Handy OS X Dock keyboard shortcuts

Like many other IT Techs, I like to use the keyboard more than the trackpad or mouse when using my mac. Therefore, I need to know lots of keyboard shortcuts to access everything in my Dock rather than having to revert to using the trackpad or mouse for just a couple of clicks here and there.
Well, like most things on the mac, as long as you can remember them, the Dock does have full control available from the keyboard using shortcut keys.
For example, you can navigate between Dock apps, open them and even force quit them without ever having to leave the keyboard! Cool, huh?!
Important: All the keyboard shortcuts below require you to ‘summon’ the Dock first using, Control+Function+F3 (Function+F3 on Legacy Macs). Once the Dock is selected, here’s a collection of keyboard shortcuts I find handy so that I can keep on typing!

  1. Left & Right Arrow keys to navigate through the Dock items
  2. Up Arrow key to pull open the currently selected Dock items’ menu
  3. Return key to launch the currently selected app
  4. Keyboard letters to jump to apps with that first letter in their app name
  5. Hold Option key while navigating to a specific app, then hit the Up Arrow key to access the Apps’ Force Quit option
  6. Command+Return to reveal the Dock item in the Finder
  7. Command+Option+Return to hide all other apps and windows in the Finder except for the selected Dock item


mac os x shortcuts

These features were tested using OS X v10.8.2 which was the latest Mac OS release at the time of writing and also using the latest Internal and external Apple keyboards.