You’re using a mouse? What a noob! Are these words often directed at you by your friends? If the answer is yes, read on. The truth is, they’re right, even though they are power nerds. Remember when you finally gave up using your mouse to perform simple “copy-paste” or “cut-paste” operations and did it comfortably with a simple keyboard shortcut? Well, you can make a lot of things easier by learning some keyboard shortcuts and tricks. Without much deliberation, we give you our selection of some useful keyboard shortcuts.
After a while, shuffling through the Start menu may become a bit complicated, as you will probably install a bunch of software, and a lot of useless junk as well, and you will literally spend minutes looking for the program you need. There is a simpler way. Launching a program in Windows can be done by pressing the Windows key, typing its name, and then pressing Enter, and presto! If you have a nice little row of icons on your taskbar, you can launch those programs by using Win+1 through Win+9, which is essentially the same as launching them from left to right.
If you’re using a word processor, you often need to do things like selection, highlighting, deleting, moving, or some other form of text manipulation, and this is done much faster by solely using the keyboard, instead of going back and forth between it and the mouse. Once you get a hang of it, you’ll be wondering why you haven’t done it sooner. Regardless of the application, these key combinations should work just about anywhere:
⦿ Home: moves cursor to the beginning of the current line
⦿ End: moves cursor to the end of the current line
⦿ Ctrl+Shift+Left/Right arrow: Select text by whole words
⦿ Ctrl+Home: Move cursor to the top of the text field
⦿ Ctrl+End: Move cursor to end of the text field
⦿ Shift+Left/Right Arrow: Select characters one at a time.
⦿ Shift+Ctrl+Up/Down: Select paragraphs
⦿ Shift+Up/Down arrow: Select text by entire lines
⦿ Shift+Page Up/Page Down: Select one screen’s height of the text
⦿ Shift+Home/End: Select all the text from the current caret position to the beginning or end of the current line.
⦿ Ctrl+Shift+Home/End: Select all the text from the current caret position to the beginning or end of the document.
⦿ Ctrl+A: Select the entire document.
Minimizing, Closing and Switching Between Windows
If you need to switch to another window, it is much easier to use the keyboard, instead of reaching for your mouse. That goes double if you have a bunch of windows already open. By a bunch, we mean more than 2 (okay, your attention span is a bit larger, good for you). Pressing Alt+Tab gives you a great layout of all active windows, and it’s much quicker to access them this way. If you’re using tabs in your browser, you can do the same thing by pressing Ctrl+Tab. Instead of closing a window through pixel hunting for that small X in the upper right corner, press Ctrl+W, or Alt+F4 to quit it altogether. Win+Up/Down maximize and minimize windows, respectively.
Just try some of these for a while – Give it a shot, and give your mouse a rest.