Top 12 Most Useful MacBook keyboard shortcuts

Most of us use numerous keyboard shortcuts to get our job done in an easier and hassle-free manner. Keyboard shortcuts are like small cheat codes which you can trigger by pressing a bunch of specified keys on your keyboard, each accurate combination triggers a function which your laptop/ computer can perform.

Imagine you have to copy a whole Excel table of 100*100 elements from one sheet to another. You can do it by these steps.

  • You select each block individually and copy and paste them one by one in the new excel sheet.


  • You can simply press the Ctrl/ Command keys on your laptops and select a whole row or column at one instance.

Which one do you think is better? Of course the second option. This is the sole reason keyboard shortcuts exist. They not only work like magic but they exclude the need of clicking your mouse and dragging it a couple of times to do some basic stuff like Copying/ Pasting a document.

What do we mean when we say “Keyboard Shortcuts”

In technical terms, Keyboard shortcuts are a sequence of one or several keys that you have to press at once to toggle any function in your laptop/ PC. This action may be a part of the standard functionality of your Operating System or Downloaded Application or, a user-developed script to do something specific.

Keyboard Shortcuts were brought to us by the revolutionary computer scientist, Larry Tesler. Tesler was a leading name in the world of computation during the mid-1980s and 1990s. He along with a few other workers developed the Keyboard shortcuts for:

Copy - Ctrl/ Command +C
Paste - Ctrl/ Command + V, and
Cut - Ctrl/ Command + x.

Within a year since the launch of Copy, Paste, Cut other well-known functions like:

Undo - Ctrl/ Command + Z
Redo - Ctrl/ Command + Y, and
Select all - Ctrl/ Command + A.

Were launched by other computation scientists. As of now, one can find more than 100 basic commands scattered through your Keyboard. These Keyboard Shortcuts commands are basically specified into 2 types(as mentioned in the intro of this article)

1. System Shortcuts

This directly works on the OS like cut, copy, paste, undo, redo, etc. Most System Shortcuts involve more than one key from the keyboard.

2. App Shortcuts

Which are scripted according to applications. Eg:- If you press ‘N’ which some video is playing in VLC Media Player then it will restart the video from the very beginning. Most App shortcuts involve single keys in a keyboard.

12 Most Useful Macbook keyboard shortcuts

There are more than 50 Keyboard shortcuts developed for Macbooks to date. Thus, it is really hard to find the best ones among the bunch. Each individual shortcut has a special functionality. Thus, we have narrowed it down to “top 10 most useful Macbook Keyboard Shortcuts”. Lay back and enjoy.

1. Esc

True to its name, the Esc button on your Macbook Keyboard will help you to get out of any application that you have previously opened. Esc can also be used to cancel previous commands, to stop a web page from loading, and to prevent any app, video, audio from starting.

2. Command  + W

This simple yet useful Keyboard Shortcut closes all the applications that are running in the background of your Macbook.

3. Command + G

A distant relative of Command + F this shortcut also helps you find files. You can press this shortcut and navigate through all files in a folder with ease without opening them.

4. Command + M

Another well-known Shortcut that minimizes all windows that are opened in your Macbook.

5. Command + Shift + A      

You can select this combination to toggle the Finder/ Desktop view in your Macbook. With this Shortcut, you can view all application folders at once all navigate through them by using A and U (to open utility files and close them respectively)

6. Command + L

It’s hands down the best way to navigate through all your Safari Tabs that you have opened. You can switch back and forth between tabs using this Shortcut.

7. Command + Tab

Helps you to switch between windows/ applications that are running on-screen or in the background of your Macbook.

8. Option + Command + Esc

Equivalent to Ctrl + Alt + Del in Windows, this shortcut helps you to force stop any rogue application that has crashed or is consuming an unusual amount of resources. Pressing this shortcut for long enough causes all applications to shut down and you can have a fresh start.

9. Command  + Ctrl + Q

This is by far our favorite Keyboard Shortcut, it can be used to log out of your Macbook/ Lock your Macbook.

10. Command + Shift + T

This is best for people who want to check their emails as soon as they open their Macbook. Press this shortcut and it will automatically open your last closed tab in Safari or any other web browser. Command + Shift + T perhaps is the most useful shortcut of the bunch.

A few other well-known Keyboard Shortcuts

11. Command + P

Allows you to instantly print any document or picture.

12. Ctrl + Command + Space

Helps you insert emoji and other special symbols in your script.

Pros and Cons of Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard Shortcuts enjoy the following pros:

  • They are easy to learn and access.
  • They increase the productivity of a user as they are faster than any mouse or trackpad.
  • Most functions done using Keyboard Shortcuts can be Undone/ Redone instantaneously.
  • Keyboards give more tactile feedback than a mouse or trackpad.

Keyboard Shortcuts enjoy the following cons:

  • Using Keyboard Shortcuts too much can reduce the lifespan of your keyboard and affect the performance of specific keys.
  • Keyboard shortcuts often lead to “sticky keys”.

Some universally helpful Keyboard Shortcuts

These Keyboard shortcuts can be used by any user irrespective of their Operating System and computing device.

  • Alt + F - toggle file menu options of any application or folder you have opened.
  • Alt + E - toggles file editing options of any application or folder you have opened.
  • F1 - Help/ System support (this may vary for different OSs)
  • Ctrl/ Command + C - To copy something.
  • Ctrl/ Command + V - To paste something.
  • Ctrl/ Command + X - To cut something from its original location.
  • Ctrl/ Command + Z - Redo.
  • Ctrl/ Command + Y - Undo.
  • Ctrl/ Command + A - Select All.
  • Ctrl/ Command + Home - Go to the beginning of a document.
  • Ctrl/ Command + F - Find something.
  • Ctrl/ Command + End - Go to the end of a document.
  • Ctrl/ Command + B - Bold any part of a test.
  • Ctrl/ Command + I - Italic any part of a text.
  • Ctrl/ Command + U - underline any part of the text.

Hope you liked this article, and we promise to be back soon with more exciting articles related to your beloved Apple devices. Until then stay tuned and have a great day ahead.