Are you stuck in a world dominated by a mouse and clicking around a screen? Have you ever wanted to be more of a “Keyboard Junkie?”
Today, I’m going to introduce you to several keyboard shortcuts that will make your life easier while working in Windows. These keyboard shortcuts are tricks that I have been trying to pass along to participants in my workshops over the years, but now they’re written down in one place for easy reference.
I’m not going to be discussing specific applications, but rather universal shortcuts. I’ve also included some web browser short cuts toward the end that will make your life easier.
Let’s start by taking a tour of the common keys that will be used throughout this post:
Above, you’ll see several keys pointed out and numbered. The numbers correspond with the list below.
- Escape (Esc)
- Function Keys (F#)
- Control (Ctrl)
- Windows Key (Win)
- Home Group
- Arrow Keys
- Option Menu
The only keys that are discussed in this post that are not labeled on the above image are the letter keys.
General Windows Shortcuts
Here are several shortcuts that I consider the bare-bones basics. Memorize and use these and you will have joined the ranks of the “Keyboard Junkies”.
- New Window/File – Ctrl + n
- Open – Ctrl + o
- Save – Ctrl + s
- Cut – Ctrl + x
- Copy – Ctrl + c
- Paste – Ctrl + v
- Select All – Ctrl + a
- Undo – Ctrl + z
- Redo – Ctrl + y
- Close a Window/File – Ctrl + w
- Open the Start Menu – Win
- Print – Ctrl + p
- Go to the Beginning of the Page/Document – Ctrl + Home – Also works on Web pages
- Go to the End of the Page/Document – Ctrl + End – Also works on Web pages
Operating System Shortcuts
Here you’ll find several shortcuts that will help you navigate around the Windows operating system more efficiently.
- Switch Applications/Windows – Alt + Tab – Holding down Alt allows you to keep cycling through applications just by hitting Tab over and over. Go the opposite direction by using Shift + Alt + Tab.
- Switch between windows in a single application – Ctrl + Tab – Holding down Ctrl will allow you to cycle through windows just by hitting Tab. Reverse the cycle by adding Shift to the mix (Shift + Ctrl + Tab).
- Lock your computer – Win + l
- Windows Explorer – Win + e
- Start the Task Manager – Ctrl + Shift + Esc
- Maximize the Window – Win + Up Arrow – New in Windows 7
- Minimize/Restore the Window – Win + Down Arrow – New in Windows 7
- Pin the Window to the Left of the screen – Win + Left Arrow – New in Windows 7
- Pin the Window to the Right of the screen – Win + Right Arrow – New in Windows 7
Web Browser Shortcuts
These keystrokes are generally the same across web browsers and will improve your browsing experience.
- Bookmark a Page – Ctrl + d
- Refresh – F5 or Ctrl + r
- Select the Address Bar – Ctrl + l or Alt + d
- Cycle between Tabs – Ctrl + Tab – Reverse the cycle with Shift + Ctrl + Tab
- Select a particular Tab – Ctrl + # – # refers to the number of the tab from the left of the browser window.
- Find on the Page – Ctrl + F
- Make the Browser Full Screen – F11
- Move one screen down the page – Spacebar or Page Down
- Move one screen up the page – Shift + Spacebar or Page Up
- Show hidden menu bar – F10 or Alt