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Can I open the menu with keyboard?

In windows, in most applications, if I hit Alt+F it opens the "File" menu. If it hit Alt+E, it brings up the Edit menu. Is there an OS X equivalent?

This is a handy way to get to those windows and choose an option without grabbing the mouse. I know there are keyboard shortcuts for things inside those menus (say Command+C for copy). But, is there a way to simply bring up the menu so I an see what's in there, then choose my option with arrow keys and return?


1 Answer 1


You can do this easily; by default, under System Preferences > Keyboard > Keyboard, an option involving the "f" function keys may be unchecked. If this is the case, check it, and then click the "Keyboard Shortcuts" tab. Go to "Keyboard & Text Input" and find the command for "move focus to the menu bar". Use this command (I believe it's control+F2 or control+F8 by default). Then, use the F key for file, the E key for edit, etc. (or use arrow keys) and hit enter (or down) to show the menu.

  • this takes me to the top right context (wifi, clock, search, and so on) not the file, edit, view and such context Aug 13, 2017 at 14:10
  • F2 works for me. You don't have to check the "F" key option if you are willing to use the "fn" key on your mac keyboard.
    – albe
    Nov 4, 2019 at 14:57

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