What are your favorite keyboard shortcuts on Mac OS X?

  • Putting only one shortcut (or a couple of related ones) in each answer will make the poll more useful. – Jonik Sep 20 '10 at 11:14
  • Noting, of course, that all of these are fully customizable. – msanford Feb 18 '11 at 14:58

36 Answers 36

1 2

ctrl++1 to order files by name (icon view)


On newer keyboards, invoke Exposé to

  • fn+F3: show all windows (in the current Space)
  • fn++F3: show the desktop
  • fn+ctrl+F3: show the "current application" windows
  • fn++F3: show the Exposé preference pane

While being in Exposé,

  • cycle through windows with the arrow keys, using return to bring them into focus.
  • use and + to cycle through windows by applications (as highlighted in the Dock)

ctrl+ Cycles through tabs in a web browser going to the right.

ctrl++ Cycles through tabs in a web browser going to the left.

+ Goes to the very bottom of a web page or textarea.

+ Goes to the very top of a web page or textarea.

  • In Chrome, you can use + + and + + to cycle between tabs. – Mathias Bynens Mar 23 '12 at 21:13

In Finder, ++P brings up the full path. If you then hit +C in Finder, you can paste the full path of a file or folder into your Terminal or elsewhere by +V.


⌘+z [undo] is my favorite & the one I tell the people I support to remember if they only learn one shortcut. In Finder it undoes the last operation you just performed from inadvertently beginning to rename a file or folder; or undoing an unintentional drag and drop of a file or folder into the wrong folder or undoing a move to trash operation. In applications many have multiple levels of undo which lets you step backward undoing previous edits or draws. Extremely useful in extricating yourself from sticky situations or just after having made a simple mistake.


control+shift+L turn the lights off

  • That doesn't turn off any lights. could you elaborate on what exact lights go off and verify it's ⌃⇧L – bmike Mar 14 '14 at 18:50
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