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I would like to override the keyboard-shortcut for a particular built-in action in finder (OS X 10.6.7).

An example would be to override the Cmd+N for a New Finder Window to some other action, say Open a blank Text document.

I can create the service for opening a blank Text document in automator - and I can map a new keyboard shortcut for this - but the new keyboard shortcut will not override a default keyboard shortcut.

I do not want to install any 3rd party applications (like QuickSilver).

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

You could try to remove the keyboard shortcut from Finder, as per this answer of mine, in collaboration with @Arjan:

defaults write NSUserKeyEquivalents -dict-add "New Window" nil

(not on OS X right now, replace text with actual label)

Maybe then the keyboard shortcut for the Service will work.

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So this worked beautifully - and now i know about the NSUserKeyEquivalents - whoot! I found a nice writeup on this website ( that gave me a better feel around this and how to use the -dict-add and undo whatever mess I might make while experimenting. I actaully miss the good old Windows+E to pull up a nice explorer window and have mapped Command+E to open a finder window. Works perfectly! Thanks a bunch as my productivity just got a 3% boost! – super May 23 '11 at 16:42
@super Besides creating the "missing/resetting" shortcut, all other actions can be performed more comfortably from System Preferences. Also, Command-E is likely used by many applications, I suggest a shortcut that contains Control (e.g. Ctrl-Opt-E or Ctrl-Command-E), these are least likely to be in use, in my experience. – Daniel Beck May 23 '11 at 17:05
Thanks. This is very useful. I always press Command+T in Finder, to disable it: defaults write NSUserKeyEquivalents -dict-add "Add to Sidebar" nil – Marek Jul 12 '13 at 10:50

I had this same issue with wanting to change Finder's "Cycle Through Windows" default of Cmd + `.

By adding an application-specific shortcut in System Preferences > Keyboard, I was able to change the default *:

system prefs keyboard shortcuts

You can see this new shortcut reflected in Finder's menu:

finder shortcut changed

* I changed it to something I'd never use, as I wanted Cmd + ` for another purpose.

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Best answer for me! – laike9m Oct 8 '15 at 8:01

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