What, What?! Apple Got Rid of My Favorite Keyboard Shortcut...

The Shortcuts You Love Will Date You

That’s right. If you use computers like a grown-up for more than 15 years, eventually some far-younger-than-you developer will drop a keyboard shortcut from one of your go-to apps. And when you complain about it…

what you get from the user community is a very helpful meh… Back in the day, when I took my first Web design course, hard refresh was the first thing we learned. Hard refresh was suuuuper important in those days, or, it was more transparently important because sites didn’t do things like force or manage caching on the (usually helpful) sly. Hard refresh was necessary, not just for the developer but for the casual user. Also, it worked. On every. browser. out. there. Subsequently, it’s a tick that I have:

  1. I’m working on some code.
  2. I want to see how it looks.
  3. I open various browsers.
  4. I hit CMD + SHIFT + R.

Seems simple, right? Yes! No…

Not anymore. Because CMD + SHIFT + R is now the Safari shortcut for Show Reader. What is Show Reader? Basically, the normal browsing experience is replaced by a stripped-down, hyper-accessible version of what the site should look like, if it has implemented responsive technologies. Only Safari doesn’t check to see how accessible the site is to begin with. Nope. Just throws up Reader. “Here… You want this? ‘Cuz I know you’re over that old hard refresh thing. That’s sooooo 90s.” Yes. It is.

I can configure my way out of this. Others have covered this territory before. But why are we interfering with good old power refresh (CMD + SHIFT + R)? Why are we replacing it with two commands: ALT + CMD + E to clear caches, then CMD + R to reload? Why has Apple suddenly and arbitrarily lengthened my workflow for the convenience of people who read poorly designed Web pages by stripping out all the color and styling? Apple is calling this an accessibility feature. That’s great. We need accessibility. But we, the Users of the Intenet, should demand that the whole Internet be accessible. Without recourse to madical-thinking application taffy like Show Reader. Also, if all browsers implement a reader mode, and users actually use them, what’s the incentive to make your site fully responsive and accessible?

Enough complaining. Let’s get on to reconfiguring. This part of the article is nothing new (only the rant about Show Reader and the obliteration of hard refresh are new, maybe). I navigate to System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts > App Shortcuts, and look for my shortcut. But (not funny) it’s not there… I’ve never altered a shortcut before that wasn’t listed when I went to configure it. I’m sure someone can set me straight here. Is this a new thing for OSX? Have application shortcuts always been configurable-but-not-listed? It seems… interesting.

Here’s how we make it work:

  1. Navigate to System Preferences > … Navigate to System Preferences Keyboard > … Select Shortcuts Shortcuts > App Shortcuts. DO NOT be upset by the lack of shortcuts listed. App Shortcuts
  2. Select +. This opens a little dialog to add your shortcut.
  3. Leave this settings dialog open and navigate to the application in question. Browse the menu (or use the Help > Search functionality) to find the shortcut you want to change. Note the title of the shortcut in the menu.
  4. In the shortcut dialog, select the application from the dropdown. Shortcut dialog
  5. For Menu Title enter the textual title that appeared in the menu beside the shortcut. Menu Title
  6. Now, here’s where we work our magic. In the Keyboard Shortcut field, enter an insanely long and obscure combination of characters. Something you will never randomly type. Especially not when you’re trying to refresh the page. Enter yer shortcut, yeah!
  7. Grin (alternatively, laugh like a maniac) and select Add.
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