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Introduction

We wanted to name this page: “Handy Shortcuts,” – but they are WAY more than just handy. They are absolutely necessary.

Learn – and use ALL of these.

Select all

Universal

+A

This shortcut works in just about every program. If you’re dealing with text, set your cursor within the text and use the shortcut. It will do as it says: select all of the text.

If you set your cursor inside a text field, it will often use that as a scope – but not always.

If you are in a graphics program, it will likely select all of the shapes on the canvas.

Find

Universal

+F

If you’re ever looking for something, click on whatever window or areas you are looking at, and find it!

This works great for searching web pages and most apps will also have something in place to help you navigate based on text input. If you are looking for something in your program/text document, go ahead and search the page.

Sublime Text

+K+B

This is a weird one. It’s unusual to use 2 letters. But it should help remind you to add one key at a time. Don’t just press them all at the same time. It’s like a fun secret lock!

Note: if there is nothing open (no active folder or files…) (just one file) – it’s not going to toggle!

Go to anything

Sublime Text

+P

There’s nothing wrong with taking a look at your text editor’s sidebar. You’ll want to get well acquainted with the file structure. But once you’ve got that down, you can close that sidebar and get to any file really fast with this shortcut. You don’t even need to type a whole word. Are you looking for something in styles/components/thing.css ? Well, try typing sc or something. It will find what you want.

Place multiple cursors

Sublime Text

+click

Place your cursor some|where. Now, hold ⌘ and then place your cursor in m|any more plac|es. Let go of ⌘ and start typing.

You can also select some text, hold ⌘ and select some other text. Give it a try.

Select multiple instances (Quick Add Next)

Sublime Text

+D

First, select a piece of text. Then use the shortcut. Each subsequent use will find and select another instance as it moves down the page.

Protip: If you are trying to select class='item' – instead of selecting that, select a little more. This way, it won’t pick up the word “item” in other places. Try something like class='item'

Open Spotlight

Finder

+spacebar

If you don’t have Alfred, then luckily for you – Apple introduced “Spotlight” in 2005. It’s a simple search input that lets you find files and applications with just a few keystrokes.

Move to trash

Finder

+delete

When a file or folder (or group of items) are selected, you can whisk them away to the trash. It’s healthy.

Empty trash

Finder

+shift+delete

After you ditched a bunch of that unneeded stuff (thank you for your service), send it away!

You’ll get a little dialog and one last chance to change your mind. Hit return to make it official (not to return it).

Toggle Developer Tools

Web Browser

+option+I

There are many ways to get this thing open, but – we find that the shortcut is fast and easy.

Note: You can position this set of tools in many ways. We suggest you nest it on the right side of the browser.

Open incognito window

Web Browser

+shift+N

When running a lighthouse score, it’s recommended that you do it in an “incognito” window. That’s because it will stop any browser extensions from interfering with the report/score.

This is also great for when you want to let Google know that you are looking at things that you wish were secret.

Your activity might still be visible to:

  • Websites you visit
  • Your employer or school
  • Your internet service provider

Text Tool

Affinity Designer

T

To switch to the text too’, you can just hit T. Also, there are 2 text tools. If already selected, hitting T again will toggle between them.

Half to the left

Divvy

+option+

Try this shortcut with each of the arrow keys (assuming you have Divvy and set up the shortcuts!)

2/3rds to the left

Divvy

+control+

Try this shortcut with each of the arrow keys (assuming you have Divvy and set up the shortcuts!)

Hard refresh

Web Browser

+shift+R

This will clear the cache and then refresh.

(we’ll put a link to ‘why’)

Also: note: Safari uses that same shortcut for “reader” – because they are fucking assholes. So, for them – it is: ⌘ + ⌥ + E

Swap fill and stroke focus

Affinity Designer

X

In most graphics programs, there are two little color circles that represent the currently selected colors to implement. One is for fill and one is for stroke. Tapping x will switch which one is focused, so that when you choose a color – it will apply to the one you want.

Swap fill and stroke color

Affinity Designer

shift+X

In most graphics programs, there are two little color circles that represent the currently selected colors to implement. One is for fill and one is for stroke. Tapping x will switch which one is focused, so that when you choose a color – it will apply to the one you want.

Export (Save for Web)

Affinity Designer

+option+shift+S

This is a hefty shortcut – but Affinity probably followed suit because Adobe used it for its “Save for Web” option.

Refresh

Universal

+R

If you want to refresh the browser (reload the web page) then this is how! But – in many other cases this will also work. For example, if Slack is being weird – you can refresh it. (because it’s basically secretly a webpage anway) – but try it out in different scenarios and sometimes it comes to the rescue.

Save

Universal

+S

Any program that has a save feature is highly likely to map that action to this. But there are many things these days that save themselves automatically. Our left hand probably hits this every 30 seconds or so when we’re programming.

Toggle hidden files

Finder

+shift+.

There are a lot of hidden files on your computer! Using this shortcut will toggle their visibility.

Toggle full screen

MacOS

+control+F

MacOS is made up of “windows” or “panes” that house the various applications and screens. This will toggle your currently focused window between normal and fullscreen.

Close current browser tab

Web Browser

+W

Most programs are going to allow you to close the window with this command. That’s what the W is for. But we thought we’d note that in the case of things with tabs (like the web browser), it will close the tab or pane instead of the entire window.

Find (across all files)

Sublime Text

+shift+F

This will pull up a set of search tools. You can input a string and search for it across all open files. You can also use the pane it brings up to search for a string and replace it (across all files) via “find and replace.”

Capital letters and alternate key symbols

Universal

shift+A

This will work with almost any (non-modifier) key. You’ll find shift + ' to be a very common combo to type a double quote character and shift + / for a question mark.

Copy

Universal

+C

Most commonly, you’ll select a piece of text and “copy” it to your clipboardBy default, maOS has only 1 slot to save things this way. From there, you can “paste” the content somewhere else. But this extends far beyond text. You can copy files and other things into your clipboard as well.

Cut

Universal

+X

The terms “cut” and “paste” come from copy editing and traditional layout Paste-Up. This will remove the selected item or span of text and cut it away and store it in your computer’s “clipboard.”

Paste

Universal

+V

If you have something stored in your virtual clipboard you can “paste” is somewhere. This may be a span of text, a file, an entire webpage or text file, and many other things. The term comes from actual adhesive use in Paste-Up layout.

New

Universal

+N

This command is universal but contextual. It will create a “new” something based on what program you are using.

New folder

Finder

+shift+N

Quickly create a new folder in whatever context you are in. If you are focused on the desktop, it will create a new folder there. If you are focused on a finder window, it will create it there.

Switch between open apps

Finder

+tab

This will bring up a list of your open apps and move to the next item in the list. It moves through the list to the right. To move in the opposite direction, try command + `

Start using this ASAP.

Delete file

Finder

+delete

This will move the selected file to the “trash.” The trash is really just a folder. Nothing will be deleted until you “empty” the trash.

Move file between drives

Finder

+drag

When you have two drives and you drag the file between them, it will make a copy. When you don’t want to make a copy and instead just move the file over while removing the original one, do this.

Copy file between directories

Finder

option+drag

If you’d like to make a copy of a file, a quick way to do that is by holding option and dragging it somewhere else.

Universal

control+click

Depending on where you click this will bring up a unique menu based on that context (if available).

It is very common to set the righ-click of your mouse to this command.

Select/move with arrow keys

Universal

Use your arrows. Try them out and see how they behave in different contexts.

Half to the right

Divvy

+option+

Full screen

Divvy

+option+

Center

Divvy

+option+

Top right

Divvy

+control+

Bottom right (terminal)

Divvy

+control+

Screenshot a region of the screen

MacOS

+shift+4

Screenshot the entire screen

MacOS

+shift+3

Copy screenshot to clipboard

MacOS

+control+shift+4

This will allow you to select a region of your screen and save the image to your clipboard.

Adding the control key to any of the previous screenshot shortcuts will add the screenshot to your clipboard instead of saving it to your desktop.

Screenshot a window

MacOS

+shift+4+spacebar

This will let you take a screenshot of a specific window.

Tab to move

Universal

tab

The tab key will move around the page in a forward fashion depending on what is currently selected. To move the opposite combine it with shift

Close window

Universal

+W

C was already taken. So, if you want to close a finder window or an application – or most anything – think “w” for window.

Get info

Finder

+I

If you have a file selected, you can use this to bring up a window with all of the file details. You might need to know the file size, permissions, or change its icon. You can also add some extra information about it.

Select many items with mouse

Universal

click+drag

You can draw a box on the screen and collect a group of items into your selection.

Bring up mission control

MacOS

4 fingers+swipe up

If you’re using a trackpad, swiping up or down with 4 fingers will toggle Mission Control.

If you’re using a keyboard with function keys, then F3 will do the trick.

Select multiple items

Finder

+click

Hold command and click on an application, folder, or anything in the finder.

While still holding command, click on something else to select it. Keep doing this to select multiple things in the Finder even if they aren’t next to each other.

Paste without formatting

Universal

+shift+V

When you copy text from rich text or web pages, sometimes formatting code will get carried over with it! This is not awesome (unless you want that). It’s also tricky because you might not know it’s there and then be confused about why it’s behaving strangely.

Also: in many cases, you need to use command + shift + option + V  instead.

Indent and outdent

Sublime Text

+]

Right bracket will indent a tab and left bracket will outdent a tab distance. You can also select sections of text and indent the whole section.

Pane layout

Sublime Text

+option+1

1 is for one pane. 2 is for two – 3, 4 – and 5 will make a fun 2×2 grid.

You can see some other options in View → Layout

Multiple Selection with the Keyboard

Sublime Text

+D

First, select a span of text. You can use this command many times to select anything that matches your first selection. You may then type and replace those selections or move your cursor. You can think about it as “Duplicating” your selection area – if it helps you remember it.

Try and select a specific span of text. If you’re looking for the word sandal, don’t select sandal or you will find too many things! Tack on a few syntax characters to make sure you’re finding exactly the right match. Then, you can move the cursor from there – in all of the places at the same time too.

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