A to Z Computer Shortcut Keys: A Complete Guide to Shortcuts

Computer Shortcut Keys: Whether you’re a PC or Mac user, you’ve likely encountered the term “shortcut.” While you may not be entirely familiar with what it entails, chances are you’ve used one before. Shortcuts are invaluable tools that expedite and simplify your work.

Shortcuts have a long history and have evolved in tandem with technology. Each operating system, whether Windows or macOS, boasts its own set of keyboard shortcuts. In this article, we provide an easily comprehensible guide to these shortcut keys and how to effectively leverage them. The objective is to ensure that your computer operates at peak performance, granting swift access to all the applications on your desktop.

What Are Shortcuts?

Shortcuts are keystroke combinations or key sequences that enable users to perform tasks or execute commands more quickly and efficiently on their computers. These combinations typically involve pressing one or more keys simultaneously or in a specific sequence.

Shortcuts serve as time-saving tools, allowing users to bypass the need for navigating through menus or using a mouse to access various functions and features. Instead, by simply pressing the designated shortcut keys, users can swiftly initiate actions, access programs, and perform tasks.

Common examples of keyboard shortcuts include:

  • Copy: Ctrl+C (Windows) or Command+C (Mac)
  • Paste: Ctrl+V (Windows) or Command+V (Mac)
  • Cut: Ctrl+X (Windows) or Command+X (Mac)
  • Undo: Ctrl+Z (Windows) or Command+Z (Mac)
  • Save: Ctrl+S (Windows) or Command+S (Mac)
  • Open a New Tab in a Web Browser: Ctrl+T (Windows) or Command+T (Mac)

These are just a few instances of the multitude of keyboard shortcuts available for various applications and operating systems. By becoming proficient in using shortcuts, users can significantly enhance their productivity and streamline their workflow.

Computer Shortcut Keys – Basic Key

ShortcutsWork of shortcuts
Ctrl + XCtrl + X is your digital scissors. When you press this combination, it cuts or removes the selected item, making it available for pasting elsewhere. It’s like moving content within your computer.
Ctrl + CCtrl + C copies the selected item or text to the clipboard without removing it from its original location. It’s like making a duplicate of the content that you can paste elsewhere using Ctrl + V.
Ctrl + InsCtrl + Ins also copies the selected item or text to the clipboard, serving the same purpose as Ctrl + C. It provides an alternative method for copying content.
Alt + EAlt + E, like Alt + F, mimics the action of using your mouse to click on the Edit menu. It brings up a menu of editing options specific to the active program. These options often include cut, copy, paste, and undo.
Ctrl + DelSimilar to Ctrl + X, Ctrl + Del cuts the selected item. The difference is that it might not be as commonly used because it doesn’t provide an intuitive way to paste the content afterward. It’s more like a “delete” action.
Ctrl + VAfter copying or cutting content using Ctrl + C or Ctrl + X, Ctrl + V allows you to paste the copied or cut item at the current cursor position. It’s like placing the content from the clipboard where you want it.
Ctrl + ACtrl + A is a powerful command for selecting all text or items within the current window or document. It’s particularly handy when you want to highlight and manipulate all content in one go, such as selecting all text in a document for formatting.
Alt + FWhen you press Alt + F, it’s akin to reaching for the file menu with your mouse. It activates the File menu options within the active program. This menu typically includes actions such as opening files, saving documents, or printing.
Ctrl + (Right arrow)Ctrl + the right arrow key allows you to navigate text word by word to the right. This can speed up text navigation and editing tasks, particularly when working with lengthy documents.
Ctrl + (Left arrow)This shortcut is excellent for navigating text word by word to the left. It’s like moving your cursor through a document one term at a time, which can be especially useful for editing or reviewing content.
Ctrl + EndCtrl + End provides a shortcut to the very end of a document, no matter how lengthy it is. It’s a time-saver when dealing with extensive text.
Shift + HomeWhen you need to highlight text from your current cursor position to the start of a line, Shift + Home is the command to use. It simplifies the selection process.
HomeThe Home key serves as a quick way to navigate to the start of the current line in a document or text field. It’s especially useful when editing or reading long paragraphs.
EndPressing the End key takes you to the end of the current line in a document or text field. It’s like a rapid scroll to the end of a sentence or paragraph.
Ctrl + HomeCtrl + Home is like a shortcut to the very beginning of a document, regardless of its length. It’s incredibly helpful when you need to jump to the start of a lengthy document or webpage.
Shift + EndShift + End is the counterpart of Shift + Home. It enables you to highlight text from your current cursor position to the end of the line.
Shift + InsShift + Ins is another way to paste the content stored in the clipboard. It’s an alternative to Ctrl + V for pasting and is especially useful when working with older programs or systems.
F1The F1 key is your go-to source for help in virtually any program. When you press F1, it opens a universal help or information window tailored to the program you’re using. This window provides guidance, explanations, and answers to common questions.

Computer Shortcut Keys for MS Word

Mastering keyboard shortcuts in Microsoft Word can significantly improve your document creation and editing efficiency. Here’s an extended list of useful shortcut keys and their descriptions:

Basic Text Editing:

Ctrl + BThis keyboard shortcut is used to apply bold formatting to the selected text. Bold text appears thicker and is often used for headings and emphasis.
Ctrl + IPressing these keys will italicize the highlighted text. Italics are commonly used for book titles, emphasis, or to indicate foreign words.
Ctrl + UUnderlines the selected text, providing additional emphasis. Underlining is often used for hyperlinks or to highlight important information.
Ctrl + XThis shortcut cuts or removes the selected text or object and places it on the clipboard, allowing you to paste it elsewhere.
Ctrl + CCopies the selected text or object to the clipboard without removing it from the original location. You can paste it multiple times.
Ctrl + VAfter cutting or copying, this shortcut pastes the content from the clipboard to the cursor’s location.
Ctrl + ZQuickly undoes the last action, allowing you to revert changes made by mistake.
Ctrl + YReverses the undo action, bringing back the last change that was undone.

Document Management:

Ctrl + N (New Document)Opens a new or blank document, ready for your input. Useful when you want to create a new file quickly.
Ctrl + O (Open)Opens a dialog box that allows you to select and open an existing document or file.
Ctrl + S (Save)Saves the current document, ensuring that your changes are preserved. A crucial shortcut to use regularly to prevent data loss.
Ctrl + P (Print)Opens the print window, allowing you to select a printer, set printing options, and print your document.
Ctrl + F (Find)Opens the Find dialog box, enabling you to search for specific words or phrases within your document.
Ctrl + H (Find and Replace)Opens the Find and Replace dialog, a powerful tool for searching and replacing text or formatting throughout your document.
Ctrl + W (Close Document)Closes the current document window while keeping Microsoft Word open. Useful for managing multiple open documents.
Ctrl + F4 (Close Document – Word 2000+)Closes the current document in versions of Word released after Word 2000.

Text Formatting:

Ctrl + L (Left Alignment)Aligns the selected text or paragraph to the left margin. Commonly used for regular text content.
Ctrl + R (Right Alignment)Aligns the selected text or paragraph to the right margin.
Ctrl + E (Center Alignment)Centers the selected text or paragraph, creating an even left and right margin.
Ctrl + J (Justify Alignment)Justifies the selected text or paragraph, aligning both the left and right margins evenly.
Ctrl + M (Indent)Indents the paragraph, pushing the text or content further to the right. Useful for creating lists or visually distinguishing paragraphs.
Ctrl + T (Hanging Indent)Applies a hanging indent, where the first line is flush with the left margin, and subsequent lines are indented.
Ctrl + D (Font Options)Opens the Font dialog, allowing you to change the font, size, color, and other formatting options for selected text.
Ctrl + Shift + F (Change Font)Quickly changes the font of the selected text.
Ctrl + Shift + > (Increase Font Size)Increases the font size of the selected text by one point.
Ctrl + Shift + < (Decrease Font Size)Decreases the font size of the selected text by one point.

Navigation and Selection:

Ctrl + (Left Arrow)Moves the cursor one word to the left. Useful for quickly navigating through text.
Ctrl + (Right Arrow)Moves the cursor one word to the right.
Ctrl + (Up Arrow)Moves the cursor to the beginning of the current line or paragraph.
Ctrl + (Down Arrow)Moves the cursor to the end of the current line or paragraph.
Ctrl + Del (Delete)Deletes the word to the right of the cursor position.
Ctrl + Backspace (Delete)Deletes the word to the left of the cursor position.
Ctrl + End (End of Document)Moves the cursor to the end of the document.
Ctrl + Home (Beginning of Document)Moves the cursor to the beginning of the document.

Text Modification:

Ctrl + Space (Reset Font)Resets the highlighted text to the default font and formatting settings.
Ctrl + 1 (Single-Space Lines)Applies single spacing to lines or text within the paragraph.
Ctrl + 2 (Double-Space Lines)Applies double spacing to lines or text within the paragraph.
Ctrl + 5 (1.5-Line Spacing)Applies 1.5-line spacing to lines or text within the paragraph, commonly used for academic documents.

Advanced Text Editing:

Ctrl + Shift + F3 (Change Case)Toggles the case of the selected text, allowing you to switch between uppercase, lowercase, and title case.
Shift + Insert (Paste)Pastes copied or cut content from the clipboard to the cursor’s location.
Ctrl + = (Subscript)Sets the chosen text as subscript, typically used for chemical formulas or mathematical expressions.
Ctrl + Shift + = (Superscript)Sets the chosen text as superscript, often used for exponents and footnotes.

Computer Shortcut Keys – Microsoft Windows

ShortcutWork of ShortcutsExplanation
Ctrl + Alt + DelReboot or access Windows Task ManagerThis powerful combination allows you to perform essential tasks like locking your computer, opening the Task Manager to manage running processes, or restarting your system.
Ctrl + F4Close a window within the active programIf you have multiple tabs or documents open within an application, Ctrl + F4 closes the current one, saving time compared to manually clicking the close button.
Alt + TabSwitch between open applicationsPressing Alt + Tab allows you to quickly toggle between the various applications and windows you have open. It’s an efficient way to multitask and switch to the program you need.
Alt + EscSwitch between applications on the taskbarIt quickly cycles through the programs on your taskbar, allowing you to switch to different open applications without using the mouse.
Alt + Shift + TabSwitch backward between open applicationsThis is the reverse of Alt + Tab. It lets you cycle through your open applications in the opposite direction.
Shift + DelDelete programs/files permanentlyWhile the standard Delete key moves items to the Recycle Bin, Shift + Del bypasses the Recycle Bin and permanently deletes the selected files or folders.
Alt + Print ScreenCreate a screenshot for the current programThis captures an image of the currently active window, which you can then paste into an image editing program or document.
Alt + EnterOpen properties window of the selected icon or programThis shortcut displays the properties or settings of a selected file, folder, or program, allowing you to view and modify its attributes.
Shift + F10Simulate a right-click on the selected itemWhen you want to access the context menu (usually opened by right-clicking), this shortcut provides an alternative by simulating a right-click action.
F2Rename the selected iconWhen you select a file or folder and press F2, you can quickly rename it, saving you the trouble of right-clicking and selecting “Rename.”
F4Open the drive selection when browsingWhen you’re in Windows Explorer or a file dialog box, pressing F4 activates the address bar, allowing you to type a drive letter and navigate directly to it.
F3Start to find from the desktopOpens the Windows Search or Find feature, making it easy to locate files, folders, or programs on your computer.
Alt + F4Close the current open programQuickly closes the currently active application or window. It’s a convenient way to streamline your workflow.
Ctrl + Plus Key (+)Automatically set widths of all columns in Windows ExplorerIn Windows Explorer, this shortcut adjusts the column widths to fit the content, providing a cleaner and more organized view of your files and folders.
F5Refresh contentsThis shortcut refreshes the contents of the active window. It’s handy when you need to see the most up-to-date information in a folder or on a webpage.
Ctrl + EscBring up the Start menuInstead of clicking the Windows icon, you can use this shortcut to open the Start menu, which is the gateway to various programs and features on your computer.

Computer Shortcut Keys- Powerpoint

ShortcutsWork of shortcuts
EscExit the slide show and go back to the earlier live view.
Ctrl+KEnter a hyperlink.
Ctrl+MInclude a new, blank slide after the chosen slide.
Ctrl+NOpen a new, blank slide in a different PowerPoint program window.
CTRL + DDuplicate the current slide
Ctrl+Shift+>Increases the chosen text size by one font size.
Ctrl+Shift+<Decreases the chosen text size by one font size.
CTRL + GGroup things together
F5Start presentation from the initial slide

Computer Shortcut Keys- MS Excel

ShortcutsWork of shortcuts
F2Edit the selected cell
F5Go to a specific cell
F7Spell check selected text and/or document
F11Create chart
Ctrl + Shift +;Enter the current time
Ctrl +;Enter the current date
Alt + Shift + F1Insert new worksheet
Shift + F3Open the Excel formula window
Shift + F5Bring up the search box
Ctrl + BBold highlighted selection
Ctrl + IItalicize highlighted selection
Ctrl + DFill
Ctrl + KInsert link
Ctrl + FOpen find and replace options
Ctrl + GOpen go-to options
Ctrl + HOpen find and replace options
Ctrl + UUnderline highlighted selection
Ctrl + YUnderline selected text
Ctrl + 5Strikethrough highlighted selection
Ctrl + OOpen options
Ctrl + NOpen new document
Ctrl + POpen print dialog box
Ctrl + ZUndo the last action
Ctrl + F9Minimize current window
Ctrl + F10Maximize currently selected window
Ctrl + F6Switch between open workbooks/windows
Ctrl + Page up & Page DownMove between Excel worksheets in the same document
Ctrl + TabMove between two or more open Excel files
Alt + =Create the formula to sum all of the above cells
Ctrl +Insert the value of the above cell into the current cell
Ctrl + Shift + !Format number in comma format
Ctrl + Shift + $Format number in currency format
Ctrl + Shift + #Format number in date format
Ctrl + Shift + %Format number in percentage format
Ctrl + Shift + ^Format number in scientific format
Ctrl + Shift + @Format number in time format
Ctrl + (Right arrow)Move to next section of text
Ctrl + SpaceSelect entire column
Shift + SpaceSelect entire row
Ctrl + WClose document
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Now that you know about shortcuts, let’s see what shortcuts you should be using to make your computer work for you.

In this article, we have given you a list of the most common shortcuts that you should start using on your computer. There are many other shortcuts out there; these are just some of the most important ones. We hope that this article helped you understand how to use computer shortcut keys and put the power back in your hands!

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