specific keyboard command needed

in macOS edited January 2014
When a window pops up with multiple buttons such as "save", "cancel", and "don't save", or when a program crashes and the options are "close" and "reopen" and something else, how in the world do I move between those options without using the mouse? I know in Windows you just tab through them, but I cannot figure it out on OS X. Any help would be appreciated, as I just probably spent more time writing this email than I will save by learning the command.


edit for my lousy english skills


  • Reply 1 of 3
    Open Keyboard & Mouse in System Preferences, then select the Keyboard Shortcuts tab and check out the Full Keyboard Access settings at the bottom.
  • Reply 2 of 3
    And also, in many applications pressing the first letter of the title of the button will activate that button. For example, in a dialogue with the buttons "Save", "Don't save" and "Cancel", pressing "C" will cancel, "D" will activate "Don't save", and "S" will Save. Some applications require pressing the "Command" key as well.

    Just try it out!
  • Reply 3 of 3
    When you've selected full keyboard access you'll be able to tab between the options, but Enter will still select the blue button; press space to choose the one that you tab to, with a blue halo around it. Also, pressing Escape will choose Cancel, whichever option is selected.
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