Learning shortcuts is an excellent way to improve the efficiency of your workflow. Rather than provide a long list of every available macOS (formerly known as OSX) shortcut, I have picked out a useful selection that you can learn as a starting point. Try to practice with a couple of these every week and you’ll be working around your Mac like a pro in no time!

For further reading, I have written companion posts for Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe InDesign.

General Tricks

magic wand icon

ActionShortcut
Show / Hide the DockOption + Command + D
Spotlight SearchCommand + Spacebar
Show DesktopCommand + Mission Control

Managing Windows

interface window icon

ActionShortcut
Cycle through active applicationsCommand + Tab
Flip between windows in current applicationCommand + `/~
Minimise windowCommand + M
Hide all other applicationsCommand + Option + H
Close windowCommand + W
Close all windowsCommand + Option + W

Finder

computer folder icon

ActionShortcut
Duplicate fileCommand + D
Eject the selected diskCommand + E
Get InfoCommand + I
Open the Computer windowShift + Command + C
Open the Desktop folderShift + Command + D
Open the Home folderShift + Command + H
Open iCloud DriveShift + Command + I
Open the Downloads folderCommand + Option + L
Open the AirDrop windowShift + Command + R
Hide / Show SidebarCommand + Option + S
New Finder windowCommand + N
Create new folderShift + Command + N
Open the current folder’s parentCommand + Up Arrow
Open the parent folder in a new windowCommand + Control + Up Arrow
Open folder in a separate windowCommand + Double click
Rename a fileCommand + Return
Move to TrashCommand + Delete
Empty TrashShift + Command + Delete
Empty Trash without confirmationCommand + Option + Shift + Delete
Move itemHold Command while dragging to a new location
Copy itemHold Option while dragging to a new location

Problem Solving

Press these when booting your Mac, immediately after pushing the power button

alert icon

ActionShortcut
Start in Safe ModeShift
Launch Startup ManagerOption
Launch Apple Diagnostics / Hardware TestD
Reset NVRAM / PRAMCommand + Option + P + R
Eject removable mediaF12 or mouse button