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Back to February 2012 ITS Newsletter

Tips and Tricks, The Command Key ⌘

by Ryan Coyle

In keeping with time saving tips and to help out our Mac users who couldn't use last month's Windows key shortcuts, today we bring you Command Key shortcuts.  The command key is the one which is directly to the left of your spacebar on a Macintosh keyboard.  It has the square with the squiggles (also known as a bowen-knot) on it and if you’re old enough you may remember it being called the Open Apple key.  Either way, here are a couple shortcuts that you might find useful to shave a few seconds off common tasks you use during the day:

Option+shift+command+esc  (hold for 3 sec): This invokes the Force Quit dialogue.  This is the handiest key sequence to know on a Mac if you ask me.  There will be plenty of times where you get an application that for one reason or another just sits there and hangs.  In many cases the only way to kill it is a force quit.  This key sequence will help you out when you’re stuck with the spinning beach ball of doom

Command+[: This command will navigate your browser window back to the previous page you were viewing. This command is handy when you have your hands on the keyboard for entering text into a browser rather than using your mouse.

Command+]: This command will navigate your browser window forward to the next page if you’ve hit the back button previously

Command+Delete: This command will move your current selection to the trash.  Make sure that you are currently using Finder

Command+Shift+Delete: This command will empty your trash.  Careful as once you empty the trash, there’s no way to get it back

Command+W: This command will close the foremost Window that is open on your screen.  If you are using a tabbed browser, it will close that browser tab

Command+H: This command will hide the foremost Window that you have open

Command+F: This command when using the Finder will open up a Spotlight search box.  In many browsers it will also open a search box

Option+Command+W: This command will close all open Windows.  You will get prompted to save your work if necessary

These last four are priceless if you do any work with text or writing:

Command+C: This command copies the selected text to your clipboard

Command+X: This command will cut the selected text from your document and place it into the new location.  Cutting text removes it from the original document

Command+A: This command will select all the text on the screen

Command+V:  This command will paste the text that you cut or copied into your document

I hope these tips and tricks shave a few minutes of work off your day and help you get things done faster!