Custom Keyboard Shortcuts for Mac You Should Start Using

Mac keyboard and mouse on desk

Apple has made life simpler and more relaxed with its regular updates and technological advancements. One of them is the custom keyboard shortcuts that are available on macOS for any application. These shortcuts allow one to perform different functions faster on the Mac. It is expected that you have specific actions you perform every time you put them on your Mac, and so it would be nice to have ways to get to the apps faster. Hence with custom keyboards, you can go more quickly. But if they look impossible or cumbersome, here’s how to go about them.

How to Edit Current Keyboard Shortcuts

Global shortcuts are existing already, and editing them to suit you is possible. For instance, if you want to create a keyboard shortcut to show Launchpad utility, it is straightforward. Check through the left side of the preferences window, pick Launchpad & Dock.

There you have it! A shortcut for ‘Show LaunchPad’ that is not in use. To enable the shortcut, mark the checkbox, and add the key combination you prefer to the right side. Enter Command + Option + Space. Note that a yellow symbol will appear when you do the above, and that signifies an issue somewhere with the combination. It implies that the key combination is already in use by another action appearing in the ‘Spotlight’ section. As soon as you click ‘Spotlight’ on the left, an indicator pops up showing what the keyboard shortcut already does.

This way, you can check to make sure the combination isn’t set up twice. To rectify this issue, go back to the section you changed and Double-click the key combination, and enter a new one. You can try Command + Option + N.

Mac keyboard

Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

Knowing the Current Keyboard Shortcuts

It is the same location you visit to create shortcuts that hold any existing custom shortcuts on your Mac. Therefore, before you add a new one, find out if there is any available. From the menu bar, go to ‘System Preferences‘ by clicking ‘Apple menu’-‘System Preferences.’ Select ‘Keyboard’ from the list.

SEE ALSO: 19+ Useful Apple Keyboard Shortcuts

How to Create Custom Keyboard Shortcuts on your Mac

Go to the left side of the Preferences window, and click ‘App Shortcuts.’ Click the ‘plus sign button’ at the bottom to add a shortcut. Select an option in the ‘Application’ dropdown box, enter the name of the command in the ‘Menu title,’ add your key combination in the ‘Keyboard Shortcut.’ It is advisable to use keys that will be easily remembered. Then click ‘Add.’ A small window will open after you create the shortcut. Bear in mind that you might need to go through the same steps for each custom keyboard you make. The significant icons needed include Application, Menu Title, and a Keyboard Shortcut.

Keyboard Shortcuts for Math Symbols on your Mac

Math symbols are figures used for math formulas, and there are easily accessible ones on every standard keyboard. They include (Shift + ‘=’), % (Shift + 5), ‘=,’ and ‘+.’ However, there are other combinations that you never knew existed. To type math symbols on Mac, the Keyboard Viewer is here for you and how to go about it is below.

  1. Open System Preferences
  2. Click the Keyboard menu.
  3. Go to Input Sources
  4. Look for the ‘Show Input menu in the menu bar.’
  5. Click Show Keyboard Viewer from the menu bar. An interactive keyboard will appear on the screen.
  6. Hold down each modifier key like this: Fn +Control +Option ⌘. A character layout on your keyboard instantly changes to reveal math symbols that are hidden.

SEE ALSO: 15 Useful Windows Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard Shortcuts Specific to Certain Applications

Mail App

To do any shortcut, you have to go to the app first, and in this case, it is the Mail app, then the menu title. To add sender to your contact list, the Keyboard Shortcut is ‘Shift + Command + A.’ to mark all messages in a mailbox as read, and the shortcut is ‘Shift + Command + R.’

Notes App

To pin a note to the top, go to the Notes app; the menu title is Pin Note, and the shortcut is ‘Shift + Command + P.’ To lock a note, still, in the Notes app, the shortcut is ‘Shift + Command + L.’ Bear in mind that you would have to create a password to lock a note.


To show the sorting options in the sidebar, go to numbers, menu title of Show Sort Options, and use the shortcut; ‘Shift + Command + O’.


If you want to add an Image in Gallery to the document, go to Pages, with the menu title of Insert-Image Gallery, and use the shortcut ‘Shift + Command + I.’

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