22 Essential Windows Keyboard Shortcuts for Non-Geeks

22 Essential Windows Keyboard Shortcuts for Non-Geeks

Although you may not be as comfortable with new technologies as others, in this generation of technology reliance it is important to be able to keep up. You don’t have to be a geek to utilize a computer. You can take advantage of the technology and learn some really great shortcuts to make your life little bit easier. Hopefully this list of essential keyboard shortcuts for Windows can help you do just that. Note: These keyboard shortcuts are specifically for computers with the Windows operating system.

The basics

These are the essential keyboard shortcuts for Windows you definitely can’t live without.

1. Copy selected item: Ctrl+C


    Copy any line of text or photos to your clipboard, while keeping a copy of the text in its original location.

    2. Cut selected item: Ctrl+X


      Cut a selected line of text or photos. Caution: If done incorrectly, you can lose the item since you no longer have a copy of it in the original location.

      3. Paste selected item: Ctrl+V


        Paste a selected cut or copied item into a new location. Note: If you need the item pasted in different formats (e.g. text only), you might still need to paste it from the right-click of the mouse.

        4. Undo action: Ctrl+Z



          Reverses an action. For example, if you accidentally delete a line of text, this keyboard shortcut should bring it back.

          5. Redo action: Ctrl+Y


            This is the opposite to the ‘undo’ shortcut. Did you accidentally undo something you shouldn’t have? Don’t worry, this keyboard shortcut should redo it.

            6. Select everything: Ctrl+A


              Selects every item on the page. Useful for when you need to copy whole webpages into Word documents.

              7. Print page(s): Ctrl+P


                The quickest way to bring up the print options. Printing takes long enough as it is, why not save some time?

                8. Take screenshot of current screen: PrntSc

                Normal Keyboard

                  Takes a screenshot of whatever you can see on your screen to the clipboard. You can then paste the image anywhere from Paint to Word documents.


                  9. Save file*: Ctrl+S

                  Normal Keyboard

                    Using this keyboard shortcut every few minutes or so ensures a lowered chance of losing precious work progress.

                    10. Create new file*: Ctrl+N


                      Immediately brings up a new, blank page for you to start working on. It is definitely easier that going through the normal tedious process of creating a new blank document.

                      11. Open file*: Ctrl+O

                      Normal Keyboard

                        Brings up a window where you can choose to open a previous saved file, image, video, etc. *Use for programs such as Microsoft Office, Paint, Adobe, etc. Does not work for everything, especially over the internet.

                        Changing Format of Selected Text

                        Especially useful in Word documents or notepads

                        12. Underline text: Ctrl+U

                        Normal Keyboard

                          13. Bold text: Ctrl+B


                          Normal Keyboard

                            14. Italic text: Ctrl+I

                            Normal Keyboard

                              Highlight a selection of text and use any of these shortcuts to change the text format. It is much easier than having to look for the appropriate button on the toolbar. Note: These shortcuts don’t work in situations where you are unable to manipulate text (e.g. social networking)

                              15. Switch between open windows: Alt+Tab


                                Brings up all open windows onto the screen, including Internet Explorer, Word documents, media player, etc. Hold Alt and continue pressing Tab until you have reached the desired window.

                                16. Refresh the page: F5

                                Normal Keyboard

                                  You will often be required to reload/refresh your browser, and you can do so quite easily with the push of a single button.

                                  17. Rename a file: F2


                                    Select the file or files and press this key to rename. Note: To rename all files in a folder, use the shortcut Ctrl+A then press F2

                                    18. Power down: Ctrl+Alt+Delete



                                      This famous keyboard shortcut brings you to a page where you are able to select whether you want to put the computer on sleep, shut down, log out, lock the device, etc.

                                      19. Move through tabs: Ctrl+Tab


                                        In a browser, this shortcut will allow you to move through tabs which you can see at the very top of the page.

                                        20. Close current window: Ctrl+W


                                          If you are working with a lot of unnecessary windows open, this keyboard shortcut should close the window you are currently on.

                                          21. Move to bottom of current page: End


                                            There is often important information displayed at the bottom of a webpage. This key will bring you straight there.

                                            22. Visit browser home page: Alt+Home


                                              This keyboard shortcut brings you back to the default home page of your browser.

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                                              Elizabeth Andal

                                              Elizabeth is a passionate writer who shares about lifestyle tips and lessons learned in life on Lifehack.

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                                              1 8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast 2 15 Organization Apps to Boost Your Personal Productivity 3 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track in 2019 4 7 Clever Goal Tracker Apps to Keep You on Track in 2019 5 How to Type Faster: 12 Typing Tips and Techniques

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                                              Last Updated on September 11, 2019

                                              8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast

                                              8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast

                                              Computers and cell phones have become an integrated tool in our professional and personal lives that the original methods of using pen and paper may not be so common anymore.

                                              Although our old-school methods of note taking may not have entirely left us, technology is advancing with no intention of slowing down; iPads are moving into service industries, video calls are taking the place of in-person interviews, and store receipts are making its way into our email inbox – all of which requires the skill of typing.

                                              Learning a new skill doesn’t have to be boring and never had to be. Thankfully, there are effective games and apps that can help you learn to type fast with swift precision and accuracy.

                                              Why Typing Fast Matters?

                                              Learning how to type fast is a game changer. In fact, you can save 21 days per year by typing fast!

                                              Although shaving several minutes from curating a long email or texting paragraphs in a text message may not seem to be of great significance, the minutes soon do eventually add up and the long list of tasks then evolve into frustration. By the end of the day, time is being wasted, and the work pile is stacked high over your head.

                                              Why not alleviate some of those frustrations through practice and dedicating your spare time to build muscle memory?

                                              Learning a simple skillset like speed typing can drastically improve other essential areas in life including time-management and prioritization. Not only does it help you efficiently complete tasks at work and in your personal life, but it also boosts your productivity.

                                              8 Most Effective Typing Games and Apps

                                              Everyone learns at different speeds and uses various methods. While some work better under pressure and tight deadlines, others thrive when given ample amounts of time to learn and soak in the knowledge that is being provided. Despite the number of resources that are available in the hollow corners of the internet, it’s all about finding one source that helps you learn at your fullest potential.

                                              Whether you’re a keyboard ninja or not, here are some effective typing games and apps that allow you to test your speed, accuracy, and maybe shoot some spaceships along the way.


                                              For Beginners

                                              1. Speed Typing Online

                                                What’s more fun than to type to the story of Alice in Wonderland or the lyrics to “Hey Jude”? Speed Typing Online is an online typing game that allows you to dive into the creative and familiar world of famous books, fables, songs, and even hone your skills in data entry.

                                                The bright blue frame holds the text, which then turns green after punching in the accurate keystrokes. After the end of the personal timer, a statistics page appears to show you your typed words per minute, accuracy, correct and incorrect entries, and error rate.

                                                2. Typing Trainer

                                                  Typing Trainer

                                                  is another online platform suited for beginner typists looking for step-by-step lessons. Learning the keys on a keyboard can confusing especially for those who aren’t as familiar or getting adjusted to typing on a computer keyboard.

                                                  Typing Trainer has a collection of step-by-step tutorials that covers everything from sentence drills, introduction to new keys as the lessons progress, and skills test. The Typing Trainer specifically highlights unique features in each lesson including a warm-up section where the user begin to build muscle memory and learn to type without looking at the keyboard.

                                                  The website is also programed to identify difficulties the user is facing when typing specific words or sentences.

                                                  3. TapTyping – Typing Trainer

                                                    There is the feeling of physically typing on a keyboard and then there’s the feeling of typing on a touch screen mobile device.


                                                    Since the use of cell phones has become closely integrated into our everyday lives, learning to type on a mobile is much of a skillset as it is to type on a computer. The mobile typing app, TapTyping – Typing Trainer, allows users to practice while on-the-go making it perfect for commuters who want to practice typing during their down time.

                                                    The app allows you to challenge other typists around the world with TapTyping’s global leaderboard and test your skills by taking advanced lessons. There’s always room for improvement and with the app, you’ll be able to find your mistakes by watching a heat map of your finger strokes.

                                                    For professional writers and programmers

                                                    4. The Most Dangerous Writing App

                                                      Suitable for writers facing a creative block or on a tight-deadline, the Most Dangerous Writing App is a website that forces your fingers to type as quickly as your ideas.

                                                      If you stop longer than 5 seconds, everything you had written will slowly disappear from the screen.

                                                      Sessions are timed from 3 minutes to 20 minutes, or can go from 75 to 1667 words. This online app is perfect to brain dump ideas, write a chapter of a manuscript you’ve been stuck on, or help with procrastination.

                                                      If you’re up to the challenge, try the hardcore mode – an alternative option where a single letter appears on the screen at a time. This level prevents you from seeing the entire word, sentences, or even correct any spelling or grammatical mistakes until the timer is complete.

                                                      If you’re wondering, copying and pasting is not an option until each the end of each session.

                                                      5. The Typing Cat


                                                        Looking to upgrade your typing skills? Also working as a personal tutor, the Typing Cat has a list of regular typing courses with the option to try other lessons with more complexity such as HTML. Learning to type code is a another valulable skillset worth adding.

                                                        Even with disregarded interest in the coding world, using the code course enhances your typing skills and allows your fingers to familiarize itself with uncommon word combinations and placement of punctuations on a keyboard.

                                                        The coding course can be difficult even for typing whizzes, but it’s all a part of muscle memory. According Psychology Today,[1] only a handful of people actually learn how to type by looking at an actual keyboard, while a majority of the population locate specific keys intuitively through muscle memory.

                                                        Available courses include EcmaScript 6, HTML 5, and CSS 3.

                                                        Fun typing games

                                                        6. ZType — Space Invaders Meet Webster

                                                          Remember playing the iconic 70’s game that allowed you to shoot tiny purple and green aliens from one end of the screen to the other with a two-bullet laser? It’s hard to believe that Space Invaders just turned 40 , but you can still get the same adrenaline rush with ZType, a typing game with the same shooting concept.

                                                          Ztype works in waves – stages that must be cleared but instead of aliens, you must type out the words before the missiles destroy your ship at the bottom of the screen. Every so often, longer and mor complex words would appear and if the words are not typed in the allotted time, a series of letters will disperse like missles.

                                                          The game is quick on the fingers and will still have your heart pumping until the very end.

                                                          7. Epistory – Typing Chronicles


                                                            Although this game does cost money to purchase, it is worth the investment if you’re looking for a refreshing and alternative mode to learning how to type fast.

                                                            Epistory – Typing Chronicles is a role-playing action and adventure game of a young girl riding a fox in a magical and fictional realm; together they combat enemies in the shapes and forms of words.

                                                            Once you’re starterted, you almost forget you’re playing a typing game. The paper craft art aesthetics of the game has you captivated by the vibrant colors and character’s storyline, while having you build your typing skills.

                                                            8. Daily Quote Typing

                                                              Need some inspiration? Say no more.

                                                              Daily Quote Typing is one of many gammes available on – a website that offers a variety of typing games ranging from different levels based on your experience.

                                                              With Daily Quote Typing, users are able to type out inspirational quotes by famous leaders, inventors, and innovators such as Mark Twain and Albert Einstein.

                                                              Bottom Line

                                                              At the end of the day, discipline and patience is what teaches to type faster. It comes down to making that commitment to improving not only your typing abilities, but in a lifelong skill that benefits other areas in life.

                                                              By practicing daily and using effective games and apps, it’s only a matter of time before keystrokes will become second nature and your brain will adapt to learning other skills faster.

                                                              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via


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