June 09, 2012, 7:20 AM — Keyboard shortcuts—such as Command-C for Copy—have long been a quick and easy way to access common application actions. But how do you learn those shortcuts? I’ve long been a fan of KeyCue, a handy utility for quickly viewing all the keyboard shortcuts available from within the current app. (I’ve even included it in our new Mac Gems Superguide.)
KeyCue is a great cheat sheet for learning and using keyboard shortcuts, but if you’re on a tighter budget and you’re willing to give up some of KeyCue’s niceties, the free CheatSheet (Mac App Store link) offers an alternative.
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With CheatSheet installed, holding down the Command key for a couple seconds pops up an overlay summarizing all the shortcuts available from within the current application, including commands in the Application Name: Services submenu and those shortcuts you’ve added using the Keyboard pane of System Preferences. Press a shortcut, or click it with the pointer, to execute the corresponding command. It’s that simple, and it’s a great way to quickly figure out that shortcut you just can’t remember, or to discover new shortcuts you might find useful.
CheatSheet’s only options are to choose how long you need to hold Command before the shortcuts overlay appears, and to print the currently displayed list of shortcuts—the latter a feature missing from KeyCue.