Has anybody found a decent solution to this? Custom keyboard shortcuts (as defined in System Preferences > Keyboard) don't work for any dynamic menus like Compress XX items or (new in Lion) New Folder with Selection (XX items) because they add the number of files selected after them.

Are there undocumented wildcards for keyboard shortcuts?

Unlike Compress, New Folder with Selection (XX items) does have a default keyboard shortcut, but there still doesn't seem to be a way to change it.

  • Not sure I understand the question. "New folder with selection (xx items)" is cmd+ctrl+n.
    – Harv
    Aug 7, 2011 at 2:09

4 Answers 4


For compressing i found simple solution. I'm using OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 and It's worked for me.

Open system preferences and follow the screenshots:

--> Step1: enter image description here

--> Step2: enter image description here

--> Step3: enter image description here

--> Step4(It's Done): enter image description here

That's It.

I know it's been long time since you asked the Question but i'm posting the answers for those who are still looking for solution.

  • works, but it worth to mention my user interface is in German and I had to type 'Komprimieren' instead of 'Compress'
    – beryllium
    May 28, 2019 at 12:08

I found it, for Lion:
- Run Automator
- create a "Service" which compresses a "file or folder" for the application "Finder"
- Save the Service with a name like "Compress"
- Go to Preferences -> keyboard -> Shortcuts -> Services, and add the Shortcut you want for "Compress" under "Finder".

That's it.


The shortcut for a new folder with selection is Control + Command + N.

There isn't a shortcut for Compress, but you can script it and then assign a shortcut to the script:

Use AppleScript Editor and refer to this script from Super User on adding a shortcut:

tell application "System Events" to tell process "Finder"
    tell menu 1 of menu bar item 3 of menu bar 1
        click (menu item 1 where name starts with "Compress")
    end tell
end tell

There aren't any wildcard characters that I am aware of. This is the first I'm running into this problem.

One could work around this by using GUI scripting, which refers to menu items by their position in the menu instead of their name. You could then use another program to enable system-wide use of whatever hotkey you wanted for this script.

  • 1
    I know. I'd like to change it to cmd+g (using keyboard shortcuts) and change "compress" to cmd+opt+z but I can't change either because the menu items dynamically display the number of files selected.
    – user9440
    Aug 7, 2011 at 2:21

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .