If you want to increase your typing speed, macOS includes several keyboard shortcuts that enable you to move your cursor between words, jump to the end of a sentence, delete the last word you type, skip back to the beginning of a line of text, and lots more.

But while shortcuts can be very useful, they can slow you down for a few reasons:

  • You have to remember the shortcuts.
  • You might have to look down to locate the shortcut combinations.
  • You have to remove your fingers from the home row keys.

With Keyboard Maestro string triggers, you can trigger navigation and editing shortcuts while keeping your hands on the home row keys, and not having to take them off that row to locate shortcut combinations. Let me show you how it's done.

macOS Shortcuts

There are dozens of macOS keyboard shortcuts that useful for navigating between and editing without using the trackpad. Here some of the shortcuts I use the most:

  • Delete Word Behind Cursor
    ⌥⇧←
    Delete
  • Delete the Word In Front of Cursor
    ⌥⇧ → Delete
  • Skip Back One Word
  • Skip Forward One Word
    ⌥→
  • Jump to End of Paragraph
    ⌃E
  • Jump to Beginning of Line
    ⌘←
  • Delete Line Behind Cursor
    ⇧⌘← Delete

Keyboard Shortcut demo

If you've never used the above shortcuts, open or type some text in a text document, and try out the shortcuts so you can see how they work. You should notice that using that pressing the necessary shortcut keys is somewhat awkward and tedious. That's why I find Keyboard Maestro string triggers an easier way to trigger those shortcuts.

String Triggers for Typing Faster

Keyboard Maestro string triggers enable you to trigger shortcuts and macros without using command keys. I like using string triggers because they enable me to keep my fingers on the home row keys as much as possible. (Here's another article about string triggers.)

Here's an example of string trigger macro. Notice the two letters when typed trigger the shortcut. The combination of the two letters doesn't appear in any word, so it wouldn't be a conflict when typing them. Plus, the two letters are easily accessible from the home rows keys. Plus, I chose, “jp” because in my mind it stands for “jump paragraph.”

I have macros for all the shortcuts I regularly trigger, plus many more that I need to practice using in my daily typing workflow.

Here are the string triggers I use to for shortcuts. You can use whatever combination of letters for your assigned string triggers. I tried to create triggers that were easy to remember and quick to type.

  • Delete Word Behind Cursor
    jk
  • Delete the Word In Front of Cursor
    fd
  • Skip Forward One Word
    jf
  • Skip Back One Word
    jb
  • Jump to Beginning of Line
    bgl
  • Delete Line Behind Cursor
    dll
  • Jump to End of Paragraph:
    jp

When I'm in the process of typing hundreds words per day, these string triggers help me type faster and save me from pressing tedious key combinations.

To appreciate the difference between typing keyboard shortcuts and string triggers, you have to give it a try.

If you're familiar with how to use the Keyboard Maestro, you can quickly create the macros below and give them a try.

If you're not familiar with how to use Keyboard Maestro, here's introductory article.

Paragraph End of Paragraph
Jump End Paragraph macro
Delete Word Behind Cursor
Keyboard Maestro macro for deleting word behind cursor.

Skip Forward One Word
Keyboard Maestro macro
Skip Back One Word
Keyboard Maestro macro to type faster.
Jump to Beginning of Line
Keyboard Maestro macro to type faster.
Delete Line Behind Cursor
Keyboard Maestro macro to type faster.
Jump to End of Paragraph
Keyboard Maestro macro to type faster.

It Takes Practice

If you type a lot and you want to increase the speed of your typing, these string trigger hacks my be very useful. Of course the key to using these triggers is to practice using them repeatedly until you use them without hardly thinking.

I’ve used one macro 6885 times, which according to Keyboard Maestro, that's 22 hours of savings. I'm not sure how those hours are calculated, but I do know that macros like these help me to type faster and keep my hands on the home rows while typing.

Keyboard Maestro macro use results.

Are these typing macros a perfect solution? No. In many ways, typing using voice to text is a lot faster, but unfortunately the software for voice dictation is not as solid as it could be. Though I still use Dragon Dictate and Mac OS Voice Control, they are not perfect solutions. Sometimes they create more problems than they solve.

There's another faster way to type using what is called a Vim text editor inside the terminal. I haven't yet learned how to use Vim, but I will definitely be checking it out.

Your Turn

Let me know if you give these macros a try. I would love to hear your feedback terms of how they work for you, and what changes you made to them to make them work better.