This has been bugging me for a couple years now. So in Mac OS X you can assign your own Keyboard Shortcuts ( in System Preferences > Keyboard > Keyboard Shortcuts ) by typing in the exact name of the menu item to which you intend to bind the keystrokes. So what are you supposed to type if:

a) the menu is nested?


b) there are two menu items with the same name that do different things?

FYI: the particular reason I'm looking for this atm is because I want a quick way to show/hide the bookmark bar in Firefox (eg: instead of pressing the jelly bean in the top right of the screen). I'm using a small display so it would be convenient.

  • 1
    FWIW, I've never had success getting Firefox to work with any set up keyboard shortcut (nested or not) unless I have clicked on the menu and then it works correctly.
    – Chealion
    Sep 13, 2009 at 6:54

3 Answers 3


There's a known bug with Firefox for Mac not obeying shortcuts. There's more discussion in a different question on SuperUser.

  • Aargh, you know I love Firefox, but the Mac version has shortcomings compared to the Windows version: Eg: no fullscreen mode... Keyboard shortcuts don't work... Can't rearrange toolbars with the same flexibility as the Win version (I want the location bar to live in Window titlebar). If it weren't for extensions, I'd jump ship and just use Safari.
    – username
    Sep 19, 2009 at 4:44
  • This answers the asker's specific question about Firefox but it's not as good an answer as the specific syntax in @user495470's post which works with other applications.
    – Glyph
    May 3, 2016 at 21:48

You can specify the shortcuts like Format->Indentation->Increase in 10.8, or >Format>Indentation>Increase in 10.7.

Firefox still doesn't support custom shortcuts though. Another option would be to assign a shortcut to a script like this:

tell application "System Events" to tell process "Terminal" to click menu item "Pro" of menu "New Window" of menu item 1 of menu "Shell" of menu bar 1

  • Thanks, this is a lifesaver! I was hacking around this in Mail with FastScripts and various bits of custom AppleScript and Python, and now I can delete all those programs and use the (much, much faster!) built-in menu item.
    – Glyph
    May 3, 2016 at 21:49

I'd recommend using Spark along with AppleScript, since AppleScript can control Finder.

Spark is a powerful and easy shortcuts manager. With Spark you can create Hot Keys to launch applications and documents, execute AppleScripts, command iTunes, and more...

  • 1
    FWIW, AppleScript and Firefox aren't the best of friends - you can use GUI scripting but there is no native scripting addition for Firefox.
    – Chealion
    Sep 13, 2009 at 6:46

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