Keyboard shortcuts for Windows [TECH]

To enhance the post I made on how to create all sorts of smileys, emoticons and other symbols using the PC keyboard, I thought I’d do this one as I get a lot of people asking me how to do these things.  Using keyboard shortcuts does make life a lot easier and simpler when working on a computer so here they are.  I’ve split them into ‘Most used‘ and ‘All‘.

Most used

Windows general

The most used ones for everyday users of the PC are probably the following.  It’s not a long list as it can take a while to remember what each one does.

By the way, where you see the + (plus sign) that simply means you need to press and hold the first button PLUS press and release the second button.  For instance you will see in the list CTRL+C.  This means press the CTRL button on your keyboard (left of the spacebar), keep it held down while pressing the C button.

So, here they are:

F1 – help. Will bring up the help system in Windows.  You can then type a search to see if you can find the answer you are looking for.

F2 – Rename/enter objector cell. Let’s say you have a file selected in your Documents folder, you want to rename it.  You could right click the file and choose rename OR you could simply press F2! Hey presto, you are inside the filename where you can type a new name!

F3 – find. – Pressing the F3 button (usually top of your keyboard with all the other ‘F’ buttons) will bring up the ‘Find’ window. Type your search and away you go!

ALT + TAB. – I used this so much! It’s a quick and easy way of flicking through your open programs.  Basically keep the left ALT key down while pressing the TAB key repeatedly until you find the open program you want to go to.  When you do, just release the ALT key and there you go, you have flicked to the other program!

CTRL + C. This copies the selected text or file to something called the Windows clipboard.  You can’t see the clipboard but your copied item sits in there until you put something else in the clipboard.  To get your copied item or text out of the clipboard, you use ‘Paste‘ (see next item).

CTRL + V. Copies the text or item in your clipboard (see above) to where ever your mouse is selected (i.e. inside a word document).  If you are copying and pasting a file, then you will most likely be in a folder on your computer to paste the file.

CTRL + X. This ‘Cuts‘ the selected text or file to the Windows clipboard.  In other words it removes from the original location and when you ‘Paste’ (CTRL + V) it to the new location.

CTRL + Z.  Probably the best shortcut ever! If you made a mistake you can ‘Undo‘ your last or indeed any number of previous actions.  (Depends on the program you are using at the time).

CTRL + A.  This selects all text or all files in a window prior to a further action such as DELETE or copying etc.

CTRL + P. Opens the Print window.

Holding the CTRL key down while you select other files.  If you hold the CTRL key down while you click on other files in a folder, you will notice that those other files become selected also.  Useful if you want to copy, move or perhaps delete a selection of files all at the same time.

Holding the SHIFT key down to select all files in between the originally selected file and the last file you ‘Click‘.  This selects every file in between your first selected file and the last one you ‘SHIFT + Click’.  Useful for selecting a lot of files in a folder.

Using the Windows key in combination with other keys is also very useful.  The Windows key has a Windows log on it like this:

Windows key So…

WINDOWS KEY + M. Minimises all windows to show the Desktop.

WINDOWS KEY + E. Opens Windows Explorer so you can view files on your PC.

WINDOWS KEY (on its own). Opens the Start Menu.

WINDOWS + R. Opens the Run box.

Internet specific shortcuts

F5.  Refreshes the web page you are currently viewing.

CTRL + TAB.  Moves between tabs in Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome etc (Saves you clicking between them all if you have many open).  You can also use the following if you know which tab you need.

CTRL + (a number).  For instance CTRL + 1 on your keyboard will take you to the first tab.  CTRL + 4 will take you to the fourth tab (if there is one).

CTRL + D – opens the ‘Add to favourites (favorites in the US)‘ box.

SPACEBAR.  Will move down the webpage one page height.

Text editing specific shortcuts

As well as using the above shortcuts like CTRL + C, you can use the following to quickly format text or move your way around text.

CTRL + B.  Makes the selected text BOLD.

CTRL + I. Makes the selected text Italic.

CTRL + U. Makes the selected text Underlined.

CTRL + Right or Left Arrow. Moves you left or right in your block of text one word at a time.  Much quicker than simply using the arrow keys alone.  Hint: You can hold the SHIFT key as well as the CTRL key to SELECT one word a time while moving left or right.


I’ll list my own here later, but for now you could click on the links below for more information.

References: &

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