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31 August 2018 Published in Blog Written by 

Love Your Keyboard Again … Cage the Mouse

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Keyboard Shortcuts - Use Fingers Not Mouse

Compared to reaching for the mouse or navigating a menu, a single keyboard shortcut shaves a moment off your task. It's important to know as many shortcuts as possible for your operating system - To Save Time. Applying the keyboard shortcuts saves the time you'd otherwise spend clicking and dragging your mouse.

Below are some of the most indispensable keyboard shortcuts for a Microsoft Windows computer. Try a keyboard command and see just how it helps your efficiency. You likely won't use them all, but certainly the basics are recommended.


  • Ctrl+X: Cut - Highlight text and images and click CtrlX. Then paste into whatever format you want.
  • Ctrl+V: Paste - Simply takes the text or image you just Cut (Ctrl+X) above and paste
  • Ctrl+Z: Undo - Rolls back your last action, whether you've just overwritten an entire paragraph in Word or deleted a file you didn't mean to. This one is an absolute lifesaver.
  • Ctrl+W: Close - Closes down whatever you're viewing. Shut that File Explorer window, browser tab, or open image file without bothering to hone in on the close button.
  • Ctrl+A: Select all - Highlights all of the text in a document or selects all of the files in a folder.
  • Alt+Tab: Switch apps - Assists running multiple applications.
  • Alt+F4: Close apps - Closes active apps and lets you skip hunting for the on-screen menus. This function will not lose unsaved work- but prompts you to save your documents before closing them.

Navigation Shortcuts

  • Win+D: Show or hide the desktop - Minimizes all of your open windows and highlights your home screen. For all those stored rows of files and shortcuts on the desktop, you can access them immediately.

  • Win+left arrow or Win+right arrow: Snap windows - The right or left arrow allows you to compare two windows side-by-side and keeps your workspace organized.
  • Win+Tab: Open the Task view - Switches apps by opening an updated Windows application switcher - presents thumbnails of all your open programs on the screen.
  • Ctrl+Esc: Open the Start menu - Opens the Start menu without a mouse. Using the keyboard, you can then navigate the Start menu with the cursor keys, Tab, and Shift+Tab

Advanced Techniques

  • F2: Rename - Use to rename a highlighted file. Hit F2 to speed up the process. This command also lets you edit text in other programs such as in Excel - tap F2 to edit the contents of the current cell.
  • F5: Refresh - This key refreshes a page such as File Explorer or your web browser. The refresh allows you to see the latest version of the page you're viewing.
  • Win+L: Lock your computer - Locks the machine and returns you to the login screen. Others require your user account password to regain access.
  • Win+I: Open Settings - Keyboard shortcut configures the way Windows works - it brings up the Settings dialog.
  • Win+A: opens the Action Center panel, revealing notifications and provides quick access to settings.

  • Win+S: Search Windows - The Windows taskbar sift through your applications and saved files. Jump straight to it with this keyboard shortcut, then type in your search terms.
  • Win+PrtScn: Save a screenshot

  • Win+PrtScn: Grabs the whole screen and saves it as a PNG file in a Screenshots folder inside your Pictures folder. At the same time, Windows will copy the image to the clipboard. Don't want to snap the whole screen? The Alt+PrtScn combination will take a screenshot of just the active window—but it will only copy this image to the clipboard, so you won't get a saved file.
  • Ctrl+Shift+Esc: Open the Task Manager - Get accesses to the Task Manager from wherever you are and on any application you're using.
  • Win+Ctrl+D: Add a new virtual desktop - Create secondary screens and a virtual desktop. To switch from one desktop to another, click the Task View button to the right of the taskbar search box. Using shortcuts: Win+Ctrl+arrow switches between desktops, and Win+Ctrl+F4 closes screen you're viewing ... then shift open windows and apps to the next available virtual desktop).
  • Win+X: Open the hidden menu - Hidden Start menu - Quick Link Menu accesses all key areas of the system. To open Quick Link menu, right-click on the Start menu—or save a few moments with the Win+X shortcut.

Knowing a few shortcuts to produce the same results is very handy and can help you complete your documents without frustration and delay. When you get the hang of it, using the keyboard to perform navigation (when your mouse isn't working for some reason and you are in a panic to complete your project), will enhance your relationship with your keyboard!

Try some of these. The Basic Ctrl+X: Cut and Ctrl+V: Paste shortcuts are my favorites!

Print the attached Shortcut Guide and paste it on your screen. If you have never tried them you are in for a surprise.  Give your mouse a little competition - Learn to love your keyboard again. 

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To learn more about these shortcuts, Call: 949-454-6149 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Last modified on Friday, 31 August 2018 12:59

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