Scoot to the top or bottom of a document
Mac Tip #528, 21 March 2012
My client had a lot of emails in her InBox. Rather than scrolling laboriously up and down, she wanted to scoot quickly to the top of the list.
Apple gives you some handy keyboard shortcuts to quickly go to the top or bottom of a document, or even just to go up or down a page, but exactly how you do it depends a bit on your keyboard. Here’s what you need to know.
- Use the Home and End keys to scoot to top or bottom of a long document.
- Use the Page Up and Page Down keys to move one page at a time.
- On a laptop use the
fnkey with the left and right arrow keys to scoot to top or bottom of a long document.
- On a laptop use the
fnkey with the up and down arrow keys to move one page at a time.
Want more detail? Read the full Tip below.
The keyboard confusion
Some Macs, such as the laptops, have a built-in keyboard. That keyboard is necessarily fairly small, and generally it doesn’t have exactly the same keys as an external keyboard. To get around this, some keys do double duty, and you’ll need to use the
fn key to help out. There’s more about the
fn key below.
Also, because the built-in keyboard is on the smaller side, some people prefer to connect an external keyboard. External keyboards come in all shapes and sizes, and aren’t even necessarily manufactured by Apple.
That can all lead to complications.
I use a MacBook Pro all the time and have 4 keyboards available to me, although I do more than 99% of my typing on the built-in keyboard:
- the built-in keyboard (with
- a new small Apple Bluetooth keyboard (with
- an old Apple USB full-size keyboard
- A Goldtouch split-keyboard that belongs to my partner.
Just so you can see what we’re up against, there are photos of the 4 keyboards on Page 2 of this Tip.
The fn key
I’ve written about the
fn key before in connection with the keys across the top of the keyboard: Old gold: The Fn key Mac Tip #324, 06 February 2008. But for this Tip we’re using it with the arrow keys, as it makes them do something pretty special.
Home and End are codewords for top and bottom
For the longest time Apple and other computer makers have used the words
End to refer to the top left and bottom right corners of a document respectively.
If your keyboard has a
Home key (often on the right hand side of a keyboard) press it to scoot to the top of a long document.
If your keyboard has an
End key (it should be near the
Home key) press it to scoot to the bottom of a long document.
For example, visit this long Apple page of Mac OS X keyboard shortcuts.
End key to see the end of the page and then the
Home key to see the top of the page.
This should work with any long document, such as your email In Box, a spreadsheet, a wordprocessing file, a web page, and so on.
Home and End on Mac laptops
Mac laptops don’t have
End keys. Instead, hold down the
fn key and press the left arrow key
◀ to go to the top of the document. Hold down the
fn key and press the right arrow key
▶ to go to the bottom of the document.
The arrow keys are in the bottom righthand corner of a Mac laptop keyboard.
Page Up and Page Down
Perhaps you don’t want to just shoot to the top or bottom of a document but to go up or down one page at a time.
The bigger keyboards usually have
Page Up and
Page Down keys. Give them a try.
Page Up and Page Down on Mac laptops
And of course on the laptop keyboard these keys don’t exist. Instead use the
fn key and press the up arrow key
▲ to scroll up a page. To scroll down a page use the
fn key and press the down arrow key
If you’ve been in the habit of scrolling one line at a time with the arrow keys alone, or of dragging your fingers on the trackpad, or scrolling a mouse endlessly try out these quick ways of scooting around long web pages and documents.
How’s it working out for you? Tell us in the Comments online how this Tip helped you.