There are several keyboard shortcuts that can be used to more quickly navigate your computer - especially if you have several windows or programs open at the same time.
Shortcut keys are commonly accessed by using the Alt key on Windows PCs, and the Command key on Apple computers, Ctrl, along with the Shift key in conjunction with a single letter. Most users are familiar with the Ctrl-Alt-Del combination to log in to their computer.
The common ways of doing these key combinations are to hold down one key, while tapping the second key; or when three keys are required, hold down the first two keys and then press the third key to execute the shortcut.
There are over 100 keyboard shortcuts…so in the interest of brevity, below are 10 of the most common and useful shortcuts to make your computer time easier and more efficient.
- Alt-Tab - this shortcut is very handy when you want to quickly switch between programs you are using without having to move the mouse to the taskbar to make a selection. With your left thumb, hold the Alt key down and use your left index finger to 'tap' the Tab key. You will cycle through your programs and can stop on the program you wish to switch to - this is particularly quick when you need to switch between two programs frequently.
- Window Key-L - (the Window key is usually located on the bottom left side of the keyboard between the Ctrl and Alt keys and bares the Windows Logo) This keyboard shortcut allows you to Lock your computer without logging off or closing your programs. If you have confidential information on your screen and want to step away from your desk for a moment, this shortcut is a quick and easy way to lock your computer. When you return, simply hit Ctrl-Alt-Del to log back in. All your work will be as you left it.
- Window Key-D - This will minimize all programs so you can see your desktop. Hitting this key combo again will restore all your windows.
- Ctrl-A - Use this when you want to Select a whole document of text or list of files/pictures.
- Ctrl-C - Use this when you want to Copy selected items such as text, files, pictures, etc. into the clipboard.
- Ctrl-X - Use this to Cut items and place them in your clipboard.
- Ctrl-V - Use this when you want to Paste your clipboard contents.
- Ctrl-Z - Use this to Undo your previous action.
- Ctrl-P - Use this to bring up the Print function of your current program.
- Ctrl-Shft-Esc - Opens the Task Manager