10 not so common Mac OS X shortcuts

You’ll be using these keys (myfirstmac.com)

Many websites feature keyboard shortcuts for OS X. Most of them bury the good shortcuts under a sea of common ones that everybody knows and those that nobody will use and end up as trivia. So, I have compiled the ones I use regularly and weeded out those that seemed common knowledge. Some of these shortcuts are keyboard-alternatives to using the mouse/touchpad. Others automate to save time. I have provided Windows alternatives in some cases.

UPDATE: Some of the browser-based shortcuts may not work with all browsers. They work with Google Chrome.

1. Shortcut: Cmd+L    
    Function: takes cursor to address bar

You want to go to a particular website, but you’re too lazy to drag your mouse pointer to the address bar. Pressing Cmd+L (I wrote L in uppercase for easy identification only; please don’t press shift!).

For Windows users: Alt + d

Of course, sometimes you want to go to the address bar just to copy the URL. In that case…

2. Shortcut: Cmd+option+c (in Google Chrome)
    Function: Copies current URL

The option key is also called alt. This copies to clipboard the URL or link of the website you’re on. You can then right-click anywhere and paste. Again, if you’re only copying the URL to share by email…

3. Shortcut: Cmd+shift+I (in Google Chrome)
    Function: Opens a compose-mail dialog with current URL in body

When I want to share something interesting I find online, the altruism is tempered by the effort it takes to copy the URL, open mail client (or web app), click compose, paste the URL in the body and await grateful responses. Yikes!

But, this nifty shortcut opens a ‘compose mail’ dialog in another tab with said URL in the body. You need to be signed in, or this will take you to the login page, but you knew that already, right?

4. Shortcut: Option+space or ctrl+shift+space
    Function: Inserts a non-breaking space

Ever written something like, “$700 billion,” only to find that your word processor has wrapped the text to take ‘billion’ to the next line leaving $700 in full view, turning the Bush-bailout into a personal stimulus package? That’s because you inserted a regular space between ‘$700’ and ‘billion.’

A non-breaking space (also: hard space or fixed space) takes the whole figure ($700 billion) into the next line if necessary, but never separates the two.

For Windows users: Ctrl+shift+space

5. Shortcut: Cmd+1/2/3
    Function: Switches to the 1st/2nd/3rd tab in a browser

If you have a few tabs open in your browser, and need to go to the third one for example, press ‘Cmd + 3’

6. Shortcut: Cmd+space
    Function: Opens spotlight 

Pretty self-explanatory. This command opens the spotlight and allows you find files, preview them (by hovering over the file name in the spotlight search-result and pressing ‘space’) and even do basic mathematical calculations up to logarithms and trigonometry.

7. Shortcut: Cmd+option+c (in MS Word)
    Function: Change case 

This shortcut, when pressed, will cycle through lowercase, uppercase and sentence-case (only first letter in uppercase).

For Windows users: Shift+F3

8. Shortcut: Cmd+shift+4 and Cmd+ctrl+shift+4
    Function: To select part of the screen for a screenshot

Pressing these sets of keys will show crosshairs using which you can select a rectangular part of the screen. If you press ‘ctrl’ the screenshot will be copied to the clipboard. Without Ctrl, the screenshot is saved as a picture file (.png) on your desktop by default. If you want to capture the whole screen though, you’re better off with…

9.  Shortcut: Cmd+shift+3 and Cmd+ctrl+shift+3 
      Function:  Capture the entire screen as a screenshot

Again, pressing ‘ctrl’ will copy the screenshot to the clipboard. Without ‘ctrl’ you’re going to end up with a picture file on your desktop.

10. Shortcut: Cmd+shift+n (In Finder)
      Function: Creates new folder in current Finder folder 

Of course, you can always right-click your mouse/touchpad and choose ‘new folder’ but where’s the fun in that?

So there you have it. Ten shortcuts that are hopefully useful, yet not too common.

Sources: Wikipedia, Apple support, Lifehacker.com

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My iPhone 3Gs is my pride and joy. The earphones worked fine, but the mic and the volume control buttons generated no response. I thought I wrecked my phone for sure (as my earphones were working on other people’s phones). I looked online and found this page. All you need to do is switch off the phone and put some slender object like a pin (preferably not too sharp) into the earphone socket. You end up pulling out enough lint to make new pants out of them!

Once I dug out all that lint, the earphone started working and it works great now! I decided to post this in the hope that it might help someone else.


Microblogging seems like fun. I can just jot down some ideas as and when they come to me. I have come home to cook dinner, and will go back to the lab after eating. The roomies are watching ER. Why? Dunno!
People work a lot in this world. Somehow things change, and they affect the results of our life-experiments more than any of our efforts.
We can do only what we can. It might seem a little depressing, but in reality, it tends to set you free of responsibility.
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