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Shortcuts That All Mac Users Need to Know

So, you got a Mac! Congratulations! Open up that pretty box and pull out your shiny new gadget. After you boot it up and begin to dig in, you might find yourself thinking, “I’m so excited to use this. But do I even know how to?”

Generally, Macs and PCs are quite alike (similar keyboard layout, functions, menus, etc). One of the biggest hurdles when making the switch is that the Mac shortcuts and commands can be tricky to get used to. This can make your machine feel less efficient than it really is. Luckily, you live in the age of the Internet, where you can get tips on just about anything. Plug your new baby in to start charging and sit back with our list of some of the very best Mac shortcuts.

1) Quitting 

When you click on that red X in the corner of your window, it certainly closes it, but it does not actually quit the app. Hit Command-Q if you want to officially turn that app off. 

2) Zoom Zoom 

Are you looking for one of the best shortcuts for how to zoom in/out on Mac? Hit Command with the + or – sign, depending on how you want to zoom. Hold them down to have it zoom continuously.

3) Force It 

Application jamming up your computer or just want to see what programs are open? Command-Option-Escape brings you to the Force Quit menu, where you can view open programs.

4) Minimizing

Sure, you can try to hit that teeny yellow button in the corner to minimize, but you can do that much quicker by hitting Command-M. If you want to minimize everything, do Command-Option-M.

5) Searching

Spotlight gives users the capability to search the entire system for just about anything. In order to get to that quickly, hit Command-Spacebar. For more information on this awesome feature, check this out: 

6) Reload Tabs

Accidentally close a webpage before you are through with it, or even worse, one that contains vital information? Instead of kicking yourself, press Command-Shift-T to restore the last closed tab.

7) Maintain Privacy

Don’t want someone to look at your screen while you are away from the computer, but also have no need to shut your Mac down? Command-Control-Q instantly brings up your lock screen. 

8) Screenshots

Need to get a shot of your computer screen? Command-Shift-3 takes one of the entire screen, and Command-Shift-4 lets you select a particular section to take a shot of. 

9) The Easy Ones

Even if this is your first Mac, you have likely used a PC before and know the standard shortcuts to cut, paste, copy, select all, undo, save, etc. Macs do the same thing with the same letters, but it’s Command-X, Command-V, Command-C, Command-A, Command-Z, Command-S, respectively. 

10) Speaking

Sometimes it’s just easier to speak than it is to type. Macs have you covered on that one, with Dictation. Hit the Function key two times and the program will open. Say what you want, and then press Function again when done. It will transcribe what you said into text. 

These are just some of the very many shortcuts that make a Mac even better than before. Not only that but if there isn’t a shortcut for something that you use frequently, you can create your own. Check out this article on how.