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Mac OS X Tips and Tricks

NOTE: To restart your desktop Macintosh computer either hold down the Power Button ⌽ Until the computer shuts down and press the ⌽ key or press the reset button on the front (each Mac can be different as to where the reset button is placed. To restart your PowerBook or iBook Macintosh computer, press ⌘⌅⌽ simultaneously.

The key combinations listed below are PRESSED SIMULTANEOUSLY and held down unless otherwise specified.

This section applies to Macintosh Systems running Jaguar (10.2.x), Panther (10.3.x), Tiger (10.4.x) or Leopard (10.5.x). Applicable Apple hardware would be a G4 AGP Graphics computer or newer.

The Apple Macintosh Keyboard is slightly different than a Windows or Unix Keyboard. Here are the keys you need to know:

⌘ - Command/Apple
⇥ - Tab
⏎ - Return
⇤ - Enter
⏏ - Eject
⇧ - Shift
⇪ - Caps Lock
⌥ - Option/Alt
⌅ - Control
⎋ - Escape
⌽ - Power
⌫ - Delete Key
⌦ - Delete Forward Key
⌔ - Mouse Button Down

Along with Apple's Disk Utility, two indispensible tools for any Mac Owner are DiskWarrior by AlSoft, and TechTool Pro 4 by Micromat. We heartily recommend, use and endorse these programs.

Startup Key Commands

Clearing the FirmWare

Hold down ⌘⌥OF during startup. Once a prompt ">" appears, type in "reset-nvram", press return, and then type "reset-all". If a CD is stuck and won't come out, you can type "eject cd", before you type "reset-all".

NOTE: This does not work on the newer Intel based macs, only powerpc based macs.

Clearing the PRAM Hold down ⌘⌥PR during startup. As long as you hold these keys down, the computer will go through startup cycles. Let it go through at least 4 if not 6 startup chimes. On the 6th time let go the keys and the computer will start up normally.
Force Mac OS X to startup Hold down X during startup. Only applicable to systems that can also run Classic
Select which drive and which system you want to start your computer Hold down ⌥ during startup, this takes a while. Wait until the clock stops, select the drive and press the right arrow icon.
Bypass the startup drive for another startup drive. Hold down ⌘⌥⇧⌫ during startup
Start up from a CD that has a system folder Hold down C during startup
Eject Stuck CD Hold down ⌔ during startup or press the ⏏ key or see the "eject cd" command in the open firmware dialog above
Startup from a Network Volume Hold down N during startup
Force a screen reset on a PowerBook or iBook Hold down R during startup
Startup in FireWire Target Disk Mode Hold down T during startup
Startup in Safe Mode Hold down ⇧ during startup. This temporarily disables startup/login items, and non-essential extensions.
Startup in Verbose Hold down ⌘V during startup. The computer will give you a readout of everything it does during startup
Startup in Single-User (Command line) mode Hold down ⌘S during startup. Use this option if you want to use Unix commands to troubleshoot your computer.


Keyboard Shortcuts for the finder

NOTE: These commands are always available while you're in the finder. To switch to the finder press ⌘⇥

Close Window
Close all Windows

Press ⌘W
Press ⌘⌥W

Move up one folder
Move down one folder

Press ⌘↑
Press ⌘↓

Open Window Press ⌘O
The following commands only apply when working in list view
Expand folder Press ⌘→
Expand folder and nested subfolders Press ⌘⌥→
Collapse Folder Press ⌘←
Open parent folder and close current window Press ⌘⌥↑
Other Finder Commands
Open selected folder and close parent window Press ⌘⌥↑
Show all open windows F9 (on a PowerBook or iBook, you must press fn-F9)
Show all open windows in an application F10 (on a PowerBook or iBook, you must press fn-F9)
Hide all open windows and expose Desktop F11 (on a PowerBook or iBook, you must press fn-F9)
Dashboard (Tiger only) F12 (on a PowerBook or iBook, you must press fn-F9)
Finder Apple Menu Commands
Apple Menu Log Out Press ⇧⌘Q
Apple Menu Log Out immediately Press ⇧⌥⌘Q
Finder File Menu Commands
Empty Trash Press ⇧⌘⌫
Empty Trash without dialog Press ⌥⇧⌘⌫
Hide Finder Press ⌘H
Hide Others Press ⌥⌘H
New Finder window Press ⌘N
New Folder Press ⇧⌘N
Open Press ⌘O
Save Press ⌘S
Save as Press ⇧⌘S
Show Original Press ⌘R
Add to Toolbar Press ⌘T
Move to Trash Press ⌘⌫
Eject selected volume Press ⌘E
Find Press ⌘F
Edit Menu Shortcuts
Undo Press ⌘Z
Cut Press ⌘X
Copy Press ⌘C
Paste Press ⌘V
Select All Press ⌘A
View Menu Shortcuts
View as Icons Press ⌘1
View as List Press ⌘2
View as Columns Press ⌘3
Hide/Show Toolbar Press ⌘⌥T
Show View Options Press ⌘J
Go Menu Shortcuts

Press ⌘ [

Forward Press ⌘]
Enclosing Folder (containing selected item) Press ⌘↑
Computer Press ⇧⌘C
Home Press ⇧⌘H
Network Press ⇧⌘K
iDisk Press ⇧⌘I
Applications folder Press ⇧⌘A
Utilities folder Press ⇧⌘U
Go to Folder Press ⇧⌘G
Connect to Server Press ⌘K
Window Menu Shortcuts
Minimize Window

Press ⌘M

Minimize All Windows Press ⌥⌘M
Screen Capture Shortcuts
Take a picture of the screen


Take a picture of the selection ⌘⇧4
Take a picture of the screen, place in Clipboard ⌘⇧4, then press ⌅ while selecting
Take a picture of the selected window ⌘⇧4, then Spacebar
Other Commands
Show/Hide Dock


Hide current application and make window active ⌥-click dock item or window
Switch to previous active application ⌘⇥
(⌘⇥ again, or ⌘→ for next application, ⌘⇧⇥ or ⌘←
for previous application, ⌘Q to quit, ⌘H to hide)
Highlight next item
Move up one page Page Up or ⌅↑
Move down one page Page Down or ⌅↓
Copy to new location ⌥-Drag
Make Alias ⌥-⌘-Drag
Move to new location without copying
(or rearrange or remove menu icon)
Show Colors palette in application Press ⇧⌘C
Show Font palette in application Press ⌘T
Force Quit dialog Press ⌥⌘⎋
Eject CD or DVD Press ⏏ or F12
Restart, Sleep, Shutdown dialog box Press ⌅⏏
Quit all applications and restart Press ⌅⌘⏏ or ⌅⌘F12

Shut Down immediately Press ⌥⌽
Sleep Press ⌥⌘⏏ or ⌥⌘⌽
Cycle through available views for the window's ⌘-click window toolbar button
Help Press ⌘?