Productivity 211: Near-Universal Computer Shortcuts

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Productivity 201: The Basics Of Computers

The secret to improving your computer workflow is learning what you did by accident and then adding it to your habits

Memorize these shortcuts to be as fast as the pros

NOTE: This is presuming you are using Windows. There are some slight variations in Mac and Linux.

General Navigation

Zoom in or out the entire screen

  • [Windows] + [+]/[-]

Open Start/Applications menu

  • [Windows]
  • CTRL + ESC

Lock the computer to keep anyone else from using it while you’re away

  • [Windows] + L

Open up the Task Manager

  • CTRL + SHIFT + ESC

Open up the security screen

  • CTRL + ALT + DEL

Open the System Properties window

  • [Windows] + PAUSE/BREAK

Open the File Explorer

  • [Windows] + E

Undo what you just did

  • CTRL + Z

Redo a recently undone CTRL + Z action

  • CTRL + Y

Print

  • CTRL + P

New window/document

  • CTRL + N

Minimize all the windows and show the desktop

  • [Windows] + D
  • [Windows] + M

Bring back all the windows you just minimized

  • [Windows] + SHIFT + M

Open the Search Box

  • [Windows] + Q

Open the Run Box

  • [Windows] + R

Launches a hidden menu with many useful shortcuts

  • [Windows] + X

Open the Task View

  • [Windows] + TAB

Create a new virtual desktop

  • [Windows] + CTRL + D

Cycle between virtual desktops

  • [Windows] + CTRL + Left/Right

Close your current desktop

  • [Windows] + CTRL + F4

See all the currently open applications

  • CTRL + ALT + TAB

Switch windows

  • ALT + TAB / ALT + SHIFT + TAB
  • Keep holding ALT and tapping TAB to cycle through them

Switch windows without a dialog forward and backward

  • ALT + ESC / ALT + SHIFT+ESC

Copy a screenshot for pasting into a document

  • ALT + Print Screen

Launch a program corresponding to the taskbar’s location

  • [Windows] + [#]

Enter a special character

  • ALT + [#]

Working With Text & Files

Rename the selected file

  • F2

Select all text or files

  • CTRL + A

Cut selected text or file

  • CTRL + X

Copy selected text or file

  • CTRL + C

Paste the cut or copied text or file

  • CTRL + V

Select multiple files and text without the mouse

  • SHIFT + [Arrow Keys]

Select entire words at a time instead of characters

  • CTRL + SHIFT + [Arrow Keys]

Select all of the text or items from the cursor to the beginning or end of the line

  • SHIFT + HOME / SHIFT + END

Select all of the text or items from the cursor to the beginning or end of the entire document/page

  • CTRL + SHIFT + HOME / CTRL + SHIFT + END

Select an entire page up or down from the cursor

  • SHIFT + PAGE UP / SHIFT + PAGE DOWN

Delete an entire word behind or in front of the cursor

  • CTRL + BACKSPACE / CTRL + DELETE

Open the selected file or program

  • ENTER

Search for something

  • CTRL + F

Inside Most Programs

Show the help file

  • F1

Open a file inside the program

  • CTRL + O

Save the file you’re working on

  • CTRL + S

Close the program

  • ALT + F4

Find text inside the active window

  • CTRL + F

Zoom in and out

  • CTRL + [+]/[-]
  • CTRL + Mouse Wheel

Bring the zoom back to normal

  • CTRL + 0

Print

  • CTRL + P

Maximize window/Restore the window to original size

  • [Windows] + Up/Down

Move the window to the left/right of the screen

  • [Windows] + Left/Right
  • Keep tapping to move across multiple screens

Move the window to the left/right screen

  • [Windows] + Shift + Left/Right

Move to the next/previous text box

  • TAB / SHIFT + TAB

Advanced Shortcuts

Many keyboards come with special shortcut buttons, try them all out to see what they do

  • Those shortcuts can often be re-mapped to anything you want

You can map any shortcut you want

Get a gaming keyboard or secondary keypad if you want even more flexibility

Next: Productivity 212: Internet Browsing Shortcuts