This may seem like a simple or even obvious post. But, I have friends who have recently switched to the Mac and they don’t always know what the icons represent in the menus for keyboard shortcuts. I did some searching and couldn’t really find anybody explaining what the icons represent. I thought that was a bit odd so I wanted to get something out there for those few Mac newbies (or maybe even the veterans that still don’t know).
The icons I’m talking about look like this: Mac OS X Keyboard Shortcut Icons
Now, I’ll explain each quickly:
Mac OS X Apple-Command Key Icon -This is the Apple or Command key icon. It’s the only key that actually has the icon right on it (at least on newer Mac keyboards). It’s usually referred to as the Command key, or for short, “cmd”.
Mac OS X Alt-Option key Icon- This is the Alt or Option key icon. Most keyboard shortcuts reference it as Option instead of Alt though. The common abbreviation is simply “opt”.
Mac OS X Control Key Icon- This is the Control key icon. This key is used widely on PC and Mac, so most people should know the key. It’s also the key that is used in most shortcuts on Windows computers in place of the Command key on the Mac (Control+C on Windows equals Command+C for copy on the Mac) . It’s common abbreviation is “ctl”.
Mac OS X Shift Key Icon- And finally, the Shift key icon. Second to the Command key, this one is also pretty obvious. It’s rarely ever abbreviated in shortcuts.
UPDATE : The esc key modifier looks like this.