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Launch bookmarks and history items from the Help menu Web Browsers
The shortcut combination Command+?, which works out to Command+Shift+/ opens the Help search box from any application in OS X. I have found that this can be a convenient way to run menu commands without having to navigate the sometimes complicated labyrinth of nested menus and ambiguious function locations in various applications.

After invoking the shortcut, simply type a portion of the menu command that you would like to execute and search results will be displayed, which you can navigate with the arrow keys, and then hit Return to execute.

This function is documented, but has an extended use because it works for the dynamic contents of menus, such as bookmarks and history items in any browser, and the contents of the File » Open Recent submenu in other applications, allowing quick, Spotlight-esque access to recent files and boomarks from within any application.

For instance, I have hundreds of bookmarks in my Bookmark menu in Safari. Even though they are organized into sub-menus, visually scanning them for the desired link is an arduous process, and this method allows instantaneous searching and launching of a specific bookmark.

I should note that similar functionality can be obtained with Command+Option+B in Safari, with live previews, but the method given here is browser independent and faster, as it has no graphical previews or new window to open.

[crarko adds: I tested this in Safari, Firefox, TextEdit and BBEdit and it worked as described. I searched for 'Bookmarks,' 'History,' and 'Open Recent' to get to those respective menus.]
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Launch bookmarks and history items from the Help menu | 8 comments | Create New Account
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Launch bookmarks and history items from the Help menu
Authored by: mtaylorGT on Jul 08, '11 08:37:28AM

You can search for "bookmarks" if you wish, however, you can simply search for the name of the bookmark you want to get there much faster.



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Launch bookmarks and history items from the Help menu
Authored by: mantrid on Jul 08, '11 10:37:51AM
Good hint, but it's a dupe.
older hint

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Launch bookmarks and history items from the Help menu
Authored by: mtaylorGT on Jul 08, '11 01:19:08PM

Oops. I searched, but didn't find that!



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Launch bookmarks and history items from the Help menu
Authored by: DanFrakes on Jul 08, '11 01:41:14PM

This was also a Hints column last year:
http://www.macworld.com/article/146836/2010/03/safarisearch.html

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Dan Frakes / Senior Editor, Macworld



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Launch bookmarks and history items from the Help menu
Authored by: osxpounder on Jul 08, '11 01:45:57PM

Many thanks for pointing this out. I use the Help menu more and more, but I didn't remember that I could use a keyboard shortcut instead of the mouse. Great time-saver and easier on my busy hands!

I suppose one reason I seldom noticed the Cmd-? shortcut is that I don't see it in menus, maybe because it's a menu title.

Also very grateful that you point out the menu-search trick works for dynamically-generated menus like the list of Recent Folders. Wow, I never thought of that! I probably would have assumed that dynamic, often-changing menu items weren't available to the search feature.

I'll be using this so often, I think I'll assign my own easier shortcut key to it.

Great hint!



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Launch bookmarks and history items from the Help menu
Authored by: mtaylorGT on Jul 08, '11 03:10:25PM

Setting a custom shortcut is a good idea.

For those who don't know how to do this, open System Preferences, click on the Keyboard item, the keyboard shortucts tab and choose "Application Shortcuts" from the left pane. If "All Applications" is collapsed, expand it using the triangle. On my system, there is only one shortcut listed for all applciations, "Show Help Menu". Double click on this shortcut (currently cmd-shift-/) and set it to your preferred shortcut. The change will be global and bring up the help search box in all applications.



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Launch bookmarks and history items from the Help menu
Authored by: osxpounder on Jul 14, '11 02:09:28PM

I set a custom shortcut to alt-/ because that's close to my hand, and it only needs one modifier key held down.

If I am gonna do a keyboard shortcut very often (like this one), I try keep it easy on the hands.

That's why I always reconfigure my Adobe apps so that Cmd-D is "Deselect," because that's something I do very, very often. The other things that Adobe decided to assign as Cmd-D aren't things that I do as often. I'd rather hold down 2 keys than 3 keys, if I'm doing it 100 times a day.

I *LOVE* being able to set system-wide shortcuts in Mac OS X.

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- iCal has gotten really awesome lately.



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Launch bookmarks and history items from the Help menu
Authored by: daGrimm on Jul 31, '11 11:00:58PM

Is it just me or does the shortcut to invoke the contextual help menu (Command+Shift+/) so longer work in Lion's full screen apps (e.g. Safari)? Has anyone found a workaround / how to invoke the menu without moving the cursor up to the menu bar first?



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