Macintosh Accent Codes


To insert these characters, press the Option key (bottom of keyboard) then other “code” key to make the symbol appear.

© Copyright symbol Option+G
® Registered Option+R
Trademark Option+2
Paragraph Symbol Option+7
Dot Option+8
§ Section Symbol Option+6
en-dash. Option, then minus sign Option+-
em-dash Shift+Option+-
Dagger Option+T

MAC OS X Keyboard Shortcuts Resource


The following Mac OS X Handy Reference Cards and ebooks are available as free downloads (in pdf format) for your private use only as part of the Mac OS X Keyboard Shortcuts Resource Library. Each Reference Card contains all or most of the keyboard shortcuts and keyboard symbols for that particular application.

Function Keys

Function keys alter the way other keystrokes or mouse clicks are interpreted.


Pressing the Help key opens the OS X Help Viewer for some applications. Sometimes
pressing it does nothing. Not all keyboards have this key. It is sometimes also labelled

 Forward Delete

This is another Delete key and is sometimes labelled del. This key deletes the
character immediately following the cursor and is only found on desktop keyboards
(i.e. not laptops).

↖ Home

The Home key is primarily used in text editing applications to return the caret (the
blinking vertical line) to the beginning of the line that the caret is on. When the text
is not editable, the Home key is used to return to the beginning of the document,
but does not move the caret.

↘ End

The End key is primarily used in text editing applications to return the caret (the
blinking vertical line) to the end of the line that the caret is on. When the text is not
editable, the End key is used to return to the end of the document, but does not
move the caret.

⇞ Page Up ⇟ Page Down

Page Up/Down scrolls up/down a page without moving the caret (the blinking vertical
line). Using the option key will cause the caret to be moved. When used with Shift it
will create a selection. The scrolling distance varies between different applications.
In cases when the document is shorter than needed, the Page Up/Down keys don’t


This key is self-explanatory. It ejects CDs or DVDs from slot and tray loading drives.
With tray loading CD/DVD drives it both opens and closes the drive bay.


The power button turns your Mac on. If the computer is already running, pressing
the power button accesses the restart, sleep, cancel and shutdown dialog box, or will
cause the computer to sleep or wake. If held down for 5-10 seconds it will force your
Mac to crash/turn off.

Function Keys

Function keys are labeled “F” followed by a number, for example “F2”. These keys
are found within the row of keys across the top of the keyboard. Macintosh laptops
have F1 through F12 only. Most other Macintosh keboards have F1 through F15.

fn Key (laptops only)

The fn key is found on laptops only. Its purpose is to give the user access to the
Function keys (see Function Keys) that are by default, control buttons for the
display, sound, number lock and disk drive.

num lock

The num lock key pertains only to laptops. This key is a toggle key and is also
labelled F6. When num lock is on, the embedded keypad is activate. If you look closely
at your laptop keyboard you will see small numbers and symbols painted on corners of
17 of the middle-right keys.

© Copyright by Dean Pirera – 2011

Modifier Keys

Modifier keys alter the way other keystrokes or mouse clicks are interpreted.


Hold the Shift key down to type capital letters and other alternate “upper”
characters. The Shift key is sometimes used with the Option key and or the
Command key to access extra keyboard shortcuts. Holding down Shift whilst
moving the cursor in a range of text or list of files will highlight the selection
so that it can be manipulated further with other actions.

Caps Lock

The Caps Lock key is a toggle key. When Caps Lock is on, every letter that is
typed will be a capital letter.

alt or Option

This key has either the “ ” symbol, or the letters “alt” or both marked on the key.
It is called the Option key and it changes the function of other keys which are being
pressed at the same time. It also provides easier access to various accents and
symbols. When you hold down the Option key and use a mouse, the mouse action
can change behaviour.

 or  Command

This key has either the “” or “ ” symbol or both marked on the key. It is called the
Command key and it changes what other keys do when pressed at the same time as
other keys. Different combinations activate different keyboard shortcut commands
in an application. ( is a trademark of Apple).


The Control or Ctrl key is pressed with other key-combinations to activate various
keyboard shortcuts. If you use a one button mouse, holding down the control key
whilst clicking the mouse also gives you the same menu options found on the right
click button of a two-button mouse.

© Copyright by Dean Pirera – 2011


A character key sends a character to the computer. When the user holds down a

MODIFIER KEY, it alters the meaning of the character key being pressed (or what
the mouse does when clicked).

Character keys include letters, numbers, punctuation, the Space bar, and the
following non-printing characters: Tab, Enter, Return, Delete (or Backspace), Clear
and Esc (Escape).


In text, pressing the Space bar enters a space between characters. When full
keyboard access is turned on, pressing the Space bar selects the item that currently
has the keyboard navigation focus (the equivalent of clicking the mouse button).


The Tab key is used to insert a tab character when typing text. It can also advance
you to the next item, window, box, option or menu within an application. You may
need to test this one out to get the complete hang of it.


The Enter key, for all intents and purposes, performs the same function as the Return
key. See also Return key.


Pressing the Return key moves the cursor to the next line when using any sort of
text editor or processor like Mail or Word. It is also used to select the highlighted
button in a dialog box menu.


This is the Backward Delete or Backspace key and on some keyboards is marked as
a left pointing arrow “←” or just “delete”. This key moves the cursor one position
backwards, deleting the preceding character.


Pressing the Clear button in some applications will remove the selected data. For
example, in Excel, it clears the data within a cell. This button is rarely used and is
not found on laptops.


The Escape key, which is marked esc on most keyboards, can be used to dismiss pop
up windows. In many cases, pressing it does nothing. However, it can sometimes get
you out of trouble by making the computer go back or escape to a previous screen.


© Copyright by Dean Pirera – 2011