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Navigate the Menu Bar, Dock, and A lot more, Applying Your Mac’s Keyboard

Posted on
March 22nd, 2021 by
Craig Grannell and Kirk McElhearn

Navigate the Menu Bar, Dock, and More, Using Your Mac’s Keyboard

Much of your work on a Mac consists of working with a mouse or trackpad to move a cursor and click on on factors. But holding your palms on the keyboard can be more productive.

The Mac features keyboard shortcuts to aid with this, but several Mac users do not realize technique components principally intended for cursor interaction can be navigated working with the keyboard, as well. This short article describes how.

Setting navigation keyboard shortcuts

macOS provides choices to let you handle its interface from the keyboard. To start with, test Program Tastes > Keyboard > Shortcuts to see which shortcuts are set.

By default, quite a few of these shortcuts use the Regulate essential (signified in this article by ^). On many Mac keyboards, such as people on laptops, you also will need to push the fn vital, at the base remaining of the keyboard, to use the purpose keys (F1, F2, and so on.), so these shortcuts may require that you push three keys. If you want to transform any of them, click on on the keyboard shortcut and press a new one.

Navigate the menu bar with your keyboard

Press Ctrl+F2 to transfer emphasis to the menu bar. This selects the Apple menu at the major-left of the show, whether or not or not you’re in complete-screen manner.

To pick a different menu, navigate utilizing the remaining or proper arrow keys you’ll see 1 of the menus highlighted, like the Watch menu underneath.

You can also begin typing to right away soar to a menu: sort E to go to the Edit menu, or sort W to go to the Window menu.

Navigate macOS menus with your keyboard

When a menu is highlighted, you can use the up and down arrow keys to navigate it, and also the proper and remaining arrow keys, respectively, to enter and go away sub-menus. If you’re navigating a menu, and want to go back again to the menu bar, press the suitable or still left arrow key (as very long as a menu item with a sub-menu isn’t chosen).

This is very good for basic searching — obtaining a experience for an app’s menus — but not for day-to-working day function. If an merchandise has a keyboard shortcut, use that to pick out it. For an product missing a shortcut, style a couple of characters to leap to it and strike Return to decide on. (For typically-made use of things missing a shortcut, look at incorporating one particular in Technique Preferences.)

Quickly track down menu items and keyboard shortcuts

If you’re a Mac newcomer or have just set up a new application, it is useful to get an overview of out there shortcuts. CheatSheet provides this kind of a thing in a consumer-welcoming manner.

Obtain the application and adhere to the directions to allow CheatSheet to manage your Mac. Now, any time you maintain the Command vital for a few of seconds, a window will pop-up, listing shortcuts for the existing application. Simply click the equipment icon for a configurations menu, exactly where you can adjust the hold off and print the existing shortcuts checklist, if you want.

For help in discovering a menu merchandise, use the Enable menu’s search area. This is activated with Shift+Command+/ (Command+?). Get started typing and the 1st results will be menu items, which you can navigate to utilizing the down arrow vital. Choosing one shows its location in just the app’s menus, as properly as any readily available aid topics. You can push Return to activate the selected menu merchandise.

Navigate dialog bins with your keyboard

When a Conserve dialog box appears, it is tempting to simply click items with the mouse, but you don’t have to have to. Return confirms the default selection, but to avoid issues, get into the habit of utilizing shortcuts that trigger unique buttons: Command+S to help save, Escape to terminate, and Command+Delete to delete.

Navigate the Dock from the keyboard

To mail target to the Dock, use Ctrl+F3. The very first time you do so, the Finder will be picked by default. Subsequently, the 1st application picked will be what ever you most lately keyboard navigated to.

As with the menu bar, you can use the arrow keys to move through the dock, and open and close Dock merchandise menus press Return to pick an item. Note that in the proper-hand side of the Dock, you could need to have to push Escape to close an open up stack, in advance of navigating to a unique Dock product.

New to Mac? Let’s get you commenced on the ideal observe!

Want to get the most out of your new MacBook, iMac or other Apple personal computer? No matter if this is your first notebook or you’ve just switched from Home windows, there are a several items you ought to know about your new Mac, like primary keyboard shortcuts or how to use the a variety of capabilities macOS has to give. Master more about what your Mac computer system can do for you at the Intego New Mac User Middle: Get started now!

About Craig Grannell

Craig Grannell is a know-how author, mostly specialising in Macs, iOS, apps, and game titles. He’s been immersed in all issues Apple for over 20 decades, and enamoured with pcs considering that acquiring his fingers on a VIC-20 as a kid. He also has a Korg Gadget addiction. Send out help. Or alternatively, pay a visit to his web site,, and abide by him on Twitter at @craiggrannell.
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