I commonly set custom keyboard shortcuts in System Prefs.

I tried setting a shortcut (command-shift-a, mirroring command-shift-j to move to junk) for Mail app to move messages to archive, since the default shortcut is rather weird (command-control-a).

But the menubar command is "Message / Archive", so what I enter in "System Preferences / Keyboard / Shortcuts / App Shortcuts" becomes simply "Archive". Thus it's getting confused with "Mailbox / Go to Favorite Mailbox / Archive".

Is there a way to specify which is which, to avoid the naming collision?

1 Answer 1


I found the answer on MacStories and SuperUser.

Colliding menubar command names can be specified via their nesting tree, using ->. Thus the shortcut name in my original question becomes Message->Archive.

  • I wonder if that's what this paragraph in Help is trying to (and failing to) explain: "In the Menu Title field, type the menu command for which you want to create a shortcut, exactly as the command appears in the app, including the > character (type ->), ellipses (type three periods without spaces or press Option-;), or other punctuation." Commented May 16, 2018 at 7:28
  • May I ask where you're viewing that Help article?
    – 2540625
    Commented May 16, 2018 at 16:15
  • 1
    Keyboard.prefPane, (?) icon in bottom right, scroll to the bottom and click 'Create keyboard shortcuts for apps' under "See Also". Alternatively, support.apple.com/kb/PH25377 :) Commented May 21, 2018 at 23:19

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