Keyboard shortcuts are handy ways of using simple keyboard commands to handle tasks that might require multiple clicks of your mouse or trackpad. Sometimes using these shortcuts can save time and make your work flow easier. As an example, from time to time I grab screen shots to include in Kibbles or to send to customers. I can launch the Grab app to capture these screen shots but I can also hit ⇧⌘3 (shift/command/3) to capture the screen. Easier yet, if I frequently use that key combination I can customize the keys I use or make one of my function keys do the screen grab. Here’s how you would do that:
- Choose System Preferences -> Keyboard->Shortcuts
- You will see a bunch of shortcuts that are already there
- Select Screen Shots
- Pick the one you want – i.e. Save Picture of screen as a file and select it
- Click on the existing key combination until it is highlighted
- Enter your new key combination
You will get a warning triangle if you choose a key combination (or function key) that is already in use.
You can also add key combination shortcuts that are specific to an App. Selecting the App Shortcuts will take you there. Unless you have already set up some shortcuts, you will see only the key combination for “Show Help Menu” for all applications. To add a new shortcut to your favorite application you hit the + sign and a dialog box will pop up to allow you to select an app. From there you can set up the new shortcut:
- Choose your App – or select all Apps if you want to set the key combination for the same menu command that appears in many Apps.
- Type in the menu command for which you want to create a shortcut. VERY IMPORTANT – You must type the command exactly as it appears in the Application menu, including ellipses and any other punctuation. To type an ellipse, use three periods without spaces.
- Click in the Keyboard Shortcut box and type the key combination or function key you wish to use and click “Add”.
- Quit and restart any Apps that are open for the new keyboard command to take effect.
If you assign a shortcut that already exists for another command or another App, your new shortcut will not work and you will have to find the menu command that is using that shortcut and change it.