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What are some gestures or shortcuts you use on a daily basis that you can't live without?

I've found the BetterTouchTool preference pane add on to be great for creating custom gestures on a per app or universal basis

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This should be made community wiki –  Philip Regan Jan 13 '11 at 16:58
    
Thanks - I was going to do so, but didn't see a way when I was creating my 'question' –  Josh Newman Jan 13 '11 at 19:30
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21 Answers

Three finger swipe left or right to move between tabs in my browsers.

Configured this universally through BetterTouchTool - it simply activates the appropriate keyboard shortcut

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+ ~ to move between open windows in the current application

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I can't find the "~" on my apple keyboard! :O –  Alvar Mar 15 '11 at 14:38
    
It should be to the left of the 1 key :) –  Josh Newman Mar 15 '11 at 15:25
    
there is §¶° (normal, alt, shift) –  Alvar Mar 15 '11 at 21:06
    
Ah, I guess it depends on your keyboard version. I'm referring to the standard North American English keyboard. It's called the Tilde if you want to look it up: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tilde#Computing –  Josh Newman Mar 15 '11 at 21:53
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On a UK Apple keyboard it's in the bottom left. The lowest row of letter keys is: {shift} ~ Z X C V etc. It can also be to the far right of L next to the enter key. –  TessellatingHeckler Mar 18 '11 at 18:44
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Capture Screen shot:

++3 (captures entire screen immediately)

++4 (draw a rectangle to capture)

++4, then space (click a window to capture)

Add ctrl to any of the above to copy to clipboard, rather than saving a PNG to the Desktop.

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Combine with cloudApp to insta-upload on the web and put the URL in your clipboard instead –  Thomas Stock Mar 15 '11 at 14:05
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Also use the ⌥ Option key to resize from the center, and the spacebar to move the selection before letting go. –  jtbandes Aug 15 '11 at 8:43
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With Quicksilver, I added a ton of keyboard shortcuts for programs and folders, such as:

  • ++P - Pictures
  • ++D - Documents
  • ++C - Google Chrome
  • ++T - Terminal
  • ++H - Current work folder
  • ++E - Root of drive
  • ++M - Movies

Ones I use most that are native to Mac:

  • +++esc - Force kill app
  • ++4 - Screenshot with saved jpeg on desktop
  • +I - Get info on file
  • +[ - Back
  • +] - Forward
  • + - Go into folder
  • + - Go out of folder
  • on file - rename file
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How do you get the commands to appear with keys? –  daviesgeek Aug 16 '11 at 2:25
    
⌘ + ⇧ + 4 saves a PNG, not a JPG, on the desktop. –  Dan Ray Feb 10 '12 at 14:07
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Let's see...

  • + space for bringing up Alfred
  • + for switching between open applications
  • + T to open a new tab in Safari
  • + + 3 to take a screenshot
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Safari or Chrome

  • + + I : Send email containing current page's url + title as subject

BetterTouchTool

  • Three finger click : middle click (the most useful)
  • Three finger swipe left : + + [
  • Three finger swipe right : + + ]

The three finger swipes, work in most apps which have tabs or tab-like interface i.e. Web Browsers, Terminal, iChat, etc

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Hot corners

  • Upper left - show all apps
  • Lower left - show frontmost app
  • Upper right - show dashboard
  • Lower right - show spaces

Track pad gestures

  • Two-finger scroll
  • Four swipe up - show desktop
  • Three-finger swipe down in Google Chrome - show tab exposé

3rd party system

  • + - cycle through frontmost applications windows (using Witch)
  • +§ - show my Finder visor (using Total Finder)

Misc Apple

  • ctrl++K - switch keyboard layout (I regularly switch between Swedish and American)
  • ++volume button - raise/lower volume using 1/4 increments
  • +P - set in Keyboard Shortcuts to "Save as PDF..." which allows you to press cmd-p followed by cmd-p when using e.g. a web browser to print to PDF.
  • +/ - move caret back/forward one word
  • +/ - move caret to beginning/end of line

Misc Applications

  • ++T - undo close tab in Chrome
  • +space - Launch Bar
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"Three-finger swipe down in Google Chrome - show tab exposé" - What?! Chrome does this? It's not working for me :( –  Randy6T9 Mar 17 '11 at 3:40
    
I just upgraded my Chrome and I can't do it now either... –  fnurl Mar 21 '11 at 10:13
    
Found it: osxdaily.com/2011/03/04/… –  fnurl Mar 21 '11 at 10:15
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Seems like a silly question for Stack Exchange, but here goes. And I'll be more realistic than most folks.

  • Two finger scroll
  • +Q (quits app)
  • +W (closes document/window)
  • space for Quick Look in Finder
  • space for play/pause in most media players
  • +C (copy)
  • +V (paste)
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Do it and don't ever tell the victim how to undo:

ctrl+++8 (spoilers)

Can't possibly live without it, above all.

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hahahahaha was my reaction ;) how did you find out about it? –  Alvar Mar 15 '11 at 14:39
    
@Alvar I'm a keyboard freak. When I first started using macs few years ago, moving from windows and missing some shortcuts, I went through System Preferences, Help files and Google looking for what was already available. I actually found it on the Help, tho it's also in SP -> Keyboard. –  Cawas Mar 15 '11 at 14:44
    
I noticed that it didn't work if you have "unchecked" the help bar in the system settings. I have the swedish version so I don't now what it says in english, just guessing. –  Alvar Mar 15 '11 at 21:04
    
@Alvar I have no idea what's that "help bar". Can you provide more relevant info? From that symptom alone, I don't think it has anything to do with the swedish version. –  Cawas Mar 15 '11 at 22:54
    
My all time favorite keyboard shortcut!!!! –  daviesgeek Aug 16 '11 at 2:25
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Safari/Chrome/Firefox:

three-finger-click: +W
two-finger-swipe-up: ++T

This makes closing and reopening tabs super easy. With a three-finger click I can close a tab, and a two finger swipe up I can reopen it. Quick access to tab history is great when you've got lots of projects happening in lots of windows.

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Safari

  • Rotate Right - ++]
  • Rotate Left - ++[
  • Threefinger Click - MiddleClick

The rotate right/left gesture is kind of like your twisting a bottle-cap on and off. I use this to switch between tabs if I'm just browsing the web.

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I'd rather use KeyCue from Ergonis Software which helps me find all the shortcuts and gestures an app can have. Check it out here!

But my favorite commands remain + + F in the finder to create smart folders.

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+++V to PASTE AND MATCH STYLE

(paste plain text, maintaining formatting of document you are pasting into) - if supported by the program

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This is a huge benefit. Windows fails compared to the mac on this "feature" alone. –  Jamie Aug 16 '11 at 5:38
    
@Jamie Ctrl+Shift+V is implemented in many applications on windows too. –  Fake Name Aug 16 '11 at 9:33
    
@Fake Name Really? Hmm. I'm using XP right now. Is this the case there? Because it doesn't work in Word. –  Jamie Aug 16 '11 at 17:15
    
@Jamie - What version of word? This is a function implemented in individual applications, not an OS function. As such, it's really not valid to claim it's something special for OS X. I know LibreOffice/OpenOffice has this shortcut, because I use it regularly. –  Fake Name Aug 17 '11 at 5:29
    
@Fake Name Office 2007, and no dice. I don't have the opportunity to test this on W7 right now, but I haven't got any functionality out of it here. You may be right about the individual applications, but it functions in all the ones I've tried it on, which says something to Apple at least trying to keep things consistent. (TextEdit, Pages, Keynote, Numbers, Mail, maybe NeoOffice..?) –  Jamie Aug 17 '11 at 13:43
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There are only a few I couldn't live without…

+\ <- Using visor, I've got terminal set to drop down from the top half of the screen. I use it very, very often

+ctrl+D <- Dictionary - works most of the places I need it to.

+space <- Spotlight - Invaluable.

I may be moving away from terminal, and towards iTerm2. iTerm2 has the same functionality built into it.

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+ + = Empty trash.

There's something satisfying about hearing that trash emptying sound : )

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Or, throw in the option key, and it won't even ask you if you're sure you want to empty it. ;) –  Jamie Aug 16 '11 at 5:36
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I hate to be a contrarian, but I don't use any gestures and I use virtually no keyboard shortcuts.

I've been using a Mac since 1987. I prefer to do virtually everything with the mouse and by pulling down menus, just like it was on the original Macintosh, and the only keyboard shortcuts I use system-wide are some of the ones that have been around since the beginning: cut, copy, and paste. I know it would be more efficient in the long run to learn to use more keyboard commands, but I've been doing it my way for so very long that I'm quite proficient at it.

I run Lion on a late-2007 MacBook Pro that has a trackpad that cannot recognize multi-touch gestures at all. Consequently I have never used any gestures.

I should also add: I use + to switch applications. Personally I have never seen any point in using Exposé, Spaces, Mission Control or Launchpad.

I suppose I am about as "old-school" as "old-school" can be.

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You are not really old school. Old school is keyboard only. –  Fake Name Aug 16 '11 at 9:29
    
Somebody voted me down -1 anyway. C'est la vie. But is this fair? If the question is "what gestures and keyboard short cuts can't you live without?" and my answer is, "none, really", that is a legitimate answer. –  Wheat Williams Aug 16 '11 at 14:57
    
Since we are talking about keyboard commands, let me add that I type everything in the Dvorak keyboard layout. Furthermore, I frequently need to type sentences in German, Spanish, French and Italian. I do that using the same Dvorak keyboard layout, but with the Macintosh system of option-key vowel dead keys, I do not need to switch keyboard layouts for other languages. On Windows, on the other hand, you must switch to a different language layout or use those horrible Alt-plus-three-or-four-digit commands to get letters with diacriticals. The Mac system is much easier and more intuitive. –  Wheat Williams Aug 16 '11 at 15:05
    
    
@ Wheat Williams, re: ".. If the question is "what gestures and keyboard short cuts can't you live without?" and my answer is, "none, really", that is a legitimate answer.. " -- i did not vote you down, but i am guessing that the people who did may believe that your answer is a legitimate answer however it is legitimate and a pointless answer to post when you don't have anything to contribute to the actual OP post. –  mrBitch Aug 17 '11 at 6:11
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No one seems to have mentioned the keymodifier very much!

+W Closes a window
+M Minimises a window

Throw in with these and it will apply the command to all windows in that application!

++W Closes all windows in current app
++M Minimises all windows in current app

Bonus tip: Hold to slow down practically all window animations (minimise, Exposé, etc).

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Note: Holding down shift only works when you are performing the window management functions (minimise, etc...) with the mouse. E.g. <kbd>⌘ Command</kbd>+<kbd>Shift</kbd>+<kbd>M</kbd> does not work. –  Fake Name Aug 16 '11 at 9:28
    
What? No key symbols in comments? –  Fake Name Aug 16 '11 at 9:28
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+ , to open the current application's preferences. Works in practically every OS X app that has a preference pane.

By comparison, in Windows preferences don't have a common shortcut and the menu entry, typically labelled either "Preferences" or "Options", can be found pretty much anywhere in the menu hierarchy (although often it's in one of Edit, Tools or View). Command-comma was one of the things I really loved when I switched to OS X.

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