Keyboard Shortcuts to Make Your Life a Little Easier

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We are all looking for ways to make our work more efficient and streamline our processes. This effort can look different depending on what you do, but one great place to start is with your keyboard and mouse movements. There are a myriad of keyboard shortcuts that can be used to make navigating a computer much easier as opposed to relying exclusively on your mouse. Most people are familiar with the standard copy, paste, print commands but may not be aware of some more complex ones.

General shortcuts

Below are some helpful keyboard shortcuts for everyday use!

Open File Explorer

The Windows + E shortcut allows you to quickly open up your File Explorer to access your C:\ drive or any of your network folders.

New emoji box

This is a fun little feature built into Windows that allows you to choose a new emoji, ASCII art, or even some ALT characters. Use Windows + ; (semi-colon) to access it.

Highlight items left of the cursor

If you just need to quickly highlight a sentence in a document, Shift + Home is a useful tool (if the sentence is on two lines, you will want to press Shift + Home + ↑).

Open up the Task Manager

This is one of the quickest ways to access this program. Simply press Ctrl + Shift + Esc if you ever need to view running programs and process and to check on your PC performance.

Open a search bar

To easily find something in a document or window, use Ctrl + F to open a search bar. This is a great way to help you quickly pinpoint your desired information on any website or document you’re currently looking at.

Close a current active program

This shortcut works great for any active window. Alt + F4 will close it out without using the mouse to press the X. If the window is not currently responding, pressing the X may do nothing at all, so this alternative might be a quick fix.

Document shortcuts

These shortcuts will help you out when working in text documents!

Save a document

This keyboard shortcut (Ctrl + S) allows you to save any changes you’ve done on a document quickly without having to click on the quick save icon or go to File>Save.

Rearrange the paragraph order

If you’re finding the flow of your document to be disjointed and need to easily swap your paragraphs around, trying using Shift + Alt + ↓ or Shift + Alt + ↑ to accomplish that task.

Remove paragraph formats

Have a paragraph that doesn’t fit in with the rest of the document formatting? Quickly remove those with Ctrl + Q. This will erase all indent, line spacing, and paragraph spacing.

Remove character formats

Similarly, Ctrl + Spacebar will remove character formats you no longer need, such as font, size, italics, color, or underlining.

Move to the start of a document

First, to move the cursor to the start of the document, use Ctrl + Home.

Move between paragraphs

Ctrl + or ↑ moves the cursor to the start or end of each paragraph.

Move between pages

Try using Ctrl + Page Down and Ctrl + Page Up to move the cursor to the top of the next or previous page!

Move between words 

Ctrl + → or allows you to move the cursor to the start or end of each word. If you combine this shortcut with Shift, this will highlight the text for you quickly and easily!

Tip of the iceberg

Keep in mind, these are just a start. There are many more advanced keyboard shortcuts, on top of individual software-based keyboard shortcuts that once mastered, allow you to navigate your computer and software much faster than utilizing a mouse!

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  • Support Specialist, Network Services, CU*Answers

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