Considering that Spotlight is already using +space and that you cannot use combination of modifiers alone, I would like to see an ergonimic alternative.

I can't use the following combinations due to conflicts with other software

  • ctrl+space - auto-complete in IDEA

10 Answers 10


I use ctrl + + space. It's typeable via left hand, doesn't collide with the search window shortcut (as + + space does) and I haven't found any other overlap yet.


How about ctrl + ` (backtick)

Easy to type that with your left hand.


I'm using + + space as it doesn't trigger autocomplete in Eclipse, Idea or Quicksilver/Spotlight/Alfred.

  • that's the default to open a knew finder search window...
    – Alexander
    Aug 4, 2011 at 0:14

I use ctrl + space which is may be the best option I found out to be useful and ergonomic.

  • 1
    Unfortunately this conflicts with Eclipse/XCode code completion :-( Jun 6, 2011 at 10:33

I use ++C to trigger my clipboard manager.

I haven't found it overlapping any other keyboard shortcut, and the keys are close enough to be pressed using one hand (the thumb for the modifiers and the index for "C")


I've always been using Cmd+Alt+/ and been pretty happy with it. I don't remember having any conflict with any app.


I use ctrl++ for "global" keyboard shortcuts.

ctrl++ +S seems like a good "switch" shortcut.

You could probably also use +F[1-12] key if you install Apptivate [$3 on the Mac App Store].


I use ++\ (next to Enter). Works fine for me.

  • I was hopping to a combination that uses only the left hand :)
    – sorin
    Jun 6, 2011 at 8:35
  • @Sorin: it's possible to press it with right hand altogether, using right-Cmd and right-Shift keys :-). I've just tried it, but I have to admit, it's not very "hand"-friendly (I use left hand for cmd and shift keys). Jun 6, 2011 at 9:38
  • I assume you have and addional `\` key on your keyboard between Shift and Z ... but this is not my case.
    – sorin
    Jun 6, 2011 at 12:28
  • @Sorin: I have additional \ key next to Enter key, just above right shift key (i53.tinypic.com/2jdkiew.png) I think this is what Apple calls "International keyboard layout". Jun 6, 2011 at 12:58

What's wrong with the default +? (or ++ to switch in the opposite order)?

It's perfectly ergonomic to have your thumb on the key and use on of your others to press the key.


I use caps lock to switch language. 1 keystroke. You can set this in system preferences/keyboard/input sources:

enter image description here

Unfortunately this only works if you are switching between a Latin input source and non-Latin input source like Russian, Greek, Chinese, Arabic, Hebrew, Hindi, etc.

  • Settings - keyboard - input sources and check "use caps lock to switch to and from us international keyboard" Sep 24, 2018 at 12:15

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