Navigation Shortcuts

Here are my most used shortcuts for navigating OS X:

ShortcutDescription
⌘ + SpacebarSpotlight (to quickly open documents, applications, and more)
tabNext field
⌘ + tabSwitch between applications
⌘ + `Switch between windows in applications
⌃ + tabSwitch between tabs in a window

Googling

It is important to get in the habit of googling shortcuts when you notice you are repetitiously using the cursor for simple commands.

Say you wanted to know the shortcut for creating a new document. If we were to use Google to find the answer, then we’d use keywords like “shortcut create new document.”

Commands, Universal and Local

Universal commands are general commands that the operating-(OS X, Windows, Linux)-system uses, and they often work in most applications too—like Command + C (copy) and Command + V (paste).

Local commands are unique commands that are defined by the application.

Learning universal commands is usually the first learning priority. If you are mostly working out of a specific application, it will definitely help to prioritize learning those local shortcuts too.

When you find a webpage or forum that is teaching you a new shortcut, here are some important symbols that represent the keys used in shortcuts:

SymbolKey name
Command
Shift
Option
Control
Shift
Tab
tabTab
fnFn (Function)

Note:
These symbols are mostly applicable to OS X users. If you’re reading this, and you’d like help with Windows’ shortcuts, just ask in the comments below.

If you haven’t already read why you should make learning shortcuts a priority in your computer experience, then read my post on practicing the computer.

Also, you can read how learning to unlearn your mouse will save you life, and increase the value of your computer-hour.