Navigating Mac OS X with Only the Keyboard
Did you know you can navigate Mac OS with only the keyboard? If you’re an avid typer it can be annoying to have to interrupt your flow, lift your hand(s) from the keyboard, simply to use the mouse and navigate around Mac OS X. Instead of dealing with that frustration, try using exclusively the keyboard in Mac OS, which can be used to access a lot of common things you would otherwise do with the mouse. No list is perfect, but here are fifteen useful keyboard commands and tips that I use on a regular basis that let you navigate through Mac OS X using only the keyboard.
15 Keystrokes to Navigate Mac OS X
- FN+Control-F2 : Navigate to the menubar (then use arrow keys to navigate back and forth between menus and up and down menu items)
- FN+Control-F3 : Navigate to the dock (then use arrow keys to navigate within the Dock icons)
- Command-Tab : Switch applications
- Command-` : Switch windows within the current application
- Command-H : Hide current app or Finder
- Command-Option-H : Hide everything but the app in use
- Command-N : Launch a new Finder window (Finder only)
- Command-O : Open a Finder folder (Finder only)
- Command-D : Duplicate selected File or Folder (Finder only)
- Command-Delete : Move the selected item to Trash (Finder only)
- Shift-Command-Delete : Empty Trash (Finder only)
- Begin typing the name of a Folder or File and it will become selected within the Finder
- Use arrow keys to navigate around the items within a Finder window
- Command – Up Arrow : Go to the parent directory
- Command – Shift – G : Go to any folder in Finder
Note that most newer model Macs require the “FN” function key to be used in combination with some of these keyboard shortcuts as shown to work as intended, while many earlier Macs may not. Thus if you try holding FN+CTRL+F3 to select the Dock and you’re on an earlier Mac and find it to to be working, try simply CTRL+F3 instead.
Do you know of any other great keystrokes for navigation that we’re missing? Share your thoughts and favorite keyboard shortcuts for navigating MacOS, and let us know in the comments below.