Top 10 keyboard shortcuts new Mac users need to know!

Want to learn to navigate around OS X faster? Here are 10 shortcuts every Mac owner should know!

If you just picked up your first Mac you may be scratching your head when you look at the keyboard for the first time. It's a little different than the Windows counterpart but that doesn't mean it's any harder to use and navigate. There is no shortage of handy keyboard shortcuts to help you move around OS X as fast and efficiently as possible. Here are the keyboard shortcuts we think every Mac owner should know right from the start:

1. How to quit an app

Quitting an app completely kills the task itself. In order to quit an application completely, just press Cmd + Q on your keyboard.

How to quit an app with your Mac keyboard

2. How to close the active window

If you don't want to completely quit an app but just close the current active window, hit Cmd + W on your keyboard.

How to close a window with your Mac keyboard

3. How to open a new tab

Most apps support tabs which means instead of opening new windows, you can just open new tabs in the same instance. To open a new tab without using the file menu, just press Cmd + T on your keyboard.

How to open a new tab with your Mac keyboard

4. How to access the application switcher

The application switcher in OS X lets you quickly and easily toggle between open applications without a mouse. To access it just press Cmd + Tab on your keyboard. Then to tab through applications, just repeatedly press the tab key until you have the application you want to switch to highlighted and then release it.

How to access app switcher on your Mac keyboard

5. How to open Spotlight search

Spotlight search is your go-to place for searching all files and applications on your Mac. Access it quickly by pressing Cmd + Space bar on your keyboard.

How to access spotlight search with a Mac keyboard

6. How to force quit applications

Every once in a while an application may choose not to respond and you might have to force it to close if the normal way of quitting it results in no response. For that, bring up the Force Quit dialog box by hitting Cmd + Option + Esc on your keyboard.

Force quit apps Mac keyboard shortcut

7. How to cut, copy, paste, and undo

If you're used to cutting, copying, pasting, and undoing on a Windows keyboard, a Mac keyboard isn't too terrible different, instead of a control key though, you'll use the Cmd key followed by whatever letter you need, Z, X, C, or V for undo, cut, copy, and paste respectively.

How to cut copy paste undo on Mac keyboard

8. How to search and find words and phrases

If you want to find a specific word or phrase on a webpage — or anywhere within OS X really — just hit Cmd + F on your keyboard in order to launch the in-app search bar.

How to use find and search feature on Mac keyboard

9. How to launch Quick Look

Quick Look is a great utility that lets you easily view a media file without actually opening it, hence the name Quick Look. Just click once on the file you'd like to view in Quick Look and then tap the Space bar on your keyboard. Alternately, you can hit Cmd + Y which does the same thing. I just find the space bar method to be much more convenient.

How to launch Quick Look with Mac keyboard

10. How to access the shut down, sleep, and restart dialog

If you need to put your Mac to sleep, shut it down, or restart it, the easiest way to do so is by just opening a dialog box that lets you pick one of the three. To do so, just hit Control + Eject on your keyboard.

Restart shutdown and sleep Mac keyboard shortcuts

Your favorite shortcuts?

These are the keyboard shortcuts I think folks who are brand new to Mac will benefit from the most while getting started. However, we know there are many more. What are your favorites? Be sure to leave them in the comments as well as a brief description of what they do!

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