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Last Updated on December 8, 2020

25 Essential Windows Keyboard Shortcuts You Need to Know Now

25 Essential Windows Keyboard Shortcuts You Need to Know Now
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If you are using Windows regularly, using these Windows keyboard shortcuts will definitely increase your productivity. Compiled below is an exclusive list of shortcuts that will help you breeze through your daily work.

You might know some of them, but there are certainly some hidden gems that you wouldn’t have heard of before. Once you start using them, you will notice how easy navigating and operating on Windows has become.

Basic Windows Keyboard Shortcuts

These are the most basic shortcuts and ones you’ll likely have heard of. They are key in moving through your work quickly and easily.

1. Ctrl+Z : Undo

shortcut

    Irrespective of what you are doing, or where you are doing it, Ctrl + Z is a lifesaver. One possibly can’t survive without this function.

    Whatever program you’re running, this function helps you get back to your last input. So don’t worry about all the mistakes as this particular shortcut will save you every time.

    2. Ctrl + A : Select All

    Nordam: – Sig Nordal, Jr.

      Again, irrespective of which program you are running, this shortcut key selects all of the text, files, folders, or elements in any given program or page.

      Instead of spending your time dragging your mouse all over the page, use this to grab everything in one go.

      3. Ctrl + C : Copy

      shortcut

        You’ve selected what you wanted to. Now you’d like to copy it.

        This is probably one of the top shortcut keys people use when working on their Windows system. Easily copy whatever you like, and it stays with you until you are ready to paste it.

        4. Ctrl + V : Paste

        shortcut

          Easily paste all that you have copied. It could be a text, file, image, or folder. In any case, this is a very useful feature to bring everything together.

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          If you would like to paste plain, simple text without original formatting, just add Shift to it, i.e. Ctrl + Shift + V.

          5. Ctrl + X : Cut

          shortcut

            Don’t want a piece of text/table/image/file in a particular place?

            Simply select it and use the shortcut Ctrl + X. The piece gets removed and copied. Then, use the paste shortcut to paste it anywhere you like.

            6. Alt + Tab : Switch Screen/Tabs

            shortcut

              This one has been around for a while and has been enhanced with upgrades in the Windows OS. Simply press Alt and then the Tab key, and you will switch to the next tab/screen.

              Holding down the Alt button and tapping on Tab let’s you move and choose between multiple screens. Talk about multi-tasking!

              7. Ctrl + Alt + Del : Start Task Manager

              shortcut

                What happens when an application starts to lag or stops responding, or your windows OS stands still and you can’t move a thing? You summon Ctrl + Alt + Del! When you press them together, a magical box called the task manager opens up.

                You can then check out which programs/apps were making your PC slow and shut them down from the task manager itself, bringing your PC back to life.

                8. Alt + F4 : Close App

                ALT + F4 | Media Literacy at OSU Newark Spring 2017

                  This shortcut has been around for decades now! Simply press Alt plus the function F4 key and the application you’re using will close.

                  However, it is smart enough to ask you to save your work before it shuts down. It also works almost on anything right from your browser to games and custom applications.

                  9. Ctrl + F : Find

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                  How to Do Basic Keyboard Shortcut in Windows

                    You know you just wrote that sentence, and now you can’t find it! Or you really need to find a particular keyword in a document or a browser? Ctrl + F is the handy shortcut that will open a quick bar where you can type in the keyword, and it will show you all the results in the document matching your request.

                    10. Ctrl +H : Find and Replace

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                      You just finished your essay, and you realize you’ve been spelling the name of that scientist wrong the whole time! Now you not only need to find the keyword but replace all uses of it with something else. Not a problem at all. The Ctrl + H shortcut comes in handy here.

                      Just hit the keys and a box will open. You can simply type in the word that you need to find and replace. This works for most document types.

                      11. Ctrl + E : Select the Search Box

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                        Whether you are in your file explorer or browser, pressing Ctrl+E will select your search/navigation bar, and you can directly start typing into it. This will make your life easier when you need quick search.

                        12. Ctrl + N : Open a New Window

                        shortcut

                          Pressing Ctrl+N together will open up a new file or a window depending on if you are working in your browser or offline. This Windows keyboard shortcut works well with most offline applications and online browsers made for Windows.

                          13. Ctrl + Mouse Scroll Wheel : Zoom In/Out

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                            Text too small? Want to see the details more clearly? Viewing an infographic that requires zooming in? This shortcut provides exactly that.

                            If you are in a document, this command will make your files and folders appear larger, and if you are on your browser, it will simply zoom in on the page. Talk about attention to detail!

                            Advanced Windows Keyboard Shortcuts

                            14. Win + L: Lock Screen

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                              Stepping away, but don’t want to shut down or put your system to sleep? Win + L is a great shortcut. It helps you lock down your screen, and unless you re-enter your password nobody can open it (assuming you have a password set for your system).

                              15. Win + D : Show Desktop

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                                This is actually a quick minimize option. No matter how many tabs/windows are open, this shortcut quickly minimizes all of them and shows you the desktop, allowing you to access files or an application in a couple of clicks.

                                16. Win + Tab (+ Shift) : Toggle Task View

                                Awesome Windows Shortcut Keys – SVEN TECHNOLOGY

                                   

                                  This shortcut is very similar to what Alt + Tab does, but it is a more advanced level Windows app navigator. When you press it, you will see tiles of all the open programs and most used programs.

                                  You can scroll or jump between them by additionally pressing the shift key with the Win + Tab command.

                                  17. Win + C : Opens Cortana

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                                    Are you a fan of voice control or like using Cortana to get things done quickly? You can summon her by using the Win + C shortcut. She’ll then be available to grant your every request.

                                    18. Win + Prt Sc : Save Screenshot

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                                      While Prt Sc allows you to take a screenshot, pressing the Windows button at the same time allows you to automatically save the screenshot. There is a folder named “screenshot” in your pictures destination, where PNG files of the screenshot will get saved. No need to add another screenshot tool!

                                      19. Win + I : Open Settings

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                                        Need to quickly open the settings tab? Now, you don’t need to browse through 3-4 destinations to reach the settings tab. Just hit Win + I to open up the settings menu for Windows.

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                                        20. Win + S : Search for Windows

                                        10 Great Keyboard Shortcuts to Make Life Easy

                                          You will always have that file or application that you can’t find on your PC. For this, Windows introduced the search bar.

                                          You can easily open it by pressing Win + S and typing in the file name you want to look up. Additionally, since Cortana is integrated with the search function, you can use it to ask additional questions as well.

                                          21. Fn + F2 : Rename

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                                            Depending on the hardware manufacturer, F2 keys perform various tasks, like volume up/down or turn Wifi off/on. However, using the Fn + F2, you can quickly use the Rename file option when a file/folder is selected. Say goodbye to the right click.

                                            22. Fn + F5 : Refresh

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                                              Your PC stuck is stuck and the processor can’t keep up. Refresh is a good method to get things moving. Pressing Fn + F5 can refresh Windows, or if you are working on your browser, it can refresh that, too.

                                              23. Win + X : Hidden Menu

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                                                Did you know that windows had a hidden menu? Press Win + X and see it pop-up. It will give you access to all the essential areas of the system.

                                                24. Win + V : Navigate Through Notifications

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                                                  If you have configured notifications and alerts on your systems, this shortcut will help you easily toggle through all of them. It’s extremely useful for people who are especially popular or busy.

                                                  25. Win + Ctrl + B : Open App That Displayed a Notification

                                                    You’re working, and a notification pops up that needs your attention. Use Win + Ctrl + B, and the explorer will switch to the application that sent you the notification. Swift.

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                                                    The Bottom Line

                                                    You might be excited to start using all of these Windows keyboard shortcuts right away. While I advise you to try them all out, it entirely depends on how you engage with your system and what work you do. Any number of them can be generally useful. Start experimenting today.

                                                    More Tips on Using Windows

                                                    Featured photo credit: freestocks.org via unsplash.com

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                                                    Harsh Binani

                                                    Harsh has helped a lot of multi-national corporations and startups to leverage technology for greater productivity.

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                                                    Last Updated on July 21, 2021

                                                    Master These 25 Mac Shortcuts to Work Faster and Smarter

                                                    Master These 25 Mac Shortcuts to Work Faster and Smarter
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                                                    In a busy day, you know it well what it means to save a second of time. It seems a waste of time to leave your keypad and fiddle on your mouse or keypad.

                                                    Another approach to save those seconds is to remember Mac shortcuts to work faster and smarter. This will truly make your work quicker than trifling on mouse or touchpad. In fact, not using keyboard shortcuts actually makes you lose 64 hours every year.

                                                    I think all of you know command- C means copy and Command- V means paste, but there are a lot more shortcuts other than these. The following commands have been compiled to sky rocket your productivity.

                                                    Before we start, here’re things to take note of:

                                                    • The shortcuts that I will be discussing here corresponds to the keyboard of US layout .
                                                    • Sometimes you may find a couple of difficulties using console substitute routes in Mac as the OS and a couple of uses may struggle with each other. If you come across such problems, then please refer to Mac help for your version of the operating system or you may also refer to a utility application.

                                                    Okay, let’s get to it!

                                                    1. Command+Shift + Three(3)

                                                    For full screen capture, press Command+ shift + 3.

                                                    2. Command +Shift + Four(4)

                                                    You may similarly need to take a screen catch of a selected window from the entire screen.

                                                    Hit the Command +shift + four and as the desired window gets emphasized tap the mouse or trackpad.

                                                    3. Command + Option + D

                                                    This shortcut helps you to hide or show the dock. It is particularly important in Macbooks where the screens are smaller and you need more real estate.

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                                                    4. Command + Q

                                                    If you want to stop an application at a point, you just need to click Command + Q and you are done.

                                                    5. Command + T

                                                    With the dispatch of Mac OS Sierra, windows now can carry a tab. However, all the applications in Mac Sierra may not bolster multi-tab control. For the ones which do, you can press Command + T, to open another tab.

                                                    6. Command + R

                                                    I write a lot of mails and a lot of people write to me as well. Hence when I want to reply to someone instead of hunting for the reply button, I simply click Command + R and a new reply box opens up.

                                                    It is important to note that this function is useful only when you are in your mailbox.

                                                    7. Command + Spacebar

                                                    This is an amazing feature Apple has added to the Mac. If you are searching for something on your operating system or on the web then you can call for a spotlight, you can do this merely by holding Command + Spacebar.

                                                    8. Command + shift + ?

                                                    If you want to learn how a custom application works or are stuck up with troubleshooting of Mac, a quick shortcut from the keyboard for “Help”, then just hit Command + Shift + ?.

                                                    9. Command + OPTION + ESC.

                                                    Sometimes when working with an app, it might so happen that the system hangs and stops working. The mouse or touchpad is of no use and at that point just by pressing Command + option + esc together you can quit the application.

                                                    10. Command + X / C / V / Z

                                                    Although most readers would know this, these are important functions and worth mentioning. These four shortcuts – Cut, Copy, Paste and Undo can be summoned using Command + X/C/V/Z respectively.

                                                    11. Command + F

                                                    If you are perusing a long article and looking for a specific word or expression, you can take the assistance of Find Order by holding Command + F.

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                                                    A finder pops up and you can easily enter your search term and it will navigate to all the places in the document where the word/term is mentioned.

                                                    12. Control + Media Eject.

                                                    A single command to help with restart, shutdown and sleep for your Mac – Control + Eject.

                                                    When you press the command, a dialogue box will be opened, asking you what would you like your system to do further – sleep, shutdown or restart.

                                                    13. Command + A

                                                    If you’d like to select all the content of the document at one go, then this command comes in handy. Just press Command + A and the entire document will be selected.

                                                    14. Command + Navigation keys

                                                    If you are going through a long record and need to go to a dedicated page without troubling your mouse, you can do so by holding the Command + up or down key.

                                                    15. Command + Option + H

                                                    If you are not using a window and want to keep your desktop free of clutter, then the shortcut key you can use is Command + Option + H.

                                                    It hides all windows barring the front app giving you a clean looking screen.

                                                    16. Command + M

                                                    The window you are working on is not of use now and you’d like to minimize it? Just press Command + M and your current active window will be minimized.

                                                    17. Command + W

                                                    In the event that you need to close a functioning window the order that you can utilize is Command + W.

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                                                    18. Control + P

                                                    If you have to print a record, the key combinations that you can use is Control + P. If you have a printer connected, a pop up box will open and will ask for further necessary actions to print the document.

                                                    19. Command + Move + F5.

                                                    In the event that you need to alter an archive, just hold Command + Move + F5.

                                                    20. Command + N

                                                    If you are working with a document or a browser tab, hitting Command + N will open up a new window. Remember a new window for the current active application opens up.

                                                    For example, if you are surfing on your browser, activating the command will open up a new browser window. If you’re on a document, a new document window will pop up.

                                                    21. Command + Control + N

                                                    This is one of my favorite shortcuts that not too many people know about or use. However it is super useful.

                                                    If you have too many files on your desktop and would like to move them to a new folder, this command is what helps you out.

                                                    Simply select all the files that you would like to be moved and press Command + Control + N. In a second, all the selected files will move to a new folder.

                                                    22. Command + Shift + V

                                                    You’ve found something on the internet and you would like to paste it on your document. Most of the times, it ends up in a weird format. To solve this issue just use Command + Shift + V and the text will be pasted without any formatting, making it easy to format the way you want it.

                                                    23. Command + B/I/U

                                                    The old classic. If you want to make your selection, Bold, Italics or Underline them, simply use the command button and press B/I/U respectively.

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                                                    24. Command + Tab

                                                    Working with too many windows? It gets difficult to navigate seamlessly between applications when a lot of them are open. Use this command to easily navigate between windows.

                                                    25. Option + Shift + Volume(+/-)

                                                    When I work on my Mac system, I usually use the volume keys frequently. However, I noticed that just pressing the volume key would increase/decrease the volume speedily. So I hunted down this shortcut.

                                                    Using this you can adjust the volume by +/- 1 point for the perfect decibel sound you require.

                                                    Summing It Up

                                                    Depending on the usage of your Mac and the kind of work you do with it, you will find a selection of these shortcuts, extremely helpful.

                                                    You might already be using some if these shortcuts but adding a few of them to your arsenal will save you on those precious seconds that don’t hamper your flow.

                                                    If you are a new Apple user, it might be a bit challenging to get accustomed to these quickly. However, once you’ve got used to it, you’ll be a lot more productive.

                                                    Featured photo credit: Alex Bachor via unsplash.com

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