23 Mac Shortcuts for Design Pros

If you work on a Mac, you know already that it’s designed to streamline a variety of your processes. Apple products are designed to make life easier. From Siri to iCloud Drive, Macs are helping users stay organized and connected. But it’s still a struggle to complete everything you need to do when you’re buried in day-to-day tasks. That’s why learning Mac shortcuts is such a great idea. From basic navigation commands like copy and paste and undo and redo to advanced tasks like launching apps and windows management, there is a shortcut that’s bound to be helpful to you within your design work

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Published inCareer Development
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So if you want to learn how to master Mac shortcuts and simplify your design workflow, then read on!

Benefits of Learning Mac Shortcuts for Design Work

Mac shortcuts are a great way to be more productive and efficient while using your Mac. With just a few keystrokes, you can quickly access the features and functions you need within various applications. Whether you’re an experienced user or new to the platform, learning how to use these shortcuts can help save time and make it easier to get things done. 

For design work, specifically, Mac shortcuts can help designers switch between programs quickly, access hidden features, and more. Not to mention that having knowledge of Mac shortcuts makes it easier for others to collaborate with you on projects.

Mac laptop with colorful lighting

Guide to Mastering Mac Shortcuts for Design Work

Now that you know the benefits of learning Mac shortcuts, you’re probably wondering how to get started. Here are some tips for mastering Mac shortcuts for design work:

  1. Start small: Introduce yourself to the basic commands first before jumping into more advanced tasks. This will help you build a strong foundation and understanding of how shortcuts work.
  2. Try different combinations: Don’t just limit yourself to the basic commands. Experiment with different key combinations and see what works best for you.
  3. Memorize shortcuts: When you find a shortcut that’s helpful and relevant to your work, commit it to memory. This will make it easier to access the function in the future without having to look it up.
  4. Reference a list: Despite your best efforts, you may not be able to remember every single shortcut. That’s why it’s helpful to have a reference list of shortcuts close by so that you can quickly look up the ones you need.

23 Mac Shortcuts Design Professionals Need to Know

illuminated keyboard

Let’s now take some time to go over several essential Mac shortcuts that can aid you in your workflow. 

1. Command + T

Designers need to use their web browsers often, so this shortcut is nice to know. It opens a new tab.

2. Command + Tab

This shortcut quickly switches between open applications, which is great for busy designers working within multiple applications at once.

3. Command + C

This shortcut is the Mac equivalent of copy. It copies highlighted text or images to be pasted elsewhere.

4. Command + V

Use this shortcut to paste any text or images previously copied.

5. Command + Z

Undo the action you just made with this shortcut. This can save you from making major mistakes.

6. Command + Shift + Z

This shortcut is the opposite of Command + Z and will redo something you just undid. An equal lifesaver! 

7. Command + A

Selects all items within a document or application. It basically works anywhere that text is involved.

9. Command + Shift + 3

This useful shortcut makes it so you can take a screenshot of your entire screen.

10. Command + Shift + 4

Similarly, this Mac shortcut allows you to take a screenshot of part of the screen. You have to drag the cursor to select the area you’d like to screenshot for this shortcut to work.

11. Command + Option + Spacebar

Use this shortcut to quickly open a new Finder window on your Mac, which is great if you need to search through your hard drive for a file quickly.

12. Command + Option + I

This shortcut will open up the inspector window within most applications. For instance, in your web browser, it’ll open the source code inspector, while in something like Photoshop, this shortcut will open the Inspector for whichever tool is selected.

10. Command + F

This Mac shortcut is great for designers who need to search through a document or webpage quickly. It’ll open the “find” window for you to search for a specific term or phrase.

11. Control + Command + F

This shortcut will allow you to enter into a fullscreen mode within most Mac-based applications. Then just press the shortcut again to exit fullscreen mode.

12. Command + Tab

This shortcut will switch between open applications. You can then hold down Command and keep pressing Tab to scroll through your list of open applications.

13. Command + N

This shortcut will open up a new document or file in most applications.

14. Command + O

Open up a pre-existing file quickly with this shortcut.

15. Command + S

This useful shortcut will save the document or file you are working on. With this shortcut, there’s no excuse not to save often!

16. Command + Option + Esc

If something isn’t working or responding, use this shortcut to force quit the application.

17. Command + Option + L

This shortcut will lock your screen, keeping your data safe and secure.

18. Control + Command + P

This shortcut is great for designers who often use the print function to create hard-copy documents or proofs. And this shortcut puts this ability literally at your fingertips.

19. Command + Shift + N

This shortcut will create a new folder on your desktop.

20. Command + W

Close the window you are currently viewing with this shortcut.

21. Control + Up Arrow

This shortcut will shift your computer view to the Mission Control setting, which gives you a view of every application you currently have open as well as provides access to your multiple desktop views, should you use them.

22. Command + Option + D

This shortcut will hide or show the Dock on your Mac. This is useful if you need to access something quickly but don’t want the Dock taking up space on your desktop.

23. Command + Shift + T 

This shortcut is great for those times when you accidentally close a tab. It will reopen the most recently closed window or tab in your browser.

Use Mac Shortcuts to Your Advantage

By mastering these shortcuts, you can save yourself time and effort while working on your design projects. With just a few keystrokes, you’ll be able to get things done faster and more efficiently. So, get to know your Mac shortcuts and you’ll be speeding through projects in no time!