While some people purchase the iconic brand, known as apple, as a means of fitting in, others make the purchase for efficiency. Mac’s OS X software may help to create a distinction between itself and Windows, but what is the use of a slick and speedy interface if the programs on the computer are inefficient?
Have you ever encountered a program with the most bizarre keyboard shortcut assignments? If not, you may have seen a program with hardly any shortcuts at all. Sometimes it seems that the most useful tasks can only be achieved by painstakingly clicking on the drop-down menu. This is simply not efficient.
Shortcuts save time, effort and brainpower. By training yourself to subconsciously remember a few key-combinations, you will no longer waste time and energy moving your mouse. Some may call it laziness, but I call it efficiency!
Regardless of your reasons, you may eventually find yourself needing to add, remove, or change some of the shortcuts for your programs. Given a mac, and a few seconds, this task is quite simple!
As an example, here is a scenario: I have found myself transitioning from Adobe Photoshop to Pixelmator. Below I have included a list of shortcuts for both Pixelmator and Photoshop CS6.
You may have noticed that the majority of shortcuts for both programs are the same hotkeys. In fact, I find that Pixelmator did a great job at using shortcuts that are very similar to Photoshop’s. The majority of Pixelmator’s tools use the same hotkeys as tools with the same functions found in Photoshop. In addition, many important tasks found within the drop-down menus utilize the same shortcuts as well. However, some shortcuts are lacking on Pixelmator’s end. For example, I personally find myself using the Color Adjustments option (Image –> Color Adjustments…) quite often. I noticed that Pixelmator does not have any preset shortcuts for this task (as can be seen below), so let us change that.
NOTICE: The process of changing shortcuts cannot be achieved on all programs. In addition, shortcuts can only be created for options found within the drop-down menus. Lastly, if you are using one Duke’s Multimedia Project Studio (MPS) macs, realize that your shortcut configurations will be erased after logging off of your account.
STEP 1: System Preferences
To begin, go ahead and open up System Preferences.
STEP 2: Keyboard
On the System Preferences main page, find and click on Keyboard (referring to the image above: Keyboard is located in the second row, and third column).
STEP 3: Keyboard Shortcuts
Once on the Keyboard page, notice the toggles towards the top. There may be more than two buttons on your menu, depending on the OS X version. For example, my personal computer includes four toggles: “Keyboard,” “Text,” “Shortcuts,” and “Input Sources.” Regardless, click on the button that includes the word “Shortcuts.”
STEP 4: Application Shortcuts
You should now see a page similar to the one shown above. Notice that there are two side-by-side display boxes. Looking at the left-most box, click on “Application Shortcuts.”
STEP 5: Deleting Shortcuts
Depending on personal use, you may notice some shortcuts already listed in the box to the right. To delete any of these shortcuts, you may select them and press the minus (-) sign underneath the white display box.
STEP 6: Adding Shortcuts Part 1
To add a shortcut, click on the plus (+) sign underneath the display box. A box similar to the one seen below will pop-up. In the application field, you can scroll to see which apps are eligible for shortcut modifications. If you choose to keep “All Applications” selected, your added shortcut will affect all applications that have the exact menu title that you will enter. Although not necessary, you may wish to select the specific program that you wish to change.
STEP 7: Adding Shortcuts Part 2
The next field which you are prompted to fill is the Menu Title. This is the exact title of the task you wish to add a shortcut for. Recall, that I found the title to be “Color Adjustments…” for my specific task. After entering the Menu Title, enter a desired shortcut and click add.
STEP 8: The End!
If done correctly, you will notice that your shortcut is not only listed within System Preferences (seen above), but also on the program drop-down menu (seen below). If you do not see the shortcut, first try restarting the program. If this does not resolve the issue, check to make sure that you have entered the Menu Title exactly as written in the drop-down menu.