macOS – Create Keyboard App Shortcuts

(See my other macOS articles) – We all use some of the standard keyboard shortcuts built into macOS such as ⌘+c to copy and ⌘+v to paste. If they don’t exist, you can create your own keyboard shortcuts for menu commands. You can do this with the software that is part of macOS. [12]

To Create the shortcut

  • Go to the App for which you want to create the shortcut and look through the menubar to find the command you want to create the shortcut for (I suggest you take a screen shot). In this example, I want to create a shortcut to save a Mail message as a PDF.
  • Click on Apple menu ==> System Preferences
  • Click on Keyboard
  • Click on Shortcuts tab, then on App Shortcuts
  • Now click on the Add button +
  • At this point you can choose to create a shortcut for all applications or a specific App. For this example, I will choose Mail
  • In the Menu Title field type the menu command for which you want to create a shortcut, exactly as the command appears in the app, including the > character (type ->), ellipses (type three periods without spaces or press Option-; (semi-colon)), or other punctuation. For this example I will use Export as PDF…
  • In the Keyboard Shortcut field, press the key combination (for example CMD+Option+p) that you want to use as the keyboard shortcut, then click Add.

Now that you have created the shortcut you can use it within the App. So for this example if I am in Mail and there is a message I want to save as a PDF all I have to do is enter CMD+Option+p on the keyboard.

The dialog box shown above is displayed and I can modify the title as desired. I can also set a Tag for the file. Using Tags is a useful way to manage your documents.

References / Further Investigation

  1. Create keyboard shortcuts for apps on Mac
  2. How to Create Custom Keyboard Shortcuts for Any Mac App

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