It may seem that a second or two does not really matter in the context of the workday, but the seconds add up to minutes, etc. To keep your attention on typing and avoid unnecessary use of the mouse, you can press a few keys and continue working. Many people probably already know several such shortcuts (for example, Ctrl + C for copying and Ctrl + V for pasting text), but there are dozens of others that can replace mouse clicks.
Here are some useful keyboard shortcuts to work comfortably on Windows and macOS. If you are using the Apple system, you need to replace the Control (ctrl) key with Command in the examples below.
- Windows key (or Command + Spacebar on Mac): If you need to launch a new application, do not click the Start menu or Computer folder with your mouse. Just press the Windows key (or Command + Space on a Mac) and start typing the name of the program you want. When the icon appears, press Enter and the program will start.
- Ctrl + F: A useful tool for finding specific words or phrases in articles and documents. Press Ctrl + F, and a small search bar will open, which will help you find any word or phrase on the page, instantly moving the cursor to the information you are looking for (you can then use Ctrl + G to see all the results).
- Ctrl + L: In the browser, press Ctrl + L and the cursor will automatically move to the address bar where you can enter a new search term or web address.
- Ctrl + S: Fast save the document. You can run it more often to avoid losing progress if you accidentally close Microsoft Word.
- Ctrl + T and Ctrl + Shift + T: Instead of clicking the New Tab button in your browser, press Ctrl + T to instantly open a new tab and start searching. Or if you accidentally closed a tab and want to bring it back, press Ctrl + Shift + T.
- Ctrl + Shift + V: To avoid copying the original font, links, and other formatting elements, many applications allow you to use Ctrl + Shift + V to paste a block of text without formatting it.
- Ctrl + arrow keys: You may only need a keyboard to work with a long document. If you hold down Ctrl and use the arrow keys – left and right, the cursor will move between words, and up and down – between paragraphs. If you hold Shift while doing this, the text will be automatically selected.
There are dozens of other combinations, especially in certain programs. If you are actively working with tables, then you should look for the most effective Excel keyboard shortcuts. For Gmail users, there are many of these keys.
Users can also replace some tasks with keyboard shortcuts on their own. There are several ways to customize keyboard shortcuts, for example using the free SharpKeys program. On a Mac, you can reassign multiple modifier keys by going to System Preferences> Keyboard> Modifier Keys. Some programs, such as Photoshop or MediaMonkey, have a dedicated preferences page for keyboard shortcuts.
If you have a Logitech or Razer keyboard, it may come with software that allows you to create macros for custom shortcuts.
More advanced users can turn to the AutoHotkey programming language, which is a powerful scripting language that can turn almost any Windows command into a keyboard shortcut.
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