Keyboard Shortcuts on OS X

Keyboard Shortcuts on OS X

One of the first programs I used ever was Microsoft Excel on my sister’s Macintosh Plus.  Ever since then, I recall that to fill cells down, the shortcut key was Command-D.   In today’s version of Excel, this shortcut is nowhere to be found:

One of the nicest things of OS X is that you can set whatever shortcut you want for any menu item (with a few exceptions).  In this case, assigning that short-cut to Excel is very simple and requires no 3rd party hackery or modification to essential system files.

To start, open System Preferences and select the Keyboard section:

Keyboard Section in System Preferences

From this section, click the Shortcuts tab at the top, from the list select App Shortcuts and then click the +  sign to assign a new shortcut:

Shortcut section, then App Shortcuts

Now you need to provide 3 pieces of data:

  • Application – the application scope that this shortcut should work in (if the app you are looking for is not listed, scroll down the list and select “Other…”)
  • Menu Title – the exact name of the shortcut menu you want to trigger
  • Keyword Shortcut – the shortcut that you want to assign so that the menu is triggered every time you press this shortcut (make sure it’s unique!)

The 3 pieces of information you must provide

Once you have provided this info, click the Add button and you are done.

Now head back to your application and enjoy your newly created shortcut:


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