Mac 101: The wonderful magical Shift key

Oh that Shift key. So normal, so overlooked, so simple ... and yet so magical. TUAW reader Karan recently dropped us a note, reminding us about its slow-speed enchantment. "I don't think a lot of Mac users know this," he wrote, "but the Shift key has a very cool (although obviously just for extra eye-candy) feature on the Mac."

When depressed, the Shift key will slow down certain on-screen animations, giving an extra long visual boost to window transitions. For example, you can shift in the following scenarios:

  • while minimizing an application window to the Dock

  • while clicking the Full Screen button in QuickTime X (or while using a pinch to zoom to full screen)

  • while sliding four fingers down to invoke Exposé

  • while sliding those same four fingers up to "Show the Desktop"

  • while selecting a minimized Dock or Exposé window

Karan adds, "The above are the main areas I've found that I can use this neat little Shift trick, and I think it would be fitting of the 'Mac 101' title since I've encountered veteran Mac-users who are unaware of this."

TUAW agrees, and here you are.

Thanks, Karan