Why use your arms when you can use your fingers? When using a computer, if you can use the keyboard to perform a task, why take your hands off the keyboard to use the mouse? These keyboard shortcuts to common functions are good to know for improved efficiency and in the case that your mouse doesn’t work at some point.
Below are the keystrokes for Windows users. Many of them also apply to MacOS, but you use the Command, “open Apple” key (that curly thing) instead of the Ctrl key.
Ctrl-Esc – Bring up the Start Menu.
Alt-Tab – Move from one application to another.
Alt-Esc – Move from one application window to another.
Alt-F4 – Close the currently active window.
Ctrl-A – Select All (especially useful in MS Word but works universally).
Ctrl-B – Turn on or off bolding.
Ctrl-C – Copy (copies highlighted text or any file that is selected).
Ctrl-F – Find (open the search feature).
Ctrl-I – Turn on or off italics.
Ctrl-N – New document.
Ctrl-O – Open existing document.
Ctrl-P – Print.
Ctrl-T – Opens a New Tab in web browser.
Ctrl-S – Save.
Ctrl-U – Turn on or off underlining.
Ctrl-V – Paste.
Ctrl-W – Close the currently active window.
Ctrl-X – Cut.
Ctrl-Z – Undo.
Ctrl-Enter – Add a page break in a Word document.
PrtScn – Capture the image on the screen. Then use “Ctrl-V” to paste it into a Word document or a graphics program.
F1 – Help in whatever application is active.
F2 – Rename. Highlight a file and then press F2 and type in the new name.
F3 – Search. With a folder open (not a document in an application,) press F3 to search for a file on your computer.
F5 – Refresh. Especially useful if you’ve been moving files around and want to see what the current folder really contains.
F7 – Spelling and grammar options in most applications.
Ctrl-Alt-Del – Bring up the Task Manager menu in Windows, which can be used to terminate a program or shut down the computer.
If your mouse really does fail, use “Ctrl-Esc” to bring up the “Start” menu. Use arrow keys to move from one option to another. Use “Enter” to select the highlighted option. If you have a dialog box to fill out, use the “Tab” key to move from one option to another or from one tab to another. To select options or check and un-check boxes, use the space bar.