How To Create a Keyboard Shortcut in Any Mac OS X Program

Some applications in Mac OS X don’t have a keyboard shortcut by default. Or sometimes you might not like the existing key combo. Here’s how to change them in any Mac program.

Sometimes you use applications on your Mac and there are actions you use more often than others. For instance, maybe you tend to use “Save As” more than “Save,” just because you like to have multiple versions of a document. That’s not uncommon. Here’s how to change that. It works with any menu shortcut, and you can change existing ones to fit your needs too.

For this example I am using Audacity for Mac. It doesn’t have a “Save As” keyboard shortcut by default.

Create Custom Keyboard Shortcuts in OS X

Go to the Apple menu and select System Preferences.


Click Keyboard.

Apple System Preferences

Choose Application Shortcuts from the list on the left. Then click the little Plus sign under the applications list.

Application Shortcuts OS X

From here, you must select the application you want to add or change a shortcut to. Type the name of the shortcut exactly as it appears in the application. For instance, “Save Project As…” must be: Save Project As… complete with ellipsis. If you don’t do this, it won’t work.

Making Shortcut

It should look something like this when you’re done.

Keyboard Shortcut Made

Now, launch or relaunch the application you modified the shortcut for. It should be there. If it’s not, re-check if you typed everything correctly. Here’s a look at the results of the menu itmes in Audacity after I made the changes.

Before – Save Project as has no shortcut:


After –  Save Project as has Shift + Command + S shortcut:


There you go. Now, you can change keyboard shortcuts for all those applications that don’t give you all the options you want.

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