The Best Mac Shortcuts For Every Student

by Muhammad Irfan Raza
Published: Last Updated on

Few people enjoy spending more time on work than they have to, yet often a simple lack of knowledge causes us to do exactly this, simply because we don’t easy, time-saving steps.

By learning several common Mac shortcuts, covering shortcuts that help with everything from documents to web pages to even Mac’s operating system, you’ll save you plenty of time in the long run.

Mac Keyboard Shortcuts: Writing Papers and Working with Documents

Writing papers can be time-consuming. However, there is (a vast) range of Mac shortcuts and commands that make life a little easier for any would-be essayist.

Here’s how to cut, copy and paste:

Command What will happen
Command + C Copy text
Command + V Paste clipboard content
Command + Shift + V Pastes without formatting
Command + X Cut
Command + A Select All

Here are Mac shortcuts that deal more specifically with formatting or editing your text, although not all of them work with every word-processing app.

Command Action
Command + B Bold lettering
Command + I Italics
Command + U Underline
Option + Delete Delete word on the left of the cursor
Fn + Delete Forward delete
Control + K Delete text between cursor and end of Paragraph
Command + Control + Spacebar Open Character Viewer Window
Command + K Add a hyperlink to selected text

Hunting for particular words in your document or definitions or misspellings? Here are the Mac commands you need.

Note: some of these shortcuts are different for Google Docs and Microsoft Word, which occasionally have their own specific key combinations (noted below where available).

Command Action
Command + F Find a specific word
Command + semi-colon (;) Find misspelled words
Command + Control + D Display definition of highlighted word
Command + Shift + Colon (:) Open spelling and grammar window

Here are several Mac keyboard shortcuts related to undoing actions and jumping to particular parts of your work:

Command Action
Command + Z Undo the Previous Action
Command + Shift + Z Redo previously undone action
Fn + Left / Right Arrow Jump to Beginning/End of Doc
Command + Left/Right Arrow Move cursor to the beginning/end of the line

And finally, if you’ve finished a writing session, here are three Apple shortcuts that deal with saving, printing and opening new documents:

Command Action
Command + S Save your doc
Command + O Open Doc
Command + P Print of Doc

Mac Keyboard Shortcuts: Navigating Web Pages and Apps

Writing papers and reports is one thing, but no list of the best Mac shortcuts for students would be complete without detailing the commands that can be used to navigate between web pages and apps. These are the kinds of alternatives that prove useful when conducting the research and reading necessary for writing a paper, or when opening additional apps to help you finish your work.

It should be noted that these shortcuts work with all major browsers (e.g., Chrome, Safari, Firefox).

Command Action
Command + T Open new Tab
Command + Shift + T Reopen
Command + N Open a New window
Command + W Close current window
Command + Shift + W Close all window
Command + M Minimize the current window

Mac Keyboard Shortcuts: Managing Files and Folders

If you save lots of essays and documents to your Mac, you may want to save them to particular folders, as a way of making them more findable. Here is a batch of Mac shortcuts that relate to folders:

Command Action
Command + Shift + N Create a new folder
Command + Shift + D Open the desktop folder
Command + Option + L Open Downloads folder (in finder)
Command + Shift + O Open Documents folder (in finder)
Command + Shift + G Open to go to Folder
Command + Shift + H Open user’s home folder
Command + Shift + F Open all my files

Mac Keyboard Shortcuts: Handy System Shortcuts

While none of the Mac commands below relate specifically to writing papers or managing your work, they’re all useful time-savers in one way or another:

Command Action
Command + Shift + Question mark (?) Open help menu
Option + Shift + Volume up/down Adjust volume
Command + Shift + Delete Empty your Mac’s trash
Command + Delete To empty the trash without confirmation
Command + Shift + 3 Take a screenshot of the entire screen
Command + Mousepad click Right-click
Command + Option + Esc Brings up menu to help your force an app to quite
Command + Tab Open the app switcher
Command + Spacebar Open spotlight search bar

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