Aug 09

Windows shortcuts and hotkeys

Last time we explored some common shortcut keys. Click here to view that post to get caught up, then let’s explore some more useful shortcuts that can save us time and carpel tunnel!
'Ctrl Alt Delete pillows! Geek gear.' photo (c) 2010, Jennifer 8. Lee - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
The mouse is a wonderful tool for getting around on the computer, but it is not always the most efficient tool at your disposal. Most of the time, if you can use the keyboard to a task you will save the time of grabbing the mouse and finding where to click.

General Windows hotkeys
To minimize all your windows and see the desktop = [Win] + [D] or [Win]+[M] (the [Win] key is the key with the windows icon on it generally next to the [Alt] key.)
To bring up your task manager = [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [Delete] or [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [Esc]
To shut down your computer = [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [Delete] **

When text is selected generally these will work on most programs but not all, because in some programs one or all of these short cuts may have different functionality.
Underline = [Ctrl] + [U]
Bold = [Ctrl] + [B]
Italics = [Ctrl] + [I]

Alternative Shortcuts
Another way to get around programs with the keyboard is using the [Alt] commands. You might notice on most menus there is an underlined letter in the name of the menu. That is the letter for the [Alt] command (ex. [Alt] + [F] will open the File menu). Once a menu is open you can generally just type the underlined letter to execute that command (ex. If the File menu is open just press [O] to open). This can be helpful if you take the time to memorize the letters to execute a command (ex. To open a file you could hold down [Alt] and type [F][O])

Shortcut Links
Here are some links to hotkey lists for a few common programs:

** Note: the [Insert] key and [Delete] key may be labeled [Ins] and [Del] on the keyboard respectively

Post in the comment section  your favorite shortcuts, or if you have a shortcut list you use for your favorite program!

Aug 05

Common shortcuts to make writing and using computer faster

When using your computer there are fast ways to do things and slow ways to do things. Many times we get so comfortable doing something one way that we don’t even consider trying something in a new way.

As you work to increase your productivity, it is well worth your time to learn and memorize shortcut keys for the tasks you do the most. Don’t get bogged down with trying to remember every shortcut; just start with the 3-4 that you would use the most. Once you get used to using those you can check the list again to see if there would be any others that might be helpful for you. What are the most common shortcuts you use on a daily basis?
'Keyboard' photo (c) 2005, Peter Harrison - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
To use a shortcut, generally you hold down the [Ctrl], [Shift], [Alt], or [Win] keys and press another key (for example, To undo the last change hold down the [Ctrl] key and press [ Z].) Some programs utilize the function keys ([F1] = help). Most programs have a list of shortcut keys for the program in the help files. If you can’t find one within the program try doing a web search for it. 

Here is a list of some common short cut keys (for Windows users) that will immediately make you more efficient if you aren’t already using them. In fact I used many of them to write this.

Most Common Shortcuts

Undo = [Ctrl] + [Z]
Redo = [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [Z] or [Ctrl] + [Y] (Depending on the program)

Move cursor a word at a time = [Ctrl] + the right or left arrow key
Move to the top of a document or web page = [Ctrl] + [Home]
Move to the bottom of a document or web page= [Ctrl] + [End]

Select All = [Ctrl] + [A]
Select a Letter = [Shift] + the right or left arrow key
Select A Word = [Shift] + [Ctrl] +the right or left arrow key
Select from the cursor to the end of a line = [Shift] + [End]
Select from the cursor to the beginning of a line = [Shift] + [Home]
Select from the cursor to the end of a document = [Shift] + [Ctrl] + [End]
Select from the cursor to the beginning of a document = [Shift] + [Ctrl] + [Home]

Copy = [Ctrl] + [C] or [Ctrl] + [Insert] ** (which ever you prefer)
Cut = [Ctrl] + [X] or [Ctrl] + [Delete] ** (which ever you prefer)
Paste = [Ctrl] + [V] or [Shift] + [Insert] ** (which ever you prefer)

Save = [Ctrl] + [S]
Save as = [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [S] (usually)
Print = [Ctrl] + [P]
Open a document in a program = [Ctrl] + [O]
Start a New document = [Ctrl] + [N]
Close a program = [Alt] + [F4]
Close a tab or document within a program = [Ctrl] + [w] or [Ctrl] + [F4] (usually)
Jump between open documents in a program = [Ctrl] + [Tab]

** Note: the [Insert] key and [Delete] key may be labeled [Ins] and [Del] on the keyboard respectively

What are your favorite shortcut keys? What did I miss? Stay tuned for the next post where I’ll explore more useful shortcuts you can put to use daily!