Adding Keyboard Shortcuts on your Mac

I use Apple Pages quite often for making PDFs that I need for printing. I make PDFs often enough that for me, it warrants a keyboard shortcut.

To make a keyboard shortcut, you need to open Preferences and to which menu item you want to add the shortcut.

To add CMD-` (the key to the left of the 1 key) to Apple Pages to quickly access from the menubar, File, then Export to, then  PDF…, you need to know the exact spelling of the menu item.

Open Apple Pages

Open a document.

Select File>Export To>PDF… to see what the menu item is labeled.

Remember the PDF… part for later.

Getting Preferential Treatment

From the Apple menu, select and open System Preferences…

Where it happens

Click the Keyboard preferences icon.

Select the Shortcuts tab

Select App Shortcuts

Staying Positive

Most applications use the plus and minus to add and delete things.

Click the + to add a new shortcut.

Getting Picky

Select the application to which you want to add the shortcut.

Click on the Application Pop-up and select Pages.

Next, type in the Menu Title "PDF…" I tested it and either three periods or the ellipse symbol (OPTION-;) works.

Click the Add button and you now have your shortcut. Woohoo!

Making a list and checking it twice

Pages is now added to the list with your PDF… highlighted.

Menus Changes

Switch back to Apple Pages and then check the menu. If you got it set up correctly, the menu now shows the shortcut. Good job!

Testing 1-2-3

Finally, with a document open press CMD-` and see the magic happen. Note the Next button is highlighted, Press the Return key and save a click.


Granted, it doesn’t save tons of time, but a little bit can add up over days, weeks and months.

If you catch yourself doing something yo repeat over and over again and it’s buried in a menu or three, then make a shortcut and save a few slivers of time.

Homework: Add CMD-SHIFT-N keyboard shortcut for adding a Page in Pages.

Extra Credit

How would you make a shortcut for Prefrences and can you and a shortcut for Keyboard?

If you figured out a solution to do this, or just found this helpful, please add a comment or share with a friend.



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