Recently, I was looking over the documents I’ve written over the years and I realized that I’ve never written an all-inclusive keyboard shortcuts article. It’s sort of amazing, since I’m a huge fan of shortcuts. If I can avoid using the mouse, I do. In my opinion, keyboard shortcuts are your key to productivity.
First, a few basic Windows shortcuts. These shortcuts work in virtually any version of Windows. To flip through open windows, press Alt+Tab. While holding down the Alt key, hit the Tab key again to go through the icons. When you let go of both keys, Windows takes you to that application.
Another handy shortcut is Alt+F4. This keyboard shortcut closes the active window (i.e. the one where the Title bar is highlighted). If you hate pop up windows on the Internet, press Alt+F4 to get rid of them. If your keyboard has a Windows key (the one with a Windows logo on it) you can press Windows+D to minimize all your windows and show your desktop. This command is great if you have a habit of littering your screen with a lot of windows.
Another important key to know about is the F1 key. In virtually any application, pressing the F1 function key accesses the help file for that program. If you don’t already, you should know about the big three clipboard shortcuts, Ctrl+X, Ctrl+C, and Ctrl+V. They are cut, copy and paste, respectively and they work in virtually every program. You should never need to mouse to the Edit menu ever again.
Other shortcuts work in all programs as well. For example, Ctrl+Z is the Undo key. If you goof up, press Ctrl+Z to undo your last action. In virtually all programs, Ctrl+A highlights all the text or elements in a document or drawing. Ctrl+S saves the file and Ctrl+P prints a file. When you are word processing, Ctrl+B adds bold, Ctrl+U adds underline, and Ctrl+I adds italic to whatever text you have selected.
And there you have it, 14 of the most useful and most used keyboard shortcuts. Most people hate to memorize stuff and I’m no exception. Sure there are millions more shortcuts, but if you can memorize just these 14 shortcuts, you’re guaranteed to save a lot of time.