Many people know about keyboard shortcuts. These are key combinations with the Apple/Command Key and another key. For example, “Apple”+”P” will bring up the print window. This article is about lesser known shortcuts, and other keyboard tricks that you may or may not know about.
DELETE LOCKED ITEMS
Have you ever tried to empty the trash and you get a message saying that certain items could not be deleted because they were locked? If so, you can empty the locked items by holding the “option” key while emptying the trash.
MOVE QUICKLY THROUGH FORMS
If you ever fill out a form on a website, or in a program, you can push the “tab” key to move from entry field to entry field. This eliminates the need to click in each field when you are ready for a new entry. The “tab” key will also move you from icon to icon in a folder.
FIND AN ITEM QUICKLY WITHIN A FOLDER
Searching for a document or application in a folder with a ton of icons can be very time consuming. You might even pass over the items during your search. If you know the first few letters in the file’s name there is a quicker way to find it. By opening a folder and quickly typing the first few letters in the name, you will immediately be navigated to that item. For example, if you are looking for iPhoto in your Applications folder, open the folder and type “iph.” iPhoto will be found and highlighted. The more letters you type the better the results, but you have to type pretty fast.
CANCEL A PROCESS
If you have a window open, or a process running and the word “Cancel” is in a button to click you can use the shortcut “Apple” + “.” instead of clicking the button. You can also try the “esc” or escape key. These two options don’t always work, but they do on occasion. When I use my screen shot program I always use the escape key to cancel a shot that is in progress which I decide don’t need to take.
SEND AN ITEM TO THE TRASH WITHOUT DRAGGING
To send an item to the trash with the keyboard you start by clicking the item’s icon. Then press “Apple” + “delete.” The items will be instantly sent to the trash. Of course, you still have to empty the trash to completely delete them.
MOVE QUICKLY THROUGH A LONG DOCUMENT OR WEBSITE
One way to move through a document is to click inside the scroll bar of the document. This will move you through the document in small increments. To move faster through the document, put your mouse anywhere on the scroll bar and hold the “option” key before clicking. This will instantly send you to the section of the document where your mouse was on the bar. It is a little hard to explain in writing, but try it and you’ll see what I mean.
You can also hold the “Apple” key and the up arrow or bottom arrow to go straight to the top or bottom of a document. I actually just discovered this one while writing this article.
QUICKLY ACCESS THE SOUND SYSTEM PREFERENCE
Here’s another one I just discovered, literally. Holding the “option” key and any of the volume control keys will open the “Sound” system preference window.
BOOT FROM CD
To boot from a CD you can change the startup disc in System Preferences, or you could use this tip. Turn the computer on, insert your CD, and hold the “C” key. This will force the computer to boot from the CD, assuming it is a bootable CD. You can also let the computer boot normally, insert the CD, restart, and hold the “C” key at this point.
MAKE TEXT BIGGER OR SMALLER IN A WEBPAGE
Here’s one final tip, for now. If you are on a webpage and the text is too small or too large click “Apple” + “+” to make it larger and “Apple” + “-” to make it smaller. This will work in most, if not all, browsers. It will also work in some applications, also.
If you have any keyboard tricks post them below. The more the better!