How do I place my fingers to press Control, Option and Command buttons on Apple keyboard?

What is the default and correct way to press these buttons? I'm using these keyboard shortcuts:

Command-C, Command-V, Command-Option-V, Command-Shift-V




My left hand is twisted when I try to use these shortcuts. I would like to read an article or watch a video on this topic.

3 Answers 3


There is no default way or the right way and whatever you're comfortable with at present should be fine. However, using crazy combinations can give you an injury worse than an emacs pinky, so it might be worthwhile to check what others use. Here's what I do:

  • Left thumb for the left
  • Left middle finger for the left
  • Left ring finger for
  • Pinky for the left Shift
  • Pinky for fn

For simple modifier + one key combinations, I use the modifier key in the appropriate half of the keyboard. While it's still thumbs for the keys, I find it easier to pivot about the ring finger for .

  • So there is no standart for this?
    – Dmitriy
    Commented Apr 3, 2012 at 20:15
  • Not that I know of... each one has their own habits which are kind of hard to change.
    – rm -rf
    Commented Apr 3, 2012 at 20:40

There is no One Right Way™ of doing things. Just use what you’re comfortable with.

Anyway, here’s how I do it.

+C, etc.: My left thumb rests on the left key. My left index finger hits C or V.

++V: My left thumb rests on the left key. My left pinky presses the left key. My left index finger hits V.

+Shift+V: Same as above, except my left pinky presses the left Shift key instead of the left key.

-Shift-: My left thumb rests on the left key. I use my left pinky to hit the left Shift. I use my right index finger to press .

+Space: I use this shortcut a lot, to open apps using Spotlight. My left middle finger hits and my left index finger presses Space.

+Space: Left ring finger hits , left index finger hits Space.


I think using Cmd-X for cutting/pasting is better for a number of reasons.

  1. It's easier to keep your hand in default position on the left side and available for other functions like Cmd-Tab.
  2. The Cmd-Opt-V command is more cumbersome for your hand to use for cut/paste because you have to crunch your hand over (poor ergonomics) and move your left fingers out of default position (inconvenient).
  3. The Cmd-Opt-V is not consistent with text editing applications. So everything else is Cmd-X (word, text edit, mail, ical), but then when you switch to finder it changes?!

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