I was talking the other day with a client and they didn’t really know much about keyboard shortcuts.  I guess for the casual computer user keyboard shortcuts don’t really make a big impact.  But as for me, as I search the web for answers I find and create graphics using programs like Adobe Photoshop I them indispensable.  If your in front of a computer for even 3 hours a day you could greatly increase your productivity by using  few easy to remember keyboard shortcuts.

  • Select All: <ctrl> + A : Select all the files or folders in the current location. Great for cutting, copying and moving large groups of text, files and folders.
  • Copy: <ctrl> + C  : hold control button and hit “C” to copy almost anything in Windows.  Copy text, files, folders and more with this shortcut.
  • Cut: <ctrl> + X  : hold control and hit “X” This cuts the selected item to be pasted in a new location.  This moves a file instead of coping it.
  • Paste: <ctrl> + P  : hold control and hit “P” Now whatever you had copied or cut will be “pasted” to the current location.
  • Undo: <ctrl> + Z  : holding the <ctrl> key and hitting the “Z” key is a universal undo command for windows. Use it to undo a file move, delete and is used in many programs.
  • Toggle Window: <alt> + <tab> : hold <alt> and tap the <tab> key, this will bring up the switch window menu box which will allow you to easily switch programs or windows without clicking on the taskbar. Hold <shift> & <alt> and tap <tab> to go in reverse order. Hit once and it will return you to your last used program and window. Great for when you are going back and forth between 2 programs.
  • Show Desktop: Windows Key & D If you have a bunch of windows open hit the Windows Key and “D” Now you can drag files to you desktop of open a file you put there.
  • Open Link in New Tab: When using your browser (Firefox, IE ect) hold holding <ctrl> key when when you click a link.  This will open the link in a new tab and keeps the current page open.  This is great when using Google and your not sure what link will be what you are looking for. Or when you are comparing things or don’t want to loose your place. Some websites do this for you so that when you close the new link their website is still available.
  • Open New Tab in Browser: <ctrl> + <tab> : Open a new tab in Internet Explorer, Firefox and Netscape. Now you can keep the other page well remain open to go back if needed.
  • Toggle Tab: <ctrl> + <tab> : Toggle the active tab. Useful if multiple tabs are open in your browser but can also be used in many other programs as well to switch between open documents.
  • Refresh Browser: <F5> : Reloads the browser page. Good to use if the page stalls when loading or if doesn’t load properly.
  • Refresh to Server: <F5> + <ctrl> : This sends a request to the server that you want to see if there is a new version of the page. For instance if someone changed a picture on your website and you go to that page again to see the change your browser may store the old image in order to display the page faster. So refreshing the page with <ctrl> tells the server you want the newest version of that page.

Keyboard Shortcuts may take a while to get comfortable using with proficiency but in the long run you’ll be more productive. Learning the shortcuts for programs you use regularly. Most programs for Windows and Mac have there own program specific keyboard shortcuts as well as using general windows shortcuts. Learn a new shortcut a week and in no time you will see your productivity soar.

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