Using keyboard shortcuts can greatly increase your productivity, reduce repetitive strain, and help keep you focused. For example, highlighting text with the keyboard and pressing Ctrl + C is much faster than taking your hand from the keyboard, highlighting the text using the mouse, clicking copy from the file menu, and then putting your hand back in place on the keyboard. Below are our top 10 keyboard shortcuts we recommend everyone memorize and use.
Ctrl + C or Ctrl + Insert
Both Ctrl + C and Ctrl + Insert will copy the highlighted text or selected item. If you want to cut instead of copy press Ctrl + X.
Ctrl + V or Shift + Insert
Both the Ctrl + V and Shift + Insert will paste the text or object that’s in the clipboard.
Ctrl + Z and Ctrl + Y
Undo any change. For example, if you cut text, pressing this will undo it. This can also often be pressed multiple times to undo multiple changes. Pressing Ctrl + Y would redo the undo.
Ctrl + F
Pressing Ctrl + F opens the Find in any program. This includes your Internet browser to find text on the current page.
Alt + Tab or Ctrl + Tab
Quickly switch between open programs moving forward.
Tip: Press Ctrl + Tab to switch between tabs in a program.
Tip: Adding the Shift key to Alt + Tab or Ctrl + Tab will move backwards. For example, if you are pressing Alt + Tab and pass the program you want to switch to, press Alt + Shift + Tab to move backwards to that program.
Tip: Windows Vista and 7 users can also press the Windows Key + Tab to switch through open programs in a full screenshot of the Window.
Ctrl + Back space and Ctrl + Left or Right arrow
Pressing Ctrl + Backspace will delete a full word at a time instead of a single character.
Holding down the Ctrl key while pressing the left or right arrow will move the cursor one word at a time instead of one character at a time. If you wanted to highlight one word at a time, you can hold down Ctrl + Shift and then press the left or right arrow key to move one word at a time in that direction while highlighting each word.
Ctrl + S
While working on a document or other file in almost every program, pressing Ctrl + S saves that file. This shortcut key should be used frequently anytime you’re working on anything important.
Ctrl + Home or Ctrl + End
Ctrl + Home will move the cursor to the beginning of the document and Ctrl + End will move the cursor to the end of a document. These shortcuts work with most documents, as well as web pages.
Ctrl + P
Open a print preview of the current page or document being viewed. For example, press Ctrl + P now to view a print preview of this page.
Page Up, Space bar, and Page Down
Pressing either the page up or page down key will move that page one page at a time in that direction. When browsing the Internet, pressing the space bar also moves the page down one page at a time.
Tip: If you are using the space bar to go down one page at a time, press the Shift key and space bar to go up one page at a time.
Other Recommended Shortcuts
We also recommend the following keyboard shortcuts, as they can be very useful:
Ctrl + O
Allows you to select and open a file within the current software program. This works in most programs, including Internet browsers.
After highlighting or selecting a file, pressing F2 changes the file name to be editable, allowing you to rename the file.
- Full listing of keyboard shortcuts
- Top 10 tips
- See our keyboard definition for a further information and related link on computer keyboards.