The keyboard shortcut cmd + , for opening the preferences panel is really a pain.

I have never needed to use it, but when I have the bad fortune to mistakenly hit it during an evaluation instead of cmd + ., instead of aborting the evaluation, mathematica hangs until the evaluation (which I am trying to abort) completes, upon which the preference panel is opened.

Basically, it principally serves as shortcut for making mathematica unresponsive, and is directly adjacent to the abort shortcut.

If the evaluation is not completing, the only work around I have found for such a situation is terminating the kernel in the activity monitor directly, which of course loses the kernels state.

Is there a way to remove this shortcut? Or failing that a way to unhang mathematica when the preferences shortcut is inadvertently hit?

  • $\begingroup$ What version of Mathematica and which OS? $\endgroup$
    – Somos
    Commented Sep 7, 2021 at 18:17
  • $\begingroup$ Mac OS X x86 64bit, and Catalina 10.15.7. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 7, 2021 at 18:58

1 Answer 1


The Shortcuts tab of the Keyboard Preferences Panel in System preferences lets you remap the keyboard shortcut for almost any menu item in almost any application. It won't let you remove the shortcut, though.

So proceed through the following:

  • System Preferences
  • Keyboard preferences panel
  • Shortcuts tab
  • select App Shortcuts from the left-hand list
  • click the + button that's below the two list panes

In the resulting dialog

  • From Application pop-up, select Mathematica.app
  • In the Menu Title box, type Preferences...
    • that ends in 3 consecutive periods, though I think an ellipsis also works
  • Finally, click in the Keyboard Shortcut box and type an alternative key combination—anything that uses one or more modifier keys.
    • I typed Cmd-Ctl-Opt-Shft-=
    • which displays as ⌃⌥⇧⌘=

That's a key combo you'll never type accidentally, but you can now use it to select the Preferences dialog should you so desire.

  • $\begingroup$ Perfect. Thank you. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 8, 2021 at 18:06

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