Experienced Mac users like to tout their increased productivity when it comes to keyboard shortcut knowledge. Whilst this is a genuine benefit, many users are content with knowing the basics for the applications they use on a daily basis.

If you are interested in expanding your knowledge of keyboard shortcuts, Apple has released knowledge base article HT1343. We recommend you print or bookmark this support document.

Should you require a shortcut that is not listed within Apple’s support article, you can easily create your own.

To do this proceed to System Preferences > Keyboard. Make sure you are in the Keyboard Shortcuts tab and have selected Application Shortcuts.

keyboard prefs

To create a new shortcut press the “+” button. To remove a custom shortcut, after it has been created, click on the “-” button.

add pref

You are able to create a shortcut that can be applied to all applications, or any specific application, installed on your Mac by clicking on the drop down menu.

It is important to note that not all applications will allow you to use custom keyboard shortcuts.

Another important note when creating custom shortcuts is when you duplicate a keyboard shortcut, that is already in use, your new shortcut will not function. If you want to be adventurous, you can always reassign keyboard shortcuts that already exist. If you make a mistake, there is an option to restore to default settings for some of the shortcuts. In general we do not recommend reassigning keyboard shortcuts, unless you are confident enough in your skills to restore them to their previous values.

In the Menu Title area you will need to type the name of the Menu Bar command exactly as it appears, including any ellipsis or other special characters that may be present. For this example I will use the About Pages command.

A keyboard shortcut will also need to be assigned. I will use: Command + Option + A.

pages shortcut

To set the keystroke combination simply press one, two, three, or all four of the modifier keys which are Command, Control, Option and Shift. Then press a letter or number of your choosing.Note: the modifier keys can be entered in any order.

When satisfied with your shortcut, simply click the Add button and give the new shortcut a try in the application, or applications, you have decided to use it with.

about pages

There is no need to quit or restart the application for the new keyboard shortcut to take effect. When you access the Menu Bar, you will notice the new keyboard shortcut will be presented next to the name of the command.