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Navigating Text Using the Keyboard on macOS

A few months ago, Merlin Mann tweeted a link to the [Apple Support document on Mac keyboard shortcuts][2]. There’s a ton of great tricks in there, but what I want to focus on are the ones related to editing text documents.

I’ve selected just the shortcuts I find most useful, and reposted them below. If you work with text at all on a Mac — code, prose, spreadsheets, whatever — these will seriously step up your game.

Note: I’ve used glyphs for the shortcut keys so as to better fit them in the table. If you’re unfamiliar with any of the symbols, I’ve provided a key at the bottom of the post.

Shortcut Description
⌘ + ↑ or Move cursor to beginning or end of document.
⌘ + ← or Move cursor to beginning or end of current line.
⌥ + ← or Move cursor to beginning or end of previous word.
⌥ + ↑ or Move cursor to beginning or end of current paragraph.1
⇧ + ↑ or Extend selection to line above or below.
⇧ + ← or Extend selection one character to left or right.
⇧ + ⌘ + ↑ or Extend selection from cursor to beginning or end of document.
⇧ + ⌘ + ← or Extend selection from cursor to beginning or end of current line.
⇧ + ⌥ + ↑ or Extend selection to beginning or end of current paragraph.
⇧ + ⌥ + ← or Extend selection to beginning or end of current word.
⌥ + ⌫ Delete the word to the left of the cursor.
Fn + ⌫ Forward Delete on keyboards that don’t have a Forward Delete (⌦) key.
⌃ + K Delete the text between the cursor and the end of the line or paragraph.
Fn + ↑ or Scroll up or down one page.
Fn + ← or Scroll to the beginning or end of a document.

Key

Symbol Key
Command / cmd
Option / opt
Control / ctrl
Shift
fn Function / Fn
Delete / Backspace
← ↑ ↓ → Arrow Keys

[2]: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201236


  1. 1.Note: This does not work in all applications.

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