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How to: Create a keyboard shortcut

4 September 2009 7,380 views No Comment



Did you know that you can add a keyboard shortcut for nearly any menu item in any Mac application? That’s kind of amazing and, moreover, you will be amazed at how simple it is to create your own keyboard shortcuts. About the only caveat is that you can’t use a keyboard combination already in use by another shortcut.

I’m a pretty big fan of keyboard shortcuts and use several custom shortcuts, including OS X’s Show Character Viewer (a.k.a. KeyCaps) and Safari’s Private Browsing mode. Here’s how I set up a keyboard shortcut to invoke the latter.

Open System Preferences and then click on “Keyboard.”

1. Click on “Keyboard Shortcuts”
2. Click the “+” to add a new shortcut
3. Select Safari from the drop down menu
4. Type the Menu item exactly as it appears in the app
5. Press the keyboard combination you’d like to use
— In this instance, I used Command + Option + P

Again, you’ll need to type the menu item exactly as it appears in the app or your shortcut might not work. Also, if you attempt to use a keyboard combination already employed elsewhere, OS X will tell you and even highlight where you can find that shortcut. So, if it’s something obscure, you can disable the original usage and apply it where you want.

Gotta nifty OS X tip or trick? Share it in the comments below…

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