Why only 3 Essential Apple Keyboard Shortcuts?

Because with just these 3 essential Apple keyboard shortcuts, switching applications, viewing open documents and previewing files on your Mac will be faster and easier!

Apple Keyboard Shortcut #1 – (Command) ⌘ Tab – Switching between applications

To switch over to any of your open applications, you’re probably dragging the Lightroom window (and other program windows) down-screen or left or right. This will get you to the other open programs that are underneath, but it’s messy.

  • To switch between your open applications fast – hold down the Command ⌘ key and tap the TAB key once and release while continuing to hold down the Command key. This combination of keys will reveal all your current, open applications.
    • The tab key is located to the left of the “Q” key.
  • Continue holding the Command key, but don’t hold the Tab key down. Simply tap the TAB key again. This will highlight the next icon of your open programs.
  • Release the Command key when the application you wish to use is highlighted to bring that application forward.
    • Command Tab application switching works nearly everywhere on the Mac, no matter what program you are in.
3 Essential Apple Keyboard Shortcuts

Command Tab reveals all open applications without having to look

For more on application switching on the Mac, How-To Geek has a complete guide: https://www.howtogeek.com/322054/quit-and-hide-macos-apps-from-the-commandtab-interface/

Apple Keyboard Shortcut #2 – (Command) ⌘ (Tilde) ~

Switching between multiple open windows of the same application

You’ve got a bunch of photos open in Photoshop and you’re clicking around on each tab (or window) to see what the photo is. Sometimes you end up clicking on the same photo more than once. It gets confusing. This keyboard combination also works with most other programs.

3 Essential Apple Keyboard Shortcuts


  • Hold down the (Command) ⌘ key and tap the Tilde ~ key once.
  • Each tap of the Tilde ~ key while continuing to hold the Command key selects the next open Photoshop document until you come full circle.
  • Release both keys when you are on the document you want.
      • The Tilde ~ key is a squiggle located right above the TAB key.

Apple Keyboard Shortcut #3 –Spacebar or (Command) ⌘ Y Quick Look preview of files and/or photos in the finder

You keep opening photos and documents from the finder because you can’t tell what they are from the finder thumbnail.

  • To Quick Look a single image (or document) from a file the finder, single click the photo or document to preview (no double clicking, please!).
  • Press the spacebar or Y to Quick Look preview the photo.
  • Click the “x” in the upper left corner or press spacebar close the Quick View.
    • Spacebar does exactly the same thing as Y. Stick to using just the spacebar, it’s faster.
  • To Quick Look a group of images, select all the images or documents in the finder you wish to preview.
  • Press the spacebar. First, you’ll see a single image, as if you’re looking at just one photo.
  • There will be a little grid to the left of the markup icon. Click that once to view a page of thumbnails. If there are too many to show in one field, scroll down.
  • Select any image in the thumbnail grid to view the full image (or document) in the window. Click the little grid again to return to the thumbnails.
3 Essential Apple Keyboard Shortcuts

Click the grid to view a selected group of files as thumbnails

With this essential keyboard shortcut, you’ll never have to individually poke through your photos or documents in the finder.

For more on Quick Look go to this Apple User Guide and select your MacOS: https://support.apple.com/guide/mac-help/view-and-edit-files-with-quick-look-mh14119/11.0/mac/11.0

These 3 essential Apple keyboard shortcuts will speed along your workflow by never having to sift through photos, documents or open applications one-by-one ever again.