12 Tips To Help You Type Like a Pro On Your Mac
Tuesday May 7, 2019. 03:00 PM , from MacMost
If you do a lot of writing on your Mac, here are a bunch of tips to help you type and manipulate text more efficiently. You can use the arrow keys along with modifiers to move around and select text without taking your fingers off the keyboard. You can also quickly delete words and lines without using your mouse or trackpad. You can complete and correct spelling, substitute a few keystrokes for longer pieces of text, and type accent marks and symbols quickly.
Check out 12 Tips To Help You Type Like a Pro On Your Mac at YouTube for closed captioning and more options.
Video Transcript: Hi, this is Gary with MacMost.com. On today's episode let's look at how you can type on your Mac like a Pro.
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So if you spend a lot of time writing on your Mac then it pays to know all the tips and tricks to make using your keyboard easier and more efficient. The key to efficiency is using the arrow keys more and the mouse or trackpad less. I'm going to use Pages to demonstrate but these techniques will work in just about any word processor or other place you type like say Mail, Safari, TextEdit, etc. Now I find that a lot of people use the mouse or trackpad to move the cursor and click somewhere else in the text to reposition where the cursor is located. But that means taking one hand off of the keyboard and then putting it back on again.
A lot of times it's more efficient to use the arrow keys. Use the left arrow key to go back and the right arrow key to go forward. You can also use the up arrow key to go to the line above and the down arrow key to go to the line below. So it's pretty quick to move around in the text using just the arrow keys. But in addition to that you can use the Option key to modify it. Instead of going one character at a time you can jump per word which makes things really fast. You can go left or right. You can also do this using the down and up arrow. If you go Option down it goes to the end of the paragraph and up goes to the beginning of the paragraph.
Likewise the Command key can be used to go to the end of the actual line. So not the end of the paragraph but at the end of the line. So Command right arrow goes to the end of the line here. Left arrow goes there. So if you have multiple paragraphs the down arrow will go one line at a time. The up arrow back up. Option down will go to the end of each paragraph and Option up will go to the beginning or each paragraph.
Now even people that use the arrow keys for moving the cursor around will sometimes resort to using the cursor for selecting text. They'll click and drag over text to select it. But you can use the arrow keys for that as well. For instance if I were to hold the Shift key down and use the left arrow it selects backwards one character at a time. If I were to release the Shift key and then start moving normally using the arrow key the selection goes away. If I do Shift right arrow then it selects forward one character at a time. Likewise I can do Shift and then Option and right then I do one word at a time. Then Shift, Option, and left will do one word at a time in reverse. You can use the other keys as well. So I can go back to the beginning of the line and I can do Shift and then down arrow for that line. Or I can do Shift, Option, and down arrow for the entire paragraph.
So these same modifier keys work with the Delete key as well. Usually hitting the Delete key once will delete one character at a time. But if I use Option Delete it goes one word at a time. You can also use Command Delete to delete all the way to the beginning of the line. Now one big difference between the Mac keyboard and a windows keyboard is there's a forward delete button on a standard windows keyboard. You can forward delete on a Mac too. You need to look for the fn key, hold that down, then use Delete and it deletes forward. You can also use the Option key with this to Delete the word that's forward.
So one of the things that makes typing on a iPhone or iPad faster is AutoComplete. You've got AutoComplete also on the Mac. This functionality has been around for awhile. You use Option Escape to trigger it. So you start typing a word and maybe it's a long word and you don't feel like typing the rest of the characters or you're not sure how to complete the spelling of the word. You type Option Escape and it brings up a list and you can use the down arrow to go through the list and hit return when you find the right word.
So what about AutoCorrect? AutoCorrect is when you incorrectly type a word and it automatically adjusts the spelling. You've got that on the Mac as well. So let's say you type a word and you forget a letter. You can see suggestions are appearing underneath right there and if I were to hit space that suggestion would automatically be taken. Now a few tips for that. First you want to make sure you have Edit, then Spelling and Grammar, and then Check Spelling While Typing selected. Also make sure in System Preferences under Keyboard and then Text you have Correct Spelling Automatically checked. Now if you did want to use your own spelling and not the AutoCorrect spelling you can use the Escape key to easily cancel it. So as I type this it wants to AutoCorrect to get rid of the dash but say I want it there for some sort of poetic effect, I hit the Escape key and now I'm fine.
I'm often asked about adding your own words to the AutoCorrect dictionary. But you don't need to go to all that trouble. There's a much easier thing that you can do. You can use Text Replacements or Text Substitutions for that and for all sorts of other things that will make typing easier. So the way to set this up is to go into System Preferences and then Keyboard and then click on Text. You get a list of replacements and what to replace them with. Now you can use this for various things. For instance if you find you're often typing a word wrong you can add a correction for it.
So, for instance, if I find that I'm always making this mistake I can say always replace that with the correct spelling. Now you can do a lot more with it. For instance if you look at the examples here you can see there are things like using ( c) uses the special copyright character. You can also type really long things, like for instance I have
gchelp that automatically types a couple sentences. Then sometimes I just have shorter things. For instance the domain name for the website as just three characters. So when I go to type these, if I type that parenthesis c parenthesis you can see it will automatically replace that. If I do hmm you can see it replaces it with the website there. If I do gchelp it will add all of that text. So text replacement gives you a whole bunch of different ways to boost your productivity.
Also notice in System Preferences there are a few options here. One of them is to add a period with a double space. If you're used to doing that when typing on a phone it comes in handy on the Mac as well. There's also the option to capitalize like the first word of a sentence automatically.
Of course we can't talk about typing productivity without talking about the ability to type accent marks and special characters. So the easiest way to type an accent mark is to continue to hold down the key that you want the accent to be on. For instance, if I want to type the word cafe and put the accent mark over the e instead of just tapping the e key I press and hold the é key and I have these selections here. I can use the cursor to figure out which one I want or I can just press the number. So I'm going to hit the number 2 key and it gives me the accent mark. This works for any key that gives you accent marks. So the o key for instance or i or c. Anything that has an alternative character.
Now for typing any special character use the Control Command and Spacebar. That brings up the special character interface here and you can go through all the smiley's and emoji's and all the special characters. You can go to different categories here at the bottom. Click the little arrow here to go to more like symbols and all sorts of things. The best part of this is at the very top is a search. So if you just need to find something quickly you can search for it by name.
So those are all the pro typing tips I've got. To go even further you want to look into using dictation on your Mac and combine typing on the keyboard with speaking to your Mac.
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