Keyboard Control

OS X offers a fantastic feature for anyone who believes life is short: keyboard-controllable menus, dialog boxes, pop-up menus, and even Dock pop-up menus. You can operate every menu in every program without the mouse.

In fact, you can operate every control in every dialog box from the keyboard, including pop-up menus and checkboxes. And you can even redefine many of the built-in OS X keystrokes, like Shift-⌘-3 to capture the screen as a graphic.

In fact, you can add or change any menu command in any program. If you’re a keyboard-shortcut lover, your cup runneth over.

Here are some of the ways you can control your Mac mouselessly. In the following descriptions, you’ll encounter the factory settings for the keystrokes that do the magic—but as you’ll see in a moment, you can change these key combos to anything you like. (The System Preferences→Keyboard→Shortcuts tab contains the on/off switches for these features.)


On modern-day aluminum keyboards, the keystrokes described below may not work unless you also press the fn key simultaneously.

If that seems clumsy, you can eliminate the fn-key requirement either by using the “Use all F1, F2, etc. keys as standard function keys” option described in the box on A Tedious Side Note about the Aluminum Apple Keyboards—or by choosing a different keystroke altogether (Control Dialog Boxes).

Control the Menus

When you press Control-F2, the menu is highlighted. At this point, you can “walk” to another menu by pressing the or keys ...

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