There are a number of Windows shortcuts (combination of pressed keys) that are rarely used by many people, but which can help speed things up. Here are a few of the more commonly used ones.
Ctrl + X to Cut
Think about X marking the spot in the text where you want to cut words, an image, or a URL. Drag your cursor over the selection to highlight the particular text/table/image/file and press this key combination.
See ‘Paste’ below – that is what you use after this shortcut, so if you want to move the selection, this is your first step.
If you don’t want it at all, the cut function is another version of delete.
Ctrl + C to Copy
If you want to merely copy something, such as a piece of text, use this combination and then use ‘Paste’ below, to place it where you want.
If you want to copy everything, press Ctrl + A to select everything.
Ctrl + V to Paste
With this simple shortcut you can place the information you just cut (or copied using Ctrl + C) anywhere you want. The important thing to remember is that the paste function only holds one selection in memory. So, if you cut a phrase from one place, don’t get distracted by an image you want to copy or other text to cut.
Ctrl + Z to Undo
Windows users are able to undo their most recent action with this key combination. Whichever Windows program you’re in, you can use Ctrl + Z to reverse your last action.
(To redo something, go with Ctrl + Y.)
Alt then Tab to Switch Screens
There are many things you can do with Windows. Perhaps you’re multitasking: you have a PowerPoint open, as well as an Excel spreadsheet, and a web browser, too. By pressing Alt and then the Tab key, you can switch between tabs or screens.
If you hold down the Alt button while tapping Tab, you’ll scroll through all screens.
Ctrl + N to open a new window
Pressing Ctrl+N together opens up a new document file or browser window, depending on the program you’re in. It saves you a few drop-down menus and works in most Windows applications and Web browsers.
Ctrl + F to Find
Using the ‘Find’ shortcut calls up a pop-up box where you can enter text or numbers. You can use this shortcut to find what you’re looking for on a Web page, in a PDF document, or in your rough draft of a speech.
In fact, you’ll be able to see how many times your search text appears and toggle from one selection to the next.
Ctrl + Mouse to Zoom
Forget your reading glasses? Looking at a too-small infographic? Having a tough time locating the right tiny file on your desktop? You can zoom in with this shortcut. Using this shortcut on your desktop makes files and folders larger. In your browser, this function zooms in on the page.
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