The Best Mac Shortcuts For Every Student

by Muhammad Irfan Raza
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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:

CommandWhat will happen
Command + CCopy text
Command + VPaste clipboard content
Command + Shift + VPastes without formatting
Command + XCut
Command + ASelect 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 + BBold lettering
Command + IItalics
Command + UUnderline
Option + DeleteDelete word on the left of the cursor
Fn + DeleteForward delete
Control + KDelete text between cursor and end of Paragraph
Command + Control + SpacebarOpen Character Viewer Window
Command + KAdd 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 + FFind a specific word
Command + semi-colon (;)Find misspelled words
Command + Control + DDisplay 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 + ZUndo the Previous Action
Command + Shift + ZRedo previously undone action
Fn + Left / Right ArrowJump to Beginning/End of Doc
Command + Left/Right ArrowMove 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 + SSave your doc
Command + OOpen Doc
Command + PPrint 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 + TOpen new Tab
Command + Shift + TReopen
Command + NOpen a New window
Command + WClose current window
Command + Shift + WClose all window
Command + MMinimize 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 + Shift + NCreate a new folder
Command + Shift + DOpen the desktop folder
Command + Option + LOpen Downloads folder (in finder)
Command + Shift + OOpen Documents folder (in finder)
Command + Shift + GOpen to go to Folder
Command + Shift + HOpen user’s home folder
Command + Shift + FOpen 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 + Shift + Question mark (?)Open help menu
Option + Shift + Volume up/downAdjust volume
Command + Shift + DeleteEmpty your Mac’s trash
Command + DeleteTo empty the trash without confirmation
Command + Shift + 3Take a screenshot of the entire screen
Command + Mousepad clickRight-click
Command + Option + EscBrings up menu to help your force an app to quite
Command + TabOpen the app switcher
Command + SpacebarOpen spotlight search bar

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