Keyboard navigation in iTunes windows

If you’ve read many of my ramblings over the years, you’ll know that I prefer the keyboard to the mouse, so I’m quite partial to keyboard-related hints, such as today’s little timesaver for iTunes.

iTunes is a complicated program hidden behind a relatively simple-looking main window. But when you open its Preferences window, or view the Info window (Command-I with a song selected), you get a glimpse of the complexity of the program: you’ll find nine tabs in the Preferences window, and seven in the Info window. Navigating to one of those tabs seemingly requires a flick of the mouse, but that’s not the case—there are actually two keyboard-based solutions as well.

The first, which is documented in iTunes help, is to use Command-[ and Command-] to move left or right from tab to tab. While this keeps your hand off the mouse, it can require quite a few key presses to move to your desired tab.

The second method—which doesn’t seem to be documented at all—lets you jump directly to any individual tab in either the Preferences or Info windows: just press Command and then the number that corresponds to the tab you’d like to reach. For example, Command-4 will jump to the Sharing tab in Preferences, and the Sorting tab in the Info window; Command-7 jumps to the Store tab in Preferences and the Artwork tab in the Info window.

So there you have it—another way to keep your hands on the keyboard and off the mouse!

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