7 Productivity-Boosting Keyboard Shortcuts Every Mac User Should Know

We love our keyboard shortcuts, as they help us get around our computers much faster every day. Here are seven you may not know about on the Mac that can boost your productivity by making navigation easier and performing tasks faster.

Check out the video above for a demonstration of each shortcut, or a list below for our choices:

  • Command+Shift+A/U/D: These three-in-one shortcuts take you to the Applications, Utilities and Desktop folders (respectively) when in the Finder. Because you’ll need to get to each relatively often, these key commands can save you quite a bit of time.
  • Command+1/2/3/4: When you need to change views in the finder, you don’t have to bother with your mouse. 1 will get you icon view, 2 list view, 3 column view, and 4 cover flow.
  • Command+Option+I: When you need info on multiple files, just select them and execute this key command. You’ll get an info panel about everything currently selected.
  • Command+Shift+4 and Space: When you press Command+Shift+4 you get to take a screenshot of a specific area on the screen. If you hit the space bar afterwards, however, you can click on any window to get a nice PNG with transparent background of that window.
  • Command+Option+M: Sometimes you end up with too many windows on your desktop and you just want to cut your losses. Minimise them all to the dock with this keyboard shortcut.
  • Command+(Shift)+~: If you’d rather cycle through millions of windows, you can use this key command to do so. Add or remove the shift key to change directions.
  • Command+Option+Space: Most of us know that you can search Spotlight quickly by pressing Command+Space. Add the option key to get a Spotlight search window and get more specific about what you’re trying to find.

OS X has plenty of awesome shortcuts, and they certainly don’t stop after seven. These, however, will help you get around your Mac a little bit faster and have similar structures so they’re easy to remember.


  • Not a shortcut but I use Alfred (free application) everyday for launching and finding files. So much quicker than spotlight and I find it helps alot.

    Another thing I like to use is smart folders set up, I have one set up to show any recent files that have been created/modified. And one that shows any folders that have recently been worked within. I work on a few projects at once with quite a few files and folders and this helps heaps.

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