What’s your favorite keyboard shortcut combination? - Macenstein

What’s your favorite keyboard shortcut combination?

As someone who has more or less raised laziness to an art form, I am obviously a huge fan of keyboard shortcuts. This afternoon, it occurred to me that my current all time favorite must be hitting the “U” key in Adobe After Effects. This simple button press (when a layer is selected) brings up all the current properties that you have applied keyframes to in a layer, and I would say it has saved me something like 2 years of “expanding layer properties” time over the course of my life – 2 years which I have subsequently wasted on Xbox, but still, 2 years.

Ahhh… good old “U”. My favorite timesaver.

Probably a close runner up to the U key is the cmnd+ctrl+shift+4 combo that allows you to take a screen capture of a region of your screen (or, with an additional “space bar” press, a window) and then copy that to your clipboard for pasting into your favorite app (in fact, I used that combo to take the above picture of my favorite combo). I use this almost daily in running Macenstein and Son of Macenstein, and it’s a great time saver.

So then I got to thinking – there must be some more insanely useful keyboard shortcuts out there that my readers find as indispensable as my trusty “U”, so why not find out what they are, and help spread some knowledge. So, tell us, what are your favorite keyboard shortcuts? What do you use on a daily basis for time saving/ impressing your friends in either OS X or a specific application? (I’ll thank you all to leave out good ‘ol “command Z” and the classic tag team of “command C” and “command V” for copy and paste). Let us know in the comments.

32 Responses to “What’s your favorite keyboard shortcut combination?”
  1. MacTipper says:

    Well, besides Cmd-Tab, it would have to be Cmd-Option-Eject. I use so many, but this is probably the one I use the most. When you press this (on a MBP at least) it puts your mac to sleep.

    Of course, I have lots of special shortcuts set up.

    My favorite is probably a service menu item I created to format HTML links for my website. This has probably saved me at least several hours. 😀 (Yep, you guessed it, that was a shameless plug.)

    Or, option/cmd/fn delete. (delete word, delete line, forward delete
    Or, the bookmarks bar shortcuts in safari. (Cmd-1 thru Cmd-9)
    Or, the multitude of keyboard shortcuts I have to launch apps.
    Or, spotlight. (Cmd-Space)
    Or, my applescript version of AppleScript. (Cmd-Option-Space)

    Okay, I’ll admit it, I don’t have a favorite. There’s just so many!

    My Mac-Tipping Blog

  2. Ryanm says:

    I like command-option-ctrl-8, to inverse all the colors!
    option-shift-k, for the  symbol
    also, ctrl-command-eject is good 😉

    there’s a good list here:

    ps macenstein, you don’t need the ctrl in your screenshot shortcuts.

  3. victor says:

    isnt just cmd-shift-4?

  4. Rob Bickers says:

    Cmd-Option-Shift-E in Photoshop – merges all visible layers in the selected layer. Great for adding universal filter effects.

  5. Victor, that works too, but it will save the picture to your desktop. Adding the “control” will just put it in your clipboard, thus keeping your desktop a little less cluttered.
    -The Doc

  6. darrell says:

    i’m also a fan of the über key in AE – but i believe the capture region/window shortcut is actually command + shift + 4.

    i guess right now my favorites are command + option + A for safari activity coupled with command + option + L for safari downloads.

  7. SirCrumpet says:

    I’ve always been partial to the Ctrl+Cmd+D to provide an inline dictionary definition of any word you hover over (In cocoa apps, which unfortunately means Firefox is out).

    Coversutra’s iTunes shortcuts (Ctrl+Cmd space/left/right/up/down) also get a fair bit of use for pausing/skipping/rating tracks, while QuickSilver’s Ctrl+Space is probably the single most used after the obvious copy/paste/switch tab etc.

  8. Eru says:

    I like Command L in Firefox/Safari – pretty basic, but puts your cursor in (and selects) the address bar, so you can just start typing in your URL and away you go

  9. Jason says:

    my favorite is cmd-ctrl-h for hiding all background apps. It’s such a cool way to clean things up real quick without minimizing or closing windows or switching spaces.

  10. Jordan says:

    My favorite is command+option+eject for putting the computer to sleep. I work at a computer store, and have to wipe all the screens, so that quick shortcut makes it easy to see all the fingerprint smudges on those nice glossy 24″ iMacs.

  11. Frank says:

    Definitely Cmd+T in Safari. I don’t know what I did before tabs!

  12. Kasper says:

    My favorite OS X shortcut is ctrl + shift + eject. It sends all my displays right to sleep and keeps the rest of the machinery powered on.

  13. Tice says:

    Where shall I start? : )

    Spark makes all wishes come true:

    i.e. the date on Command/ctrl/t: 2008_06_24
    or empty trash (now under F12)
    Or sending a collection of files with a keystroke to a folder-desteny: http://blog.tice.de/beitrag.php?file=2007_04_03_2111

    … and many more. Don’t know which of them is best anymore.

  14. Here are a few for you:

    Copy cmd+C
    Cut cmd+X
    Select All cmd+A
    Paste cmd+V

    Print cmd+P
    Undo cmd+Z

    Left Justify cmd+L
    Right Justify cmd+R
    Centre Justify cmd+E
    Underline cmd+U
    Bold cmd+B
    Italic cmd+I
    Format Font cmd+D

    Find cmd+F
    Replace cmd+H
    Insert Link cmd+K
    Save cmd+S
    Open cmd+O
    Page Break Shift+Enter

    Capture Screen cmd+Shift+3
    Capture part of screen cmd+Shift+4

    Eject cmd+Y in MacOS 9
    cmd+E in MacOSX.
    Log Out cmd+Shift+q

    A few special characters:

    Éé alt+e, e
    Áá alt+e, a
    Úú alt+e, u
    Íí alt+e, i
    Üü alt+u, u
    Öö alt+u, o
    Ää alt+u, a
    Ïï alt+u, i
    Ññ alt+n, n
    Çç alt+c
    ¿ alt+shift+/
    ß alt+s
    Å’Å“ alt+q
    Ææ alt+’
    fl alt+shift+6
    fi alt+shift+5
    Àà alt+`, a
    Èè alt+`, e
    Ùù alt+`, u
    Ìì alt+`, i
    Ââ alt+i, a
    Îî alt+i, i
    Êê alt+i, e
    Ûû alt+i, u
    π alt+p
    ∂ alt+d
    ∆ alt+j
    ∑ alt+w
    ≈ alt+x
    ÷ alt+/
    ≠ alt+=
    ± alt+shift+=
    ≤ alt+,
    ≥ alt+.

    On a UK keyboard, alt-3 is a hash sign # and alt-2 is a Euro €

    Alt-Shift-2 is â„¢
    Alt-Shift K is 

    Finally, a ctrl+double-finger stroke on a trackpad is zoom in and out.


  15. Florian says:

    I like the command+shift+m on any window, which will cause the genie-in-a-bottle effect (on my macbook pro) to slow down, almost as if everything around you gets slow actually 😀

    You can also use this to bring up the dashboard with shift!

  16. Florian says:

    Ok, it doesn’t work the way I said it would, you have to actually click the minimize button, whilst holding shift :p

    The shift+F12 (dashboard) works.

  17. Soli says:

    Ctrl-Space, which is my Quicksilver shortcut 😉

  18. Matty says:

    Command + Option + Shift + Delete
    Empties the trash without that annoying confirmation dialogue.

  19. Mike says:

    A really cool shortcut that I found by accident but now use every day is Command+Shift+i in Safari. It sets up the current page you’re viewing into an email that’s ready to send. Just type in the name of the recipient and press Command+Shift+d and you’re all set :-p

  20. g4zilla says:

    Eru: “I like Command L in Firefox/Safari – ”

    Holy crap! How did I miss that one? Basic, but I never put it to use. Thanks!

  21. Adrian Perron says:

    As as After Effects user myself I would have to agree with the “U” shortcut. Another favorite of mine in AE would have to be holding down alt (shhh I’m still using a Windows machine) and wheeling in/out to zoom in/out on whatever the pointer is hovering over.

  22. Michael says:

    i like command-shift-5

    it’s the hot key for a selectable screen capture using Skitch, one of those honest-to-goodness must haves for anyone doing daily screen, or user-selectable portions of screens on a daily/hourly basis.

    i’ll not do a review here. just reiterate it it a different way. if you’re not skitching, you’re wasting xBox time.

    P.S. In case there’s a bandwagon to jump on, let me hop on by saying the current slew of barely decipherable-by-humans let alone bots words of Captcha really sort of suck.

  23. Michael says:

    i like command-shift-5

    it’s the hot key for a selectable screen capture using Skitch, one of those honest-to-goodness must haves for anyone doing daily screen, or user-selectable portions of screens on a daily/hourly basis.

    i’ll not do a review here. just reiterate it it a different way. if you’re not skitching, you’re wasting xBox time.

    P.S. In case there’s a bandwagon to jump on, let me hop on by saying the current slew of barely decipherable-by-humans let alone bots words of Captcha really sort of suck.

    P.P.S. In case this is a duplicate post, please blame it not on me, but on Captcha.

  24. William says:

    I use “space” for the move cmd in almost all Adobe products – esp. Illustrator which I use all day at work. Then the “cmd” key is also a time saver to switch between current tool to last used pointer.

  25. Ted Naleid says:

    I love keyboard shortcuts, but the current one that I’ve been getting myself to learn is:

    ctrl-u – deletes all content in the current field

    Seems simple, but it’s amazing how often I want to clear out the current contents of a field and start over. It also works well on password fields when I know I’ve messed up the password, but not how badly and I just want to start over.

  26. Floyd says:

    I use cmd+shift+q to log out a lot. Add an “alt/option” and it skips the confirmation menu.
    also two shortcuts i couldn’t live without are cmd+t for a new tab in safari or firefox and subsequently cmd+w to close the tab

    and ted naleid, to delete all content in the current field you can also press shift+up arrow

  27. Junior says:

    Control+F2 to access the main menu bar, then arrow key right and left to navigate forth and back across the menus. One tap of arrow key down will reveal the drop down menu as you glide across with the left/right arrow keys. Further up/down arrow keys to move between items in selected menu. (Arrow key up first will start at the bottom of the menu!) Return or Enter chooses the selected item. Specifically great (and lazy) to see what’s available in an unfamiliar app.
    Control+F8 to access the right side of the main menu bar.
    Control+F3 to access the Dock items.
    These always makes me feel vaguely godlike…

  28. Gussy says:

    must say, being new to mac. love all the features that people are saying. my fav at the moment it getting expose going and then cmd + ` between the windows on that screen. so many features i don’t know about!

  29. Anson J says:

    When I got my first Mac ever — a MacBook — I had the hardest time trying to figure out how to ::open:: a selected Finder item. Return just edits the name… and I was stymied for several months. Finally, after some research, I found cmd + downarrow. What a relief.

    My personal favorite, though, is cmd + delete. I love that “thunk” sound of sending something to the trash.

  30. CapitalD says:

    Cmd+Shift+T in Firefox reopens the last closed tab (anytime in your current session). It always feels like you’re turning back time…

  31. Jason STein says:

    vi(m) ctrl-p word completion; Probably saves a million keystrokes a year.

  32. Tommy Peters says:

    Minimize a window – cmd+m
    Maximize it – cmd+tab+opt. Then release tab

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