Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Possible Duplicate:
Enter to open a file in Finder

On my Mac when I hit the "enter" key on a file on my desktop or in the finder, it enters the "rename file" mode.

1) How do you actually "launch" or "open" (i.e. double click) the file with only the keyboard? In Windows, the Enter key does this. 2) Is there a way to map the Enter key to do this in Mac instead of rename?

Honestly, it makes little sense to me. I mean, how often do you rename something? Once, maybe. How often do you open something? Lots and lots of times.

share|improve this question

marked as duplicate by Daniel Beck Dec 4 '12 at 6:09

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

up vote 19 down vote accepted

Cmd-O. Enter has been the command to enter rename mode for a loooooong time. At least since System 7 in 1993.

share|improve this answer
I'm pretty sure that's been the shortcut since the original Mac came out in 1984. – Gordon Davisson Sep 2 '10 at 6:53

That bothered me, too, when I switched to Mac, but after some years of use and renaming lots of files in Finder, I appreciate it over pressing F2.

You can also open any file in the Finder by pressing cmd-down (the apple key + the down arrow). It also works for folders, too. This is intuitive if you think about it this way: cmd-up navigates up one level in the hierarchy of your filesystem and cmd-down navigates deeper. If it's a file, going deeper opens the file.

share|improve this answer
List view has similar shortcuts for folders. Left and right arrows expand and collapse folders. Cmd-option-right expands the entire hierarchy (save bundles). – mkb Sep 2 '10 at 12:38
thanks, great info! – Matt Sep 2 '10 at 18:07
You can also navigate by typing the name of the file or folder you want. Finder will select the first file matching the letters as you type. You can also use the arrows to navigate, both in icon view and list view. Shift + Up or Down will add files to the selection. – stib Jan 28 '11 at 6:56

When you are using the Desktop, you are actually using the Finder.

So select the Finder's File menu to see various shortcut keys you can use to perform various commands on the selected icon.

For more advanced / different keyboard shortcuts use the keyword shortcut to look for information in Mac Help.

share|improve this answer

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.