What is the allure of keyboard shortcuts? Do they really save time? Why bother since my mouse is permanently attached to my hand?
I like to use keyboard shortcuts, especially if someone is watching me, because they make me look like a pro. With just a few key strokes I can leave a mouser spinning his wheel! Whatever your motivation, here’s a big list of keyboard shortcuts:
ALT- F4 – Quit a program / Shut down
ALT-TAB – Hold down the ALT key and hit tab to cycle through open windows.
CTL-ESCAPE – Display the Start menu
SHIFT – TAB – tab backwards through a form
CTRL – X – Cut
CTRL – C – Copy
CTRL – V – Paste
F1 – Help menu
CTRL – Z – Undo
CRTL-TAB – Navigate tabs on a tabbed screen
File & Desktop Shortcuts
Hold SHIFT while inserting a CD – Prevents the CD from “autorunning”
If an item is selected:
CTRL while dragging a file – Copies the file
CTRL – SHIFT while dragging a file – Creates a shortcut to the file
SHIFT – DELETE – Deletes an item without sending it to the recycle bin.
ALT-ENTER – Display a file’s properties.
F2 – To rename the file
In Windows Explorer:
LEFT ARROW – Collapse the current selection if it is expanded
NUM LOCK-MINUS SIGN (-) – Collapse the selected folder
RIGHT ARROW – Expand the current selection if it is collapsed -Or- Select the first subfolder
NUM LOCK- * Expand all folders below the current selection
NUM LOCK- PLUS SIGN (+) – Expand the selected folder
F6 – Switch between left and right panes
In My Computer:
BACKSPACE – View the folder one level up
ALT- RIGHT ARROW – Move forward to a previous view
ALT- LEFT ARROW -Move backward to a previous view
Windows Key Shortcuts
The Windows key can be used in conjunction with other keys to act as a keyboard shortcut for faster access to menu commands. Now, while the Alt key tends to open program menus (ex: Alt+F opens the File menu and Alt+E opens the Edit menu) and the Ctrl key performs actual operations (ex: Ctrl+C will copy and Ctrl+V will paste), the Windows key will open various Windows tools…
Win key + R will open the Start menu’s Run box
Win key + F will open the Start menu’s Find window
Win key + E will quickly launch Explorer
Win key + Pause/Break will open the System Properties window
Win key + M will Minimize all windows
Win key + Shift + M will undo Minimize all windows
Win key + D will switch between minimizing all open programs and showing them all
Win key + Tab will cycle through items on the taskbar
Win key by itself will open the Start menu
You can also open programs or folders on your desktop by pressing the Windows key + the first letter of the program/folder/shortcut + Enter . Sounds kinda tedious, but if you’re in a bind with your mouse, it can come in quite handy.
Here’s a cool little arrow trick to try with word processing programs. Next time you’re using your arrow keys to go from one area of a sentence to another (left and right arrows), hold down your CTRL key. Instead of moving one space at a time, you’ll go one word at a time.
If you’re using the up and down arrows to go from line to line, holding down the CTRL key will make your cursor jump from paragraph to paragraph (well, from carriage return to carriage return anyway).
One last thing, if you hold down the SHIFT key while you do this (i.e. hold down SHIFT + CTRL at the same time), you select text as you arrow along.
I’ve tested this in MS Word and Wordpad, but it *should* work no matter what word processing program you use.
Home/End Key Fun
Do you ever find yourself scrolling through a huge folder ? Well, if you need to get to the beginning or the end quickly, just press Ctrl+Home . If you want to get to the end, click Ctrl+End .
Hey, that’s not all!
This little trick works on more than just folders. If you use the Home key in a word processor, it goes to the beginning of the line you’re currently working on. If you hit the END key, it should head to the end of the current line. If you pair Home & End up with the Ctrl key in a word processor, you will be whisked away to the beginning or end of the document. Again, this should work, but it depends on your word processor.