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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

shortcut

    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

    shortcut

      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

      shortcut

        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

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        shortcut

          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

          shortcut

            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

            shortcut

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

              7. Print page(s): Ctrl+P

              shortcut

                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.

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                  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

                    shortcut

                      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

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                          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

                              shortcut

                                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

                                  shortcut

                                    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

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                                    shortcut

                                      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

                                      shortcut

                                        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

                                        shortcut

                                          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

                                          shortcut

                                            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

                                            shortcut

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

                                              More by this author

                                              Elizabeth Andal

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

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                                              Last Updated on February 15, 2019

                                              7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

                                              7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

                                              Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

                                              Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

                                              Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

                                              So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

                                              Joe’s Goals

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                                                Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

                                                Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

                                                Daytum

                                                  Daytum

                                                  is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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                                                  Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

                                                  Excel or Numbers

                                                    If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

                                                    What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

                                                    Evernote

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                                                      I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

                                                      Evernote is free with a premium version available.

                                                      Access or Bento

                                                        If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                                                        Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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                                                        You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                                                        Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                                                        All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                                                        Conclusion

                                                        I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                                                        What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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