Shortcuts on your Mac

Need a quick way to perform a task on your Mac?

To use a keyboard shortcut, or key combination, you press a modifier key with a character key. For example, pressing the Command key (the key with a symbol) and the “c” key at the same time copies whatever is currently selected (text, graphics, and so forth) into the Clipboard. This is also known as the Command-C key combination (or keyboard shortcut).

A modifier key is a part of many key combinations. A modifier key alters the way other keystrokes or mouse clicks are interpreted by Mac OS X. Modifier keys include: Command, Control, Option, Shift, Caps Lock, and the fn key (if your keyboard has a fn key).

Here are the modifier key symbols you can see in Mac OS X menus:

(Command key) – On some Apple keyboards, this key also has an Apple logo ()
 (Control key)
 (Option key) – “Alt” may also appear on this key
 (Shift key)
 (Caps Lock) – Toggles Caps Lock on or off (Function key)

Open Sidebar item in a new window Cmd-Click
Switch Finder views
(Icon, List, Column, Cover Flow)
Cmd-1, Cmd-2, Cmd-3, Cmd-4
In List view, expand a folder Right Arrow
In List view, collapse a folder Left Arrow
Rename the selected file/folder Press Return (or Enter)
Go into selected folder or open the selected file Cmd-Down Arrow
Go to parent folder Cmd-Up Arrow
Go Back Cmd-[ (that’s left bracket)
Go Forward Cmd-] (that’s right bracket)
Select the next icon in Icon and List views Tab (Shift-Tab reverses direction)
Alternate columns in Column View Tab (Shift-Tab reverses direction)
Instantly show long file name (for names condensed with a “…”) Hold Option while mousing over long filename
Resize one column to fit the longest file name Double-Click column resize widget
Resize all columns to fit their longest file names Option Double-Click resize widget
Copy and Paste files Cmd-C, then Cmd-V
Move a file instead of copying.
(Copies to the destination and removes it from the original disk.)
Cmd-Drag file to disk
Move selected files to the Trash Cmd-Delete
Empty the Trash (with warning) Cmd-Shift-Delete
Empty the Trash (without warning) Cmd-Opt-Shift-Delete
Cancel a drag-n-drop action while in the midst of dragging Esc
Show Inspector (a single, live refreshing Info window) Cmd-Opt-I
Undo the last action (such as rename file, copy file, etc.) Cmd-Z
Hide/Show Sidebar (on the left) Cmd-Opt-T
Move or Remove item in toolbar (at the top of the window). Works in most programs. Cmd-Drag
Open Quick Look (Mac OS 10.5+) With file selected, tap Spacebar (or Cmd-Y)
Zoom In/Out on a Quick Look Preview Cmd-Plus(+) orCmd-Minus(-)
Find by File Name (Mac OS 10.5+) Cmd-Shift-F