Shortcut Keys


If you want to be more productive in using your computer, every person had better know the basics when it comes to shortcut keys in performing the most rudimentary tasks. Whether it be copying a piece of text or simply searching on the web, these shortcut keys will really help in getting you daily computer chores done in a more effective and timely manner. What's really cool is that once you know these shortcut keys they will be useful regardless of what system you’re working on. Well actually, I can find one major difference and that is when using these commands on a Mac or Apple Computer instead of pressing and holding the control key (ctrl) you hold the command key (cmd). Just keep in mind that anytime I say (ctrl) this is the same as (cmd) on an Apple Computer. Oh, one last thing before we get started + sign indicates that you press both of the buttons at the same time, holding the first key on the left side of the + sign and gently hitting the second key on the right side.

1. Copy (Ctrl + C)

One of the most ubiquitous operations you can perform on any computer is the copy command. This allows the user to copy virtually anything they want and save to use at a later time. Remember, for Mac or Apple users instead of holding the control key they hold the command key and hit c. Refer to the illustration below.


2. Paste (Ctrl + V)

This allows you to paste what you copied, yep it's that simple. Try it out on a Microsoft Word document, type some text and then select the text by clicking and dragging the text you want to copy. Use ctrl + c once you have selected the text then ctrl + p in the same document word document. Do this a couple of times so you feel comfortable using multiple shortcut keys.


3. Cut (Ctrl + X)

Use this command if you don't want to leave a copy of the object in its current location. Again, try this out by opening a Microsoft Word document type some text and select it by double clicking on the word and then ctrl + x and ctrl + p.


4. Undo (Ctrl + Z)

This is probably one of my favorite commands because if you ever do anything wrong or accidentally delete something you can always undo it. That's right undo your previous action, just think of it...would it be cool if you could undo what you said or undo a decision you made in life. Yea that would be sweet! Unfortunately, I don't know of any such button but the undo button on your computer is the closets you can get to perform this task in real life. Again, try this in any word document, delete something then undo it.


5. Redo (Ctrl + Y)

The opposite of undo, say you actually wanted what you undid well just hit ctrl + y. Again, try this in a word document.


6. Save (Ctrl + S)

The save button... use this often and frequently whenever using any text editing program or any other application as it will save your life when the power goes out. :-) Here’s a little joke that puts this shortcut key into perspective.

Jesus and Satan have a discussion as to who is the better programmer. This goes on for a few hours until they come to an agreement to hold a contest, with God as the judge.

They sit themselves at their computers and begin. They type furiously, lines of code streaming up the screen, for several hours straight. Seconds before the end of the competition, a bolt of lightning strikes, taking out the electricity. Moments later, the power is restored, and God announces that the contest is over.

He asks Satan to show what he has come up with. Satan is visibly upset, and cries, "I have nothing. I lost it all when the power went out."

"Very well, then," says God, "let us see if Jesus fared any better."

Jesus enters a command, and the screen comes to life in vivid display, the voices of an angelic choir pour forth from the speakers. Satan is astonished.

He stutters, "B-b-but how? I lost everything, yet Jesus' program is intact. How did he do it?"

God smiled all-knowingly, "Jesus saves."


7. Find (Ctrl + F)

This is a really nifty command especially if you’re trying to find certain information on a webpage that just has way too much information. Suppose you’re looking for a specific word say “cat beds”, you get to a website about “cat beds” but it has way too much information and you can't find what you’re looking for. Simple, just hold ctrl + f and a dialog box will pop up from your browser were you can type what you’re looking for, in this case “cat beds” then hit enter and you will see the curser jump to the exact word. Try it on this website, look for ctrl and see how many times it shows up on this page.


8. Seclt All (Ctrl + A)

If you ever wonder if you could just select all the content or information on a page instead of clicking and dragging the whole text document, well just hold "control" and select "a"  and voilà!


9. Home Button

A very un-utilized key that you can find on just about every keyboard is the home button. This allows you to jump to the beginning of the line or to the top of the page. You could also use this shortcut key with other key combinations for example, to select a portion of the text starting where you curser is to the beginning of the line, hold the shift + home. Also, try shift + ctrl + home which will take you all the way to the top selecting everything as you go. Try it out, and play around with the keys.

Home Button

10. End Button

Very similar to the home button except it goes in the opposite direction, moving towards the end of the line or down to the bottom of the page if you’re holding the ctrl key. Again, play around with this key with various combinations using shift + end or shift + ctrl + end.

End Button

11. Page Up

I think the description defines its use but many people don't use the page up button and rather use the scroll bar or scroll wheel to move up and down a page. The page up and page down buttons are much faster in moving up and down a document, allowing you to click once in either moving one page or holding it down to move through multiple pages at a time.

Page Up

12. Page Down

And, lastly the page down button…

Page Down

Remember, before using these shortcut keys make sure you select the window you want so that you’re commands get executed where you want them to. Again, for Mac or Apple users use cmd key instead of ctrl and you should be fine. Feel free to experiment on your own using the basic shortcut keys in fact, many power users using these keys in various combinations and if anything happens you can always undo it ctrl+z.