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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Increase productivity with keyboard shortcuts: Windows

Let's face it, keyboard shortcuts have been around for a long time, yet so many people shy away from using them. More often than not, I get the "hey, how did you do that?" response when I hop on a client's computer and execute a series of commands without even touching the mouse.

Keyboard shortcuts are only for advanced users right? Wrong! With just a little bit of practice you will be whizzing around your computer in no time. Here's a quick list of shortcuts I use frequently. Don't be intimidated if the list seems long. The shortcuts will become second nature before you know it.

Difficulty: Easy

Document Manipulation
"Ctrl + C" - Copy selected
"Ctrl + X" - Cut selected
"Ctrl + V" - Paste previously copied or cut item
"Ctrl + S" - Save document
"Ctrl + P" Print
"Ctrl + Z" - Undo
"Page Up" - Insert cursor at top of document 
"Page Down" - Insert cursor at bottom of document
"Home" - Insert cursor at the beginning of the current line
"End" - Insert cursor at the end of the current line
"Shift + Page Up" - Select all text before the cursor"
"Shift + Page Down" - Select all text after the cursor
"Backspace" - Delete text to the left of the cursor
"Delete" - Delete text to the right of the cursor
"Shift + End" - Select all text on the current line to the right of the cursor
"Shit + Home" - Select all text on the current line to the left of the cursor
"Shift + Up, Down, Left, or Right" - Select text in the direction you choose

File/Folder Manipulation
"F2" - Rename selected file/folder
"Delete" - Delete selected file/folder
"Shift + Delete" - Delete skipping the recycle bin
"Ctrl + Shift + N" - Create new folder

Bonus: When trying to navigate to a single file or folder among several, click on any file and type the first few letters of the file you're looking for. I use this all of the time. See the example below.

We're looking for a folder named RockIT.  We know it's in here but so are a lot of other folders. 

Step 1: Click on any folder in the window.

Step 2: Quickly type the first few letters of the folder/file you're looking for. In this case I typed "roc" and it brought me to the "RockIT" folder. Voila! 

Web Browsing 
"Ctrl + T" - Open new tab
"Ctrl + W" - Close current tab
"Ctrl + N" - Open new browser window
"Ctrl + Tab" - Go to next tab
"Ctrl + Shift + Tab" - Go to previous tab
"Ctrl + Shift + N" - New window
"Page Up" - Scroll up the page
"Page Down" - Scroll down the page

Windows Navigation 
"Alt + Esc" - Minimize current window
"Alt + F4" - Close current window

"Alt + Tab" - Cycle to next window or cycle back and forth between two windows
"Alt + Shift + Tab" - Cycle to previous window
"Win + D" - Go to desktop
"Win + E" - Open windows explorer

Again, this is just a list of my most frequently used keyboard shortcuts. There are still many many more to explore. Good luck and have fun!

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