Computer keyboard shortcut keys:
Shortcut keys ABCs
Shortcut keys help provide an easier and usually quicker method of navigating and executing commands in computer software programs. Shortcut keys are commonly accessed by using the Alt key (on IBM compatible computers), Command key (on Apple computers), Ctrl key, or Shift key in conjunction with another key. The de facto standard for listing a shortcut is listing the modifier key, a plus symbol, and another key. In other words, “Ctrl + S” is telling you to press and hold the Ctrl key, and then press the S key too.
You can also find the shortcut keys to their most popular program by looking for underlined letters in their menus. For example, the image to the right has an underline on the “F” in File, which means you can press the Alt key and then the “F” key to access the File menu.
Some programs require the user to press and hold Alt to see the underlined characters. In the same image above, you can see that some of the common features, such as Open (Ctrl + O) and Save (Ctrl + S), have shortcut keys assigned to them. As you begin to memorize shortcut keys, you’ll notice that many applications share the same shortcut keys. We have a list of the most commonly shared ones in the basic PC shortcut keys section.
Tip: Users outside the United States or who have a foreign copy of Microsoft Windows or a Microsoft application may not be able to use all of the below shortcut keys.
Basic PC shortcut keys
Below is a list of some of the most commonly used basic shortcut keys that work with almost all IBM compatible computers and software programs. It is highly recommended that all users keep a good reference of these shortcut keys or try to memorize them. Doing so will dramatically increase your productivity.
Tip: Besides the special character shortcuts listed here, some special characters are also located on the number keys (below the F1 – F12 keys). You can enter these special characters by pressing the Shift key and the number key that has the special character listed on it.
BASIC PC SHORTCUT KEYS
Shortcut Keys Description
Alt + F File menu options in the current program.
Alt + E Edit options in current program
Alt + Tab Switch between open programs
F1 Universal Help in almost every Windows program.
F2 Rename a selected file
F5 Refresh the current program window
Ctrl + N Create a new, blank document in some software programs
Ctrl + O Open a file in current software program
Ctrl + A Select all text.
Ctrl + B Change selected text to be Bold
Ctrl + I Change selected text to be in Italics
Ctrl + U Change selected text to be Underlined
Ctrl + F Open find window for current document or window.
Ctrl + S Save current document file.
Ctrl + X Cut selected item.
Shift + Del Permanent delete selected item.
Ctrl + C Copy selected item.
Ctrl + Ins Copy selected item
Ctrl + V Paste
Shift + Ins Paste
Ctrl + K Insert hyperlink for selected text
Ctrl + P Print the current page or document.
Home Goes to beginning of current line.
Ctrl + Home Goes to beginning of the document.
End Goes to end of current line.
Ctrl + End Goes to end of the document.
Shift + Home Highlights from current position to the beginning of the line.
Shift + End Highlights from current position to end of the line.
Ctrl + Left arrow Moves one word to the left at a time.
Ctrl + Right arrow Moves one word to the right at a time.
Ctrl + Esc Opens the START menu
Ctrl + Shift + Esc Opens Windows Task Manager
Alt + F4 Close the currently active program
Alt + Enter Open the Properties for the selected item (file, folder, shortcut, etc.)
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