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Lifehacker: The Guide to Working Smarter, Faster, and Better, Third Edition by Gina Trapani, Adam Pash

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Hack 51: Command Your Mac from the Keyboard

Level Medium

Platform Mac OS X

Cost Free

The mouse is a convenient tool for visually interacting with your computer, and it’s the tool most users turn to when it’s time to navigate to another application, launch an application, or perform other common tasks. While you certainly can rely on your mouse to interact with your computer, moving your hand to the mouse every time you need to perform a common action is rarely the quickest or most efficient way to get things done on your Mac.

With the right keyboard shortcuts in your arsenal, your keyboard is a significantly better tool for commanding your Mac. Save considerable time by using keyboard shortcuts to navigate your computer’s operating system and programs. This hack explains how to ditch the mouse and how to launch applications and documents on your Mac without ever taking your hands off the keyboard.

Built-in Mac OS X Keyboard Shortcuts

Mac OS X is full of convenient keyboard shortcuts for performing common actions more quickly without needless pointing and clicking. Here are some of your Mac’s most essential shortcuts:

Shortcut Result
Cmd+Tab Cycle through open programs (release keys when you see the screen you want).
Cmd+` Cycle through windows within the current application.
Shift+Cmd+Q Log out of your Mac.
Cmd+Q Quit the active application.
Cmd+Space Open the Spotlight search box.

Note that Mac keyboards also have built-in keys that activate ...

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