Navigating Text on a Mac

Taking the time to force yourself to learn keyboard shortcuts can save you a ton of time down the road. Previously I had published a post on using function delete to do a forward delete. Here are some other handy Mac keyboard shortcuts you may want to master.


Usually you can discover keyboard shortcuts by looking at the drop down menus in a program. The Mac seems to have these weird symbols that can make decoding the shortcuts confusing.

The 4 petals ⌘ icon is the Command key. This one is the easiest since the icon is right on the key itself.

 This strange looking symbol is for the option (or alt) key. My memory trick for this is that the option key has 2 pieces of text on it and the symbol  has 2 marks on it.

 The control key symbol looks like an upside down v. Memory trick might be if you are trying to control someone you might poke them and the symbol  could poke someone.

 The symbol for the shift key is an up arrow. It is not unusual to utilize an arrow to represent a shift so this symbol  seems to make sense.

Command Shift S

Command S is save, but Command Shift S is “Save As.” If you want to make a copy of the file try this handy shortcut.

Command Right Arrow

Hold down the Command key (⌘) and press the right arrow to jump to the end of the line. The left arrow jumps to the beginning of the line.

Command Up Arrow

Holding down Command (⌘) and pressing the up arrow will jump you to the top of the page. Command and the down arrow brings you back to the bottom.

Option Right Arrow

Right next to the Command key is the option key  . Instead of jumping to the end of the line, the option arrow will jump a word at a time. Option   up arrow jumps up a paragraph instead of jumping up the whole page like the Command key.

Shift Arrow

You can select text (highlight) by holding down the shift ( ) key and pressing the right or left arrow.

Control T

Control ( ) T will transpose letters. If you are like me you frequently mistype “the” as “eth.” Get in the habit using control ( ) T to swap those letters around.