I’m the type of person who likes to switch quickly between ten or more open programmes, so I’m always looking for new keyboard shortcuts.
It’s annoying when programmes don’t conform to our expectations and don’t make use of our favourite shortcut keys. It’s bad enough when we as users are aware of the shortcuts that the developers have built-in.
In fact, 90% of computer users, according to this (somewhat dated) article in The Atlantic, don’t know how to use CTRL+F.
If you use a computer frequently, you should familiarise yourself with these eight keyboard shortcuts. (Quick disclaimer: as a PC user, I’ve favoured PC commands in my explanations, but I’ve done my best to provide both PC and Mac controls for each shortcut.) If any Mac users feel insulted or dismissed, please accept my apologies in advance.
1. One Can Use Control-F or Command-F to Search for Something.
Since it was mentioned in the preceding statistic, I should probably start with this one.
Any major web browser allows you to quickly search a page by pressing CTRL+F or Command+F and entering your keyword. You can search the entire site for references to it.
For finding specific terms in lengthy documents, I frequently make use of this. This works in PDF files and Microsoft Word documents.
2. Ctrl+c / C>: Copy
CTRL+C would be the silverback of the keyboard shortcut pack if they were a group of gorillas.
When it comes to copying text, this is the universal shortcut used by virtually all word processors. A lot of the keyboard shortcuts used by developers in other applications were popularised by Microsoft Word, but CTRL+C has to be the most common (no, I don’t have any statistics to back this up; it’s just how I feel).
3. Paste with Ctrl+v/command+v
Naturally, if you copy something, you probably want to paste it somewhere else.
You can’t have enough keyboard shortcuts, and the one-two punch of CTRL+C + CTRL+V is indispensable. Most users will make frequent use of this feature, whether it’s to copy and paste e-mail addresses, import text from Excel into Word, or copy and paste objects in Photoshop.
4. the Number Four Shortcut for Creating New Documents Is the Ctrl+n / Command+n Combination.
This feature may already be available to you when using Microsoft Word to make new documents. You may already be aware of this, but you can open a new window in your browser by pressing CTRL+N.
The Windows Explorer shortcut for making a new folder is CTRL+N.
5. to Save, Press Control + S (mac: Command + S)
Who here has had work they were working on disappearing without a trace?
Auto-recovery features are now commonplace in software, allowing users to retrieve unsaved data in the event of a programme crash. However, these are not perfect either. Some of your recent work may not have been saved by auto-recover, and it may not even work for all of your programmes.
Always put money aside. If you need to take a brief break from typing, pressing CTRL+S will save your work. Form this into a routine, and you will be pleased with the results.
6. Exit with Option+f4/command+q
Here’s a phrase that’s seldom used but always welcome. When you need to quickly close several applications at once. All you have to do to close them is press ALT+F4 (or CTRL+W on a PC) in each one. (Reference to the previous section.)
7. Use the Tab Key to Navigate a Form.
Those of you who shop online as frequently as I do know the agonising slowness of filling out a lengthy credit card form. The same is true for any online activity requiring extensive text entry, such as booking a flight, completing a survey, or signing up for a service.
The TAB key comes in handy when filling out online forms because it allows you to quickly advance to the next field.
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8. Press Tab + Space to Send in A Form
When you’re done filling out the form, you can click one of the following: Send, Submit, Register, or Next.
When you press TAB after the final input field, the browser will automatically select the corresponding button. You can “click” a button in an online form by pressing the Space bar instead of using the mouse.
This won’t always work, but it does work perfectly well 60% of the time.
I hope this allows you to get through some of your applications faster and get more done in less time.
There could be more that I have missed; if you have a favourite keyboard shortcut that you think the rest of the world would benefit from hearing about, please leave it as a comment.