Opening apps on Mac using keyboard shortcuts


If you want to get through time-consuming tasks faster on your Mac, what about using a keyboard shortcut to launch the apps you want? In this article, we will show you how to create hotkeys for opening a specific application.

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The easiest way to quickly launch an application is to add its icon to the Dock. True, it may already be cluttered with other labels. Some items can be placed in the menu bar or macOS Control Center. But it is possible that the exact application you want to use is not available in these places. We will show you how on a Mac you can set a keyboard shortcut that will launch the desired application. And Automator will help us with this.

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Configuring Quick Action in Automator

Open Automator from the Applications folder in Finder or use Spotlight search. Now get ready to create a “Quick Action” to launch the application.

Automator on macOS

1. After starting Automator, create new documentby setting the type for it “Fast action”… Then just press “Select”

How do I launch apps on Mac using a keyboard shortcut?

How do I launch apps on Mac using a keyboard shortcut?

2. At the top of the constructor, in the drop-down list “The process will get the current item»Select item <нет входных данных>

How do I launch apps on Mac using a keyboard shortcut?

How do I launch apps on Mac using a keyboard shortcut?

How do I launch apps on Mac using a keyboard shortcut?

3. In the left part of the window, click “Actions” above the section “Library”

4. Select “Utilities” in the list “Library” and select “Run the program” in the adjacent right column.

5. Now drag “Run the program” to the main window of the workflow designer.

How do I launch apps on Mac using a keyboard shortcut?

6. In the drop-down list, select the application you want to run (in our case – Calculator).

How do I launch apps on Mac using a keyboard shortcut?

How do I launch apps on Mac using a keyboard shortcut?

7. Click File → Save and save the quick action with a name that you can understand for the next set of steps. In our case, we saved the action under the name “Open Calculator”

How do I launch apps on Mac using a keyboard shortcut?

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Create a keyboard shortcut to open an application

After setting up a quick action, you will need to go to “System settings”to create a keyboard shortcut to use it.

1. In “System Preferences” select “Keyboard” and go to the tab Keyboard shortcuts

How do I launch apps on Mac using a keyboard shortcut?

2. In the left column, select “Services”

3. In the right column, navigate to the name of the quick action you just created. Most likely, you can find it at the bottom of the list in the section “Basic”

4. Make sure that the checkbox next to the selected action is selected. To the right of the name for the keyboard shortcut should be “Not”

How do I launch apps on Mac using a keyboard shortcut?

Click on it, the field will change its name to Add… Now you need to enter the desired key combination.

How do I launch apps on Mac using a keyboard shortcut?

How do I launch apps on Mac using a keyboard shortcut?

In our case, to open the program Calculator we chose the keyboard shortcut ⌘ + `

How do I launch apps on Mac using a keyboard shortcut?

Note. Please note that you cannot use a combination that is already in use on your Mac for another application.

5. When you have assigned a keyboard shortcut, try using it! If for some reason your combination triggers a different action, try changing it to a different one.

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