Mac OSX keyboard shortcuts for newbies

An old Apple computer

If, like me, you've recently found yourself using a Mac after a lifetime of Windows and Linux use, you might be a little bit confused. To help, here's a list of the most useful keyboard shortcuts that I've found.


  • End of line - CMD right arrow
  • Start of line - CMD left arrow
  • Delete - function backspace
  • Move to next word - ALT right arrow
  • Move to previous word - ALT left arrow
  • Top of file - CMD up
  • Bottom of file - CMD down
  • Copy, cut, paste - CMD C, CMD X, CMD V
  • Next/previous application - CMD TAB, CMD SHIFT TAB
  • Hash key - ALT 3 (turns out developers need this a lot)
  • Next open application window - CMD ~ (e.g. if you have more than one Finder window open)
  • Previous open application window - CMD SHIFT ~


  • Next terminal window - CMD right
  • Previous terminal window - CMD left
  • End of line - CTRL E
  • Start of line - CTRL A
  • Next tab - CMD SHIFT right
  • Previous tab - CMD SHIFT left


  • Back - CMD [
  • Forward - CMD ]
  • Reload/refresh - CMD R
  • New tab - CMD T
  • Reopen last closed tab - CMD SHIFT T
  • Select a specific tab - CMD number e.g. CMD 2 for the second tab
  • Next tab - CTRL TAB
  • Previous tab - CTRL SHIFT TAB
  • Open Chrome dev tools - CMD ALT J


  • Lock screen - CTRL SHIFT POWER
  • Take a screenshot - CMD SHIFT 4 (obviously)
  • Start Voiceover - CMD F5
  • Stop Voiceover - CMD F5

Worthwhile tip - the 'alt' key is sometimes referred to as the 'option' key. On my Mac it's only labelled as 'alt'.


  • Find in current file - CMD F
  • Find file - CMD P or CMD T (there must be a difference but I can't see it)
  • Find and replace - CMD ALT F
  • More advanced find and replace - CMD SHIFT F

For the more adventurous

  • CTRL up - shows all open windows. You can then click on them with the mouse (haven't found a keyboard shortcut yet)
  • CTRL down - switch between windows within the current application, use cursor keys to navigate, Enter to select

That's all I'm using right now. I'll post any others I find useful.


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