Favorite Keyboard Short Cuts and Tricks

It was late on Thursday night and I was watching my wife as she painstakingly copied individual photos from her favorites list in Picassa (a photo utility program), into a new album for her parents.

After watching her repetition of mouse movements (right click, copy and paste functions) at work for a minute, I couldn’t take it anymore.

“Honey, you know there is a faster way to get all of those photos into a new album than clicking them individually. To copy all of them, push the “Control” button (“Ctrl”) and the letter “A” at the same time, then “Ctrl-C”. That copies all of the pictures. Now select the new location where you want them and push “Ctrl-V”. See? Quick and easy?”

It reminded me that many people don’t realize that there are multiple “short cuts” that can be used on your keyboard. These shortcuts can save you a lot of time (not to mention a lot of monotonous clicking & typing).

Here are some of my personal favorite keyboard short cuts that save me time everyday. Hopefully you can benefit from them.

Give some of these keyboard shortcuts a try.

CTRL+C“Copy” — Copies highlighted text or selected files or images to the internal memory.

CTRL+X“Cut” — Same as “Copy” function, but will delete the item being copied.

CTRL+V“Paste” – Pastes the last item (or items) that was previously copied or cut.

CTRL+Z “Undo” — Disregards the last function you just performed. VERY USEFUL if you made a mistake and deleted something you shouldn’t have.

CTRL+RIGHT ARROW Moves the cursor insertion point to the beginning of the next word.

CTRL+LEFT ARROW Moves the cursor insertion point to the beginning of the previous word.

CTRL+DOWN ARROW Moves the cursor insertion point to the beginning of the next paragraph.

CTRL+UP ARROWMoves the cursor insertion point to the beginning of the previous paragraph.

CTRL+SHIFT+(any arrow key)Selects (highlights) a block area of text.

CTRL+A“Select All” — Selects all text or items on a page.

CTRL+F4 Closes the active document or program.

ALT+TAB Toggles between all the open applications.

ALT+ESC Cycles through open items in the order that they had been opened.

F4 key Displays the Address bar list in My Computer (Windows Explorer) or Internet Explorer.

Here are some Microsoft natural keyboard shortcuts using the Windows logo next to the “ALT” button:

Windows Logo+D Displays the desktop and minimizes all open applications.

Windows Logo+E Opens the “My Computer” application (Windows Explorer).

Windows Logo+F Searches for a file or a folder on your computer.

Here are a few for Microsoft Internet Explorer navigation:

F5 Refreshes (or updates) the active Web page.

CTRL+B Opens the “Organize Favorites” (bookmarks) dialog box).

CTRL+E Opens the “Search” bar utility.

CTRL+F Starts the “Find” utility.

CTRL+H Opens the “History” bar

CTRL+N Starts another instance of the browser with the same Web address

CTRL+P Opens the Print dialog box.

CTRL+R Updates the current Web page

Here is another quick time saver shortcut for Internet navigation.

Say you want to go to Yahoo.com (https://www.yahoo.com) for example.

Simply type “yahoo” in the browser address bar (the long white rectangle box at the top of your screen that tells you where you are).

Then hold the “Ctrl” button and press “Enter”.

The address will be automatically completed with the “www” and “.com” and you will be redirected to the intended site:


(Note: This will automatically add “.com” to your entry. If you want to go to a “.net”, “.org” or other type of domain, you’ll have to type it in manually.)

These short cuts will undoubtedly make you more efficient when working with your computer, you may even impress a few onlookers in the process.

For a more complete list of short cuts that can be utilized on your keyboard, go to: