using the software PopChar (shareware, Pro/Light versions available). It provides a convenient menu to insert any character from the currently used font. It is also useful to memorise keyboard shortcuts.

Key Combination Function Notes
⌥A å a with ring
⇧⌥B ı dotless i
⌥C ç c with cedilla
⌥E ’ modifier Sharp accent over following character: áćéíĺńóŕśúýź
⇧⌥E Sharp accent alone
⌥G © Copyright
⌥H ˙ Overdot
⌥I ^ modifier Circumflex over following character: âĉêĝĥîĵôŝûŵŷ
⇧⌥I ^ Circumflex alone
⌥K ˚ Ring
⇧⌥K Apple symbol (only supported in Apple fonts, may not display properly here)
⌥N ~ modifier Tilde over following character: ãẽĩñõũỹ
⇧⌥N ~ Tilde alone
⌥O ø o with slash
⌥Q œ oe ligature
⌥U ¨ modifier Umlaut over following character: äëïöüÿ
⇧⌥U ¨ Umlaut alone
⇧⌥1 Fraction slash
⌥3 £ or # UK sterling symbol (UK layout), number symbol (all other layouts)
⌥8 Bullet
⇧⌥8 ° Degree
⇧⌥9 · Mid dot
⌥` ` modifier Grave accent over following character: àèìòù
⇧⌥` ` Grave accent alone
⌥- En dash
⇧⌥- Em dash
⌥[ Open double quote
⇧⌥[ Close double quote
⌥] Open single quote
⇧⌥] Close single quote, or apostrophe
⌥: (That's Option-colon.) Ellipsis
⌥' æ ae ligature
⇧⌥, ¯ Macron
⇧⌥. ˇ Breve, caron (mnemonic: note similarity of ˇ to >, which is ⇧. on US keyboards)
(That's Option-space.) En space

Commands in Finder

I case you miss some finder commands in early Finder versions, consider using the software Finder Feature Enabler. This software puts some disabled finder keyboard commands into operation.

Key Combination Function Introduced Removed Notes
⌘A Select All
⌘C Copy As of Mac OS X, Copy behaves in the same way as its Microsoft Windows cousin: it saves a copy of the file(s) and/or folder(s) in RAM. Having said that, copy still retains its old function and will copy the text of a file or folder if the file/folder's name is selected for editing.
⌘D Duplicate
⌘E Eject In versions of SSW prior to 8.0, the floppy disk's icon would remain on the Desktop despite having been ejected. This stems from the days when Macs didn't ship with hard disks, and the just-ejected floppy's directory structure was held in RAM to speed up the disk reading process if said floppy were re-inserted.
⌘F Find...
⌘G Find Again. 8 Incidentally, there is no difference between this function and the previous ⌘F. It is for this reason, perhaps, that Find Again hasn't been part of the Finder since Mac OS 8.
⌘H Search Internet... 9.0 9.2.2
⌘H Hide application 10
⌘I Get Info
⌘J View Options... 9 Despite having been introduced in Mac OS 8, this function only received a keyboard shortcut in OS 9. In Mac OS X, the shortcut remains the same, but the function has been renamed to Show View Options.
⌘L Make Alias 10 Those with a UNIX background may think of this as Link, though technically the two are different.
⌘M Make Alias 9.2.2
⌘M Minimize active window 10
⌘N New Folder 9.2.2
⌘N New Finder Window 10
⌘⇧N New Folder 10
⌘O Open
⌘P Print Although Print is still available in the Mac OS 10.5 Finder, it no longer has a keyboard shortcut assigned to it.
⌘Q Log Out... 9 9.2.2
⌘⇧Q Log Out User 10
⌘R Find Original 8
⌘T Add Item to Favourites Folder 9 Although this short-lived function was introduced in Mac OS 8, it only received a keyboard shortcut in OS 9. As of OS X, adds an item to the sidebar.
⌘V Paste As of Mac OS X, this command can be used to insert files and folders copied into RAM (see ⌘C). But, just like Copy, it can also paste in the text from a file or folder's name (again, refer to ⌘C).
⌘W Close Window
⌘X Cut
⌘Y Put Away In Systems before Mac OS 8, this command was used to purge RAM of the floppy disk's directory structure when ejecting it. As of System 10.5 (Leopard), it opens the selected file(s) and/or folder(s) in Quick Look.
⌘? Mac OS Guide 7.6 This menu item is unique in that there are four possible ways of invoking it and that it has had its name changed several times since its inception. In Mac OS 8, it was renamed to Mac OS Help, whilst in OS 9 it was shortened to Mac Help. It is this name that has persevered into Mac OS X.

In terms of keyboard shortcuts, the Help Viewer can be launched by holding down either: ⌘? (which is effectively ⌘/, since the Shift key must be held down in order to produce a question mark); ⌘⇧? (effectively, ⌘⇧/); ⌘∕ (numeric keypad); and — on keyboards containing the Home keys, the key marked as Help can be pressed.

⌘⌫ Move to Wastebasket/Trash 8
⌘⇧⌫ Empty Trash... 9

Commands common to applications

Key Combination Function Notes
⌘S Save Standard in all versions of System Software. Some applications do not support this common standard, however. Some mail programmes use ⌘S for Send mail, so be careful.


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