Using keyboard shortcuts can greatly increase your productivity, reduce repetitive motion strain, and help keep you focused. For example, highlighting text with the keyboard and pressing Ctrl + C is much faster than taking your hand from the keyboard, highlighting the text using the mouse, clicking copy from the file menu, and then putting your hand back in place on the keyboard.
Below are our top 10 keyboard shortcuts we recommend everyone memorize and use.
1. Ctrl – C or Ctrl Insert = copy what you highlight
- Copy the highlighted text or selected item.
2. Ctrl – V or Shift – Insert = View/paste/see what you brought with you
- Paste the text or object that’s in the clipboard.
3. Ctrl – Z and Ctrl – Y = “Whoa! I didn’t mean to delete/change what I was working on! GO BACK!!!”
- Undo any change. For example, if you cut text, pressing this will undo it. This can also often be pressed multiple times to undo multiple changes. Pressing Ctrl + Y would redo the undo.
4. Ctrl – F = “Now, where did I save that document or whatever it was I saved. It’s important, I need it!”
- Open the Find in any program. This includes your Internet browser to find text on the current page.
5. Alt – Tab or Alt – Esc: “I have several tabs open and don’t feel like clicking at the bottom of my monitor to get them back”
- Quickly switch between open programs moving forward.
- Press Ctrl + Tab to switch between tabs in a program.
- Adding the Shift key to Alt + Tab or Ctrl + Tab will move backwards. For example, if you are pressing Alt + Tab and pass the program you want to switch to, press Alt + Shift + Tab to move backwards to that program.
- Windows Vista and 7 users can also press the Windows Key + Tab to switch through open programs in a full screenshot of the Window.
6. Ctrl – Back space and Ctrl – Left arrow / Right arrow
- Pressing Ctrl + Backspace will delete a full word at a time instead of a single character.
- Holding down the Ctrl key while pressing the left or right arrow will move the cursor one word at a time instead of one character at a time. If you wanted to highlight one word at a time you can hold down Ctrl + Shift and then press the left or right arrow key to move one word at a time in that direction while highlighting each word.
7. Ctrl – S: “I want to save my work a paragraph at a time, in case of a power outtage and don’t want to mess with the drop-down thing when I click on’file’ at the top of the page”
- While working on a document or other file in almost every program pressing Ctrl + S will save that file. This shortcut key should be used frequently anytime you’re working on anything important.
8. Ctrl – Home / End: “please don’t make me scroll my mouse down through the WHOLE big document! I want to get there NOW!”
- Move the cursor to the beginning or end of a document.
9. Ctrl – P: “I want to print my stuff without going up to ‘file’ and having to scroll my eyes all the way down to where it can tell me to print.”
- Print the page being viewed. For example, the document in Microsoft Word or the web page in your Internet browser.
10. Page Up – Space bar and Page Down: “I know I wanted to edit that paragraph, I’ll just check out each page.”
- Pressing either the page up or page down key will move that page one page at a time in that direction. When browsing the Internet pressing the space bar will also move the page down one page at a time. If you press Shift and the Space bar the page will go up a page at a time.