The Option key is probably one of the most powerful and underutilized keys on the Mac keyboard. I mean, there are so many things you can do and shortcuts you can find out using the Option key. The Option key can help you get things done with one click, otherwise it would have taken you at least a couple of clicks. That's why it hurts to see so few Mac users using the Option key on their Mac. The biggest reason behind users' aversion to the Mac Option key that its uses are not that simple and not many of us know it. Well, I want to change it with this article, as we show you all the Mac Option keyboard shortcuts you should know:
All the shortcuts of the optional options for Mac that you should know
There are more than 50 different uses of the Mac Option key that we will discuss in this article, which is why we have divided the entire list into subsections so that it is easier to navigate. Here are the different sections that we will cover in this article:
- Shortcut menu
- System finder and shortcuts
- Document shortcuts
- Shortcuts and gestures in Safari on Mac
- Accessibility shortcuts
- Using the option keys on the menu bar
- More shortcuts for options
You can click on any of these subsections to jump directly to them. Having said that, I would advise you to read all these tips, because you will learn much more:
1. Put your Mac to sleep
I have seen most Mac users who use the Apple menu to put their Mac to sleep. However, with the help of a simple keyboard shortcut, you can put your Mac to sleep in seconds. Simply press the key combination "Option-Command-Power button" and your Mac will go to sleep instantly.
2. Close all apps and shut down your Mac
If you're in a hurry and want to close all your apps and turn off your Mac, the Option keyboard shortcut I'm going to tell you can help you do it. Simply press the keyboard shortcut "Control-Option-Command-Power-button" and your Mac will shut down after leaving all the apps. The best part that apps will ask you to save your work if you haven't already.
System finder and shortcuts
1. Show or Hide Dock
I personally keep my Dock hidden all the time, however, if you are someone who just needs to do it from time to time, this is the keyboard shortcut for you. That's enough press "Command-Option-D" to hide the Dock . Press the same keyboard shortcut again to restore it.
2. Show or hide the Finder path
Before learning this keyboard shortcut, I hated the Finder on my Mac. My biggest problem that made me hate was the fact that there was no way to see the path of the file in the Finder window. Well, I was wrong. There is a native way to see the path of the file on the Finder and you just have to press the keyboard command "Option-Command-P" to see it.
3. Show or hide sidebar
Likewise, you can hide or show the sidebar of your Mac's Finder window by pressing the keyboard shortcut "Option-Command-S" .
4. Move files
Many new Mac users believe that Mac doesn't give you the ability to move files from one place to another. Well, that's true if you don't know the simple one "Option-Command-V" key combination . Just copy the thing you want to move and paste using the keyboard shortcut mentioned above. Instead of making a copy, the file will be moved.
5. Hide all apps
Sometimes, the situation requires drastic measures and hiding apps one by one may not cut it. Then, you can use the "Command-Option-H" keyboard shortcut to hide all open apps at once . Just click on an empty part of the desktop and press the keyboard shortcut to hide all the apps.
6. Close all open app windows
If you want to take an even more drastic approach, you can close all the apps instead of hiding them. Just use the "Option-Command-W" keyboard shortcut to do it.
7. Minimize all windows
Similarly, use the keyboard shortcut "Option-Command-M" to minimize all app windows .
8. Open the Force Quit Applications menu
Even if it doesn't happen regularly on a Mac, there are sometimes rogue applications that don't respond to your commands. In these cases, you will have to force exit from those apps. You can use the Apple menu for bring up the forced exit application menu or simply press the keyboard shortcut "Command-Option-Escape " to do it.
9. Force Exit the current app
You can go one step further and directly force the current output using the keyboard shortcut "Command + Shift + Option + Esc" .
10. Empty the trash without the confirmation box
Similarly, you can empty your Mac's trash without having to invoke the confirmation dialog block using the keyboard shortcut "Option-Shift-Command-Delete" .
11. Open your viewing preference
The Option key also helps you access certain settings and preferences without having to go through the entire browsing process in the Apple menu. For example, you can launch the Display Preferences panel by pressing i "Option-Brightness up / down" keys .
12. Open the keyboard preference
Similarly, press the shortcut from keyboard "Option-F5 / F6" to start keyboard preferences.
13. Open the Mission Control preferences
Also, use the "Option-Mission Control" keyboard shortcut to start the Mission Control preferences.
14. Adjust the volume / brightness in small increments
The Mac Option key also allows users to adjust brightness and volume in smaller increments for further optimized adjustments. Just the keyboard shortcut "Option-Shift-Keyboard Brightness Up / Down" is "Option-Shift-Keyboard Volume Up / Down" to do it.
15. Copy a dragged object
This is one of the most unknown features of the Option key. Basically, every time you drag a file to your Mac, it's possible hold down the Option key as you drag to copy that file to the clipboard.
16. Create an alias for a dragged object
Likewise, if so hold both the "Option and Command" keys while dragging an element, the alias of the file will be created, which is basically a shortcut to start the file.
17. Open all folders within a selected folder
If you use list view in the Finder, you may find this trick very useful. Basically, you can hold down the Option key while do click on the triangle to open all folders within a selected folder. So, with one click, you will be able to find everything stored not only in the parent folders but also in the child folders.
The incredibly powerful Mac Option button when it comes to managing documents. In this section we will see all the features that can be accessed using the Option key when working with documents:
1. Delete the word to the left of the insertion point
If instead of deleting a letter you want to delete the whole word, you can use the keyboard shortcut "Option-Delete" which deletes a word left at your insertion point.
2. Move the insertion point to the beginning of the previous word
Likewise, if you want to move the insertion point for the whole word and not a letter, you can use the Option key while pressing on the left arrow .
3. Move the insertion point to the end of the next word
In the same way, you can hold down the Option key as you use the right arrow key to move directly to the end of the next word.
Suggestion: you can hold down the Shift key while using the two keyboard shortcuts above to select the word instead of just moving the insertion point.
4. Select an entire paragraph
If you want to quickly select an entire paragraph in one go, hold down the "Option-Shift" keyboard shortcut while using the up / down arrow keys.
5. Go to the search field
Longtime Mac users may know that using the "Command-F" keyboard shortcut directly opens the Finder search box. However, if you don't want to open the search box, but simply want to use the search field, you need to click the cursor. Well, if what you want to do, instead of using the trackpad or mouse, use the keyboard shortcut "Option-Command-F".
6. Copy style
If you just want to copy the text style, instead of using the "Command-C" keyboard shortcut that copies the text, use the "Command-Option-C" keyboard shortcut.
7. Paste the style
Similarly, you can use the "Command-Option-V" keyboard shortcut to paste the style.
8. Paste and match the style
One of the most used keyboard shortcuts on Mac is the Paste and Match style keyboard shortcut. What it basically does corresponds to the content that is being pasted to the style of content that is already present in the document. To use this feature, copy the text from anywhere just like you do. However, when pasting, instead of using the normal "Command-V" keyboard shortcut, use the "Option-Shift-Command-V" keyboard shortcut .
9. Show-Hide inspector and toolbar
I enjoy working in a distraction-free environment when I am in the complete wiring flow. That's why you hide all Toolbar and Inspector windows in the Pages app. If you want to do it too, you can use the keyboard shortcut "Option-Command-I" to hide the Inspector and "Option-Command-T" to hide the toolbar . While I mainly use it on pages, it will also work on Numbers, Keynote and any other third-party apps that support it.
Shortcuts and gestures in Safari on Mac
1. Scroll in larger increments
If you use the arrow key to scroll through web pages in Safari, you can use the Option key to scroll in larger increments. Hold down the Option key when using the arrow keys to scroll.
2. Highlight the next item on a web page
We all use the Tab key to switch between options on a web page. However, users may have noticed that he skips the buttons and selects only the text entry fields. Well, if you want to select the buttons without skipping them, hold down the Option key when using the Tab button.
3. Close all tabs except one
If you want to quickly close all tabs on Safari and keep only one tab open, you can use the Option key to do it. Hold down the Option key when you click the close button. Remember that the tab you click on the close button will be the one that will be left open while all other tabs are closed.
4. Download a linked file
If you want to quickly download a linked file on the web, hold down the Option key while clicking the link.
5. Zoom in on the website text
Longtime Safari users may be familiar with the "Zoom In" and "Zoom Out" features which can be accessed via the "View" menu or by using the "Command + / Command-" keyboard shortcut. Well, if the only thing you want to make the text bigger and not the whole web page, use the option key with the link mentioned above or hold down the Option key when clicking on the View menu.
The Mac Option key simplifies access to accessibility options on your Mac, allowing you to use a simple keyboard shortcut. Here are some of the most used and best keyboard shortcuts you can use to access accessibility options:
1. View accessibility options
To access the Display Accessibility Options, use the keyboard shortcut "Option-Command-F5".
2. Open VoiceOver Utility
To open the VoiceOver utility, use the keyboard shortcut "Control-Option-F8".
3. Enable or disable zoom
Similarly, use the "Option-Command-8" keyboard shortcut to turn the Zoom function on or off.
4. Enable or disable the Invert colors setting
Use the "Control-Option-Command-8" keyboard shortcut to turn the Invert Colors setting on or off.
5. Reduce the contrast
You can reduce the contrast by using the "Command-Option-Command-Comma" keyboard shortcut.
6. Increase the contrast
On the other hand, you can increase the contrast by using the "Control-Option-Command-Period" keyboard shortcut.
Using the option keys on the menu bar
Holding down the Option key while clicking the icons on the menu bar can display additional information. Here are some of the most important you should know:
1. Option-Click on the volume menu bar icon
By holding down the Option key while clicking the Volume menu icon, you can directly open the audio preferences panel and also select the output and input sources for audio.
2. Option-Click on the wireless menu bar icon
By clicking on the wireless menu bar icon while holding down the Option key, you can obtain additional information such as the IP address, the router number, the country code, noise level and more.
3. Option-Click on the Bluetooth menu bar icon
Likewise, clicking while holding down the Option key on the Bluetooth menu will display additional information such as status, discovery status and more.
4. Option-Click on the Apple menu
If you want to quickly open the system report pane, just hold down the Option key on the Apple menu bar to directly display the option.
5. Activate Do Not Disturb
Finally, you can do Option-click on the notification bar icon at the top right to enable Do Not Disturb directly. You can also click again to disable DND mode.
More shortcuts for options
1. Get the Save As menu
If you want to get the "Save as menu" while saving a file, just click and hold the Option key on the File menu to view it.
2. Get multiple file formats
Likewise, while saving a file, you can Option-click on the file selector to get more file format options.
Become a Mac Power user with the Wiener Power of Mac Option Key
This ends our long article on using the Option key and the features you can access. I use some of these shortcuts daily and I hope you will find some keyboard shortcuts for Option keys that are also useful to you. Check the list and let us know what your favorite favorite key features are by writing in the comments section below.