The Best New Shortcuts In Mountain Lion

Mac: Mountain Lion introduced many new keyboard shortcuts and trackpad gestures that make working with your Mac faster and easier. We're still getting used to them, but here are some of our favourites right out of the gate.

Finder Shortcuts

  • Bring back "Save As" by holding the Option key when in the File menu. This is one of several hidden options highlighted in menus using the Option key; for instance, it shows the "Library" folder under the "Go" menu, which is usually hidden.
  • Preview any file in Quick Look by tapping the trackpad with three fingers. This works for images, documents and any other file type Quick Look works with.
  • Launch Mountain Lion's new Dictation app by pressing the Function key (fn) twice. You can customise this shortcut in the Dictation and Speech System Preferences.
  • Command + Options + F5 opens the Accessibility Options in any application or window. This you access to zoom, VoiceOver, mouse and keyboard options, and displays contrast controls.

Application Shortcuts

  • Rename files, move them to iCloud or another folder location, or revert to previously saved versions from the title bar Hover over the filename in the title bar to reveal the drop-down menu. This works in Preview, TextEdit and other bundled applications.
  • Click the Sort bar in to zoom to the top of your inbox.
  • Swipe forward or back with two fingers to navigate forward and back in apps. This works in many system apps including the App Store, iTunes and Dictionary.
  • Launch apps from Launchpad by clicking the Launchpad icon and immediately typing the name of the application. As you type, Launchpad will narrow the results for you, and you can press enter when the correct app is highlighted to launch it.
  • Pinch to zoom in on TextEdit documents, and move your fingers apart to zoom out.
  • Disable Notification Center for one day by Alt + Left-Clicking on the Notifications menu in the upper right corner of the screen.
  • Look up a word in the dictionary by tapping it with three fingers. If you're not in love with this shortcut — some people prefer the three-finger tap for other purposes — you can turn it off in the Trackpad section of System Preferences. Support for this shortcut is variable — it works in most Apple apps and some third-party programs, but not (for example) Chrome.

This list is far from exhaustive, and we're sure even more shortcuts will come to light as we spend more time with Mountain Lion. Spotted any that we missed? Let's hear them in the comments below.


    I use Chrome and the dictionary shortcut works for me.

    Works in Chrome for me also.

    This feature was also around in Lion too. Although it was a double tap with three fingers.

    So, I think the three-finger swipe upwards used to be scroll-to-the-top; is there a different shortcut I can use?

    And you can move folder in Finder (instead of copy): copy the folder/file you want to move, go to the new place, hold option (the Paste menu change to move item here), select Move item here.

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