The Best Keyboard Shortcuts We Rarely Use

July 10th, 2014

keyboard-70506_640We’ve got mice and pointers and hand gestures and swipes. The keyboard is starting to look and feel a little old school. Because of that, and because we spend all our time poking and swiping at our screens these days, we’ve kind of gotten out of touch with our keyboards. Below are some fantastically useful keyboard shortcuts you might want to reacquaint yourself with, if not for old time’s sake, then simply because they’re so darned useful!

General Purpose Keyboard Shortcuts

Control + C – The final word in copying something to the clipboard. If you’d rather cut than copy, you want Control + X.

Control + V – The flip side of cutting or copying, this is the keystroke command for pasting whatever you just put in the clipboard. Taken together, these two provide an immediately useful, powerful one-two punch that can save you loads of time.

Shift + Delete – Why bother sending an unwanted file to the trusty “Recycle Bin?” If you’re absolutely sure you want it gone, just use this keyboard combo and kiss it goodbye.

Control + Z – Consider this your all purpose “oops” button. This is the short cut to undoing your last action. It’s twin brother, Control + Y, will redo an undone action, making it an “oops” button for your oops button.

Text Navigation Shortcuts

Control + Right Arrow – This little gem will move your cursor to the beginning of the next word in a body of text. As you might expect, its twin, Control + Left Arrow will move your cursor to the beginning of the previous word in a body of text.
Control + Down Arrow – Another all but forgotten keyboard shortcut, this one repositions your cursor at the beginning of the next paragraph in a body of text. Again, operating just as you would expect, Control + Up Arrow relocates your cursor to the beginning of the previous paragraph in a body of text.

Control + Shift + Directional Arrow – This shortcut is used to select a block of text with the keyboard only.

Windows 8 Specific

These can’t be called old, because the OS is brand new, but you’ll be glad to know these are here.

Windows Key + C – This displays the Windows Charms Menu.

Windows Key + X – Brings up the systems menu, allowing you to get to the control panel, hardware settings and related options that are critical to your PC.
Windows Key + D – Brings you instantly back to an old school type Windows Desktop screen.

Windows Key + . Docks your current application on the right hand side of your screen for split screen functionality. Using this keyboard combination a second time will toggle the application to the left hand side of your screen.
Windows Key + M – Opens desktop mode, and instantly minimizes all windows.
Windows Key + W – Opens the USM (Universal Search Menu) and sets it to search settings.
Windows Key + F – Also opens the USM (Universal Search Menu), but sets it to search files.
Windows Key + E – Opens “Windows Explorer” and sets its display to “My Computer” showing all of your drives.

Windows Key + H – Brings up Share menu for the current app. One example of how to use this is, let’s say you’re using Bing Maps. Hitting this keyboard combination with a map open will allow you to email or share map information on social networks.

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