Many of us probably learned Alt+Tab (switching applications), Ctrl+C (copy), Ctrl+V (paste) and Ctrl+X (cut) first. These speed working with Windows, applications, and browsers. Challenge yourself to learn a few more to whip through things faster. The nice thing is that we’re seeing more standard shortcuts that work across many applications rather than in specific ones.
A great way to learn new shortcuts is to pick a couple and practice those. After you get the hang of them, pick a couple of more. We try to provide you with global shortcuts and avoid application-specific ones. For example, to jump to the search box in FireFox, the shortcut is Ctrl+K. However, Internet Explorer’s shortcut is Ctrl+E.
To figure out what shortcuts you need to learn, pay attention to your work habits. Do you use the Thesaurus feature often in a Word document? Make friends with Shift+F7 to quickly pull up the Thesaurus for a selected word.
For Web Browsers
Once you go broadband, you can never go back to dial up. Improve and speed up your web experiences with these shortcuts.
Esc: Stop the loading of the current page.
Ctrl+N: Open new browser window
Ctrl+T: Open new tab within current browser.
Ctrl+Click link: Open link in new tab.
Shift+Click link: Open link in new window.
Enter: Submit the text. If you enter keywords into a search box and hit enter, the web searches for you. Or complete a form, pressing Enter submits the form.
Ctrl++: Make text larger / Zoom in text.
Ctrl–: Make text smaller / Zoom out.
Ctrl+0: Reset text size to default. Very useful especially when you accidentally change the size using the mouse.
Alt+D: Select text in address bar (where you enter URL) to enter a URL.
Working with Documents and Emails
Some of these shortcuts also work in browsers like Ctrl+A.
Alt+S: Save. Do this often so you don’t lose your work or have to make an effort to click the Disk icon.
Ctrl+A: Select all of the text in the email, document, or anything currently open.
Ctrl+Z: Undo last action.
Ctrl+Y: Repeat last action.
Ctrl+Right Arrow: Jump to the start of the next word to the right.
Ctrl+Left Arrow: Jump to the start of the next word to the left.
Ctrl+Shift+Right Arrow: Select the next word to the right.
Ctrl+Shift+Left Arrow: Select the next word to the Left.
Shift+Down Arrow: Selects current line of text and downward with each arrow click.
Shift+Up Arrow: Selects current line of text and upward with each arrow click.
Ctrl+B: Bold selected text.
Ctrl+I: Add italics to selected text.
Ctrl+U: Underline selected text.
Don’t let these lists overwhelm you. Identify which actions you do often and start learning one or two at a time. Remember, you can always find new shortcuts by pressing F1 to access the Help file and look up keyboard shortcuts.