How To Master Mac Keyboard

Mastering the keyboard with the help of shortcuts is a must for today’s generation. While most of the people use Windows operating system, mastering its keyboard has turned out quite simple as compared to Mac. This is due to two reasons. First, the small number of people or businesses using Mac as compared to Windows. Second, people who shift from Windows to Mac feel it difficult to get used to Mac keyboard.

Hence, if you are shifting from Windows to Mac or are new to Mac, these tips will help you master the Mac keyboard within no time.


Cut, Copy, And Paste

While using the command for cut, copy, and paste in Windows, you use the shortcut Ctrl + X, Ctrl + C, and Ctrl + V respectively. Same goes for Mac. If you are working on a document, the shortcut Command + X, Command + C, and Command + V will be used for cut, copy, and paste respectively.

On the other hand, if you are performing these actions on folders, the copy and paste functions will work fine. But the actual trick is in the cut feature. The Command + X shortcut does not work for folders if you wish to cut. Instead, here you need to use the shortcut for Alt + Command + V for cut-pasting a specific folder. This is not known to most of the users.

In addition to this, you also improve the behavior of shortcut for paste. In most of the applications such as Pages and TextEdit, you will always need words to accept the style of where you are pasting them instead of retaining the look of the source. This is where you can use the “Paste and Match Style” feature. All you need to do is go to Keyboard pane of System Preferences and tap the Shortcuts option. On the left in the list, choose App Shortcuts and tap the “+” on the right below the box.

If you need to apply the same feature for a number of apps, this can be done too. All you need to do is go to System Preferences >> Keyboard >> Shortcuts. Next, you need to select an app from the pop-up menu. Once you have done this, you need to set the menu title as “Paste and Match Style.” Now, in the box named “Keyboard Shortcut” press Command + V and tap Add. Next, tap the “+” option and set the shortcut to Option + Shift + Command + V and the command to Paste. Open the app that you have set the shortcut for and try out if it works or not.

Undo And Redo

The Ctrl + Z shortcut for undoing changes is a life savior for most of the users. And the same feature can be used on Mac keyboard. The Command + Z function can be used to undo changes. A number of apps allow you to get back several times.

In addition to this, you can also use the redo feature. This feature can be used as long as you have not made any changes to the documents after using the undo feature. The shortcut Shift + Command + Z is used to redo changes. Remember that the availability of the redo feature can rely on the app preferences and the memory needs for what you are performing.

Toggle Between Apps

The shortcut Ctrl + Tab is used in Windows if you using multiple apps and need to switch between them often. In the same way, the shortcut Command + Tab is used on Mac keyboard for toggling between the two most recent apps.

If you press the shortcut and let go of the Tab button, you will see the list of all the apps that are running simultaneously. You can use the left or right arrow key to navigate through the list. Once you are on your desired app, let go of the Command button. This will open your desired app.

Alternatively, you can also use Tab or Shift + Tab to navigate through the list of apps. You can also press H to hide the selected app’s window. If you press Q, the window of the selected app will be closed.


While using the latest macOS, the shortcut Shift + Command + 5 is used to display the Screenshots toolbar. You can click on the “Options” on that toolbar to decide where the screenshots must be saved. You can also run a countdown before a screenshot or decide whether to include a pointer or not.

Maximize And Minimize

In order to minimize a window of an app, the shortcut Command + H is used. Alternatively, to maximize the app window, the shortcut Option + Command + H is used. This improves your focus and reduces the workspace clutter. In addition to this, you can use Command + M to minimize the present window and insert it into the Dock. It will turn into a small icon of the window and will be placed on the right side of the Dock.

Force Quit

If you are using Mac, there are very minute chances when you will need to use the shortcut Option + Command + Esc. This shortcut brings up the window for Force Quit, where you can instantly kill the apps. You can try this is a specific app or rather the whole system becomes unresponsive for a prolonged time. The problematic app is normally shown in the window clearly. Remember that you will lose all unsaved data of the app when you force quit it.

Main Menu

The access to your Mac’s main menu can be attained by using Control + F2. This will allow you to highlight any option with the arrow keys and confirm your selection with the help of Return key.

The Trackpad

The Mac trackpad is one of the best in the market and can be used to a series of jobs. The gestures for the trackpad do the tricks. If you tap with a single finger, it will select any item. For right-clicking any item, you need to tap with two fingers. If you need to zoom in or zoom out, all you need to do is double tap with two fingers. You can also pinch in or out for zooming purpose.

If you need to scroll down or up, do this on the trackpad using two fingers. You can swipe between pages by swiping left or right on the trackpad using two fingers. If you need to see the Notification Center, swipe from the right edge to the left on the trackpad using two fingers. If you need to toggle between screens or app windows, use three fingers to swipe left or right on the trackpad.

Now that you are well aware of the Mac shortcuts, it will be easy for you to master the keyboard and used to it. If you feel that the article was helpful, do let us know your feedback by commenting below.