News & Blog

Taking Shortcuts: The Best Keyboard Time Savers

News & Blog

Almost all computer users know a few desktop shortcuts such as:

  • Copy a selected item: CTRL + C
  • Cut a selected item: CTRL + X
  • Paste a selected item: CTRL + V
  • Undo an action: CTRL + Z
  • Redo that thing I just undid: CTRL + Y
  • Select everything: CTRL + A
  • Print: CTRL + P

There are also hundreds of other shortcuts available that most users are unaware of. Today we will look at a few of these.

 Navigating a Browser

This is my personal favorite. If you ever accidentally close a tab in a browser you can instantly reopen it.

  • Restore closed browser tab – CTRL + SHIFT + T
  • Go back one page – ALT + Left Arrow
  • Go forward one page – ALT + Right Arrow

 Managing the Desktop

  • Clear away everything and show the desktop – Win logo key + D
  • Minimize the current window – Win logo key + Down Arrow
  • Minimize all windows – Win logo key + M
  • Maximize the window – Win logo key + Up Arrow
  • Lock your computer – Win logo key + L
  • Show System Info – Win logo key + PAUSE/BREAK

Windows 7 includes a feature that easily lets you compare two windows side-by-side. This feature is called “Snapping”. This occurs when you drag a window half way off the screen. This is a great feature for comparing spreadsheets on a single monitor. However, if you have more than one monitor it does not really work easily. When you try to snap between monitors it moves the windows to the next screen. There is a shortcut that makes the snap easy again.

  • Snap a windows left – Win logo key + Left Arrow
  • Snap a windows right – Win logo key + Right Arrow

Shake It Off

You can grab the title bar of a window and shake it. This will minimize every other window you have open on your desktop.

  • Shake a window – Minimize all other windows
  • Shake it again – Maximize all other windows

Screen Captures

Sometimes you need to capture a screenshot to send via email or to assist with troubleshooting. Windows has a great program called “Snipping Tool” to capture a screenshot. There are also some handy shortcuts. These shortcuts will save the captures on the clipboard and then you paste them using CTRL + V, or right click and paste directly.

  • Capture entire screen – PRINT SCRN
  • Capture ONLY the active window – ALT + PRINT SCRN

Working with Text

Sometimes when you copy text from a website or other source, you want to paste it in just plain text. There is a shortcut for that.

  • Paste without formatting – CTRL + SHIFT + V
  • Highlight text – SHIFT+ Arrow Key
  • Delete entire words instantly – CTRL + BACKSPACE

Working with Files/Folders

  • Rename a file or folder – F2
  • View file or folder properties – ALT + Double Click
  • Copy file path – SHIFT + Right click (Select “Copy as Path”)
  • Open command window in current folder –  SHIFT + Right click (Select “Open command window here”)


If you have any other great shortcuts, I would love to hear about them.

Eric Thompson – Advanced Logic Industries

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