How to Delete Backwards on Mac

Charlotte Daniels

Mac, Tutorials

Deleting text backwards on a Mac is a useful skill that can save you time and effort. Whether you want to quickly correct a mistake or delete a large chunk of text, knowing how to delete backwards can be a game-changer. In this tutorial, we will walk you through the different methods you can use to delete text backwards on your Mac.

Method 1: Using the Backspace Key

The Backspace key is a common way to delete characters in most applications on your Mac. However, by default, the Backspace key functions as a forward-delete key. To use it for backward deletion, follow these steps:

  1. Place your cursor at the end of the text you want to delete.
  2. Press and hold the Fn key on your keyboard.
  3. While holding down Fn, press the Delete key.

This combination of keys will allow you to delete characters to the left of your cursor, effectively deleting backwards.

Method 2: Using Command + Delete

Another way to delete backwards on your Mac is by using the Command + Delete shortcut. This method works similarly to Method 1 but provides an alternative keyboard combination:

  1. Select the text you want to delete by clicking and dragging over it.
  2. Press and hold the Command key on your keyboard.
  3. While holding down Command, press the Delete key.

Using this shortcut will instantly remove all selected text from right to left.


If you want to speed up your workflow even further, consider remapping the keyboard shortcuts for backward deletion. This way, you can customize the keys to your liking and eliminate the need to hold down multiple keys.

Method 3: Using Other Applications

In some applications, such as text editors or word processors, there may be additional methods for deleting backwards. These methods are usually specific to the application and may not work universally across all programs.

  • TextEdit: In TextEdit, you can enable the “Use option key as Meta key” option in Preferences. With this option enabled, you can use Option + Delete to delete backwards.
  • Microsoft Word: In Microsoft Word, you can use Shift + Backspace to delete text backwards.

Be sure to check the documentation or keyboard shortcuts of the specific application you are using for any additional methods available.

In Summary

Deleting text backwards on a Mac is a handy skill that can improve your productivity. By using the Backspace key with the Fn key, Command + Delete shortcut, or application-specific methods, you can easily delete text from right to left. Experiment with these different methods and find what works best for your workflow.

Remember that practice makes perfect! The more you familiarize yourself with these techniques, the more efficient you will become at deleting backwards on your Mac.

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