Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

If keyboard shortcuts are enabled in gmail, pressing / will focus the search bar from anywhere, so that I can simply type /stuff to search for "stuff" no matter what is currently focused.

Is there a similar keyboard shortcut to focus the search bar within applications (not spotlight)?

Note: I'm looking for an alternative to hitting tab repeatedly.

share|improve this question
up vote 3 down vote accepted

I don't believe there is a system-wide shortcut for this, as the definition of Search Bar may not be standard across apps. But hitting +F focuses the Search Bar in many Mac applications.

share|improve this answer
Ahhh. Makes perfect sense. Thanks! – Will Nov 7 '12 at 20:46

As already noted, most applications use Cmd+F for search. However, in some applications Alt +Cmd+F triggers the main search dialog (e.g., iTunes) or a secondary form of search (e.g., Excel, Finder, Safari, Chrome).

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.