When using the computer most people use their mouse. A lot. But that isn't always necessary. Sure, there are many things you can do on your computer using your mouse. But using the keyboard instead of the mouse is often quicker. And if you use the keyboard you can keep your eyes on the display.
Did you know that there are over 80 shortcuts in browsers? There are also many shortcuts you can use in Word, Excel and other programs. There are dozens of shortcuts in Windows itself.
The list below contains five common things you can do with the keyboard that most people do with their mouse. If you learn these you will find you are more productive and can focus more on your work. Not only will you start using these shortcuts but you may want to learn others as well.
1 - Switching programs
Often there is a need to switch from one program to another. Try using ALT+TAB. Hold the ALT key down and hit the TAB key once. As long as you keep holding the ALT key you will see a small window with a list of programs you are currently running. Every time you hit TAB the next program will be highlighted. As soon as you release the ALT key the computer will switch to the currently highlighted program. To go backwards through the list try ALT+SHIFT+TAB.
2 - Switch tabs in a browser
To switch from one tab to another in a browser do the same thing as above but hit CTRL+TAB instead of ALT+TAB. Every time you hit TAB you will go to the next tab. How can you go backwards through them? Just like above, hit CTRL+SHIFT+TAB.
3 - Jump through a Word document one paragraph at a time
Hold CTRL and hit the DOWN ARROW or UP ARROW and your cursor will jump to the the next or previous paragraph in Word, respectively.
4 - Jump to the end of a list of numbers in Excel
Holding CTRL and hitting arrow keys in Excel will allow you to jump to the last cell that is populated in the direction of the chosen arrow key. You can get around in a spreadsheet very quickly if you use this shortcut.
5 - Copying, cutting, pasting
Many users know about the shortcuts for copy and paste - CTRL-C and CTRL-V. There are however more shortcuts that are related. Here is a list of many of the shortcuts that exist for copying and pasting. And this list isn't exhaustive.
- CTRL-X will cut (copy and delete) text.
- CTRL-C will copy text.
- CTRL-V will paste text.
- SHIFT+DELETE will cut text.
- CTRL+INSERT will copy text.
- SHIFT+INSERT will paste text.
- CTRL+A will select all of the text.
Try some of these shortcuts the next time you are working on the computer. As you learn and memorize them you will be more productive.