The Three Most Under-utilized Keyboard Shortcuts

I was standing behind my wife the other day quietly watching her use her computer to write an email. The more I watched the clearer it became just how much extra work she was creating for herself by not using Windows keyboard shortcuts.

Most average users know a few keyboard shortcuts such as ^C for Copy, ^X for Cut, and ^V for Paste but here are three additional shortcuts that many folks under-utilize. If you spend a few moments learning them you'll find them incredibly useful (Note: When I write ^C it means to press down the Ctrl key and while holding it down, press the C key. You then release both together)

The first is ^A. This selects (highlights) everything in the current window or field. So for example you want to copy this entire article into an email, hit ^A to select everything then ^C to copy it to the clipboard. Open your email and then type ^V to insert it. Try ^A now, it should select this whole web page. Click anywhere to remove the highlighting.

^A is also really useful when you want to delete the contents of a form field or dialog box. Just hit ^A then Delete. I use it a lot to clear the address box in my browser.

The second handy shortcut is ^Home. This takes you to the top of a document or web page. Similarly ^End takes you to the bottom. It's much faster than scrolling. Try it now.

The third shortcut is probably the most useful of all. It involves using the Shift key when selecting long lists or text passages.

Let's say you want to select a section of this page covering several paragraphs. The way most users would do this would be to left mouse click at the start, hold the mouse button down and then move the mouse curser to the end of the text to be selected.

That's fine but if the text covers more than one screen it can get tricky. Here's a much better way.

First, left click at the start of the text and release the mouse button. Then scroll down to the end of the text and left click again while holding down Shift key. All the text in between will be selected.

Try it now on this page. Neat eh?

The same technique works well when selecting items on a list.

Incidentally, if you want to select or deselect individual items that aren't consecutive, you can do that by using the Ctrl key when left clicking. But hey, that's a fourth shortcut and I said I was only going to give you three :>) If you really want more, there's a complete list here:


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by Andy D (not verified) on 25. August 2010 - 17:44  (56709)

I have an "every day" working of the shortcuts of this article... This PDF one is brilliant... thanks

by Mr.Awesome (not verified) on 28. June 2011 - 18:29  (74479)

Windows Vista 7

Windows Key + D minimizes/maximizes all windows
Windows Key + E My computer
Windows Key + R Run
Windows Key + T select minimized windows
Windows Key + U Ease of access center
Windows Key + F Search
Windows Key + L Lock
Windows Key + B Show/Hide hidden icons
Windows Key + M minimizes all windows
Windows Key + Space Opens sidebar
Alt + tab switch between windows
Ctrl + C copy
Ctrl + X cut
Ctrl + V past
Ctrl + S Save
Ctrl + Z Undo
Ctrl + Y Redo
Ctrl + K Insert Hyperlink
Ctrl + Shift + F9 undo hyperlink
Ctrl + A select all
Ctrl + W Close Tab
Alt + F4 Close Window
Ctrl + F4 close multiple windows
Ctrl + B Bold
Ctrl + I Italic
Ctrl + U Underline
Ctrl + Shift + + superscript
Ctrl + = subscript
Ctrl + L align left
Ctrl + E align center
Ctrl + R align right
Ctrl + J justify
Ctrl + shift + 8 show/hide paragraph
Ctrl + shift + arrow select
Ctrl + arrow scam through by word
Alt + = insert equation
F7 Spelling/Grammar
Alt + click research
Shift + F7 thesaurus
Alt + F8 view macros
Ctrl + zoom zoom in/zoom out
F5 refresh
Ctrl + R refresh
F7 Caret browsing
Alt + Z Add to favorites
Ctrl + shift + F font
Ctrl + shift + P font size
Alt + C view favorites/feeds/history
Ctrl + Q Quick tabs
Ctrl + T New Tab
Ctrl + K Duplicate Tab
Ctrl + P Print
Alt + R Print
Ctrl + N New Window
Ctrl + O Open
Ctrl + F Find
Ctrl + G Go to
Tabs go to next box
Shift + tab go to last box
Ctrl + esc open start menu
F1 help
Alt + L Help
Alt + M home
Ctrl + shift + esc task manager
Ctrl + alt + delete windows menu
Window key + L Lock cpu
Shift + F10 right click
F11 full screen
Alt + enter full screen
Alt + enter copies and pastes last
Alt + F File
Alt + E edit
Alt + V view
Alt + A favorites
Alt + T tools
Alt + H help
Alt + P page
Alt + S safety
Alt + O tools

Ctrl + shift + delete delete browsing history

Ctrl + shift + P in private

Ctrl + shift + F in private filtering

F12 developer tools
Esc stop
F3 find
F4 selects URL

by Lowndes (not verified) on 8. November 2011 - 11:56  (82903)

Anyone know a shortcut to change case, as in "a" to "A"??

by chiyoko xue (not verified) on 18. November 2011 - 8:50  (83472)

(EX. facebook + CTRL + ENTER =

(EX.facebook + SHIFT + ENTER=

(EX. facebook + CTRL + SHIFT + ENTER =

by Wayne Tuttle (not verified) on 30. August 2012 - 11:03  (98499)

In Word, with cursor on a word or a selected section, shift+F3 cycles between all small, all capital, and first letter capitalized.

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