Chapter 8. Keyboard Commands and Special Characters

When you’re using the keyboard, you want to keep your hands on the keys. A trip to the mouse or hunting for a special character can really slow you down. The good news is that Lion has a lot of both key commands and special characters built right in. The bad news is that, unless you’re one of those people who memorize the digits of pi to a thousand places for fun, you won’t remember them all.

The most important key commands and special characters vary from user to user. For example, if you’re writing about Exposé, knowing how to type é really helps, but knowing how to type ¬ isn’t of much use. Everyone uses his or her Mac a little differently, so this chapter features a wide selection of keyboard commands and ways to type different characters. Memorize the ones for the functions you use most, and you’ll save a lot of time and effort.

Key Commands

When your hands are on the keyboard, it’s much quicker to keep them there to perform some mundane task than it is to dig through the menus and find the option that lets you type a special character or create a new folder.

In general, the less time you spend using the mouse (or trackpad), the more productive you’ll be when using the keyboard. While you’ll want to learn the keyboard commands for all your favorite programs, some commands are so common that it’s worth reserving a special spot for them in your brain:


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