Create your own keyboard shortcuts for Windows and MacOS to do everything

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Image: Luis VIllafranca/Unsplash – If you don’t have enough built-in keyboard shortcuts, you can make your own. Keyboard shortcuts are your not-so-hidden weapon for maximizing productivity and high-speed tasks. From the downloading of GIFs into chats, to the immediate search for Wikipedia, everything in between can be very useful. It’s not just a question of finding the standard list of shortcuts, however, you can easily create your own. Windows or MacOS are available. It’s like here.

Windows Custom Shortcuts

Windows 10 lets you create your own, but only up to a specific point, custom keyboard shortcuts—to start specific file, folder, and app shorts. The easiest way to create a shortcut is to click on New and Shortcut inside a File Explorer window or the desktop. Follow the instructions for telling Windows to which shortcut you want to create.

Once you have created the program shortcut, file or folder, right-click and select Properties. Click on the shortcut tab, enter the selected keystroke combination, and click OK to confirm. In this tab, you are free of charge. Note that Ctrl+Alt must be used to start the custom combination, after which a letter, number or function key can be added. This personalization is helpful, but you don’t really have your own custom shortcuts to go to the city. You need the assistance of a third-party program to do this.

Changing the settings of a Windows shortcut.
Screenshot: Gizmodo

WinHotKey is older, but still runs on Windows 10. It runs from the field of notification (system tray). Right-click on your icon, click Settings, and from the dialog to create your shortcut, select New Hotkey. Since the most Win+ shortcuts are packed by the Windows OS, you may have to add a Ctrl or Shift to create your own unique. You can start apps, open files, open folders or carry out a number of actions in your current window (like minimizing it).

AutoHotkey also deserves a look – and is free as well. This is more complicated and scripted. These scripts need to be created as small text files that can be used to assign shortcut keys. The advantage of this additional complexity is that you can do anything about the program, from starting the apps to entering text lines. See the on-line documentation for more detailed instructions on how to create scripts and for examples.

Comfort Keys Pro gives you a whole host of options.
Screenshot: Gizmodo

Comfort Keys Pro is another option, although once the free trial has ended you will have to pay $40. You get much for your money, however: an intuitive, clean interface to create custom keyboard shortcuts that can be linked to apps, files or text snips, or whatever. You can use the textmacro templates provided and there is even a clipboard historical manager that you can use if you don’t want to start from scratch entirely.

Finally, in a few applications, including Microsoft Word, you can create your own custom keyboard shortcuts. Choose Customize ribbon and click Customize… near the heading of the keyboard shortcovers from the main program menu. In Photoshop, you can also do the same thing by Editing and Keyboard Shortcuts – you just select a tool or menu for it.

MacOS Shortcuts Custom

Apple provides a native option on the Mac to attach keyboard shortcuts to menus and actions. Open the menu for Apple, then select System Preferences, Keyboard and Shortcuts. You can deactivate or enable any shortcut by clicking on the shortcut you wish to change and pressing on the substitute combination on your keyboard to set the different keystrokes.

Click on the App Shortcuts button + (plus) to set up a new shortcut for an app menu item. You must enter the exact menu label you want to apply for the shortcut (such as “Delete”). You have to specify if the shortcut should work in each app or desktop program in particular. When you click on Add, the macOS keyboard shortcut is up and running.

Adjusting shortcuts on macOS.
Screenshot: Gizmodo

You can find options under Services, such as capturing the screen and setting the desktop wallpaper, all of which can include their own shortcuts. You can do that via the built-in Automator utility if you want to add a new service—must import a track into the Music App, build a new calendar, or many other actions — and then assign a keyboard shortcut thereafter.

With the help of a third party, such as Alfred, you can do more. You can launch an application with customized “hotkeys,” take more control of Alfred itself, or launch a particular script or AppleScript in order to perform an action. Powerpack purchase is £ 29 (approximately $40 at the time of writing) for the option to create hotkeys.

You can see how file hotkeys, apps, web searches, command systems, and more can be assigned to the Alfred Preferences pane by clicking on Workflow, and then clicking on the + (plus) button at the top of the left hand side. You simply select your hotkey, action and parameters (if necessary). Once you have more confidence, following complete directions, you can create these workflows from scratch.

aking keyboard shortcut changes in Word.
Screenshot: Gizmodo

There’s also Keyboard Maestro that sets you 36 dollars (after a free trial), but also allows you a great many flexibilities for adjusting the keyboard shortcut. By setting up a macro (a set of commands), you can assign a keyboard shortcut to almost everything and then attach a hotkey to it. Open help and tutorial to a more detailed manual, but click + at the bottom of the interface to create a macro to get up and run as quick as possible. As the macro trigger, you must set a hotkey and then assign your activity accordingly.

As with Windows, certain programs have their own options for managing keyboard shortcuts, which means that some applications can be customized for fast access and operation. Click Tools and Customize Keyboard, for example, in Word or Excel, to modify them. You can now set up your own shortcuts in Adobe Photoshop by selecting the Modifying and then the Shortcuts keyboard.