4 Command Keystroke Tricks to Ease Navigation in Mac OS X

Jan 26, 2007 - 5 Comments

Finder Navigating around Mac OS X is significantly easier than competitive operating systems, and that’s largely thanks to the Dock, Expose (Mission Control), Spotlight, and the improved Finder, which is the OS X file system. Of course there are also third party apps that people swear by, such as Quicksilver, but with so many great features built into OS X, it’s usually not necessary to install any third party software if you’re just looking to optimize your workflow and move around more. Instead, simply dig deeper and learn a few new tricks.

With that mind, here are a handful of some great keystrokes for Mac OS X that once you learn, will make navigating around even easier. These will be presented in the format of “action” followed by the accompanying keystroke to achieve the desired result.

1: Switch windows within the Current Application: Command + Tilde (~)

Need to switch between windows in the active application? This trick does that, helping you flip through however many windows that are only int he currently active app.

2: Move a Window in the Background: Command + Drag title bar

This literally moves a window around in the background, without it moving to the foreground or becoming a prominent focus window.

3: Display File Hierarchy: Command + Click on the name in title bar

Ever wanted to know where a file was in the file system? This shows that instantly, displaying where the file is located in the hierarchy of the Finder.

4: Quickly switch between open applications: Command + Tab

Need to toggle between a few apps without using the cursor? Command+tab to the rescue, it brings up an application switcher that makes navigating between running Mac apps fast and efficient.


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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS, Tips & Tricks


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  1. Tig says:

    The ads on this page keep moving/hiding the table. You can see the full table for an instant, then it moves to the right of the add, and the 2nd column is hidden from view. BTW… Love your site and all the tips it has!

    • OSXDaily says:

      Whoops thanks, the post has been updated to fix that! The table used had bad HTML in it… doh! Anyway, thanks for the heads up and thanks for reading!

  2. Shlomo says:

    After you’re in the app switcher with Command + Tab, while holding down Command hit the Tilde key to cycle backwards! This is handy if you’re got a lot of open apps (and don’t feel like using your mouse).

  3. Jeremy Hartley says:

    Thanks. I especially appreciate the Command Tilde one, since I had been missing the Ctrl Alt key that windows has.

  4. deck2 says:

    well nice to find usefull stuff as im new in OS X and my work requires many shortcuts to save time. thanks!

    i foun many usefull things here

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