I want to select non-consecutive items on a list, without using a mouse/trackpad - there should be no clicks involved.

In Windows and Linux (at least Ubuntu) an item can be selected using Space/ button, which, in combination with arrows and Ctrl key allows me to select multiple items in any environment (file manager, IDE etc.) - e.g.

Enter a directory -> hold Ctrl -> down arrow twice -> press Space -> down arrow twice -> press Space.

Now I should have items 1, 3 and 5 selected. Is there a way to do the same thing in OS X?

PS. Sorry for such a verbose description, but so far every answer I encountered advices using Command + Click, and this is something I don't want to do.

  • 1
    Command-Click selects non-consecutive items, so it would intuitively follow that you would Command instead of Control for the functionality you want - however Command-Down Arrow opens the selected file/application, and Space opens QuickLook. The end result is what you are asking is not possible.
    – tubedogg
    Apr 23, 2015 at 22:08

2 Answers 2


I don't think there's a native way to do this, but if you install Shortcat you can:

  • select the first item using arrow keys
  • activate Shortcat and type enough to focus on the next item you want
  • hold Command and press Return

By the way, if you're as keyboard-centric as I am, you should also look at Karabiner Elements.


There is a native way using Accessibility to emulate mouse click as a "I" key



then select

Enable Mouse Keys

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