Mar 172013

Keyboard shortcuts are a great way to save time and/or not have to reach for the mouse all the time. There are a huge number of possible shortcuts (as most programs have their own) but I have reviewed below the common ones that may be of most help in Windows, major web browsers and some Microsoft programs.

The more you use them, the more time (or RSI!) you save – and the easier it is to remember them.

The standard notation used below consists of a modifier key (such as ALT or CTRL) followed by + and then a single Action key e.g. ‘CTRL + P’ means press and hold down the ‘CTRL’ key then press the ‘p’ key at the same time.

CTRL Shortcuts

CTRL + P     Print the current page or document.

CTRL + S     Save the current file or document.

CTRL + T     Open a new Tab in a web browser.

CTRL + N     Open a new web browser Window.

CTRL + (+or-)     Increase or decrease the font size in a web browser.

CTRL + A     Select all text in the current document, webpage etc.

CTRL + X     Cut.

CTRL + C     Copy.

CTRL + V     Paste.

CTRL + Z     Undo the last command.

CTRL + Y     Redo the last command.

CTRL + Backspace     Delete (backwards) a full word at a time (instead of a single character.

CTRL + Del     Delete (forwards) a full word at a time (instead of a single character.

CTRL + Left Arrow or Right Arrow     Move the cursor one word at a time (instead of a single character).

CTRL + SHIFT+ESC     Open Task Manager.

CTRL + ALT+DEL     Open the Lock/Task Manager/Switch User options screen.

ALT Shortcuts

ALT + F4     Quit current program.

ALT + TAB     Switch between open programs.

ALT + PrintScreen     Capture a screenshot of the active window only (just pressing the PrintScreen key takes a screenshot of the whole screen).

Function Key Shortcuts

F1     Open Help (within a Windows application).

F2     Rename selected file/folder in Windows Explorer.

F3     Open web browser’s quick search box (or Find All Files in Windows Explorer).

F5     Refresh current webpage.

F6     Highlight the address bar in a web browser.

F11    Maximize the current web browser Window.

Windows Key Shortcuts

The Windows (WIN) key is the key with the Windows logo on it (usually on the left of the Spacebar).

WIN + D     Minimize all open windows and display the desktop.

WIN + E     Open Windows Explorer.

WIN + L     Lock the computer.

WIN + R     Open the Run dialog box.

WIN + Pause     Open System Properties.

Other Shortcuts

SPACEBAR     In web browsers, moves down 1 page at a time.

SHIFT + DEL     Delete current item permanently (without going to Recycle Bin).

SHIFT     Hold this down whilst inserting a DVD (or other external drive e.g. Flash USB) to prevent it from using Autoplay.

Up arrow     In Command Prompt, displays the previous command(s) from the history.

Full List Of Keyboard Shortcuts

The above are the most common or useful keyboard shortcuts that I use on a regular basis but see below if you want a full listing of all shortcuts in Windows and the three most popular web browsers:

Windows – see Microsoft article here.

Firefox – see Mozilla article here.

Chrome – see Google Support article here.

IE8, IE9 or IE10 – see Microsoft article here. Choose the version of IE from the dropdown menu and use the ‘Show all link’ to display the full list.

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