Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts can provide an easy way for sophisticated users to perform actions, but they’re not required. If you can’t find a unique and easy-to-use keyboard shortcut for a command, don’t use one at all; keep in mind that users may have difficulty pressing multiple modifier keys anyway.

Creating New Keyboard Shortcuts

Avoid creating a shortcut by adding a modifier key to an existing shortcut, unless the shortcuts are related. For example, don’t use Shift-Command-Z as a keyboard shortcut for a command that is unrelated to Undo. Using Shift-Command-Z for Redo is appropriate, but using it for something like Calculate or Check Mail is confusing.

As much as possible, use the Command key as the main modifier key in a keyboard shortcut. For example, Command-P uses Command to modify the P key. For a command that complements another more common command, you can add Shift to the shortcut. For example, the shortcut for the complementary Page Setup command adds Shift to the shortcut for Print to give Shift-Command-P. Table A-1 gives additional examples of this technique.

Table A-1  Examples of keyboard shortcuts that use Shift to complement other commands

Complementary command shortcut

Complementary command

Complemented command shortcut

Shift-Command-A

Deselect All

Command-A (Select All)

Shift-Command-G

Find Previous

Command-G (Find Again)

Shift-Command-P

Page Setup

Command-P (Print)

Shift-Command-S

Save As

Command-S (Save)

Shift-Command-V

Paste as (Paste as Quotation, for example)

Command-V (Paste)

Shift-Command-Z

Redo (when Undo and Redo are separate commands rather than toggled using Command-Z)

Command-Z (Undo)

Use the Option key sparingly. If there’s a third, less common command that’s related to a pair of commands that use Command and Shift-Command, you can use Option-Command for the third command’s keyboard equivalent. Use combinations like these very rarely. You can also use Option for a keyboard shortcut that’s a convenience or power-user feature. For example, the Finder uses Option-Command-W for Close All Windows and Option-Command-M for Minimize All Windows.

As much as possible, avoid using the Control key. Because the Control key is already used by some of the universal access features—as well as in Cocoa text fields where Emacs-style key bindings are often used—it should be used as a modifier key only when necessary.

List multiple modifier keys in the correct order. If you use more than one modifier key in a shortcut, always list them in this order: Control, Option, Shift, Command.

Identify a key with two characters by the lower character, unless Shift is part of the shortcut. For example, the keyboard shortcut for Hide Status Bar is Command-Slash (that is, Command-/). If the Shift key is part of the keyboard shortcut, identify the key by the upper of the two characters. For example, the keyboard shortcut for Help is Shift-Command-Question Mark, not Shift-Command-Slash.

Keyboard Shortcuts Quick Reference

Table A-2 lists the system-reserved and commonly used keyboard shortcuts mentioned in the rest of this document.

As you implement keyboard shortcuts in your app, use this table to find:

If a keyboard sequence isn’t listed in Table A-2 you can use it for a frequently used command in your app, if a shortcut is appropriate. Be aware, however, that Apple may reserve other keyboard shortcuts in the future.

Table A-2 groups together the primary key that is modified and variations of key sequences based on the primary key. In the interests of space, the table uses the following symbols to represent the modifier keys (these are the same symbols that menus display):

Some shortcuts in Table A-2 are accompanied by an ../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png icon. This means that you should not override the shortcut because OS X uses it in some way.

A shortcut in Table A-2 that isn’t accompanied by an ../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png icon is recommended for apps that perform the associated task.

Table A-2  Keyboard shortcuts

Primary key

Key sequence

Associated action

Space bar

../art/ks_command_2x.png Space

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Show or hide the Spotlight search field (when multiple languages are installed, may rotate through enabled script systems).

../art/ks_shift_2x.png ../art/ks_command_2x.png Space

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Apple reserved.

../art/ks_option_2x.png ../art/ks_command_2x.png Space

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Show the Spotlight search results window (when multiple languages are installed, may rotate through keyboard layouts and input methods within a script).

../art/ks_control_2x.png ../art/ks_command_2x.png Space

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Show the Special Characters window.

Tab

../art/ks_shift_2x.png Tab

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Navigate through controls in a reverse direction.

../art/ks_command_2x.png Tab

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Move forward to the next most recently used app in a list of open apps.

../art/ks_shift_2x.png ../art/ks_command_2x.png Tab

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Move backward through a list of open apps (sorted by recent use).

../art/ks_control_2x.png Tab

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Move focus to the next grouping of controls in a dialog or the next table (when Tab moves to the next cell). See Accessibility Overview for OS X.

../art/ks_control_2x.png../art/ks_shift_2x.png Tab

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Move focus to the previous grouping of controls. See Accessibility Overview for OS X.

Esc

../art/ks_option_2x.png ../art/ks_command_2x.png Esc

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Open the Force Quit dialog.

Eject

../art/ks_control_2x.png ../art/ks_command_2x.png Eject

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Quit all apps (after giving the user a chance to save changes to open documents) and restart the computer.

../art/ks_control_2x.png ../art/ks_option_2x.png ../art/ks_command_2x.png Eject

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Quit all apps (after giving the user a chance to save changes to open documents) and shut the computer down.

F1

../art/ks_control_2x.png F1

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Toggle full keyboard access on or off. See Accessibility Overview for OS X.

F2

../art/ks_control_2x.png F2

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Move focus to the menu bar. See Accessibility Overview for OS X.

F3

../art/ks_control_2x.png F3

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Move focus to the Dock. See Accessibility Overview for OS X.

F4

../art/ks_control_2x.png F4

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Move focus to the active (or next) window. See Accessibility Overview for OS X.

../art/ks_control_2x.png../art/ks_shift_2x.png  F4

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Move focus to the previously active window. See Accessibility Overview for OS X.

F5

../art/ks_control_2x.png F5

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Move focus to the toolbar. See Accessibility Overview for OS X.

../art/ks_command_2x.png  F5

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Turn VoiceOver on or off. See Accessibility Overview for OS X.

F6

../art/ks_control_2x.png  F6

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Move focus to the first (or next) panel. See Accessibility Overview for OS X.

../art/ks_control_2x.png../art/ks_shift_2x.png  F6

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Move focus to the previous panel. See Accessibility Overview for OS X.

F7

../art/ks_control_2x.png F7

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Temporarily override the current keyboard access mode in windows and dialogs. See Accessibility Overview for OS X.

F8

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Apple reserved.

F9

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Apple reserved.

F10

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Apple reserved.

F11

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Show desktop.

F12

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Hide or display Dashboard.

`(grave accent)

../art/ks_command_2x.png `

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Activate the next open window in the frontmost app. See “Layering.”

../art/ks_shift_2x.png ../art/ks_command_2x.png `

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Activate the previous open window in the frontmost app. See “Layering.”

../art/ks_option_2x.png ../art/ks_command_2x.png `

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Move focus to the window drawer.

- (hyphen)

../art/ks_command_2x.png -

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Decrease the size of the selected item (equivalent to the Smaller command). See “The Format Menu.”

../art/ks_option_2x.png ../art/ks_command_2x.png -

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Zoom out when screen zooming is on. See Accessibility Overview for OS X.

{ (left bracket)

../art/ks_command_2x.png {

Left-align a selection (equivalent to the Align Left command). See “The Format Menu.”

} (right bracket)

../art/ks_command_2x.png }

Right-align a selection (equivalent to the Align Right command). See “The Format Menu.”

| (pipe)

../art/ks_command_2x.png |

Center-align a selection (equivalent to the Align Center command). See “The Format Menu.”

: (colon)

../art/ks_command_2x.png :

Display the Spelling window (equivalent to the Spelling command). See “The Edit Menu.”

; (semicolon)

../art/ks_command_2x.png ;

Find misspelled words in the document (equivalent to the Check Spelling command). See “The Edit Menu.”

, (comma)

../art/ks_command_2x.png ,

Open the app's preferences window (equivalent to the Preferences command). See “The App Menu.”

../art/ks_control_2x.png../art/ks_option_2x.png  ../art/ks_command_2x.png ,

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Decrease screen contrast. See Accessibility Overview for OS X.

. (period)

../art/ks_control_2x.png../art/ks_option_2x.png  ../art/ks_command_2x.png .

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Increase screen contrast. See Accessibility Overview for OS X.

? (question mark)

../art/ks_command_2x.png ?

Open the app's Help menu. See “The Help Menu.”

/ (forward slash)

../art/ks_option_2x.png ../art/ks_command_2x.png /

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Turn font smoothing on or off.

= (equal sign)

../art/ks_shift_2x.png ../art/ks_command_2x.png =

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Increase the size of the selected item (equivalent to the Bigger command). See “The Format Menu.”

../art/ks_option_2x.png ../art/ks_command_2x.png =

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Zoom in when screen zooming is on. See Accessibility Overview for OS X.

3

../art/ks_shift_2x.png ../art/ks_command_2x.png 3

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Capture the screen to a file.

../art/ks_control_2x.png ../art/ks_shift_2x.png  ../art/ks_command_2x.png 3

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Capture the screen to the Clipboard.

4

../art/ks_shift_2x.png ../art/ks_command_2x.png 4

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Capture a selection to a file.

../art/ks_control_2x.png ../art/ks_shift_2x.png  ../art/ks_command_2x.png 4

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Capture a selection to the Clipboard.

8

../art/ks_option_2x.png ../art/ks_command_2x.png 8

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Turn screen zooming on or off. See Accessibility Overview for OS X.

../art/ks_control_2x.png../art/ks_option_2x.png  ../art/ks_command_2x.png 8

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Invert the screen colors. See Accessibility Overview for OS X.

A

../art/ks_command_2x.png A

Highlight every item in a document or window, or all characters in a text field (equivalent to the Select All command). See “The Edit Menu.”

B

../art/ks_command_2x.png B

Boldface the selected text or toggle boldfaced text on and off (equivalent to the Bold command). See “The Edit Menu.”

C

../art/ks_command_2x.png C

Duplicate the selected data and store on the Clipboard (equivalent to the Copy command). See “The Edit Menu.”

../art/ks_shift_2x.png ../art/ks_command_2x.png C

Display the Colors window (equivalent to the Show Colors command). See “The Format Menu.”

../art/ks_option_2x.png ../art/ks_command_2x.png C

Copy the style of the selected text (equivalent to the Copy Style command). See “The Format Menu.”

../art/ks_control_2x.png ../art/ks_command_2x.png C

Copy the formatting settings of the selected item and store on the Clipboard (equivalent to the Copy Ruler command). See “The Format Menu.”

D

../art/ks_option_2x.png ../art/ks_command_2x.png D

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Show or hide the Dock. See “The Dock.”

../art/ks_control_2x.png ../art/ks_command_2x.png D

Display the definition of the selected word in the Dictionary app.

E

../art/ks_command_2x.png E

Use the selection for a find operation. See “Find Windows.”

F

../art/ks_command_2x.png F

Open a Find window (equivalent to the Find command). See “The Edit Menu.”

../art/ks_option_2x.png ../art/ks_command_2x.png F

Jump to the search field control. See “Search Field.”

../art/ks_control_2x.png ../art/ks_command_2x.png F

Enter full screen.

G

../art/ks_command_2x.png G

Find the next occurrence of the selection (equivalent to the Find Next command). See “The Edit Menu.”

../art/ks_shift_2x.png ../art/ks_command_2x.png G

Find the previous occurrence of the selection (equivalent to the Find Previous command). See “The Edit Menu.”

H

../art/ks_command_2x.png H

Hide the windows of the currently running app (equivalent to the Hide AppName command). See “The App Menu.”

../art/ks_option_2x.png ../art/ks_command_2x.png H

Hide the windows of all other running apps (equivalent to the Hide Others command). See “The App Menu.”

I

../art/ks_command_2x.png I

Italicize the selected text or toggle italic text on or off (equivalent to the Italic command). See “The Format Menu.”

../art/ks_command_2x.png I

Display an Info window. See “Inspectors.”

../art/ks_option_2x.png ../art/ks_command_2x.png I

Display an inspector window. See “Inspectors.”

J

../art/ks_command_2x.png J

Scroll to a selection.

M

../art/ks_command_2x.png M

Minimize the active window to the Dock (equivalent to the Minimize command). See “The Window Menu.”

../art/ks_option_2x.png ../art/ks_command_2x.png M

Minimize all windows of the active app to the Dock (equivalent to the Minimize All command). See “The Window Menu.”

N

../art/ks_command_2x.png N

Open a new document (equivalent to the New command). See “The File Menu.”

O

../art/ks_command_2x.png O

Display a dialog for choosing a document to open (equivalent to the Open command). See “The File Menu.”

P

../art/ks_command_2x.png P

Display the Print dialog (equivalent to the Print command). See “The File Menu.”

../art/ks_shift_2x.png ../art/ks_command_2x.png P

Display a dialog for specifying printing parameters (equivalent to the Page Setup command). See “The File Menu.”

Q

../art/ks_command_2x.png Q

Quit the app (equivalent to the Quit command). See “The App Menu.”

../art/ks_shift_2x.png ../art/ks_command_2x.png Q

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Log out the current user (equivalent to the Log Out command).

../art/ks_option_2x.png ../art/ks_shift_2x.png   ../art/ks_command_2x.png Q

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Log out the current user without confirmation.

S

../art/ks_command_2x.png S

Save a new document or save a version of a document. See “The File Menu.”

../art/ks_shift_2x.png ../art/ks_command_2x.png S

Not used (legacy equivalent to the Save As command). See “The File Menu.”

T

../art/ks_command_2x.png T

Display the Fonts window (equivalent to the Show Fonts command). See “The Format Menu.”

../art/ks_option_2x.png ../art/ks_command_2x.png T

Show or hide a toolbar (equivalent to the Show/Hide Toolbar command). See “The View Menu” and “Designing a Toolbar.”

U

../art/ks_command_2x.png U

Underline the selected text or turn underlining on or off (equivalent to the Underline command). See “The Format Menu.”

V

../art/ks_command_2x.png V

Insert the Clipboard contents at the insertion point (equivalent to the Paste command). See “The File Menu.”

../art/ks_option_2x.png ../art/ks_command_2x.png V

Apply the style of one object to the selected object (equivalent to the Paste Style command). See “The Format Menu.”

../art/ks_option_2x.png ../art/ks_shift_2x.png ../art/ks_command_2x.png V

Apply the style of the surrounding text to the inserted object (equivalent to the Paste and Match Style command). See “The Edit Menu.”

../art/ks_control_2x.png ../art/ks_command_2x.png V

Apply formatting settings to the selected object (equivalent to the Paste Ruler command). See “The Format Menu.”

W

../art/ks_command_2x.png W

Close the active window (equivalent to the Close command). See “The File Menu.”

../art/ks_shift_2x.png ../art/ks_command_2x.png W

Close a file and its associated windows (equivalent to the Close File command). See “The File Menu.”

../art/ks_option_2x.png ../art/ks_command_2x.png W

Close all windows in the app (equivalent to the Close All command). See “The File Menu.”

X

../art/ks_command_2x.png X

Remove the selection and store on the Clipboard (equivalent to the Cut command). See “The Edit Menu.”

Z

../art/ks_command_2x.png Z

Reverse the effect of the user's previous operation (equivalent to the Undo command). See “The Edit Menu.”

../art/ks_shift_2x.png ../art/ks_command_2x.png Z

Reverse the effect of the last Undo command (equivalent to the Redo command). See “The Edit Menu.”

../art/ks_arrow_right_2x.png (right arrow)

../art/ks_command_2x.png ../art/ks_arrow_right_2x.png

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Change the keyboard layout to current layout of Roman script.

../art/ks_shift_2x.png ../art/ks_command_2x.png ../art/ks_arrow_right_2x.png

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Extend selection to the next semantic unit, typically the end of the current line.

../art/ks_shift_2x.png ../art/ks_arrow_right_2x.png

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Extend selection one character to the right.

../art/ks_option_2x.png ../art/ks_shift_2x.png  ../art/ks_arrow_right_2x.png

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Extend selection to the end of the current word, then to the end of the next word.

../art/ks_control_2x.png ../art/ks_arrow_right_2x.png

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Move focus to another value or cell within a view, such as a table. See Accessibility Overview for OS X.

../art/ks_arrow_left_2x.png (left arrow)

../art/ks_command_2x.png ../art/ks_arrow_left_2x.png

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Change the keyboard layout to current layout of system script.

../art/ks_shift_2x.png ../art/ks_command_2x.png ../art/ks_arrow_left_2x.png

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Extend selection to the previous semantic unit, typically the beginning of the current line.

../art/ks_shift_2x.png ../art/ks_arrow_left_2x.png

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Extend selection one character to the left.

../art/ks_option_2x.png ../art/ks_shift_2x.png  ../art/ks_arrow_left_2x.png

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Extend selection to the beginning of the current word, then to the beginning of the previous word.

../art/ks_control_2x.png ../art/ks_arrow_left_2x.png

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Move focus to another value or cell within a view, such as a table. See Accessibility Overview for OS X.

../art/ks_arrow_up_2x.png (up arrow)

../art/ks_shift_2x.png ../art/ks_command_2x.png ../art/ks_arrow_up_2x.png

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Extend selection upward in the next semantic unit, typically the beginning of the document.

../art/ks_shift_2x.png ../art/ks_arrow_up_2x.png

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Extend selection to the line above, to the nearest character boundary at the same horizontal location.

../art/ks_option_2x.png ../art/ks_shift_2x.png  ../art/ks_arrow_up_2x.png

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Extend selection to the beginning of the current paragraph, then to the beginning of the next paragraph.

../art/ks_control_2x.png ../art/ks_arrow_up_2x.png

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Move focus to another value or cell within a view, such as a table. See Accessibility Overview for OS X.

../art/ks_arrow_down_2x.png (down arrow)

../art/ks_shift_2x.png ../art/ks_command_2x.png ../art/ks_arrow_down_2x.png

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Extend selection downward in the next semantic unit, typically the end of the document.

../art/ks_shift_2x.png ../art/ks_arrow_down_2x.png

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Extend selection to the line below, to the nearest character boundary at the same horizontal location.

../art/ks_option_2x.png ../art/ks_shift_2x.png  ../art/ks_arrow_down_2x.png

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Extend selection to the end of the current paragraph, then to the end of the next paragraph (include the paragraph terminator, such as Return, in cut, copy, and paste operations).

../art/ks_control_2x.png ../art/ks_arrow_down_2x.png

../art/ks_apple_icon_2x.png

Move focus to another value or cell within a view, such as a table. See Accessibility Overview for OS X.