Working Faster with Keyboard Shortcuts

IT TipsTech Tips
Mar 17 2015

By Brian Bailey, IT

People go to extreme lengths to save time at work by creating macros, custom toolbars and desktop shortcuts. There are many ways to save time without creating anything at all! Windows Operating Systems and Office Products have always been chock full of keystroke shortcuts and mouse tricks to allows us to work faster and more efficiently. A good deal of the keystroke shortcuts have been around since before Windows ’95 and are still available and functioning in even the most current software releases.

Imagine keeping your fingers on the keyboard at all times instead of stopping to remove your hands from the keyboard and over to your mouse, move your mouse to a menu or icon, click a command or two and then back to the keyboard. We perform this sequence of events hundreds of times each day! Keep those fingers on the home keys instead, over the course of a week you would be pleasantly surprised at the time you will save. The following is a list that should help accomplish this.

Ctrl + C = Copy

Ctrl + X = Cut

Ctrl + V = Paste

Ctrl + P = Print

Ctrl + N = New

Ctrl + S = Save

Ctrl + A = Select All

Ctrl + B = Bold

Ctrl + I = Italic

Ctrl+ U = Underline

Alt + Tab = If you hold the “Alt” key down on your keyboard, each time you hit the “Tab” key you switch to the next active window, allowing users to switch very quickly from one window to another without using a mouse!

This keystroke shortcut is probably my favorite of all; I saved the best for last!

Ctrl + Z = Undo

The ‘Undo’ feature saves us time in so many ways. As a software trainer, I see students struggle regularly. They struggle and spend an absorbent amount of time trying to figure out what it was they did to mess up their document, spreadsheet or presentation. I always tell my learners, “Don’t waste a single second trying to figure out where it went wrong, just undo until it’s right again! Undo is your friend, use it and use it often.” This feature combined with the keystroke shortcut, not only saves time by keeping our hands on the keyboard, it could potentially save hours of troubleshooting, panic and frustration for users. If you happen to ‘Undo’ too far, Ctrl + Y = Redo.

The majority of these keystroke shortcuts work in Microsoft Office and Windows. They can be very useful and don’t take very long to memorize. If you ever forget, or would like to know more, hover over the icon for the command. If there is a keystroke shortcut for it, chances are, there will be a pop up box that will show you what the keystroke shortcut is! I hope these tips have been useful and save everyone a little time.

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