25 time-saving Mac keyboard shortcuts

We don't need no stinking mouse

Mac keyboard shortcuts

If you're clicking on the Menu bar all the time to get things done, you're putting in a lot more effort than you need to. OS X includes key commands for just about everything, so people who develop dexterous digits can make windows pop open and fly around the screen like they're hacking the Matrix or something. So your mission is clear: master the shortcuts below to save humanity from the robots.

We'll assume you know the ridiculously common shortcuts (y'know, Command + P to print, Command + S to save, Command + C/V to copy/paste, etc.) and skip ahead to some slightly more advanced stuff. A single shortcut can change the way you work for the better, so be sure to give our list a good look!

Note: Our picks pertain specifically to commands found in OS X El Capitan, but most of these shortcuts were introduced in earlier versions of OS X a long time ago. Another note: If you're using a Windows keyboard, substitute the Alt key for the Options key, and the Windows logo key for Command.

  • Command + Space bar: Spotlight
  • Command + Option + Escape: Force Quit an app
  • Command + Tab: Switch apps
  • Command + Shift + Tilde ( ): Switch windows
  • Command + Comma: Open Preferences
  • Fn + Delete: Forward delete (great for keyboards that don't have a dedicated Forward Delete key)
  • Command + Option + I: Show/hide the inspector window
  • Command + Shift + Minus sign (-): Zoom out
  • Command + Shift + Plus sign (+): Zoom in
  • Command + Shift + Question mark (?): Open the Help menu
  • Command + E: Eject the selected disk or volume
  • Command + Shift + I: Open iCloud Drive
  • Command + Option + D: Show/hide the Dock
  • Command + Shift + Option + Delete: Empty the trash while skipping the confirmation window
  • Command + Shift + D: Open the Desktop folder
  • Command + Shift + L: Open the Downloads folder
  • Command + Shift + O: Open the Documents folder
  • Command + Shift + R: Open the AirDrop window
  • Command + Shift + U: Open the Utilities folder
  • Command + Shift + K: Open the Connect to Server window
  • Command + Brightness Down: Turn off display mirroring when using more than one display
  • Command + M: Minimize the front window to the Dock
  • Command + Shift + Q: Log out of your OS X user account
  • Space Bar: Preview the selected item
  • Shift + Control + Power Button: Put all displays to sleep