Become A Text Ninja

In this lesson, learn how to make text and paragraphs bow to your will. Manipulating text at the speed of light and surfing text boxes is essential for every Mac Ninja.

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Lesson Content & Links:

  • Cut: ⌘ + X
  • Copy: ⌘ + C
  • Paste: ⌘ + V
  • Paste without formatting. (This means that, if you copy big bold purple text, and paste into somewhere, it will strip off all the bold and purple formatting, only pasting the text itself.): ⌘ + Shift + V
  • Undo (Lifesaver!): ⌘ + Z
  • Save (Lifesaver!): ⌘ + S
  • Search for a word: ⌘ + F


  • Single click: Place cursor.
  • Double click: Select word.
  • Triple click: Select paragraph.
  • Select 1 letter at a time: Shift + Arrow
  • Select 1 word at a time: Shift + Option + Arrow
  • Select all text (I use this a lot): ⌘ + A
  • Bold⌘ + B
  • Italics⌘ + I
  • Underline⌘ + U

Random Awesome Tricks

  • Zoom in and out to read easier: : ⌘ + (- or +)
  • Mac: Three Finger Tap with trackpad on a word will bring up definition and thesaurus.
  • Mac: Bring up special characters menu: ⌘ + Option + T
  • Mac: Delete forward (to the right of cursor): fn + delete
  • Moving text by click and drag: Highlight text -> Click and hold for 1-2 seconds -> Drag to new place.
  • Selecting a block of text, then instantly typing something will replace it. No need to press delete first. Save an extra keystroke.
  • Pushing Shift + Enter/Return will create a line break in most programs instead of a paragraph break. This is especially helpful if you’re in WordPress or using HTML editors or even in Word.

Create Lists Fast (Evernote):

  • ⌘ + shift + u …. ‘u’ is for Unordered list vs Ordered 1,2,3,..
  • Tab goes inward for bullets
  • Shift + Tab goes back one level. (You may need to try this out to understand. Also usually works in other programs, like Word.)

Leave your ninja related questions and comments below...


  • Laurent dsh

    January 5, 2014

    Based on the context, Shift + Arrow up or Arrow down to select a line within a paragraph.

    In Pages and other software from Apple (like Keynote), to paste without format you can use ⌘ + Option + Shift + V (this require a little practice but is nifty.

    • Tharyn

      January 6, 2014

      Thanks for the tip! I don’t use these apps too often, so I appreciate your sharing for everyone. 🙂