Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Mac keyboard shortcuts (support.apple.com)
390 points by tosh 75 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 550 comments



It's shocking to me how far ahead MacOS is in terms of keyboard shortcuts compared to all other operating systems. There absolutely has been some people there who deeply care and think long and hard about how experts use their systems even if the actual main company doesn't care so much about that segment anymore.

Everything just makes sense logically and mnemonically like using shift to invert actions like cmd+z and cmd+shift+z rather than having ctrl+z and ctrl+y for undo/redo.

Then add to this the ability to rebind any shortcuts in any app at an OS level. It's a little frustrating because I'm trying to move my computing away from Apple because I'm no longer convinced they care about Macs in the long term but just really wish either Microsoft would have the guts to throw a lot of their legacy out and fix all this stuff or that there were some way to actually achieve this level of coherence across the whole system on Linux.


> It's shocking to me how far ahead MacOS is in terms of keyboard shortcuts compared to all other operating systems.

I agree with your other points (including easier customizability), but have to completely disagree with this quoted sentence.

In my experience of using macOS/OS X/Mac OS X as well as Windows and Linux, macOS is one OS where a user cannot avoid using the mouse or trackpad!

On Windows (and mostly in Linux too), I can navigate the entire system, application menus and UI controls without touching the mouse or trackpad, relying only on the keyboard. The same on a Mac would be frustrating because keyboard navigation, especially for menus, is cumbersome. There are many Apple apps that cannot be completely controlled just using the keyboard either. There are many UI controls (including in dialogs) that just need a mouse or keyboard. When I find these instances, for me it's like death by a thousand paper cuts (note: I do have preferences set to navigate through all controls when hitting Tab).

If you disagree with my assessment, please try this using only the keyboard (no mouse or trackpad) and see how cumbersome it is (not to mention inconsistent in certain ways with the rest of the system too):

* Open System Preferences

* Open the Keyboard settings (just an example)

* Navigate from one tab to another within the settings

Of course, I'd like to know how something like this can be done faster using the keyboard.


On Windows (and mostly in Linux too), I can navigate the entire system, application menus and UI controls without touching the mouse or trackpad, relying only on the keyboard.

It's also far more discoverable --- if you press Alt, accidentally or otherwise, the menu highlights and you can immediately use the arrow keys to navigate it. The underlined letters (sadly missing by default in later Windows versions) also make things more obvious.

There's also this oddity:

https://superuser.com/questions/59007/enter-to-open-a-file-i...

In just about every other graphical file explorer I've ever used, including the DOS ones, Enter opens the selected item. In the Mac Finder, it's Command-O. Yes, I get the fact that it's mnemonic with the others in that list, but it's completely contrary to the customary and rapidly learned behaviour of navigating using the arrow keys and Enter ---which is located very close to the arrow keys, and requires only one hand to operate easily.


macOS has discoverability features that obviate the need for the "press alt" feature. You don't even need to know what menu contains your target.

Command-? (command shift /) opens the help menu with fast incremental search through all menubar items, showing you the shortcut of what you're interested in, and also allowing you to tap return to substitute the shortcut.


It’s a nice feature; a shame that it’s not discoverable (i.e. something people would think to look for when they need it, if they hadn't used it before.)

Personally, if I were designing it, I wouldn't have exposed it as a separate bar in the Help menu of the app; but rather just made it an API provider to the OS (sort of like how drag-and-drop data sources work), such that the OS search (Spotlight) could be made a "universal" search, capable of searching both the OS generally, and the currently-focused application specifically.

While I'm dreaming, imagine if you could go into Mission Control and start typing, and it'd highlight/focus the set of windows that "have" the text you're looking for (even if not necessarily scrolled into their viewport.) Like the search you can do in Safari's "tab overview" by pressing Cmd+F there, but across all windows of all apps. Once you've narrowed it down to one window, press Enter and that window will pop to the foreground—perhaps with that text pre-selected as if you had done a Cmd+F search within the app.

Or, something even less likely to happen: imagine if you could move your mouse by searching across the corpus of text visibly on-screen (presumably via interaction with the OS text-rendering layer), such that you could jump the cursor to a specific button; or even to the checkbox with a specific label.


a shame that it’s not discoverable (i.e. something people would think to look for when they need it, if they hadn't used it before.)

It's discovered when someone clicks on the "Help" menu at the top of every single screen. How much more discoverable can it be without resorting to Clippy-style intrusions?


There is nothing on the Help menu that indicates that the keyboard shortcut exists.


I thought the post was referring to the discoverability of the search feature.

No way to know that pressing Alt shows keyboard shortcuts on windows either.


You sure showed them!


I mean, help sounds like it would be helpful, but all it's used for is to do Help/About, and IIRC, Apple put About somewhere else. So what is an average person doing in the Help menu?


This search box in Help is a pretty good design that even Google implemented this across their GSuite in docs, sheets, etc


Also: The menu opened by Command-? can be browsed using Ctrl+P and Ctrl+N, like emacs, instead of the up and down keys if you want to move your hands less.

It's a killer combination, allowing you to run menu items with merely a vague notion of their name rather than a memorized jumble of modifier keys.


> Command-? (command shift /) opens the help menu

It's also far more convenient than Ctrl-F2 to move the mouse focus to the menu bar.


Holy shit, I've been using Macs since 2009 and I never knew about this.


Ahh I totally knew this and forgot about it. Thanks for the reminder!


> [Windows] is also far more discoverable

Every macOS app has a search field in the Help menu where you can instantly look up any menu item, and it’s a built-in feature of macOS, way ahead of Windows.


It's odd that everyone here is mentioning search as a counterpoint, when that's one of the least discoverable interfaces --- just like a command line, you need to at least know what something is called in order to use it. Contrast that with a menu, where you are immediately presented with all the options to choose from.


The menu bar search field searches the menus. When you highlight a search result, it even opens the corresponding menu and shows you the item!

Disclaimer: I worked on this feature.


Oh man, THANK YOU for this!

It was one of the biggest wow factors of macOS for me when I first started using it about 10 years ago, and it still keeps saving me a lot of time.

Thanks!!!


I know that feature! That is the one feature that makes users actually consult the help documentation.

(and I would love to see how that is done - how the menus and their contents, were implemented to make them searchable!)

Here's to 2 more billion upvotes :-)


I love love love this feature. You rock! Thank you. I’m lost on systems that don’t have this feature, and crap apps like Word that hide everything in the UI.

I’d give you a billion upvotes if I could :)


> you need to at least know what something is called in order to use it.

It lets you see if an app has a feature that you’re sure it must have, but don’t know exactly what it could be called or where it might be.

For example, in Xcode I just need to search “up” to see commands for moving a block up text up.

Or “blur” to see the different kinds of blur an image editor has.

> Contrast that with a menu

You misunderstood. It shows the menus which have items matching your search, in place.

https://i.imgur.com/6DieqF3.png


funny. tried an experiment on chrome while reading your comment. how would i find command+shift+t if i didn't know the shortcut from other browsers?

typed "undo close" on that search box. Nothing. clicked on the "tab" menu. still nothing. finally going back to the search box and typing "tab" it shows up as "reopen closed tab" and show me that it is in the "file" menu.

Weird application choices aside, Wonder why apple don't make that a central keyboard first command box like emacs or most code IDEs do. I mean, i don't even know how to go to that help search box without a mouse.


This is how I do this exercise. No mouse required:

1. `cmd - shift - /` to jump to Help (works in any app)

2. type `tab` ["Hmm, I don't know exact shortcut to <undo close tab>, so let me start with something generic..."]

3. search through results with ctrl-n or ctrl-p.

4. As you search, different menu items show you the shortcut

And voila, your `cmd - shift - t` is the second result under "reopen closed tab"

EDIT: formatting bullets


The Finder is still rooted in a spatial metaphor. Cmd+Down to “enter” the focused item (which used to always mean opening it, back when spatial navigation meant that Finder folders all opened in their own windows.) Cmd+Up exits out. (Not sure what this did back in spatial-navigation days; but I wouldn’t be surprised if it refocused the parent dir’s window if it was still open, and reopened it otherwise.)

Also, ever since non-spatial navigation became a thing in macOS, Cmd+[ and Cmd+] have become back/forward through navigation history in all contexts where there is such a thing as a navigation history. Works in Safari, Finder, System Preferences, all the iTunes-diaspora apps...


> Cmd+Up exits out. (Not sure what this did back in spatial-navigation days; but I wouldn’t be surprised if it refocused the parent dir’s window if it was still open, and reopened it otherwise.)

You can still run the Finder in mostly spatial by hiding the toolbar and sidebar. I prefer it that way. Then ⌘↑ does exactly what you think.

(Not tested on MacOS BS)


> In just about every other graphical file explorer I've ever used, including the DOS ones, Enter opens the selected item. In the Mac Finder, it's Command-O. Yes, I get the fact that it's mnemonic with the others in that list, but it's completely contrary to the customary and rapidly learned behaviour of navigating using the arrow keys and Enter ---which is located very close to the arrow keys, and requires only one hand to operate easily.

Aside from the fact that other users exposed the CMD+arrow shortcuts, Finder's shortcuts are also consistent with the rest of macOS, where "enter" typically renames the selection (try it with a folder in Notes, for example).


As mentioned in the answer—use command-down.

Command-up goes to the parent, command-down goes to the child. You can do the entire thing with arrow keys and command.


It is also Command-Down to open the selected thing in Finder. Command-Up takes you one level in the file hierarchy (e.g., takes you to the parent), which also fits nicely.


To exit Firebox SSL from the hidden tray icon drop down:

  WindowsKey+B
  EnterKey
  ArrowUp
Now I am stuck, how do I make the drop down menu appear using the keyboard?


So much YES, AGREE!

Enter should open the application.

Not f#%% edit it's name!

(how often do you want that?? == almost never; versus 'open' == almost always)


I do actually agree with you in general, felt Windows was easier to navigate with the keyboard - especially menus - but that specific one can be done reasonably easily as long you've enabled "Use keyboard navigation..." in Keyboard preferences > Shortcuts:

1. Cmd-space to get Spotlight, "pref" to match System Preferences (on my machine at least), Enter

2. Search is auto highlighted so type "keyb", down arrow, Enter

3. Tab to focus on tab bar, left/right arrow key to move between tabs (this one is a bit buggy, seems the "Text" tab steals the focus so you have to shift-tab back to the tab bar)


In step 1, just search "keyboard" to go directly to that preference

In alfred app (spotlight alternative) you can have fuzzy search so its 3 strokes: `cmd - space` then `kb` to instantly find Keyboard settings

(spotlight feels a bit slower than alfred for these kinds of searches)


You can do the first one on Windows. Press Windows button then type anything.


It’s nowhere near as good tho. You frequently have to type the name of the entire utility. On MacOS I can open Disk Utility by using CMD space to open Spotlight and type du. I can do this all as one single shortcut without even looking.

On Windows I need to type a lot more and then navigate a list of wordy descriptions in the hope of finding Disk Management. At least now they’ve added Win-X.


Weird, I find Windows search much better than Spotlight.


My windows install has been failing to make newly installed programs available through search, rendering it entirely useless.


Challenge accepted.

1. cmd-space to open spotlight, type in system pref, hit enter

2. default behavior puts you in search, type in "keyboard", down arrow, enter

3. press tab to highlight top tabs, press left/right arrow to select new tab, press space to select

(requires the setting "Use keyboard navigation to move focus between controls" which can be found in Keyboard -> Shortcuts.)


> (requires the setting "Use keyboard navigation to move focus between controls" which can be found in Keyboard -> Shortcuts.)

Can you turn that on without a pointing device?


Yes! In fact, you don't even need to open System Preferences at all.

You can use this global keyboard shortcut to turn on the "Use keyboard navigation to move focus between controls" setting: Control + Fn + F7

Here how to test if it's on or off:

1. Open a new TextEdit doc.

2. Type some random gibberish.

3. Attempt to save the doc.

4. Hit "Tab" and see if anything happens. If the "Use keyboard navigation to move focus between controls" setting is off, nothing will happen.

Now, with the "Save" dialog still open....

5. Do the key combo: Control + Fn + F7

6. Hit "Tab" again — this time you should notice you're moving through the different UI elements.

Tab lets you move forward/down through the UI. Tab + Shift lets you move in reverse.

If you have System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts open when you do the key combo, you'll notice the checkbox for "Use keyboard navigation to move focus between controls" toggle from checked to unchecked in realtime :)


yes.


As a counterpoint, at least on a Mac, when I’m using the keyboard I can keep my hands near the home row. I can fire up a text editor or IDE and write a bunch of code without moving my hands too much.

On Windows, I am constantly moving my right hand over to the INS/DEL/HOME/END/PGUP/PGDN block, because those keys are essential for really simple tasks like moving the cursor to the beginning of the line. And worse yet, I constantly miss the mark and move the cursor to some other part of the document, and have to find my way back again. I find it extremely frustrating.

On a Mac, I can ctrl-a to move to the beginning of a line, ctrl-e to move to the end. Nearly anywhere. Losing that convenience is super frustrating.


That is one of the most frustrating aspects of Microsoft software (and websites) on MacOS- Microsoft blocks GNU Readline shortcuts and overwrites many of the more useful ones with the windows conventions.

If anyone knows how to turn that 'feature' off and get headline back, I'd love to know



I feel like most IDEs and Text editors I’ve used allow you to rebind keys to move the cursor across text. As someone who also doesn’t moving from the home row, I tend to use Vim for everything and it’s a lot more powerful and flexible than the rudimentary emacs shortcuts macOS provides.

Additionally, you can configure Linux to handle system wide emacs shortcuts as well.


How?


If you're using gnome, it looks like there's a preset for it in gnome-tweak-tool in the keyboard settings.

I use dwm without a DE, so I remap mine manually using xmodmap. I use caps lock as an additional modifier key so I can put these types of shortcuts under the same modifier so it doesn't conflict with control and rebound actual caps lock (which I rarely use) to shift + caps lock.


I could argue that having dedicated keys for navigation when you spend all your time in the IDE is a feature, not a problem.

Most IDEs that work on Mac OS can and will use the home/end/etc keys if you plug in a real keyboard, with the notable exception of ... XCode.


> I could argue that having dedicated keys for navigation when you spend all your time in the IDE is a feature, not a problem.

Are you going to make that argument? Or are you just going to say that you “could”?

The problem with dedicated keys is that I make more errors and it causes more problems with RSI. Ctrl-a and Ctrl-e are easier and more accurate for touch typists, and put less strain on my hands.


Dunno, I've been touch typing since forever and i actually prefer the dedicated keys. Bending my left hand to press ctrl+a looks like more stress to me than moving the right to home/end.

In conclusion, it's basically what you're used to :)

The one thing that baffles me is why Apple won't add the shortcuts for full keyboards into the OS by default. It's not like they're unaware of their existence.


You can map home and end system-wide on Mac. I don't remember the details offhand, so you'll have to search for the method, but it's done with just a config file.

Of course, there are Qt apps, which in their faux-crossplatformity ignore what the system does for them, including these bindings.


This is one of the main reason I haven’t used Windows for years. AutoHotKey helps: https://www.autohotkey.com/


I have to agree.

I was a heavy keyboard shortcut user on Windows – since Windows 3.1 days – which I believed was designed with mouse being an optional user interface device. Microsoft continued to bring ahead many of the keyboard shortcuts with Win95, XP and beyond.

When I switched to Mac, I was surprised to find how limited Mac keyboard shortcuts are, even till this day. For instance, on Windows one can resize windows with keyboard alone, but not possible, as far as I'm aware, on a Mac.

Not only is it lacking, Apple has also been dropping support for some keyboard shortcuts as well, e.g. you used to be able to put a Mac to sleep with Option+Command+Eject, with the latest TouchID MacBook Pro, Eject button is no longer there and the replacement shortcut with the power button is also not working on TouchID power button.


Yea, it's not always immediately apparent. Here are suggestions for your use cases:

For sleep, I use ctrl - cmd - q (shown at this submission's link)

Resizing windows with keyboard is indeed the missing piece in macOS. Hence, Magnet* is consistently the top app in App Store (others are Spectacle* or Better Snap tool)

--- Spectacle is free and i've been using it for years, even if apparently no longer maintained: https://www.spectacleapp.com

Magnet: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/magnet/id441258766?mt=12


I use Rectangle, which iirc is a form of spectacle.


Also, several newer applications, and especially Electron ones, do not support what used to be norm on Mac, namely Emacs-derived navigation keys.


>There are many UI controls (including in dialogs) that just need a mouse or keyboard.

Dialogs can be activated by using cmd+the letter of the first action. e.g "File already exists, replace / cancel" cmd+R and cmd+C would work.

This is far superior than tabbing around IMHO, but you can do that too, it's an option in settings.

>Of course, I'd like to know how something like this can be done faster using the keyboard.

- cmd+space

- sys <return>

- keyb <down> <return>

- tab

then left and right arrows to choose which tab you want

I think this request is a poor workflow example for keyboard shortcuts. Better examples would be workflows that are a chain of repetitive actions in a sequence.


You know, that's a good point - the conceptual difference between accessibility (mouseless operation), and shortcuts (acceleration of workflow).


You may not have tab access for windows/dialog boxes. I think it is deactivated by default. You can activate with ctrl+f7 or system preferences > keyboard > shortcuts > click radial at the bottom for all controls.


Tabbing through the controls like mad, which people keep suggesting, is of course super-tiring and requires keeping track of the subtle focus indicator—and is not seriously a way to use the keyboard. Instead, there's an app called Shortcat that can activate those controls, with you typing the control's text or a part of it. Like a combination of Vimium and Spotlight. Alas, the app is not free.

Also, personally instead of Spotlight I prefer Alfred, which can replace many shortcuts with commands, which are way more ‘mnemonic’. E.g. locking the screen is ‘scr’ in Alfred for me, which pops up ‘Screen saver’ as the suggestion.


> On Windows (and mostly in Linux too), I can navigate the entire system, application menus and UI controls without touching the mouse or trackpad, relying only on the keyboard.

At least on Windows, this is for historical reasons: back in the late 80s and early 90s, when the Windows interface was originally designed, having a mouse (or any other pointing device) was optional. Windows had to be fully usable on computers which came only with a keyboard. (There were a couple of exceptions, IIRC the Paintbrush application which came with Windows required a mouse, for understandable reasons.)


Is there a way to temporarily turn on keyboard navigation? With keyboard navigation turned on it's relatively simple.

1. cmd+space

2. type keyboard

3. press enter

4. click tab until you're on the tab bar, then click right arrow to the tab you want


Yes, ctrl-F7 (de-)activates keyboard navigation. When activated, the problem of grand parent does not exist. I don’t use a mouse or touch pad normally.


I think the point was "holding tab to cycle through every user interface element until you get to the visual tabs on the page is an exercise in frustration."

Also for anyone trying to turn on all-element keyboard navigation, you'll probably need to use ctrl-fn-f7.


> If you disagree with my assessment, please try this using only the keyboard (no mouse or trackpad)

I found this to be straightforward:

1. cmd-space to open Spotlight, type "syste" and it offers System Preferences, hit return

2. Focus is in its search field. Type "keyboard", then down arrow + return to open Keyboard Prefs.

3. Hit tab to move keyboard focus to the tab bar

4. Use arrow keys to move keyboard focus between different tabs, and space or return to select one


I’m not at my computer right now to confirm, but I’m pretty sure nothing is stopping you from doing that on the keyboard alone.

Do you have keyboard navigation set to “All controls?” That’s the key and the first thing I do on any new Mac.


Yes, in my experience, macOS scores high on consistency but low on completeness/pervasiveness.

In other words, there are fewer things you can do with the keyboard, but it's easier to figure out which keys do them.


Granted, I had to disable Quicksilver (lovely app) to enable spotlight, but this is as simple as:

Summon spotlight to open System Preferences

Tab to search

Search for your keyboard Settings

Hit Return

Tab to search

Search again

Hit Return

I get it's not the Windows dynamic (and having just had to spin up a few test server 2008 VMs on vmware today for a specific test, I do appreciate what Windows offers), but it's quite doable. I actually didn't even know how to do it before writing this as I've been used to Windows due to work, but using normal keyboard navigation tools (tab), it was fast to get to what I wanted.


To get to those panes, cmd + space for Spotlight and typing in the pane window works pretty well. Sometimes the index doesn't bring up the answer quickly.

But working in the pane once you're there? You've got me, I don't know how to do that without a mouse.


I totally agree.

In my heyday - I fucking impressed people who watched me navigate through either windows or linux with just the keyboard.

I fucking built a ton of AWS infra with just the keyboard - and that included using their UI as welll as AWSCLI

I am fond of those memories.


also alt-tabbing between recently active windows of any app (rather than between whole apps, windows of the same app, or tabs of the same app) is curiously difficult.

after years of frustration, i finally found that "Move focus to active or next window" is the analogue functionality in macos keyboard shortcuts, and it's now mapped to the slightly-less-awkward alt-cmd-tab, from the very awkward ^F4. it's not quite the same in keeping the stack order however (in some nebulous way i haven't really determined yet).


I don’t think that replacing the pointer is the goal of keyboard shortcuts, considering the nice trackpads these machines have equipped


>macOS is one OS where a user cannot avoid using the mouse or trackpad!

It is simple: purchase a trackball.


system preferences -> command + space, type system preferences, enter keyboard settings -> command + space, type system preferences, type keyboard, enter


I had quite the opposite experience. It was a few years ago when I tried to switch from Windows/Linux, but the lack of keyboard support in certian situations drove me nuts; I even remember one system popup notification with a single "Ok" button which I couldn't get rid of by keyboard (Enter, Spacebar, Esc... - no effect). Meanwhile, in many Linux DEs, especially the combination of keyboard and mouse allows for super quick window management (resizing and moving while holding a modifier like Alt, which AFAIK is impossible natively under Windows or MacOS).


- You can get rid of those annoying pop-up notifications by doing Cmd-Period (Cmd+.) It will work when even Esc / Cmd+W won't! It's a hidden shortcut not many know about, and not on the linked Apple shortcuts page.

- You can make all those system dialogs navigable (to use tab and spacebar to execute buttons) by enabling: System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts > "Use keyboard navigation to move focus between controls".

It can take years to learn everything that macOS secretly offers, but no more than it took me to be at that level on Windows, or any Linux DE. I agree though, multiple Linux DEs seem superior to both macOS and Windows with their out-of-the-box hotkey ability. For everything else, there's Mastercard, uh, AutoKey.


The Command + . was sort of a general "stop" shortcut on Classic MacOS. Most apps with some sort of cancelable operation used it to stop the operation which often caused the modal to be dismissed.

Since old MacOS had cooperative multitasking if an app started some task that never offered control back to the OS it monopolized the system. Many (but not all) apps used the Command + . shortcut to cancel those sorts of tasks.


And for those who'd like to use a keyboard shortcut to toggle keyboard control of system dialogs, there's ctrl + F7.

Although I see this is no longer displayed in the system preferences area you mention, but just tested and it still works on 10.15.6. Wonder if this is the first step in that keyboard shortcut's removal due to the touch bar.


This is also true of a pop up that has options like yes, no, cancel. In other OS's, this would be done with an arrow key, but in MacOS, this is done via mouse, I think.

I suspect there will be a comment that tells me how to do this with a keyboard?


Not sure if I've changed any crazy configuration options, but I can use tab to move a blue outline around buttons on popups, pressing space to press the button outlined. Enter always interacts with the default button, indicated with a blue fill.


> Meanwhile, in many Linux DEs, especially the combination of keyboard and mouse allows for super quick window management (resizing and moving while holding a modifier like Alt, which AFAIK is impossible natively under Windows or MacOS).

not a linux user: why do you need to hold a modifier to resize a window?


It allows you to resize the window from anywhere without having to 'grab' the corner or side. It's my preferred option and is much quicker and easier once you're used to it.


Clarification: under typical environments, it's not necessary to do so - you can grab the window edges as expected. As petepete says, it's convenient.


cmd-shift-first letter will activate nearly any dialog box button. Some folks griped when the first marzipan/combine apps wouldn't support that, but I believe they caught up sometime last spring.


Window management is one area where this is definitely not true. Window snapping is something people have to install Spectacle/Rectangle for and even then shortcuts to move windows to workspaces are sorely missing for me.


Both are woefully behind a good Xorg based window manager. i3 blows Windows and OSX window management out of the water, no matter what add-on is installed.

It's dangerous though, one of my biggest fears is getting a job that won't let me use Linux.


Oh I know. I use Windows (gaming), OS X (work) and Linux with i3 (most personal use) all on regular basis. i3 is obviously my preference for window management but my feeling is even Windows is noticeably ahead of OS X here.


I just won't take that job.


i3 and similar tiling WMs sound nice in theory, but any time I tried them I ended up frustrated by the sheer number of windows that don't tile nicely and thus the high number of floating windows in a window manager designed to tile. At least for me, WMs designed to float by default with tiling as the optional mode work much better.


What applications were those? Maybe it's worth reporting a bug (either with i3 or the application in question)?

I'm asking because it's been a long time since I encountered an application which didn't tile nicely / didn't work well with i3[^]. Besides, you can always make a window float in i3.

[^] With the exception of the Android emulator but that thing is a monster for a whole bunch of reasons.


I'm not OP. But when I read his reply I got the impression they meant "windows that aren't useful when tiled". Like a laptop screen with three horizontal windows, each window is too tall and narrow to be useful. It's a pretty valid complaint against tiling window managers IMO. When I'm on a laptop, I tend to switch to i3's tabbed mode instead of tiling (or one window per virtual desktop).


Even a lot of video games tile well these days, which wasn't the case a few years ago.

I think literally the only things I have that don't tile are some of my Ludum Dare games because it's a 48 hour game jam so I don't have time to make them handle resizing or anything other than windowed 720p.

Oh, and native Terraria 1.4 (Proton Terraria 1.4 tiles just fine though).


Try BetterTouchTool. It has window snapping built-in and it has all sorts of options for hotkey actions for snapping and moving windows between desktops.

Also you can use it to get middle click on a MacBook trackpad and to completely customize the touchbar in quite complex ways (doesn't even require disabling SIP to do that).

It would be nice if a third-party tool wasn't required, but I think it's worth the cost (and if you owned BetterSnapTool in the past, it actually costs nothing extra to upgrade the license).


BetterTouchTool uses enough consistent cpu usage even with almost no settings enabled that I stopped using it. I’ve had inconsistent personal luck with computers after 5 years. I’ve just past that point with my MacBook.

I understand it needs to be doing some things in the background, but on the other hand, Hammerspoon and Karabiner don’t use much cpu usage.

I could be doing it wrong. Not knowing how to better manage apps, cpu usage, and so on


This is one of the nicer utilities that I have paid for. It absolutely increases the usability of my $2k computer.


Agreed. And why is the default behavior of the green maximize button to make things fullscreen? I never see people use fullscreen in real life


I use fullscreen pretty frequently on laptops with certain apps. For instance, right now Mailplane is open fullscreen in one virtual desktop, and Slack is open fullscreen in another. While I sometimes feel like I'm an outlier, when I joked on Twitter about being the only person who used fullscreen, I got a surprising amount of replies from people saying "wait, is that uncommon? I use it all the time."

Actually, I frequently had Slack and Mailplane open in the "split pane full screen" mode on my 27" monitor at work back when going into the office was a thing, so it's not just a laptop thing, either.


I use fullscreen fairy frequently (or the sister functionality: split-pane). I also like the classic zoom functionality (which tries to intelligently size the window based on content).

The Windows "maximize" functionality is something I almost never use, on any platform.


Spectacle is nice and simple (3rd party)


Rectangle is another like Spectacle but adds window snapping.


I'm aware of both of these and mentioned them in my post. Personally I use Rectangle on my OS X machines and did use Spectacle until my 2015 MBP died. When setting up my replacement, I noticed Spectacle was abandoned and moved to Rectangle.


It still baffles me why every year Apple churns out bad UI changes for MacOS and at no point puts in window snapping.


Me too! Why do I have to use a third party app to snap my windows? It’s so cumbersome pressing the green button, clicking which side you want the app on, clicking which app you want on the other side. When you exit, one app goes full screen. It’s maddening.


To be fair, 10.12 Sierra introduced a snap-to-edge-of-screen feature when moving a window, which I feel was a good first step.


Wow, my experience couldn't be more different. I think my biggest annoyance is how ⌘-Tab ignores different windows of the same program, so I constantly have to switch between ⌘-Tab and ⌘-`.


The funny thing is this is one of my favorite features, it keeps the switcher uncluttered. If you don't like it, you can use "Mission Control" (Control+Up Arrow) that will show you all windows across all applications (pressing Control+Down Arrow is the same but only within windows of the current application).

You can also switch with Command+Tab and once you hover over the application you want, you can press Command+Down Arrow (or Up Arrow or even Key 1) and that will show you all windows within that application (the same as Control+Down Arrow). Notice that each window has a title and you can press the initial letter and that window will get focus. You can then press Enter to select it.


This could be use case dependent but I find that as a developer, I frequently want to cycle between 3-5 windows in 2-3 applications. Text editor, 2-3 browser windows (generally: thing I am working on, browser dev-tools for the thing I am working on, and reference web-pages), and 1-2 terminal windows.

In this specific use case, I found all the little differences between Windows and MacOS window switching to end up adding together in Window's favor fairly significantly.


On macOS you can cycle apps, the focused app’s windows and its tabs using cmd+tab, cmd+tilde and ctrl+tab respectively. Once that becomes natural it’s better than Windows’ plain alt+tab.


I understand how this works, but it's not better, especially not for multi monitor setups. Switching between three dev-tools, two browser windows, five terminals and an editor or two makes the Mac way a horrible way to work:

First, select the application that you want to use now. All windows from that application, across all monitors are now brought to the front. Then, you switch to the window you want to use. Most of these windows have no clear way of communicating to the user that it is active, so you have to look at each of the available windows to see if it's active or not.

Let's say that I have a monitor with three terminal windows on. I don't want to close them or minimize them, as I will need them again shortly. Now, I want to open a browser window above those three terminal windows, so I open it. Now, I want to move a single one of those terminal windows on top of the browser window, while keeping the other two below the browser window. Nope, not possible. On Mac, I have to use the mouse to pick the right terminal window to achieve this.


Ok, I understand that. It does suck in these situations. But the higher granularity also has situations in which it is beneficial.

It probably just depends on your particular workflows whether the good outweighs the bad or the other way around.


Sibling comment pretty much covers my feelings on this but I want stress the main point and add a couple minor notes.

My main point is that a window is a window. The app to which that window belongs means essentially nothing to me, I don't think there needs to be a separate hot-key for cycling windows-per-application, I do not find it to be a usefull organizational tool for switching between windows. I am aware of ctrl+tab but that seems to be a generally accepted program-level control not something from the operating system level.

Minor annoyances:

MacOS's cmd+tab visualization has a slight delay before appearing. This seems to be intentional and provides a nice experience when you know for certain that the selected window of the previously selected application is what you want to switch to; quickly tapping cmd+tab switches directly to that window without the visualization. On windows, the alt+tab visualization always renders immediately. I prefer the windows way because frequently the window I want is maybe 2 or 3 back. So I can more quickly locate it visually through the visualization that pops up on alt+tab.

On MacOS, that visualization I just mentioned does not have separate selection for mouse/keyboard in the cmd+tab menu. What this means is that if an errant mouse cursor passes the visualization while you are cmd+tab'ing to some application, the mouse will scramble your selection. On Windows, there are two separate selectors, one for alt+tab (confirmed by releasing alt) and one for mouse selection (standard point + click). MacOS does support both mouse and keyboard but they share the same selection and interfere with eachother. I know this sounds like an unlikely case but I actually find it quite common -- moving the cursor towards the anticipated area of interest in the soon-to-be-focused window while alt+tabbing will frequently pass through the area of the screen where the alt+tab visualization renders.

Why doesn't MacOS have an intuitve way to maximize a window? This drives me insane. It really feels very reasonable to me to want to see the system clock/tray/etc but have a window take up all other available space. This really feels like a fundamental window-control interaction to me and it is not the same as full screen. I do not understand why MacOS does not have this and why it does not seem to bother other people.


> Why doesn't MacOS have an intuitve way to maximize a window?

That's a Microsoft Windows paradigm, copied by Gnome and KDE. Systems 1-8 and OS 9 had no mechanism for making a window full screen, much like LisaOS and Xerox Star 8010 IS before it and NeXTSTEP/macOS continued this. It's just never been a part of the UI as it doesn't really fit with the desktop metaphor.


>Notice that each window has a title and you can press the initial letter and that window will get focus. You can then press Enter to select it.

Oh, nice! Thanks for this.


Yeah Apple is woefully behind as I see it. The window management is clunky and backwards and the keyboard shortcuts being lauded here are too.

They get even the simplest things wrong. Instead of labeling app menu items with a word or abbreviation, they use a freaking symbol that isn’t printed anywhere on the keyboard.

They have more 2-handed / 3+ key shortcuts than any other OS despite lacking the ability to let you control every aspect of the macOS GUI like you can with Windows or most Linux DEs.

It’s laughable to me that anyone thinks it’s a good system and I’d love to see a productivity contest between workers who are experts in their respective OSes. Mac people would lose miserably. There’s no doubt in mind after years of working with and watching Mac users pitiful attempts at doing anything quickly or efficiently.


The modifier key symbols are printed on most modern Apple keyboards. See the Magic Keyboard, for example.

> They have more 2-handed / 3+ key shortcuts than any other OS despite lacking the ability to let you control every aspect of the macOS GUI like you can with Windows or most Linux DEs.

What are you trying to say here with “every aspect”?

Mac window management is the opposite of tiling window management. Windows is some sort of hybrid with the snap-to functionality. I wouldn’t say that one or the other is more effective or efficient—Mac trackpad gestures for switching between virtual desktops definitely beat alt-tabbing in Windows (although Windows 10 now finally has virtual desktops as well). They’re different workflows that you can’t expect to immediately find familiar. A “productivity contest” would likely show nearly identical results on both operating systems for the kinds of tasks that users do on a daily basis because they’ve already gotten used to doing those tasks. Switching between terminal windows, text editors, and web browsers is pretty fast on both Windows and macOS.


> The modifier key symbols are printed on most modern Apple keyboards. See the Magic Keyboard, for example.

Apple has loads of symbols for their keys. There's the modifier keys ⌘(cmd), ⌃(ctrl), ⌥(alt), ⇧(shift) and ⇪(caps-lock), of which shift and caps-lock are missing on the magic keyboard (in addition to ctrl and alt on the macbook in front of me).

Then there's ⇥(tab), ↩(return), ⌫(delete) and ⎋(escape) to name a few. These can and do all show up in menus and documentation. With all the control they have over their hardware and software you'd think they could do better than linux on their own hardware (super and backspace are wrong, but the rest are correct at least on this macbook).


I really hate how sporadically these symbols come and go; it feels like they appear or disappear on new Apple hardware every other year. The old Apple Wireless Keyboard I'm typing this on just has ⌘. The laptop it's connected to has ⌘, ⌃, ⌥. I think I have an older laptop sitting around that has ⇧ and maybe even ⎋. I wish they'd at least start always including all the ones that show up in menus.


Historically Apple's ISO keyboards made more use of the icons than their US keyboards, although ⌃ and ⌥ are on some of the newer US keyboards. Was your older laptop a European or other ISO-keyboard model?


All US. I might be misremembering, it’s at the bottom of a box right now.


Except for ⌘, those are ISO 9995 symbols.


I am looking at my MacBook Pro 2015 right now. There is no symbol for the alt key.

You cannot control the entirety of macOS with just a keyboard.

Simple example: open the About this Mac window. Now switch away from it with the keyboard. I challenge you to switch back to that window with just the keyboard without installing any third-party software that changes the way that you handle window switching. Same goes for any window that you open from an app that is running in the menu bar.

With better operating systems, I can put focus on and work with any aspect of the GUI. macOS is extremely limited in this area.

They don’t even have an easily discoverable process for hunting through app menus with just the keyboard. On Windows, there is a thing called a keyboard acceleration. It happens when you hit alt plus the underlined letter of a menu item.

This is why users with disabilities, like Stephen Hawking have historically used Windows and not Mac.


> You cannot control the entirety of macOS with just a keyboard.

Yes, you can. There's an option in System Preferences called "Full Keyboard Access" to enable this.

> They don’t even have an easily discoverable process for hunting through app menus with just the keyboard.

macOS does it better: you can search all the menus with ⌘?.

> This is why users with disabilities, like Stephen Hawking have historically used Windows and not Mac.

Users with disabilities use Macs, I don't know what you're talking about. Macs are generally miles ahead in accessibility. Stephen Hawking was extremely attached to the one synthesizer he used, to the point that a team of engineers went through the effort to port that exact 30-year-old voice: https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/The-Silicon-Vall...


How do you get to things not in the menubar? For example, with Zoom you can’t disconnect audio via menu bar. Only connect and mute or unmute. Disconnecting only works via the GUI of Zoom.


Seems like a problem with Zoom, not macOS.

Unless you’re suggesting that the OS-provided controls don’t consistently implement the OS-provided shortcuts. That does sounds like a concern, but in the case of Zoom, it still assumes Zoom used the default widgets.

The Zoom interface on Mac seems very unlike a Mac app to me. It has that flat quality you get in Electron apps. It wouldn't be surprised if it was highly bespoke. You can’t even open the preferences with CMD-, which almost every app implements.


The preference shortcut works for me. Maybe not all the time. Will have to check again.

I don’t think Zoom is the only app that doesn’t have everything in the menu bar. The point was more general for when things aren’t in the menu bar (and not just electron apps)

Keyboard Maestro or something else may be able to automate it. But still.


>I am looking at my MacBook Pro 2015 right now. There is no symbol for the alt key.

Just FYI, they've corrected this since then. I'm not sure but I believe it was 2017. At that time they also removed the "alt" label so it only says "option" along with the symbol.


Command space - open Spotlight - type ‘About this’ and let it autocomplete to ‘About this Mac.app’. Press Enter.


That's the first time I ever got this answer. So basically - start the program again.

This is the height of usability?

How's that work for say...a program running in the menubar, like Docker? (If you open the Docker settings window from the menubar, switch away and switch back.) I bet it doesn't.


You have a macbook, but it seems to me you almost certainly grew up on Windows, because in situations where they take different approaches to the same problem you always expect the Windows behavior and haven't discovered the corresponding mac behavior. Then you blame mac for not behaving as you expect.

> start the program again

Case in point. On mac, choosing (through the dock, through Cmd+Tab, through Finder, through Spotlight, through terminal) an already open program has the semantics of giving it focus. On windows, it opens multiple copies. Sometimes.


Yeah. This connects with how Mac apps can be open, but not have windows. That’s pretty uncommon, or even impossible, on Windows. At least, it was when I last used Win regularly (XP!!).

It’s an extension of the desktop metaphor. In a Mac, the distinction between an open app and a closed one is fuzzier than on Windows. In a Mac, you have A Mac and it helps you do things, and the Mac tends to the applications for you. In Windows, you have a computer with an OS that hosts applications that help you do things. The distinction is irrelevant when considered from the hardware outward, but is subtly but powerfully different when considered from the user inwards.


> So basically - start the program again.

It doesn't start the program again. Mac OS is smart enough to know if the program is already running and just switches to it.


Just tried it, and it does work exactly that way, because the Docker menu -> settings choice opens an application called Docker Desktop, which can be switched to-and-from with the keyboard. I'm not arguing with your basic point, because I think that Mac strategies for keyboard navigation are simply different, not worse, but for your specific example, keyboard is fine.


> Simple example: open the About this Mac window. Now switch away from it with the keyboard. I challenge you to switch back to that window with just the keyboard

Three-finger-up + click is way smoother than doing a random walk through your open windows.

It also lends discoverability to multiple desktops at exactly the moment where you might be thinking to yourself "hmm, I could use multiple desktops right about now."

> With better operating systems, I can put focus on and work with any aspect of the GUI.

I'm glad you feel that way because when I use Windows I quickly get frustrated by apps stealing the focus and authorization windows opening underneath everything else.

> They don’t even have an easily discoverable process for hunting through app menus with just the keyboard.

lolwut? Cmd+? opens a box to incrementally search all menus, Ctrl+P and Ctrl+N let you navigate the results, and return runs the menu item. Arrow keys let you walk the focus if you don't know emacs shortcuts, and they do so in every menu. It's head and shoulders above Windows.


> Three-finger-up + click is way smoother than doing a random walk through your open windows.

Ummm, the challenge was to use the keyboard though? No amount of rationalization will convince me that taking hands your hands off the keyboard is smoother than leaving them on.

I do enjoy watching junior devs struggling to find their lost full-screen workspace window by swiping furiously sideways with their trackpad though. For even more ridiculousness, I know I can always get a minute to read some news after I ask them to open Chrome devtools and wait while they try to get back to the original Chrome window afterwards.

> lolwut? Cmd+? opens a box to incrementally search all menus, Ctrl+P and Ctrl+N let you navigate the results, and return runs the menu item.

Pffft, okay. You don't even know the difference between searching and hunting. They're completely different operations, for different purposes. There is a way to hunt through menus with macOS, but like all Apple shortcuts it's completely obtuse.


>Ummm, the challenge was to use the keyboard though? No amount of rationalization will convince me that taking hands your hands off the keyboard is smoother than leaving them on.

No amount of rationalization will convince me that Windows shortcuts for accessibility are more productive than using your mouse in appropriate situations (some X11 tiling WMs do a better job, yes). See, I can make statements like this too.

> I do enjoy watching junior devs struggling to find their lost full-screen workspace window by swiping furiously sideways with their trackpad though. For even more ridiculousness, I know I can always get a minute to read some news after I ask them to open Chrome devtools and wait while they try to get back to the original Chrome window afterwards.

That's nice; you enjoy watching fledglings who don't know what they're doing struggle to use their tools effectively. That says nothing about achievable productivity in an environment.


> See, I can make statements like this too.

Yep. You can say whatever you want. I have never seen a mixed mouse and keyboard user do things faster or more efficiently than a pure keyboard user. Pure scientific empirical evidence is on my side and no amount of rationalization will change the fact that keyboard shortcuts are faster once you learn them. You can read about some studies surrounding this here:

https://ux.stackexchange.com/questions/30682/are-there-any-r...

> That's nice; you enjoy watching fledglings who don't know what they're doing struggle to use their tools effectively.

Sure. Who doesn't? There are whole sub-reddits dedicated to this type of comedic performance.

> That says nothing about achievable productivity in an environment.

Yes, it does. That they resort to constantly using the trackpad to swipe between speaks loudly to the lack of obvious keyboard functionality.


> I have never seen a mixed mouse and keyboard user do things faster or more efficiently than a pure keyboard user

You‘ve clearly never watched anyone use any kind of CAD or graphics application in that case!


> Ummm, the challenge was to use the keyboard though?

The challenge was to get to a window, quickly. The keyboard was your constraint.

> I do enjoy watching junior devs struggling

Funny, I enjoy watching the windows crowd alt-tab-tab-tab-tab-tab-tab-tab-tab ah were was it again?

> Pffft, okay. You don't even know the difference between searching and hunting.

Now you're playing with definitions to hide the fact that you were wrong.

> like all Apple shortcuts it's completely obtuse.

Not if you learn them. You clearly did it before, so get off your butt and do it again.

Personally, I love having emacs-style Ctrl+PN and Ctrl+FB navigation available everywhere, and I love the fact that with copy/paste on Cmd+CV I don't have to worry about where a terminal app moved Ctrl+C off to.


> The challenge was to get to a window, quickly.

Incorrect. My challenge, that you responded to in an article about keyboard shortcuts was about using the keyboard. You failed miserably and your comment got disappeared for it. Try harder xP

> Funny, I enjoy watching the windows crowd alt-tab-tab-tab...

Sure, you can have newbs on any platform. The difference is that Windows and Windows-inspired desktop environments like XFCE are vastly more configurable than anything on a Mac - where it's Apple's way or the highway. You're stuck with Apple's choices unless you hack your OS with third party apps to fix them.

> Now you're playing with definitions to hide the fact that you were wrong.

You're wearing your ignorance like a badge of pride. Learn about UX if you don't understand the difference between searching and hunting. There's a world of difference.

> Not if you learn them.

That's my entire point. Windows shortcuts easily discoverable since they are clearly labeled; no weird symbols that don't exist anywhere on the keyboard and there are fewer of them since the same shortcuts work everywhere. Plus you can tab to focus everywhere instead of pushing a mouse pointer thousands of miles a year to get where you want.

> Personally, I love having emacs-style Ctrl+PN and Ctrl+FB navigation available everywhere...

And yet, you think constantly swapping between keyboard and mouse is "smooth". Makes sense!


Funny, that's exactly how I feel about Windows.

I'm pretty sure this is, like, your opinion, dude.


I prefer this personally, but what does annoy me is that ⌘+` doesn't work with any windows that are fullscreened. I don't use it often, but when I do it's annoying to lose all keyboard navigation.

I use an app called Contexts which hijacks ⌘+` with extra functionality (and includes fullscreen windows), but it seems to be abandoned so I fear it will stop working eventually.


Contexts is the sole app that makes MacOS usable IMHO.

It makes alt-tab not suck. It lets me search to switch apps. It lets me switch back to minimized apps. It is really is the perfect utility.


I would suggest that’s a feature, not a bug.


The system-wide acknowledgement that applications and windows are different things is one of main Mac advantages.


For Zoom, that home/launcher screen can be closed so you can switch to your video without having to do the above. Realized that after being annoyed for weeks.


I recommend changing the ⌘-` shortcut to ⌘-§, which is right above Tab on Mac keyboards (Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts > Keyboard > Move focus to next window).

Having both in the same area of the keyboard makes my brain happy.


Just out of curiosity, what keyboard layout do you have? On US keyboards ⌘-` is right above tab, and in fact my keyboard doesn't even have a § key.


Swiss and German layouts have the § key above the tab key.


German layouts have the ° key above the Tab key.


UK has § in the top left above tab


That depends on the keyboard layout. ⌘-` with an US layout is equivalent to ⌘-§ in almost all other layouts.


You might like Witch:

https://manytricks.com/witch/


I find HyperSwitch to be better more useful interface compared to Witch, because it retains the whole thumbnails look:

https://bahoom.com/hyperswitch

Its developer hasn't been updating it or fixing bugs for a long time now, but it remains the best 'alt-tab' for macOS in my book.


https://alt-tab-macos.netlify.app/ Is an open source alternative with thumbnails. I don’t care about them so I stick with Contexts.co, but this is my back up


Great app but it's pretty buggy. command+tab to an app that has multiple windwos and then command + window number crashes for me, which seems like one of the primary features. Seems like alt+tab directly to the window works though.


I tried the open source https://alt-tab-macos.netlify.app which mentions HyperSwitch among others. It was fine. Though I only tested it briefly.


Awesome! Finally some alternatives! I'll try it and switch to that GPL project if it's a better app! Thanks for sharing. Update: AltTab is already better and exactly what one wants from an alt-tab, and best of all, FOSS and actively in development on Github. It's got some small bugs to iron out but none that are dealbreakers for me. PERFECT, thank you.


That is awesome! I didn’t try it yet. Just saw the nice vibe of creator and the license. Glad you like it.

Trying to soon foray into consulting/coaching including [productivity enhancing] apps and workflows. This is a nice boost before going to sleep.


I switched to https://contexts.co/ after many years with Witch. Have never looked back. Contexts is much better in my opinion.


>It's shocking to me how far ahead MacOS is in terms of keyboard shortcuts compared to all other operating systems. [...] Everything just makes sense logically and mnemonically [...]

I get your point but macOS still has inconveniences for many tasks:

- maximize a window: on MS Windows, it's Winkey+UpArrow. On macos, it's more complicated: https://superuser.com/questions/718600/keyboard-shortcut-to-...

- bring up file manager: on Windows to bring up File Explorer, it's Winkey+E. On macos, it took until Yosemite 10.10 to provide a non-intuitive keyboard shortcut for Finder: https://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/114933/is-there-a-...

- view active process list: on Windows, it's Ctrl+Shift-Esc to bring up Task Manager. On macOS to bring up Activity Monitor, it's more complicated: https://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/1520/is-there-a-ke...


Bring up Finder: ⌘␣ "finder" ⏎ Bring up Activity Monitor: ⌘␣ "am" ⏎

Hardly difficult, especially for the pros who tend to be touch typists.

There's also ⌥⌘esc if you just want to quickly kill an app.

Also for Finder, you can enable the "Show Finder search window" Spotlight shortcut and set it to whattever pleases you.


>Bring up Finder: ⌘␣ "finder" ⏎

That's 9 keys (including "return" key) pressed vs just 2 for Winkey+E.

>Hardly difficult,

Well, we're on HN so I don't claim things are "difficult" for any of us techies. I say it's "inconvenient" -- especially relative to other operating systems since this thread is making comparisons.

>Also for Finder, you can enable [...]

Sure, there are often workarounds for various inconveniences. The Superuser links I cited mentioned some too.


On a Mac, you can switch to the Finder and ⌘N. Not possible on Windows because on Windows, an application cannot be in the foreground if it does not have any windows.

Once you have the Finder window open you have column view, and you can browse the filesystem with nothing more than arrow keys (and no modifiers). Preview any document with space. Rename documents without reaching over to the F-keys.


>switch to the Finder

Is there a quicker way to do this than clicking the dock icon or using spotlight?


Command-Tab switcher. Command-N for a New Window if you don’t already have one open.

For a more advanced trick, use the Command-Tab switcher, after taking your finger off of tab once the application you want is selected, but before you take your finger off the command key, press the option key, and then take your finger off the command key and then take your finger off the option key. This sounds more complicated than it is but once you get used to it, it’s straightforward and the following behavior will execute.

1. If there are no open windows, the most recent minimized window for that application will unminimize and take focus.

2. If there are no open windows and no minimized windows, a new window will open, as in the Finder, Terminal or Safari.

In an application like BBEdit or TextMate, it will create a new file, and in the case of TextEdit or Pages, the Document chooser or whatever Apple calls this dialog will pop-up. In an application like Notes, the main window will appear.

This all sounds complicated, but if you know your applications well, and what type of application it is, you’ll quickly suss our the pattern that it is basically a Command-N shortcut from the switcher except for some of those newfangled iCloud-aware and/or Database-centric apps.


Command Option Space

Or consider Alfred App which has fuzzy search:

“Command Space” then “fd”

Will find finder. That’s around 3 or 4 keys

The huge problem (in my experience) with the Windows key and associated shortcuts is accidentally hitting it when you don’t intend. Like you want to hit control but hit Windows key and your context gets totally messed up


Command option space opens a search window in the Finder. Or you can use command tab, or use the gesture / button to show desktop and click. Lots of options.


> Bring up Finder: ⌘␣ "finder" ⏎

I had a finder window open still on another workspace. Doing this still does not give you a new finder window. You then have to press cmd+n...

> Bring up Activity Monitor: ⌘␣ "am" ⏎

If I wait a second before pressing enter, spotlight decides that instead of Activity Monitor, Dropbox.app is now the top hit for this query.


You need to turn off the Siri suggestions and Web results in Spotlight. That’s what caused it to go so bad some five years ago. Disable it I tell you.

I did this in Safari too hoping to fix their race condition bugs with the autocomplete. Sometimes I can even paste a full URL, see it in the entry field, hit enter, and Safari just loads the previous address again as if I had just pressed enter. Crazy that these types of bugs are sneaking in.


To be clear, that first one is pretty outdated, and while Yosemite was not day one, it was over 6 years ago now.

>maximize a window

Control-Command-F: Use the app in full screen, if supported by the app.

>file manager

Option-Command-Space brings up a Finder window from anywhere I believe, but defaults it to search mode, so you may have to chain the shortcut for a particular directory or Go to Folder after that.

I'm guessing the Activity Monitor thing is more that there is not a dedicated shortcut for launching any single app in macOS (that I can think of).


Command + Shift + g in Finder brings up a "Go To Folder" window so you can type in a folder and go directly to it. Bonus 1: it supports tab completion. Bonus 2: this also works in file open dialogs.


Another plug for Alfred App and fuzzy search:

“Command - Space” then “av” gets me to Activity monitor instantaneously


> It's shocking to me how far ahead MacOS is in terms of keyboard shortcuts compared to all other operating systems.

You only think that because you're used to macos shortcuts.

> There absolutely has been some people there who deeply care and think long and hard about how experts use their systems even if the actual main company doesn't care so much about that segment anymore.

Do any macbooks have a numpad? Lack of a numpad is the opposite of 'thinking long and hard about how experts use their systems'.

> Everything just makes sense logically and mnemonically like using shift to invert actions like cmd+z and cmd+shift+z rather than having ctrl+z and ctrl+y for undo/redo.

ctrl+z/ctrl+shift+z, tab/shift+tab, etc, is how my fairly default linux system works.

> Then add to this the ability to rebind any shortcuts in any app at an OS level.

You can do this on pretty much any operating system.

> were some way to actually achieve this level of coherence across the whole system on Linux.

What level of coherence? All you said is you prefer macos default shortcuts...? If we're talking about support for customisation then macos is laughably far behind linux in every single respect.

My own experience, being forced to work with macos for the last few years has been quite annoying. The UI is very buggy, the app bar auto-hide constantly breaks, windows randomly disappear, macos has it's own weird (coherent?) set of shortcuts different from every other operating system, there is an insane amount of popups and notifications, maximising/fullscreening a window creates a new workspace which complicates quickly switching between windows, etc. Ability to customize the system is okay... still far behind linux. I literally do not see a single benefit of macos over linux.


Some user communities come across as very vocal to me. It is generally Apple users, JavaScript/Rust/Ruby developers, Privacy enthusiasts.


I find the Mac shortcuts odd, opposite to you.

Some you need to be have octopus fingers to hit them with one hand, and others are particularly weird such as screenshot (cmd+alt+4/3 isn't it?) - windows is just "something" + printscreen.

Windows keyboard shortcuts tend to feel a bit more ergonomic to me, but then I've used Windows much more than the Mac.


Screenshots are cmd-shift 3 or 4 or 5. Cmd shift is a familiar enough chord in Mac OS keyboarding, it's used quite a lot.

The differences between the 3 types of screen shorting is that Cmd-shift 3 immediately screenshots the whole screen. Cmd-shift 4 lets you select the area that is captured, pressing the space bar after hitting the key combo turns the cursor into a camera that allows you to screenshot just a window by hovering and clicking. Cmd-shift 5 gives you even more options including screen recording.


I recently discovered Cmd-ctrl-shift-3 and 4, which does the usual screenshotting but moves the image to your clipboard rather than automatically creating a new file.


Also, Command-Shift-1 and -2 force eject the first and second floppy, respectively, so you don't have to go find a paper clip.


Brilliant! My productivity will increase by 20%!

=)


It’s true you can use a mac with a broken (partially functional) trackpad — I did for a couple of years and it wasn’t a noticeable impairment...but I’ve been an Emacs user since the 70s so am keyboard-by-default already.

But I can’t say the Mac is the best: Windows, back in the Gates days, had keyboard commands for almost everything at his insistence (some of the PMs weren’t enthusiastic but couldn’t go against him of course). I’m not a windows fan (prefer the Mac’s direct manipulation approach to the subject-verb-object model at the foundation of Windows) but I really respected and appreciated that commitment by MS.


It also supports Emacs/Readline shortcuts in text fields!


The clean separation between command-keys (for app-behavior) and control-keys (for emacs-like text navigation) is far and away my favorite aspect of using MacOS. I know it sounds crazy, but I navigate through text far more frequently than anything else. The ability to further customize[1] these to support meta-keys (using option) and rebinding caps-lock to control makes for a very powerful experience.

1. http://www.hcs.harvard.edu/~jrus/Site/Cocoa%20Text%20System....


This. Almost as important as the superior trackpad, these keybindings push laptop-macOS eons above any other laptop-OS combination. When using Windows, I prefer having at least a tenkeyless layout, as the arrows, home/end, page up/page down, delete can do most of the same navigational behaviors but obviously are rarely found on a laptop.


Not all shortcuts but a good few. Ctrl-A/E to go to the beginning/end of a line, for example.

You can even rebind these shortcuts and they’ll work in any text field. There’s even a hack to enable Vi-like shortcuts.


>It's a little frustrating because I'm trying to move my computing away from Apple because I'm no longer convinced they care about Macs in the long term…

They just committed to transition the Mac platform to arguably the most performant (per watt) architecture available and just released the public beta Big Sur.

If they didn't care about the Mac long term, why on Earth would they go through the trouble of making this transition?

The Mac just set a June quarter record of $7.1 billion in revenue, up 22% from last year. These numbers give Apple a lot to care about: https://www.apple.com/investor/earnings-call/


My biggest irritation with MacOS is CMD-Tab back to Finder breaks constantly.

Then the terminal short cuts are bound to CTL, and at least on my Macbook Pro, CTL is only on one side. I also don't like how Return is "change a file name" instead of "run a file." There are so many things that are inconsistent with other OS's, that I guess it just comes down to what you are used to.

I've found that MacOS is much more touch-pad / mouse heavy than other OS's. For example, CTL-K is awesome for browsing through a Linux folder system. This would put you in the path area, so you can sort of use it like a terminal.

Browsing finder in MacOS is painful, click here, click there, hope you don't get lost, etc.


> at least on my Macbook Pro, CTL is only on one side

This is standard for modern Macs; that said, one of the first things I do with a system is use the "Keyboard" preference pane to remap caps lock to Control ("Keyboard" -> "Modifier Keys").


Right, it'd probably be more convenient to have ctl on the right side of the keyboard. I could see how using caps-a (b, f, e, r, s) to navigate the terminal could be easier.

Maybe I'll try it.


FWIW,

binaryage's TotalFinder has a hotkey feature called Visor. https://totalfinder.binaryage.com

macOS stock Finder does have basic cursor key navigation. It's not Xtree, NortonCommander awesome. (Edit: Oops. This linked cheatsheet does list the Finder navigation keys.)

I've always coveted the Canon Cat's utopian interface, but have never actually tried it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canon_Cat


> I've found that MacOS is much more touch-pad / mouse heavy than other OS's. For example, CTL-K is awesome for browsing through a Linux folder system. This would put you in the path area, so you can sort of use it like a terminal.

macOS’s Finder has the _Go to folder_ (⇧⌘G) command for that. It’s not exactly the same but it basically allows you to do the same thing.


GNOME is even better :)

Press Super, type a file or folder's name, then press Enter (or Down and Enter) to open it.

Or you can switch to the Files app (Super+1 if it's your first Favourite app; or Super, “fil”, Enter) and just type to search. Enter opens the first result, Down selects others.

I have to use macOS at work and it annoys me how much I have to use the mouse.


Don’t you use the Spotlight search bar at work, which should give you a similar feature?

(Or Alfred as a power-user alternative)


> This would put you in the path area, so you can sort of use it like a terminal.

In macOS’ Finder, it’s command-shift-G. It also supports tab-completion and the usual text-manipulation shortcuts. It works also in file dialogs.


> CMD-Tab back to Finder breaks constantly

What happens when this bug occurs? I've run every version of OSX/macOS, and have never had a bug with using cmd-tab to switch to Finder


The finder window won't reopen, which forces me to manually reopen it. The finder will reset to the home directory (as mine is set up to start).

I've been using Mac for 3 years now, it was the same issue in Sierra, Mojave, and now Catalina.


You have an existing Finder window and it just... goes away?

You have no existing Finder window, and you are surprised that one does not open on its own when you switch to the app?

Could you clarify the situation?


If I have Finder and Pages open (or any program, it's not relevant), I CMD-tab from Finder to Pages, then when I CMD-tab to go back to Finder, it doesn't pop up. I have to manually go to the Dock and reopen Finder. Finder restarts back to the home directory (my default start point). Of course, I would probably be in wherever the original document is. This doesn't happen all the time, but maybe 75% of the time.

This is also my second MacBook, so it's not the computer...


> It's shocking to me how far ahead MacOS is in terms of keyboard shortcuts compared to all other operating systems

Yes, my all-time favourite is the shortcut fn-backspace for delete. How handy to not need to use a distinct delete button. Who would use that anyway?

(sarcasm included)


You could just use a keyboard with a forward delete key, like the larger keyboards that Apple themselves sell. It turns out they work! If you don't have a keyboard with a forward delete key, having a shortcut to generate that code seems kind of handy to me. But complaining that Apple makes smaller keyboards that don't include that key while still offering the same functionality at the fairly trivial cost of having to use a modifier is, you know, also a choice!


For the record, layout choice on Apple's 60% keyboards is a different topic than operating system support for keyboard navigation.

Also, I wish you luck on the quest for the perfect 60% keyboard. I'm on the same hunt, although I can make myself happy most anywhere if I have https://karabiner-elements.pqrs.org installed


⌃D


Exactly. That's where those global so-called "readline" shortcuts come in

ctrl - d for forward delete

and then your fingers are close to all these other useful ones:

ctrl - a, ctrl - b, ctrl -f, etc


On Windows, AutoHotKey is your friend.

I just converted my MacBook Air to Windows 10 because I want-need AutoHotKey everywhere.

That and I’m tired of the GUI looking progressively more like a box of candy.


Yeah everyone suggests AutoHotKey, I tried it and found it insanely janky.

It just isn't an acceptable solution at all and I wish Windows users would demand better. Really think better is possible and don't think it's even a hard problem.


> That and I’m tired of the GUI looking progressively more like a box of candy.

I assume you weren’t around during the early Aqua days.


If you ever have to go back, Hammerspoon is the AHK like app for macOS, and karabiner elements can do advanced remapping if you don't need the scripting.


Is Hammerspoon as good as Keyboard Maestro? I feel like Keyboard Maestro has been the definitive automation tool so I'm curious how Hammerspoon compares.


> cmd+z and cmd+shift+z

I think it's because ctrl+z and ctrl+y are easy to press, while cmd+y is hard to press because of the bad placement of the cmd key.

> Option-Command-Esc (from the link)

I would like to see how you press this combo with your left hand only, Alt+F4 is not ideal but much easier if I raise my left elbow away from my body.


What? Command, Shift, and Z are literally all right next to each other. Y half a keyboard away.


I'm left handed: side of thumb on Option and Command, middle finger on Esc. Voila!


Cheers I did not realize you can press two buttons with one finger, perhaps because I use mechanical keyboards so much.


Another thing you might not realize is that Mac spacebars are narrower, which puts the command keys closer to the center of the keyboard where they can more easily be reached using thumbs. Alt on a PC keyboard is harder to reach than Command on a Mac keyboard.


Not to mention getting pinky syndromes from using ctrl so much.

It feels that command being close to thumb (macOS) is a much better design than using pinky with control (Windows)


I often press Ctrl with my thumb though.


I always use my thumbs to press command in shortcuts, and I never had a problem with the location of the command key


I use Ctrl+Space, C instead of Alt+F4 because, while it is one key more, it flows much better and doesn't cause me RSI.


You can also press Alt with the thumb on your left hand and F4 with your index finger on your right hand. (if you're not a heavy mouse user that is)


I agree. To the point where they introduced the touch bar. Now there is no way to sleep your MBP with a keyboard shortcut. You now have to add a button to the touch bar, which you then accidentally press and your MBP goes to sleep while you are in the midst of typing out an email. Genius!


> It's shocking to me how far ahead MacOS is in terms of keyboard shortcuts compared to all other operating systems.

Er, what?!?

macOS is still not able to let you navigate menus with shortcuts.

I can't even reliably open the File menu on macOS with my keyboard. It's been "Alt-f" on Windows for over two decades.


⌘? → → →


yep or `⌘?` and then `Tab` to cycle, if arrow keys are too far


Sadly the text field grabs first responder, so the tab key gets redirected there until you escape it.


With keyboard shortcuts fully enabled, you can hit Ctrl-F2 f <Enter>.


I use Windows, Linux and Mac OS (Work requiered)

Mac OS has the worst shortcuts in my opinion.

Desktop short cut! How is there no Shortcut for seeing the Desktop?

Legacy of Steve Jobs doing the opposite of Windows is also a killer. Mouse Scroll wheel is opposite, close open windows icon on left and not right, not using Control but use Command key. These are not due to any reason other then to make it difficult to work between Windows and Apple. Drives me CRAZY because I have to use Apple and Windows.


⌘F3 shows the desktop. You can have a button for this on the Touch Bar.

The Mac has been released in 1984 with the close icon on the left side of the window's title bar, and keyboard shortcuts using the command key located directly to the left (later also to the right) of the space bar.

Windows has been released over a year later in 1985 with its own paradigm for these. So it seems like in fact, Windows has been designed to do things differently from the Mac, not the other way around.


> The Mac has been released in 1984 with the close icon on the left side of the window's title bar [...] So it seems like in fact, Windows has been designed to do things differently from the Mac

The Windows which was released on that era also had the close function on the left side of the windows's title bar. The right side had only the minimize/maximize buttons. Moving the close function to the right side of the title bar came much later.

> and keyboard shortcuts using the command key located directly to the left (later also to the right) of the space bar.

Windows had to work with the PC keyboards of that era, which did not have that key. Much later, Microsoft gained enough influence to mandate adding a couple of extra keys to the keyboard (the "Windows" and "Menu" keys), but by then, the shortcuts had already become established (not to mention that many people still had old keyboards without these keys).


* How is there no Shortcut for seeing the Desktop*

F11 for expose?


I perceived MacOS as the most keyboard-hostile OS. So many actions are mouse/gesture only.


> It's shocking to me how far ahead MacOS is in terms of keyboard shortcuts compared to all other operating systems.

It's shocking to me that people will make authoritative sounding comments about systems that they don't use, and get their facts wrong. It's shocking to me that the supposedly bright people on Hacker News upvote it.

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/12445


I couldn't care less how apple microoptimizes keyboard interaction. Now that shortcuts are mostly uniform across Windows and Linux, better they would be same on Macs too.


So break 37 years of consistency because Microsoft decided to basically replicate it (9 years after the fact, btw) using a key-chord that was already in use for SIGINT and that Gnome and KDE copied, shortsightedly given their target base OS?


I don't find it shocking at all, when you consider just how much farther advanced Apple is in so many different ways including disability accessibility (please let me know if you have ever seen a blind person that uses anything but an iPhone), inter-device sharing/airdrop, configuration sync across devices, etc.


please let me know if you have ever seen a blind person that uses anything but an iPhone

I have seen several blind people using Androids.


(not disagreeing) It's been this way for decades. Learning to use a computer growing up, it was almost immediately apparent to me how widespread, useful, and discoverable Apple's keyboard shortcuts were on OS 8 or 9, especially when compared to Windows 3/3.1/95.


The consistency of macOS keyboard shortcuts is one of the main reasons I have huge problems switching to Linux or Windows. Despite the non-trivial amount of tweaking and customization, I could never achieve the same level outside of macOS.

Just to name a few:

- CMD+left/right: start/end of line

- CMD+up/down: start/end of file

- CMD+Shift+arrows: corresponding selection

- Alt+left/right: word movement

- Alt+Shift+arrows: corresponding word selection

- CMD+a: select all

- CMD+1,2,3: switch between tabs in browsers/iterm/IDEs/editors

(surprisingly and infuriatingly, this does not apply to native macOS tabs; e.g. in Finder Cmd+1/2/3 changes the view, but not tabs)

All that + the fact that clipboard, undo/redo, app and windows switching are ALL done via CMD makes it truly a modern hyper button. And you still have Control for Emacs bindings, which also work in most Cocoa text fields.

If you're interested, this [1] is one of the best attempts to bring macOS keybindings to Linux (in particular, Elementary OS). It's a set of settings for Autokey [2].

There is also Kinto [3], which solves one particular problem: copy-paste from terminal with consistent shortcuts.

1. https://github.com/roymckenzie/macos-autokey-phrases

2. https://github.com/autokey/autokey

3. https://github.com/rbreaves/kinto

UPD: edit formatting


Not sure how different this is from Windows. Use home/end for start of line or ctrl+page up/page down to go to start of document. Ctrl+left/right moves by words. Holding shift selects while doing any of these. Ctrl+backspace/delete to delete by word instead of character. Ctrl+a to select everything. Ctrl+1,2,3 select tabs, Windows+1,2,3 selects apps. The main advantage I see on Mac is the separate ctrl/cmd keys that let you use ctrl+c/v for unix terminals. Other than that, I think it's whatever you're used to.

Of course some laptops don't have end/home/page up/page down keys and you have to avoid those.


It's not just that some laptops don't have them, it's also that they're always in a different place. Every time I use windows, I need to look at the keyboard to find home, end, etc. On any Mac I use I don't have to search.


It's true, non-Mac laptop keyboards are almost invariably awful layouts, often entirely lacking some useful keys.


> Not sure how different this is from Windows.

You have answered your own question. It's home/end, Ctrl and Windows keys where in macOS it's always CMD+something.


Windows key doesn't do any of the cursor move commands and 'ctrl' consistently does the "move in a bigger block than without ctrl" thing. Shift consistently adds selection to that. There's different choices than on macs but it seems equally consistent, when starting with a keyboard with the additional movement keys (home/end/pagedown/pageup).


This is consistency in UX is what keeps me from switching to linux full-time for my personal rig.

I would assume the keyboard UX would be a low-lying fruit. I'm hoping someone with deep knowledge about linux can help me understand what is stopping various distros from simply copying the mac keyboard layout. Replace 'cmd' with the 'super' key and setup the key combinations to match macOS. That way they're consistent whether you're in a GUI application or the command-line.

Is it that the super key is not available on every computer? Or are these shortcuts protected by some sort of a copyright? Kinto seems to work by intercepting signals and reinterpreting them, then why not have the X keyboard component recompiled with a macOS keymap? I'm not at all knowledgeable in this area, so may be missing some very obvious challenges to doing so.


> The consistency of macOS keyboard shortcuts is one of the main reasons I have huge problems switching to Linux or Windows.

When I left Mac 8 years or so it was quite the opposite:

- home and end depended on application, the only one that worked consistently was ctrl - e and ctrl - a but they didn't work with shift so select to end of line was hit and miss

- one of the shortcuts that sometimes worked was cmd - left, unfortunately that was mapped to go-back-one-page in Safari. Kknd of annoying when you try to select a sentence in a form and end up losing all your carefully crafted edits.

- fn button in the place where ctrl is supposed to be, but only on laptop and small keyboards, not on the full size one. Not remappable (I understand this is fixed now).

I struggled with that machine for three years. After that I realized that Macs are perfect - for Mac people, not for Linux peasants like me.


I’ve found Home/End to be so incredibly unreliable on Windows.

Some applications take you to the top of the page with Home, some take you to the beginning of the line.


Can't remember experiencing that in 25 years on Windows except when combined with ctrl.

Are you sure you didn't hold ctrl down at the same time?

Edit: anyone else has experienced this on Windows without combining with ctrl?


Just moved to a mac and I'm having the same experience you had. Never had issues with Windows or various Linux distros. Currently I have a pretty absurd Karabiner config to work around some of the issues but I still haven't ironed them all out.

Home/End always worked for me on Windows and didn't work for me on mac until I did a ton of tweaking.


Same for me. Home start of line. Ctrl + Home is start of document.

My Dell laptop has Fn keys on the left/right arrow that do home/end in the same way it sounds like Macs do.


FWIW, I've found cmd+left to be very consistent, the only app(s) that I can think of that it doesn't work in are terminal apps, where I use ctrl+a etc.

And thankfully, the Safari bug/inconsistency has been fixed. In all the major browsers on macos now, CMD+left will behave like "beginning of line" when you're in a text box.

I feel your struggle though, as someone who frequently has to / chooses to use Win/Linux, I don't think I'll ever end the fight against the shortcut patterns that have been ingrained in my hands.


Just for anybody wondering, the corresponding shortcuts on Linux (and probably on Windows) are:

- home/end: start/end of line

- Ctrl + home/end: start/end of file

- Ctrl + Shift + home/end: corresponding selection

- Ctrl + left/right arrows: word movement

- Ctrl + Shift + left/right arrows: corresponding word selection

- Ctrl + a: select all

- Alt + 1/2/3/...: switch between tabs in Chrome and VSCode where I tested it, don't know if it is working in ALL apps, for example it does not work on alacritty+tmux (where I spend most of my time) for obvious reasons.

I don't know about the consistency, but some of these make more sense semantically, like Alt+1/2/3 - "alternate to a different tab".


I use a PC keyboard and Xfce.

  setxkbmap -option ctrl:swap_lalt_lctl
I change Cycle Windows to Ctrl+Tab in the Window Manager. I disable menu Alt keys where I can.

I use AutoKey for Terminal so that it works like Terminal in Mac OS X: Copy and paste and other Application shortcuts do not require using a shift key. Alt+C is the kill key (control-c) and all the rest of the Alt keys work like control keys in the terminal.

And yes, despite the non-trivial amount of tweaking and customization, I could never achieve the same level outside of Mac OS X.


> (surprisingly and infuriatingly, this does not apply to native macOS tabs; e.g. in Finder Cmd+1/2/3 changes the view, but not tabs)

That behaviour predates native tabs on the Mac, historically it even predates Safari and other browsers with tabs, I believe.

⌘1,2,3 in Safari for a long time selected favourites in the favourites bar. There is still a setting to still do that. I use it for useful bookmarklets.


The other thing that bugs me when using apps that don't use Mac widgets is single line text fields. If your cursor is at or near the end of the line, pressing the up arrow moves the cursor to the beginning of the line. Same with the down arrow when the cursor is at or near the beginning of the line. Any Mac app that doesn't do that is not using native text fields.


i'm currently switching from windows/linux to Mac and I'm used to using a full-length mechanical keyboard with ins/del/home/end/pgup/pgdn buttons. Yes, mac has these cmd+ shortcuts that work as expected, but the "usual" keys behave wrong/inconsistent in some apps:

Chrome: - Shift+Home/End selects to the start/end of the entire textarea. - Home/End first scrolls the textarea, if it is not, if it is already scrolled (this is double weird if you are somewhere down in the textarea, press home, it scrolls you to the top, press home again, it scrolls you back to where you were with the cursor on beginning of the line, then it goes to the start/end of the line as expected.

Safari: - Home/End only scroll the page, have no effect in textarea, - Shift+Home/End selects to the start/end of the textarea.

Also, I can't get insert to work in none of my IDEs (pycharm, vscode)


I just have a macbook, so no insert key at all, but vscode has an insert extension that I use when I need insert mode. Probably doing it wrong, but it works very nicely for me when I need it.


I’m loving WSL2 and would like to start mixing my gaming desktop more into my workflow, but I simply cannot feel productive without CMD+left/right.

If anyone knows of a way to rebind Alt+left/right to mimic the behavior, please give me a shout out. I’ve tried to reproduce with remapping to Home/End but I’ve found it really inconsistent.


Have you tried autohotkey? You can absolutely mimic this behaviour with that.


This doesn't work globally like the other shortcuts, but Ctrl+left/right will move the cursor to word boundaries in camelCasedWords, which is great for programming. I quickly tested it and it worked in Xcode and Sublime Text but not in TextEdit. (You also have to disable the system shortcuts for moving between spaces)


Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: