Andrew’s Ultimate Keyboard Shortcut Guide

I’m one of those guys that is deeply in love with keyboard shortcuts. They allow me to move around the computer quickly and get work done in a snap.

Over the years, I’ve come to think that these keyboard shortcuts are common knowledge. Everyone knows them, right? But then I do one with someone looking over my shoulder, and they totally lose their mind. “What just happened?!” and “What did you just do?!” are common reactions, quickly followed by, “I didn’t even know that was possible. Can you teach a basic computer class? Because I don’t know how to use this thing.”

Well… I could teach a computer class, but I won’t. What I will do is share with you my list of the ultimate keyboard shortcuts that I actually use on a regular basis.

It takes a while to learn these, but when you know keyboard shortcuts, you can master your computer, instead of your computer mastering you!

I’m a Windows guy, so I’m going to use the Ctrl key in all of my examples. But if you’re on the Mac, replace Ctrl with Command. They should all work exactly the same (I think).

Did I miss your favorite? Post it in the comments!

Any Program
Ctrl + s to save
Ctrl + p to print
Ctrl + a to select all text in the current text field
Ctrl + c to copy the selected text or image
Ctrl + x to cut the selected text or image
Ctrl + v to paste the selected text or image
Ctrl + f to search (really helpful on web pages!)
Ctrl + z to undo the last change (keep holding Ctrl and tap z to undo many changes)
Ctrl + arrow key to move the cursor by whole words
Shift + arrow key to select text in the current text box
Ctrl + Shift + arrow key to select whole words in the current text box
Ctrl + Shift + End to select all characters to the end of the row
Ctrl + Shift + Home to select all characters to the beginning of the row
Home moves cursor to start of row
End moves cursor to end of row
Alt + F4 closes the currently selected program (Command + q on Mac)

Any Word Processor
Ctrl + n to open a new document
Ctrl + w to close a document but keep the program open
Ctrl + i to italicize text
Ctrl + b to bold text
Ctrl + u to underline text
Ctrl + Home scrolls to first page of the document
Ctrl + End scrolls to last page of the document

Any Web Browser
Ctrl + t opens a new tab
Ctrl + Shift + t to reopen the last closed tab (hold Ctrl + Shift and tap t to reopen multiple closed tabs in the order they were closed)
Ctrl + w to close the current tab
Ctrl + r to refresh the page
Ctrl + tab to go to the next tab
Ctrl + Shift + tab to go to the previous tab
Ctrl + + to zoom in on a web page
Ctrl + - to zoom out on a web page
Ctrl + 0 [zero] to restore zoom to 100%
Ctrl + l [L] to go to the address bar
Ctrl + scroll up on mouse to zoom in on a web page
Ctrl + scroll down on mouse to zoom out on a web page
Shift + click a link to open in a new tab
F5 to refresh the page
F6 to go to the address bar
Home scrolls to the top of the page
End scrolls to the bottom of the page
Backspace to go back one page (now requires extension on Chrome)

Windows Only Shortcuts
Home scrolls to the top of File Explorer
End scrolls to the bottom of File Explorer
Windows key to open Start menu
Windows key + up arrow to maximize current window
Windows key + left arrow to maximize window on left half of screen
Windows key + right arrow to maximize window on the ride half of screen
Windows key + down arrow to minimize active window
Windows key+ Shift + up arrow to stretch window to height of screen
Windows key + a opens Action Center
Windows key + e opens File Explorer
Windows key + d shows the desktop (press again to restore all programs)
Windows key + x opens power user features menu
Windows key + i opens Windows Settings app
Windows key + s opens Cortana and moves cursor to search box
Windows key + p opens Project fly-out for choosing what is displayed on an external monitor/TV/projector
Windows key + r opens Run command
Windows key + l [L] to lock the computer
Alt + tab to change programs (Windows key + tab works, too)
Shift + click on a program on the taskbar to open another window of that program
Ctrl + Shift + Esc opens Task Manager

Advanced Keyboard Shortcut Technique
OK, so you’re starting to feel good with some (or many) of these. Now, how do you take your productivity to the next level? Combine keyboard shortcuts!

Let’s say, for example, that you want to do multiple keyboard shortcuts in succession of one another, and they all start with Ctrl. Instead of pressing Ctrl + [modifier] over and over, simply hold down the Ctrl key the whole time and go through the modifiers in quick succession.

For example, here is my favorite advanced blow my friends’ minds keyboard shortcut combination that I use in a web browser: Ctrl + a + c + t + v, then Enter. This highlights all of the text in a text box, copies the highlighted text, opens a new browser tab, and pastes the text into the address bar. Then, press Enter to do a search for the text or browse to a URL. (Onlooker’s reaction)

Bonus Mouse Tricks!
Click a link with the mouse wheel to open the link in a new tab
Select text on a web page, right-click it, and select Search Google (Chrome) or Ask Cortana (Edge) to open a new tab and do a search of the selected text

Bonus Windows Only Mouse Tricks!
Grab a window and shake it to minimize all other windows
Drag a window all the way to the left to maximize the window on the left side of the screen
Drag a window all the way to the right to maximize the window on the right side of the screen
Drag a window all the way to the top to maximize the window on the whole screen