Keyboard For Mac Air



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Keyboard For Mac Air

This is the ultimate guide for working with MacBook keyboards, including accessing special functions, characters, accents, and using keyboard shortcuts in Mac OS system. Click on the list below to jump to an appropriate section.

MacBook Keyboard Diagram / Map

MacBook keyboard has few distinctive sections: Function keys (in light blue), which provides access to various functions in MacBook itself or Mac OS system. By combining them with the FN key, you'll get access to F1 - F12 keys, which can be associated with particular application features (useful in Photoshop for example).

The second section is the modifier keys (in light yellow). Shift allows to type uppercase letters and other additional characters. Command and Alt/Option are used in keyboard shortcuts, as well as the Control key, which is used almost exclusively by Mac OS X and Apple programs.

Return and left Shift has two variants, one used in the US and Eastern Asia (horizontal Return and long Shift), and second, used in Europe, Middle East and Africa (vertical Return and short left Shift). On the diagram, this is shown by dashed lines. Of course, MacBook keyboards have lots of localizations, the most common - US English - is shown above. If you're unsure about the localization you have, go and check it with this guide.

MacBook Air 11' has slightly different keyboard, with smaller top and bottom row keys to accommodate smaller laptop size. Newest MacBooks Pro with TouchBar don't have upper F keys row, instead, they have a touchscreen which changes displayed options based on context.

MacBook Keyboard Symbols Chart

SymbolMeaningNotes
Screen brightness down
Screen brightness up
Launches Mission ControlIcon available on MacBooks Unibody
Launches Mission ControlIcon available on MacBooks pre-unibody
Launches DashboardIcon available on MacBooks Unibody
Launches DashboardIcon available on MacBooks pre-unibody
Keyboard backlight down
Keyboard backlight up
Rewind
Play / Pause
Fast Forward
Sound: mute
Sound: volume down
Sound: volume up
EjectAvailable on MacBooks with CD/DVD drive
PowerAvailable on MacBooks without CD/DVD drive
CommandOn MacBooks 1st generation this is replaced by Apple logo
Alt / OptionAvailable on European/ISO keyboard layouts
TabAvailable on European/ISO keyboard layouts
BackspaceAvailable on European/ISO keyboard layouts
ShiftAvailable on European/ISO keyboard layouts
Caps LockAvailable on European/ISO keyboard layouts
ReturnAvailable on European/ISO keyboard layouts
EnterAvailable on European/ISO keyboard layouts, accessed with FN key
DeleteNot on MacBooks, but worth knowing
ClearNot on MacBooks, but worth knowing
HomeNot on MacBooks, but worth knowing. Can be substituted by CMD + up arrow shortcut.
EndNot on MacBooks, but worth knowing. Can be substituted by CMD + down arrow shortcut.
Page UpNot on MacBooks, but worth knowing
Page DownNot on MacBooks, but worth knowing
ArrowsUsed to move things or pointer

MacBook Keyboard Special Characters and Accents Map

If you want to type special characters or accents, change your keyboard language to US International PC (thanks, Steve!) and use the map below to get them. You can also check out our solution to the two languages on one keyboard problem.

Where is the Print Screen Button?

Unlike PC keyboard, there is no Print Screen key on MacBook keyboard. This functionality is accessed by keyboard shortcuts and - on Mac - you have greater flexibility:

Keyboard For Mac AirApple mac air keyboard shortcuts
  • Command + Shift + 3 - captures entire screen;
  • Command + Shift + 4 - captures selected region. Your cursor turns to crosshair and by clicking and dragging you can specify which area you want to capture;
  • Command + Shift + 4 + Space - captures selected window. First press the shortcut from above, then - when you have crosshair - hit Space. The cursor will turn to the camera and the active window will have a blue overlay. Click on it to get it captured.

In some apps, like Photoshop, you need to add Control into the mix, to paste the screenshot into the app.

MacBook Keyboard Tricks

There's a lot you can do in Mac OS by using the keyboard only. Here's a list of highly useful and not-so-useful keyboard shortcuts:

ShortcutAction
Command + WQuickly closes the active window in Safari or any other browser. Works also with many applications, like Pages, Numbers, Photoshop. Great way to quickly close something when your boss is coming around :)
Command + HHides the active application. Useful for hiding something quickly ;)
Option + Shift + F11/F12Makes tiny changes in volume level instead of standard jumps.
Control + Option + Command + 8Reverses colors on the screen.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9When watching YouTube video, this will advance you to 10%, 20%, 30%... of movie completion.
Option + DeleteDeletes whole word in text editors
Control + Command + VPastes copied text without formatting. Useful when copying something from Pages and pasting into eg. Wordpress :)
Control + Command + Option + Eject/ShutdownShuts down the MacBook without the need to provide username and password.
Command + Shift + AOpens the Applications folder in Finder.
Command + Shift + UOpens the Utilities folder in Finder.
Command + Shift + DOpens the Desktop folder in Finder.
Command + Shift + IWhen in Safari, this shortcut copies the URL, opens Mail app and creates a new email with the copied URL pasted as a link in a message.
Command + Option + MMinimizes all open windows, showing Desktop.
Command + Option + Shift + EscHold for 3 seconds to force quit any app.
Command + TabCycle through opened apps from left to right.
Command + Shift + TabCycle through opened apps from right to left.
Command + `Cycles through active app windows.
Command + QQuit active app.
Command + TOpens a new tab in Finder. Opens a new tab in a web browser.
Command + NCreates new Finder window.
Command + Shift + NCreates new folder in Finder.
Command + SpaceLaunches Spotlight.
Command + Option + SpaceSwitches to next keyboard language (if you have more than one).
Command + Control + SpaceIn some websites and apps this will give you the emoji keyboard.
Command + DeleteSends selected files/folders to trash.
Fn + DeleteDeletes text from left to right.
F10 + ShutdownHold while launching MacBook to get a silent start.
Command + up arrow/down arrowJump to the beginning or end of a page. This is equivalent to PC's Home and End keys.
Command + up arrow + LHighlights the address bar in a web browser.

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