10 speedy Finder shortcuts

10 speedy Finder shortcuts
Quick Mac Tip, 28 November 2010

The menu shows the keystroke for Select All.

The menu shows the keystroke for Select All.

There are always many way to do things on a Mac: menu items, keystrokes, clicking … Here are 10 keyboard shortcuts I need and use all the time when I’m working in the Finder.

  1. Command (⌘) Delete (⌫) moves selected items to the Trash.
  2. Command (⌘) O opens the selected items, into their default applications if they’re files.
  3. Press the Spacebar to Quick Look at a file.
  4. Select an item and press Return (↩) to select the filename and edit it.
  5. Command (⌘) N makes a new window.
  6. Command (⌘) Shift (⇧) N makes a new window folder.
  7. Command (⌘) I Gets Info on a selected file or folder.
  8. Command (⌘) Shift (⇧) U opens the Utilities folder.
  9. Command (⌘) Shift (⇧) A opens the Applications folder.
  10. Command (⌘) A selects everything in the window.

Bonus: Command (⌘) Option (⌥) A deselects everything in a window.

Have I missed a Finder shortcut you find absolutely essential? Reveal it in the Comments.

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  1. Miraz Jordan said:

    Ross emailed the following helpful shortcuts:

    It may be worthwhile adding one or more of the following ten “not quite so speedy” Finder shortcuts . . .
    (Not “absolutely essential” but may be of help to some users.)

    Where it is included on a keyboard, the <enter> key can be used instead of the <return> key.

    Having used the <return> key to select a filename, and having edited it, press <return> once again to accept the change
    OR press <esc> to cancel the change and replace the former filename.

    Using <command> – <tab> to display the icons of all open applications is extremely useful, plus the further ability to use <command> – <q> to quit the application.

    Use <command> – <esc> to open “Front Row”, and <esc> alone to close “Front Row”.

    To assign a keyboard shortcut to a menu command with no shortcut …
    Open “System Preferences” -> “Keyboard & Mouse” -> “Keyboard Shortcuts” -> “+”.
    Choose the application(s) in which to have the shortcut applied.
    Enter the command in the “Menu Title” text box exactly as it appears in the menu.
    Enter the keyboard shortcut you wish to use, then click “Add”.
    (An example would be using <control> – <b> for “Page Break” in “Microsoft Word”.)

    Use <command> – <space bar> to open or close “Spotlight”.

    Use <option> – <command> – <d> to show or hide the dock.

    Use <command> – <shift> – <c> to show drives and/or disks accessible from the “Go” menu.

    Use <command> – <shift> – <h> to open your “Home” folder.

    Use <command> – <shift> – <d> to display the Desktop.

  2. Kismet said:

    Thanks for the helpful article—

    A few others that I rely on frequently are:

    CMD+Tab and CMD+Shift+ for quickly switching between open applications

    CMD+W for closing the active window, and CMD+Opt+W for closing all windows with the active application

    CMD+Space for launching Spotlight

    and not so frequently used, but very help is CMD+Opt+Esc for force quitting non-repsonsive application.

  3. Pingback: 10 atajos de teclado imprescindibles para trabajar en el Finder de tu Mac | mecambioamac

  4. Ravi said:

    Cmd+Shift+D opens the desktop folder
    Also the bonus tip variation : Opt+A deselects all except the last selected item

  5. Sheryl said:

    Command Shift N makes a new folder; you currently have it listed as creating a new window, which is what Command N does. Since you had the repeated result, I tried the shortcut to see what it did; I’ll have to remember Command Shift N!

    Also new to me were Command Shift A and Command Shift U; that Applications shortcut shall be quite useful!

    Not a big secret, but I love that Command C actually copies the entire file or folder and Command V pastes the created duplicate. Very handy, that. And, of course, when I’m done, good old Command W closes the window.

    • Miraz Jordan said:

      Thanks for spotting my error Sheryl. I’ve corrected it above.

      In my defence: I was interrupted while writing the post…

Comments are closed.