Freelance writers need every excuse they can find to procrastinate. Hangovers. Nuclear fallout. Office UK bloopers. Hopefully, these keyboard shortcuts will free up even more time to put toward putting off that looming deadline.

Paste without formatting

shift + command+ V

Highlight text

shift + right arrow or left arrow

en dash

option + –

em dash

option + shift + –

Someone typing. Image by Fabian Irsara via Unsplash

Toggle between programs

command + tab

New finder window from desktop

command + N

Search your mac

command + spacebar

Move to trash

command + delete

Switch browser tabs

control + tab

Clear cache

cmd + shift + R

Photo of mac keyboard and mouse, courtesy Tetsuya Tomomatsu via Unsplash

Lock screen

command + option + eject

Screen capture

command + shift + A

Force quit

command + option + esc

Go to folder

command + shift + G

Connect to share

command + K

Am I missing one? Oh, right: how to clear browser history. Don’t trip: You already know how to do that one.

Have some handy shortcuts of your own? We’re all ears. I mean eyes.

We’re all ears and eyes.


  1. I use Ctrl + H (I changed my command and control buttons to function like Windows since I use Windows VM a lot of the time). This is Hide the active window, instead of closing it. This way I can quickly get to something that is most likely behind it. I also use Option + U + u/e/a/o to make umlauts in TextEdit, for you German writers or wannabe’s out there. Last but not least, with Snagit installed, I have a hotkey set up to take screenshots, Ctrl + F19, but you can set that up however you want.

    1. Those are really good ones. Cmd + h works on Mac, too (just tested). I suppose cmd + w (close window) is worth mentioning, too. Dangerous, though.

  2. I got another one just now. If you use Parallels for Mac running Windows (any Windows OS afaik) and a Mac keyboard with number keys, if the number keys stop working, there’s no “number lock”, use Shift + clear. The Parallels KB gave a long, convoluted solution that didn’t even work–Google user-generated content gave me the answer from the next search result…

    1. #UGC for the win. So I’m clear, though, Shift + Clear is an alternative for Num Lock on a full-size external Mac keyboard hooked up to a Mac machine running Parallels for Mac?

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