How to Make Unique Keyboard Shortcuts for Any App in OS X

Joel Lee 01-09-2016

Whether you’ve been using a Mac for as long as you can remember or you recently switched over from Windows or Linux Switching from Windows? Essential Keyboard Tips for Mac Newbies Moving from a Windows PC to a Mac can be a shock in many ways for new users, so here's a quick start guide to adjusting to a Mac keyboard layout. Read More , there’s one feature of the operating system that you absolutely need to know: the ability to create custom keyboard shortcuts for ANY app.


In Windows, for example, keyboard shortcuts for apps are determined by the apps themselves. If you don’t like those shortcuts and the app doesn’t let you reassign keys, then you have to rely on third-party workarounds like AutoHotkey 10+ Cool AutoHotkey Scripts & How to Make Your Own AutoHotkey is an easy way to add shortcuts to your computer. You can download ready-to-use scripts or write your own. We show you to become more productive with automated hotkey tasks. Read More .


In Mac, you can override nearly any key combination with nearly any action available in the app right at the OS level. No need to install any third-party tools or anything.

Use Spotlight (Command + Spacebar) to search for and launch System Preferences, then navigate to Keyboard, then go to the Shortcuts tab, then in the left panel select App Shortcuts.

To add a new keyboard shortcut, click the + button.



  • Under Application, select the app to which you want this keyboard shortcut to apply.
  • Under Menu Title, type in the action you want this keyboard shortcut to perform. The action must be a menu item and it must be spelled exactly as it appears in the menu.
    • For nested actions, use Menu->Submenu->Action. For example, in Chrome, Edit->Find->Find Next.
  • Under Keyboard Shortcut, type the combination you want.
  • Click Add and you’re done.

Having issues? Leave a comment below and we’ll try to help you out. Otherwise, tell us about which actions you created shortcuts for and why!

Related topics: Keyboard Shortcuts, OS X El Capitan.

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