Frustrated that there is no keyboard shortcut for a command that you constantly use in a Mac app? You can create one in System Preferences!
First, click the Apple icon in the upper left corner, then select “System Preferences.”
Click “Keyboard” in “System Preferences” and then click the “Shortcuts” tab.
Click “App shortcuts” in the sidebar.
Click the plus sign (+) to add a new shortcut.
A new window with a drop-down menu and two text fields will appear. Click on the “Application” drop-down menu and select the program for which you want to create a shortcut (we selected “Pages”).
Then open the app and look for the exact name of the menu command that you want to turn into a shortcut. We selected “Page Thumbnails” from the “View” menu, as it does not already have a keyboard shortcut.
Go back to the keyboard shortcuts window and enter the exact name of the menu command you want to turn into a shortcut in the “Menu title” box.
Then click on the “Shortcut” box and enter the shortcut you want to use to trigger it. We chose Shift + Command + K because it had not already been taken.
You can use almost any combination of command, option and control with any number, letter or character key. You can also use Shift to create a unique combination.
Click “Add” to close the popup. Your shortcut will now appear in the “Keyboard” settings. In the app, you should also see your new shortcut in the drop-down menu next to the corresponding command.
From now on, when you press that key combination, the menu item you selected will be triggered.
To delete a custom shortcut later, simply go to System Preferences> Keyboard> Shortcuts, select the custom shortcut from the list, and then press the minus sign (-).
Custom Mac Shortcut Tips
Keep the following tips in mind when creating keyboard shortcuts:
- When creating a shortcut, you must use the exact name of a menu item. This includes all letters, spaces or punctuation.
- The key combination you enter must be unique. If there is a duplicate, one of the functions will not run correctly.
- If the keyboard shortcut you want is attempted, add Shift, Control, or both. For example, instead of Command + V (which is reserved for pasting text), you can use Shift + Control + Command + V.
- You can make universal keyboard shortcuts. Just select “All Applications” from the “Applications” list. Your shortcut then works in all apps that have the same menu options as you type.
- “Rename”, “Compress” and “Get All” would all make useful shortcuts. These would be handy for window management in many apps. “Compress” works in the Finder, but it can also be in other programs.
Keyboard shortcuts are a powerful feature of your Mac arsenal. Browse your favorite apps and see what you come up with!
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