Sometimes, I find myself flabbergasted over why programmers chose not to include keyboard shortcuts for all their various menu commands in their programs. For example, my copy of Microsoft Office 2009 for Mac OS X didn’t include a shortcut for Save As, only Save. That’s ridiculous! Fortunately, after a little trip to Google, I found a way to add custom keyboard shortcuts to (almost) any menu bar command in any application.

First, open System Preferences, then go to Keyboard. Click on the Keyboard Shortcuts tab, then hit the Plus button to add a new command to the menu. Choose whichever application you’d like, then be sure to enter then name of the command exactly as it appears in the menu bar. That means if there’s an ellipsis (…), include the … in your command’s name. Finally, choose your shortcut and you’re all set!

If you go to the menu bar and you now see your shortcut, congratulations! You’ve now got a custom keyboard shortcut assigned to that menu command in that application. Unfortunately, I’ve only found this to work with commands that remain static regardless of the situation. For example, I can’t assign a custom shortcut to tell iTunes to sync my iPhone because the command changes based on what device is connected to my computer. But most of the time, this handy trick works beautifully, and now I’m blissfully hitting Command+Shift+S for Save As whenever I want to save new documents.

Have you encountered any problems with this OS Tip? Let us know in the comments!