Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Common Computer Keyboard Shortcuts

I've been asked more than once in the past few weeks about keyboard shortcuts. Those quick keystroke combinations that can make creating and editing documents a bit faster, especially when they take the place of multiple mouse clicks.

Some of you out there are keyboard shortcut ninjas. You know and use so many shortcuts that you barely ever touch your mouse!

I am not quite so skilled, but there are a few shortcuts I've learned over the years that I use often and that are universal to most of the programs I use. I've compiled a list of them below. For simplicity, I've listed only the Windows version of the key combinations, but if you are a Mac user, you can substitute the Command key for the Control (Ctrl) key.

Make selected text bold
Make selected text italic
Underline selected text
Find text on current web page or in current document, spreadsheet, or PDF
Undo your last action (MY ALL TIME FAVORITE!)
Copy what's selected (text, graphic, table, etc.)
Cut what's selected (text, graphic, table, etc)
Paste what you last copied or cut (text, graphic, table, etc.) at the current location of the cursor
Select all contents of a document, spreadsheet, etc.
Saves the current document
Print the current document

How do you learn these keystroke combinations? By using them! Challenge yourself to try a couple each week. If you are new to keyboard shortcuts, it's helpful to know that you don't have to press both keys at exactly the same time. You can press Ctrl (or Command) first, then press the letter associated with the shortcut. Ideally, you press both keys with fingers of the same hand.

If you wish you knew a keystroke for a command you use often, check out the menus of the program you're using. I took the screenshot to the right in Google Docs on a Mac. You can see that keyboard shortcut combinations for common commands are listed right in the menu.

What is your favorite keyboard shortcut? Please share it, or any questions you have, in the comments below.

All original work in this post by Sandy Kendell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Please see specifics on my re-use policy in the right-hand column of my blog before re-posting/re-using any of my blog content.