Global keyboard shortcuts in OS X
March 18, 2011 8:59 AM   Subscribe

How can I make sure that the global keyboard shortcuts I want to use on a Mac are not already taken?

Some apps give the option of assinging global keyboard shortcuts to invoke some functionality, but I wonder if I'm overriding some pre-existing use of that shortcut. How can I make sure that the shortcut isn't already taken?
posted by mpls2 to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
System Preferences>Keyboard>Keyboard Shortcuts tells you what you currently have.
posted by TheRaven at 9:06 AM on March 18, 2011

Check out the Apple support article listing the keyboard shortcuts.

Also, to see the global shortcuts, have a look in System Preferences, Keyboard, Keyboard Shortcuts for conflicts. You can also customize and add shortcuts there.
posted by jardinier at 9:06 AM on March 18, 2011

(The Keyboard Shortcuts system prefs panel won't show you what keyboard shortcuts are assigned to an application unless you've done the assignment yourself.)

There isn't a way to get a master list from every application of what every key is going to do. At a certain point you have to resign yourself to scanning through menus and a bit of trial and error.

When in doubt I generally just assign extra modifiers to my own shortcuts (Command-option-shift whatever) so they're less likely to conflict with anything common. I also keep PDFs on hand of the keyboard shortcuts for heavy duty apps (anything from Adobe, for instance) so I can do a quick cross-check.
posted by bcwinters at 9:11 AM on March 18, 2011

Heh, last time I looked ALT+ESC was the only one that wasn't used, AND I TOOK IT.
posted by jeffamaphone at 11:24 AM on March 18, 2011

I have struggled with this for years., and don't have a satisfactory answer. One rule of thumb is that CMD + CTRL + whatever is generally available until you start adding 3rd party software to the system.
There is a program called KeyCuethat I have found to be extremely helpful.
posted by nowonmai at 5:52 AM on March 19, 2011

« Older Loving without excusing   |   please help me max out my office-supplies budget Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.