Most computer programs have keyboard shortcuts – these are key combinations that substitute for commonly used commands – this avoids having to grab the mouse and taking the cursor up to the menus at the top of the screen. Learning these key combinations can save you time and effort.
When you use a key combination, don’t try to hit both keys at once. Instead, press and hold the Modifier key(s) (Control, Alt, Option, Command, Shift) and while holding, press the letter key once amd release it, then release the modifier. It’s the same technique that you use for using the Shift key to capitalize letters.
The single best time saving shortcut isn’t a keyboard combo at all – it is a mouse one. Wherever you are, click the Right mouse button (or hold down the Control key while clicking the mouse button on a Mac). This will pop up a context-sensitive menu with the most likely actions you would want to do with the item you have currently selected. If you have selected a file, it may suggest you can open. copy, delete or compress the file. If you have spelled a word incorrectly in a word processor, a right click can pop up spell-checking and replacement options. Try it in various programs and see what it can do.
The most popular keyboard shortcuts are:
|Command||Windows||Mac||(On a Mac, the Command key is also known as the Apple key – earlier Mac keyboards had a symbol of an apple on it)|
|COMMON TO MOST PROGRAMS|
|Cut||Control-X||Command-X||Mnemonic: the X looks like a pair of scissors, which you use to “Cut”. Hint, when you Cut something, it is added to the clipboard, so it is ready to Paste somewhere else. So Cut is like a Copy plus a Delete.|
|Undo||Control-Z||Command-Z||If you make a mistake, first thing is to take your hands off the keyboard, and then press Undo. It will only undo the last action, so it is important not to type or click anything else before Undoing.|
|Save||Control-S||Command-S||Get in the habit of Saving your documents regularly, every few minutes, with Control-S. This will minimize the wasted time if your machine crashes or you make an error and exit the document.|
|New||Control-N||Command-N||Context sensitive, depending what you have selected it will create a new document, new email or new folder|
|Do the last action again||Control-Y||Repeat the last menu action|
|Zoom in||Control-+ (plus)||Command-+ (plus)|
|Zoom out||Control- – (minus)||Command- – (minus)|
|Find||Control-F||Command-F||Especially useful to find a piece of text on a long web page or a long Word document.|
|Stop or exit an action||Escape||Escape or Command-Period|
|Reload the page||Control-R||Command-R|
|Reload the page and force override the cached version||Control-Shift-R||Command-Shift-R||When you load a web page, your browser first looks in its cache on your hard drive to see if it has a recent version to use. This makes loading faster, but for pages that update continually, loading the cached version could give you out of date information.|
|Back a page in history||Alt-Left Arrow||Command-Left Arrow|
|Forward a page in history||Alt-Right Arrow||Command-Right Arrow|
|Go to top of page||Home||Home|
|Go to bottom of page||End||End|
|Go to Google Search||Control-K||Command-K|
|Bookmark this page||Control-D||Command-D|
|Go to location bar||Alt-D or Control-L||Command-L||Useful when you want to type in a web address manually|