CheatSheet: instant access keyboard shortcut reference for Mac OSX

CheatSheet, a tiny, free app for Mac OSX from Media Atelier (aka Stefan Fürst), has one very simple, but useful, function – by holding down the cmd key just a touch longer than usual it will pop up a convenient overlay showing all of the active keyboard shortcuts in the current app. You can use this as a reference to help you memorise the key presses, print the sheet or, by clicking the label next to a shortcut, use it as a quick alternative to hunting for the option you need in the menu. CheatSheet builds the shortcut list by examining the active menu items of the current app so it’s always up-to-date and doesn’t require any further installs or downloads.

This isn’t the first app to offer this functionality – KeyCue works in much the same way and is a more mature and feature-rich version of the same thing though when I tried it out I didn’t really find any use for the extra functionality it provides. It’s also a lot uglier than CheatSheet and, at €19,99, seriously overpriced for a utility app. However, if you’re still delaying your inevitable upgrade to OSX Lion then KeyCue may be your only option – CheatSheet is Lion (or later) only.

I’d like to see the ability to assign any hot key to CheatSheet as I’d rather utilise one of my unused function keys and, at 3 seconds, the delay in popping up the sheet sometimes seems just a little too long. Those niggles aside, this is a great free app.

 

CheatSheet in action – displaying the hotkeys for Google Chrome

 

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