How to Control F On a Mac

You can, in fact, Control F on a Mac with this simple Command

What to Know

  • Press Command + F on your Mac keyboard.
  • From the menu bar, select Edit > Find and choose Find.
  • Use the Search bar in the application.

This article explains how to use the Windows equivalent of Control F (Ctrl + F) on a Mac. This keyboard shortcut opens the Find tool which is commonly used to search for a word or phrase in a document or on a web page.

Open Find Using a Keyboard Shortcut

As you probably know by now, keyboard shortcuts on macOS are different than on Windows. Mac keyboards have distinctive keys including Option and Command.

On Windows, you can use Ctrl + F to open the Find tool. On Mac, simply press Command + F to open the macOS version of the tool. There are some keyboards that show a small clover leaf shape rather than the word Command.

Command key and F command highlighted on external Apple keyboard for Mac

You’ll see the Find box display ready for your input. Enter your keyword or phrase and press Return to search.

Find box highlighted in Pages on Mac

Open Find Using the Menu Bar

Keyboard shortcuts aren’t for everyone, and some Mac shortcuts are harder to remember than others. You can always opt for the menu bar where you'll find the Find command in the Edit menu.

For Apple's own apps like Pages, Safari, Notes, and TextEdit, head to the menu bar and select Edit > Find. Then choose Find in the pop-out menu. 

Find in the Edit menu for TextEdit on Mac

This opens the search box in the corresponding application.

 Find bar highlighted in TextEdit for Mac

For third-party apps, you may also see this same option or a similar one in the menu bar. For instance, in Microsoft Word, you can use the same exact navigation, Edit > Find > Find

Find highlighted in the Edit menu for Word on Mac

In the Mozilla Firefox web browser, you’ll see something similar with Edit > Find in Page.

Find in Page highlighted in the Edit menu for Firefox on Mac

Whichever application you have open on Mac, head to Edit in the menu bar for the Find option.

Use the Application’s Search Feature

Some applications offer a search feature of their own. This might be the easiest option of all.

In Apple apps like Finder, Reminders, and Messages, you’ll see a dedicated search bar or button to open the search box at the top.

Search bar highlighted in Finder on Mac

In non-Apple apps like Microsoft Excel or Slack, you’ll see a built-in search bar or button for it which is also normally at the top.

Search box highlighted in Excel on Mac

Each of these search boxes works the same as the Find tool you see with Command+F. And most times, using the keyboard shortcut on Mac opens this same search tool in the application. Enter your search term and press Return.

FAQ
  • How do I select all on Mac?

    To select all contents in a window, press Command+A. This trick works for highlighting text and selecting multiple files on a Mac.

  • How do I Control F on my iPhone?

    You can't use Control + F on an iPhone, but you can use the search bar in Safari to perform a similar function.

  • Why is Control F not working on my Mac?

    Go to the Apple menu > System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts and make sure that Command + F is enabled. If you still have trouble, try pressing F first (F+Command).

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