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Last Updated on May 18, 2020

25 Essential Windows Keyboard Shortcuts You Need to Know Now

25 Essential Windows Keyboard Shortcuts You Need to Know Now

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

                      Google Forms: Control E - Teacher Tech

                         

                        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

                          HP PCs - Adjust the Text Size and Zoom In or Out (Windows) | HP ...

                             

                            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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                            These Short Keys are Going to Make Your Life So Much More Productive

                              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

                                  These Short Keys are Going to Make Your Life So Much More Productive

                                     

                                    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

                                          Tom's Tutorials For Excel: Toggling a formula for relative or ...

                                            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

                                              Simple questions: What is the WinX menu and how to open it ...

                                                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.

                                                    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 September 18, 2020

                                                    How to Be More Self-Assured and Get More Done During the Week

                                                    How to Be More Self-Assured and Get More Done During the Week

                                                    Time is a great leveler isn’t it? We all have the same 24 hours in a day. Even if you’re self-assured, the day may never feel quite long enough.

                                                    Why is it that some people can be so much more productive and achieve so much more in a typical day, while others struggle to achieve anything apart from feeling time crunched and overwhelmed?

                                                    Everyone I know and work with wants to make the best use of their time. They want to learn how to be more self-assured, happier, and work less—all while growing in their career.

                                                    How effectively we use our time—and how we actually work in our business—can make a huge difference to the amount we accomplish in a day or week. It can also make us more focused and more confident.

                                                    Do you want to have more thinking and creative time? Do you want to spend more time working on your business rather than working at or in your business? In this article, we’ll show you how.

                                                    Get More Done by Gaining Confidence

                                                    What if you had a strategy for making the best use of your time that brings you more joy and allows you to focus on the biggest activities and opportunities in your business? You may find the following outline below to be helpful:

                                                    1. Create an Exciting Vision

                                                    If you don’t know where you’re going, how do you know when you get there?

                                                    You want to be more productive and spend more time getting the right stuff done. Well, you need to create a compelling and exciting vision of your future.

                                                    What does this future look like? How will you feel when you get there?

                                                    Creating a new vision, especially one that is a lot bigger than where you are right now, has a way of igniting your passion. It may be something that feels hard to achieve, but every step you take towards that bigger vision will certainly build your confidence.

                                                    Create a vision board to feel more self-assured.

                                                      Commitment to this vision, and accomplishing continual daily progress depends on your ability to look at any situation you’re faced with or currently in, feel self-assured, and see something bigger ahead.

                                                      Also, when you know where you’re headed, you will instinctively start to see all the new opportunities and connections that will get you there.

                                                      Make a vision map to get you started on the path to better productivity. This doesn’t have to be fully actualized, but you should know at least what direction you are heading.

                                                      2. Build a Strategic Plan

                                                      Once you have your future vision mapped out, the next step is to build a strategic plan to get you there.

                                                      Your future vision may be for 3 years or 5 years, or you may choose a longer time frame. Any timeframe over 3 years may feel like a long way away.

                                                      You may wonder how you are ever going to feel confident and motivated on this bigger future years from now when you feel as though you have so much to accomplish today.

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                                                      The first step is to decide on some specific goals for the next 12 months. Don’t list too many or you may begin to feel overwhelmed.

                                                      The magic number for me and my clients is usually five annual goals.

                                                      These are big goals that will create massive change in your business and life and bridge your current situation to your bigger future; accomplishing these goals one by one will help to increase your confidence on a daily basis.

                                                      3. Get on Goal Planning

                                                      Get yourself a piece of blank paper and a pen and divide the paper into 4 columns: A, B, C, and D.

                                                      Ask yourself the question: What is great in my business and life right now? Write these things down in Column A. This might be a couple of things, five things, ten things, whatever feels right to you.

                                                      Then ask yourself: What things are happening right now that I don’t want in my future? Write these things down in Column B.

                                                      This is your opportunity to take a step back and look at the things that are simply not working. You may list people that are bringing you down or projects that you don’t want to work on any more. Maybe you’ll include a service offering that’s going nowhere. It could be the people you’re working with, or it could be your pricing.

                                                      Now, let’s look at your personal strengths. Write down everything that you’re great at in Column C.

                                                      These could be things that you’re doing right now and having success with. It could also be things you know you’re awesome at but you’re not spending enough time on.

                                                      Column D is for your biggest opportunities. Is there a new service/product you could offer your ideal customers? Is there a new innovation you could bring to market? Just take some time out and really think and list these things in Column D.

                                                      Once you’ve analyzed everything you’ve written down, take some time to really think about what goals you want to set for your business and life in the next 12 months.

                                                      4. Set Outcomes to Build Confidence

                                                      You now have your goals, and you’ll feel self-assured and raring to go. They are written down and you’re committed to achieving them. You feel self-assured and motivated.

                                                      But how do you ensure that you stay on the correct course to achieve these goals?

                                                      Managing and juggling day-to-day projects can get in the way. Dealing with problems can get in the way. Staying on top of orders, managing cash flow, and handling day-to-day stuff can move your ship off course.

                                                      You want to be productive and achieve your goals, but you also need to ensure the day and week runs smoothly.

                                                      One way to ensure this happens is to set 90 Day Outcome Goals; within those Outcome Goals, put some specific process goals that need to be undertaken.

                                                      Let’s say you want to get 10 more speaking jobs in the next 90 days, and you know that you typically convert 50% of opportunities.

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                                                      Therefore, your process goal needs to be to have 20 conversations in the next 90 Days to deliver the 10 new pieces of work. You will then work out who you can have those conversations with.

                                                      It’s smart to overshoot, so you will more easily hit your target. This is a clear plan to work through because with every win, your confidence will grow.

                                                      5. Completely Commit to Your Success

                                                      If you are not truly committed to achieving your goals, then chances are that you won’t reach them.

                                                      Motivation can only take you so far. It is the intentional commitment[1] and emotional investment in your future success that will move you forward.

                                                      Think back to any time that you really committed to achieving something. There must have been a reason you actually achieved what you set out to achieve. What motivated you?

                                                      Were you fully invested? Why did it matter? Did you have to be really courageous to achieve it?

                                                      How did it feel when you achieved it? What difference did it make?

                                                      When have you felt truly self-assured? When you are committed to something, then you are propelled into action. Your mindset is focused, and your body follows; you want to get it done.

                                                      And, when you do get it done, your confidence goes through the roof. You feel a level of certainty in achieving the goal you set out to accomplish.

                                                      6. Focus on Your Strengths

                                                      To feel self-assured and build up the confidence needed to achieve our biggest goals, we need to focus on our strengths.

                                                      What are you best at? What are your unique skills? You want to spend as much time as you can working in the areas that you’re great at.

                                                      Multiply your strengths. These areas are where you add the biggest value. They often bring you the biggest amount of joy, and you feel more and more confident when you are using your unique skills.

                                                      If you think there is a specific capability you need to learn or be better at, spend more focused time in that area.

                                                      Many of us want to do it all. We want to be good at everything. We want to offer a lot of services. But, in reality, there are some very specific things we are great at; nobody is good at everything!

                                                      Spending more time adding value in the areas where you excel can create breakthrough results and boost confidence.

                                                      7. Embrace the Present

                                                      Sometimes we spend so much time thinking about the future or worrying about the past that we forget the present moment[2].

                                                      Are you spending most of your day reacting to things, or have you taken the time to think about what your perfect day looks like?

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                                                      We all have the opportunity to create rather than react, to decide what we do with our day. All of our future success can be created in the present moment if we just take a step back and take action.

                                                      Sometimes, doing it now is more important than doing it perfectly. There are hidden opportunities in every moment. We need to make sure we don’t miss them if we want to feel self-assured.

                                                      8. Calm the Whirlwind

                                                      The day-to-day life in business and life can be hard, which leads us to feel less self-assured.

                                                      Your mind may be full to bursting with all of the things you feel you have to do. The phrase “I don’t have time” has almost become an instant reaction by so many people when new opportunities are presented.

                                                      There is a whirlwind happening inside our minds.

                                                      Appointments, notifications, tasks, phone calls, errands, cash flow, staffing issues, networking, marketing all can clutter up our timeline. The sheer volume of things we feel we should do creates procrastination, stopping us from pursuing the projects and people that matter.

                                                      Many of us feel we have to do everything within our business.

                                                      Rather than simplifying things and doing less, we do more. We work longer, which creates a lack of energy and focus. Because of this, we lose clarity on our biggest opportunities. If you feel this way, take some well-deserved time off.

                                                      Look at where you’re spending your time. How much of your time is being spent moving your ideas forward?

                                                      In the next 90 days, if you could delegate or outsource more daily tasks and spend more time focusing on where you add the biggest value, what difference would it make?

                                                      Calm the whirlwind by slowing down and doing less.

                                                      Focus on areas that you add the biggest amount of value. By doing this, your energy levels will increase, your confidence will grow and you will have more success.

                                                      9. Take More Time off

                                                      This may seem counterintuitive, but taking more time off to recharge and refocus can pay huge dividends.

                                                      If you are constantly fighting fires and caught up in the myriad of different activities that you have to do each day, then how can you move your business forward?

                                                      You may be being pulled in difference directions without any focused time on your biggest projects. If that’s the case, then it’s almost impossible to gain any real momentum in moving your business forward and hitting your goals.

                                                      The best way to get off that treadmill is to take more creative time out of the business.

                                                      Could you realistically take one day off per month to work on your business? If you could, what would you do with this time?

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                                                      Just imagine no distractions, only focused time on the strategic development and growth of your business.

                                                      Every day off per month could have a different focus: New product innovation; Thinking about your biggest clients; Improving operations.

                                                      Add to this a quarterly review to check in with your goals progress, and this could have a dramatic effect on where you spend your valuable time.

                                                      10. Celebrate Wins

                                                      Sometimes you just want to get through the day, right?

                                                      You have so much to do. There are so many things on your task list that you just complete what you can and then start another day. But what would happen if, at the end of each day, you took some time out to look at what you’ve accomplished?

                                                      Celebrating success keeps you motivated and helps you become more self-assured. It is not just another day. It’s a day that included things that should be celebrated.

                                                      If you’re struggling to feel motivated, try celebrating a couple of wins each day.

                                                      Celebrating success combined with the gratitude you have for achieving those wins will boost your confidence and inspire you for the next day.

                                                      11. Give Yourself More Space

                                                      When was the last time you gave yourself time to think?

                                                      Within the hustle and bustle, it can be difficult to give yourself a little bit of space and time to just think[3].

                                                      Imagine giving yourself just an hour a day to just let your mind wander or think about a specific thing.

                                                      If you think about it, we can all free up an hour a day for something without really losing any efficiency or really impacting our business.

                                                      In fact, that hour could be transformational for your business and life.

                                                      A new idea for a product could form, or an idea for adding value to your existing clients could materialize. Perhaps you could do a check in to your ideal future and your goals. You could decide that you want to take your business in a new direction.

                                                      Try this: Just sit alone for an hour with a notebook and let it be your creative thinking time. See what happens.

                                                      Final Thoughts

                                                      Ultimately, being self-assured happens when you have a clear direction.

                                                      This, coupled with having clear goals and working in your unique skill-set, gives you the biggest opportunity to be more productive and get more of the right things done.

                                                      The old mantra that “less is more” is right on the money. By giving yourself more time to work on your goals, you will inevitably increase your confidence; at this point, your ideal future can be anything you want it to be.

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                                                      Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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