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8 July 2013

Google Docs shortcuts on Mac OS X

Filed under: JasperReports — Tags: , , , , , — mdahlman @ 10:15

Google Docs shortcuts on Mac OS X

I use Google Docs on Mac a lot. I use command + a lot to get to the end of a line. (And I use all the variations on using the arrow keys to get to the beginning of a line or the end of a document, etc.)

I have known for a long time that + doesn’t work correctly in Firefox. It was documented long ago. But it always worked well in Chrome.

Well, today it stopped working in Chrome. Disaster.

In troubleshooting I came across the Google Apps page for Google Docs called “Keyboard shortcuts for Mac“. It was completely unhelpful.

I also came across the Google Apps page for Google Sheets called “Keyboard shortcuts for Mac“. I expected it to be unhelpful because, well, it’s unreasonable to think that the page for Sheets would help with my problem with Documents. But surprisingly, it had a great shortcut I had never heard of: fn + .

That shortcut worked immediately. But I still wanted the standard shortcut to work. Further searching found this OS X shortcut issue. Despite being closed as off topic, it had the answer I needed. Somehow there is a bug in the Dock breaks this shortcut. (Really?) In any event, the advice there to run this solved it completely: killall Dock.

Unsatisfied with a solid workaround and a perfect solution… I thought, “Hey, maybe all of my past pain with Firefox could have been abated by using that cool ‘fn’ shortcut.” I tested with Firefox. The results were better than perfect. Not only did fn +  work well. But  +  worked perfectly as well. I guess somewhere along the line that got fixed. But I had never bothered to go back and try it.

In summary:

  1. The link above to “Can’t go to beginning/end of line in Google Docs documents (Firefox, Mac OS X)” preserves for all time the  false (but formerly true) claim that certain Mac OS X shortcuts don’t work with Google Docs in Firefox.
  2. The OS X Dock can break your keyboard shortcuts in Lion (10.7.5). The link above to “Command-Left/Right Arrow key combo stops working after Lion upgrade [closed]” solves it.

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