The easy way to become a Mac OS X power user

“Mac OS X contains many shortcuts, special keyboard combinations you can exercise to make things happen, but unless you make the effort to learn them there’s no guarantee you’ll recall the one you need at the time you most need it,” jonny evans writes for Computerworld.

“Fear no more: there’s ways to make finding shortcuts easier,” Evans writes. “Bring out your inner power user!”

Evans covers:
• Dashboard
• One keyboard command to rule them all
• Launchbar
• One more incredibly useful keyboard command
• Shortcut lists

Full article here.


  1. Much as I like some of the author’s suggestions, I think he missed one serious utility that has been useful for almost 2 decades to anyone who MUST get lots of work done: Quickeys.

    Whether it is routine repeated text at the bottom or your email or an 8 step series of events you do over and over in a presentation or graphics program, you simply can not beat Quickeys.

    I’ve used it for so long I’ve forgotten when I started, but the company that sells it has changed and is now Startly. — though still works

  2. further, he writes the entire thing from the perspective of a laptop user – how about right clicking with the mouse on the dock icons to force quit? no need for a key when you do this… pretty pathetic list IMO.

  3. @GRH

    Follow the instructions in the purple box on the right of the page you clicked into. You need to be using Safari and use the ‘File>Open in Dashboard’ command. This works for any webpage BTW.


  4. I’ve never used Dashboard very much, but I like having a few of the smaller widgets on my Desktop all the time.

    You can do so by first giving this command in Terminal

    defaults write devmode YES

    to activate “Dashboard development mode.” You have to log out and log in (or just restart). Then run Dashboard and click-hold the widget you want (like you are dragging it); use the keyboard command for Dashboard to exit Dashboard and let go of the widget (you can also use the keyboard command for Spaces or Exposé to exit Dashboard). This basically drags the widget from Dashboard to your Desktop. I have the iCal, Clock, and Weather widgets at the bottom corner of my secondary display. Note: The widget will “float” above windows.

    To drag a widget back onto Dashboard, click-hold on the widget and press the keyboard command for Dashboard, then let go. You can turn off “Dashboard development mode” by giving that same terminal command with NO at the end instead of YES.

  5. @ Burrell

    Bought QuicKeys (QK) the first day it was introduced and haven’t been without it since.

    I have tried the others. However, for me, being able to enter my lab and automate a series of actions on 3 Macs running on 5 screens, couldn’t be simpler without QK.

    Everytime Apple updates the Mac OS, the first thing I look for is an update/reviews* for QK.

    As GM found out a few decades ago, the largest readers of Chevy ads were Chevy owners.


  6. @Burrell and @Macaday

    Add Keyboard Maestro to QuicKeys and Quicksilver.

    Also Default Folder.

    Besides that, what I use the most all day long as a graphic designer and songwriter/musician are 1) navigation through folders with arrowkeys plus Command, Option, etc., and 2) two-finger swiping on a MacBook trackpad.

  7. He missed some of my fav key combos…

    cmd f3 – moves all windows out of the way showing the desktop…I use this constantly

    cmd shift 3 – takes a “print screen” of the entire current screen and places it on the desktop.

    cmd shift 4 – Give you a “crosshair” that you can use to take a “screen print” of just a small part of the screen you select.

    I am amazed how many people don’t know about the print screen options and even buy programs to do what OSX does for free. And of course if you don’t know…

    cmd c – this copies selected text or objects

    cmd v – this “pastes” copied text or objects. This is an important one to know because I have seen the “key” paste work when the “paste” option is dim on a programs menu.

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