Productivity 211: Shortcuts That Work Almost Everywhere

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Productivity 201: The Basics Of Computers

Many of these can be discovered by accident. The secret to improving your work flow is to find out what you did and then learning from it.

Memorize these shortcuts and you will 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 up System Properties window
    • [Windows] + PAUSE/BREAK
  • Open the File Explorer
    • [Windows] + E
  • Undo what you just did
    • CTRL + Z
  • Redo what was just undone with CTRL + Z
    • 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
  • Opens 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 to be pasted later into somewhere
    • 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 output
    • 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
  • Maximizes window/Restores the window to original size
    • [Windows] + Up/Down
  • Moves the window to the left/right of the screen, keep tapping to move across multiple screens
    • [Windows] + Left/Right
  • Moves the window to the left/right screen
    • [Windows] + Shift + Left/Right
  • Move to the next or previous text box
    • TAB / SHIFT + TAB

Advanced Shortcuts

  • Many keyboards come with special shortcut buttons, try them all out to see what they do
    • Many of those shortcuts can be re-mapped to anything you want
  • You can create any mapping of any shortcut you want!
    • Find software to help you, or get a special keyboard if you want to experiment
Next: Productivity 212: Shortcuts For Internet Browsing