Want to save time and be more productive in your computer works? Keyboard shortcut keys are the best technique to work smarter and faster too. In this article we will cover the most useful Windows and Mac shortcuts that every computer user should have memorized.
All these easy and smart shortcut keys can save your alot of time in common tasks which takes more than necessary. Shortcut keys also reduce disruptive context switching between mouse and keyboard. The more shortcuts you build into your muscle memory, the more efficiency gains you will see in your works.
Important Windows Shortcuts
Windows packs a ton of time-saving shortcuts under the hood. Here are some of the most indispensable ones:
Quick Navigation Shortcuts
Alt + Tab – Switch between open windows and programs
Alt + F4 – Close the active window or program
Windows key – Open and close Start menu
Windows + Tab – View open apps with Task View
Ctrl + Shift + Esc – Launch Task Manager to monitor system resources
Text Editing Shortcut Keys
Ctrl + C – Copy selected text or files
Ctrl + V – Paste copied text/files
Ctrl + X – Cut selected text or files
Ctrl + Z – Undo last action
Ctrl + Y – Redo last undone action
Windows and Files Shortcut Keys
Alt + F4 – Close the active window
Alt + Enter – Open file/app properties
Windows + L – Lock your computer
Ctrl + N – Open a new window
Ctrl + W – Close active window
Ctrl + Shift + N – Create a new folder
F2 – Rename selected file
Bonus Tips and Shortcuts
F1 – Launch Help dialog box
Print Screen – Take screenshot of entire screen
Alt + Print Screen – Take screenshot of active window
Ctrl + A – Select all text or files
Ctrl + B – Bold selected text
Ctrl + I – Italicize selected text
See how many seconds these shortcuts could save you? Now let’s look at must-know shortcuts for Mac users…
Handy Mac Keyboard Shortcuts
MacOS also offers a boatload of shortcuts to expedite common actions. Here are some of the most useful to commit to memory:
Navigation and Windows Shortcut Keys
Cmd + Tab – Switch between open apps
Cmd + ` – Cycle between app windows
Cmd + Q – Quit active app
Cmd + M – Minimize window
Cmd + H – Hide app window
Cmd + Shift + 3 – Take screenshot of full screen
Working With Files Shortcuts
Cmd + O – Open a file
Cmd + S – Save current file
Cmd + W – Close active window
Cmd + N – Open a new window
Cmd + Shift + N – Create a new folder
Cmd + Delete – Move file to Trash
Text Editing Shortcuts
Cmd + X – Cut selected text/files
Cmd + C – Copy selected text/files
Cmd + V – Paste copied text/files
Cmd + Z – Undo last action
Cmd + Shift + Z – Redo
Cmd + A – Select all text or files
Cmd + B – Bold selected text
Cmd + I – Italicize selected text
Cmd + Space – Launch Spotlight search
Cmd + Tab – Switch between apps
Cmd + ` – Cycle between windows
Ctrl + Cmd + Space – View emojis
Cmd + Shift + 4 – Take screenshot of selection
Ctrl + Cmd + Power – Emergency restart
Pretty slick, right? The more you force yourself to use these shortcuts, the more second nature they’ll become.
Top Browser Shortcuts
Your web browser also packs handy shortcuts to expedite browsing:
Ctrl + T – Open new browser tab
Ctrl + Tab – Cycle through open tabs
Ctrl + W – Close active tab
Ctrl + R – Refresh page
Ctrl + – – Zoom out on page
Ctrl + + – Zoom in on page
Ctrl + F – Launch Find tool to search page
Ctrl + H – Open History menu
Alt + ← – Back one page
Alt + → – Forward one page
Customize Your Own Shortcuts
Most operating systems and programs also allow you to create custom keyboard shortcuts for common actions. So you can use this feature to take benefits of it and create custom Shortkeys for your own need.
For example, in Chrome you can make custom shortcuts like:
- Ctrl + Shift + B – Open Bookmarks
- Ctrl + Shift + H – Open History
- Ctrl + Shift + A – Open Downloads
Se this feature be creative with shortcuts for your most common tasks and menu options.
So, if you master the keyboard shortcuts then it can really increase your productivity and save a lot of time clicking around. Start using more of these easy and handy shortcut keys into your daily workflow.
Challenge yourself to build up shortcut muscle memory over time. You’ll be zipping through tasks at the speed of thought before you know it.
Umm.. Any other useful shortcuts I missed in this article? Please share and comment your favorites shortcut in the comments section.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you view all keyboard shortcuts in an app?
In Windows, press Alt + Shift + / to see available shortcuts. On Mac, check the Help menu of the app, or look under System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts.
Can you create custom keyboard shortcuts?
Yes, most operating systems and programs allow you to assign custom shortcuts under Keyboard Settings. For example, assign Ctrl + Shift + X for any frequent action.
Is there an app to help remember shortcuts?
Apps like CheatSheet (Mac) and ShortcutFoo (Windows) display shortcuts for the active app/window. Also try sticky note reminders.
How long does it take to memorize shortcuts?
It depends on frequency of use. Expect to stumble at first. After a week or two of forced practice, shortcuts should start becoming more habitual.
What are the best shortcuts for increasing typing speed?
Keyboard shortcuts reduce cursor movement which aids typing flow. Useful ones include text selection (Shift + Arrows), cut/copy/paste (Ctrl + X/C/V), enter/exit fields (Tab/Shift + Tab).