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Tired Of Taking The Long Way Home? Try These Shortcut Keys Instead

By Jonathan Imberi

Shortcut keys can provide an easier and often quicker method of navigating and using computer programs. The most common shortcut keys are accessed by using a modifier key such as [Alt], [Ctrl], and/or [Shift] or the [Windows Key] in conjunction with a single character. The standardized method for listing a shortcut is "Modifer plus character". For example "Ctrl+C" is telling you to press and hold the [Ctrl] key while also pressing the [C] key to perform the shortcut.

You can find the shortcut keys to most of your popular programs by looking for underlined letters in their menus. In the picture to the right you can see that the "S" in Save has been underlined. Now you know that you can press [Alt] and [S] to access the Save dialog. (Note: Some programs or versions of Windows may require that you press and hold [Alt] to see the menu bar and underlined characters). Some of the common features such as Open (Ctrl+O) and Save (Ctrl+S) have multiple shortcut keys assigned to them.There are numerous shortcut keys that are almost universal in terms of comparability with today's software. I have listed many of these keys below. Look for more shortcut keys in our future Newsletters.

 Alt + F File menu options in current program.
 Alt + E Edit options in current program.
 F1 Universal Help in almost every Windows program.
 Ctrl + A Select all text.
 Ctrl + C Copy selected item.
 Ctrl + X Cut selected item.
 Ctrl + V Paste
 Home Goes to beginning of current line. 
 Ctrl + Home Goes to beginning of document.
 End Goes to end of current line.
 Ctrl + End Goes to end of document.
 Shift + Home Highlights from current position to beginning of line.
 Shift + End
 Highlights from current position to end of line.
 Ctrl +    Moves one word to the left at a time.
 Ctrl +  
  

 Moves one word to the right at a time.

 Alt + TabSwitch between open applications.
 Alt + Shift + TabSwitch backwards between open applications.
 Alt + double-clickDisplay the properties of the object you double-click on. For example, doing this on a file would display its properties.
 Ctrl + TabSwitches between program groups or document windows in applications that support this feature.
 Ctrl + Shift + TabSame as above but backwards.
 Alt + Print ScreenCreate a screen shot only for the program you are currently in.
 Ctrl + Print ScreenCreates a screen shot of the entire screen and copies it to the clipboard
 Ctrl + Alt + DelReboot the computer and/or bring up the Windows task manager. 
 Ctrl + Shift + EscImmediately bring up the Windows task manager.
 Ctrl + EscBring up the Windows Startmenu.
 Alt + EscSwitch Between open applications on taskbar.
 F1Activates help for current open application.
 F2
Renames selected Icon.
 F3Starts find from desktop.
 F4 
Select a different location to browse in the Windows Explorer toolbar.
 Alt + F4Closes Current open program.
 Ctrl + F4Closes Window in Program.
 F5Refresh Contents to where you were on the page.
 Ctrl + F5Refreshes page to the beginning of the page.
 F6Move cursor to different Windows Explorer pane.
 F10Activates menu bar.
 Shift + F10Simulates right-click on selected item.
 Alt + Space barOpen the control menu for the current window open.
 Alt + EnterOpens properties window of selected icon or program.
 Shift + DelDelete programs/files without throwing them into the Recycle Bin.
 Holding ShiftWhen putting in an audio CD, will prevent CD Player from playing.
 EnterActivates the highlighted program.
 Alt +  
Display all available options on drop down menu.
 
  

Shortcuts For Number Pad Keys

 *Expands all folders on the currently selected folder or drive in Windows Explorer.
 +Expands only the currently selected folder in Windows Explorer.
 -Collapses the currently selected folder in Windows Explorer.
 Ctrl +  ‘+’Automatically adjust the widths of all the columns in Windows Explorer

Windows Key Keyboard Shortcuts

Below is a listing of keyboard shortcuts that can be used on computers running a Microsoft Windows operating system and using a keyboard with a Windows Key. In the below list of shortcuts, the Windows key is represented by "WIN".

WIN
Pressing the Windows key alone will open the Start menu.
WIN + F1
Opens the Microsoft Windows help and support center.
WIN + F3
Opens the Advanced find window in Microsoft Outlook.
WIN + D
Brings the desktop to the top of all other windows.
WIN + M
Minimizes all windows.
WIN + Shift+ M
Undo the minimize done by WIN + M and 
WIN + D.
WIN + E
Open Microsoft Explorer.
WIN + Tab
Cycle through open programs through the taskbar.
WIN + F
Display the Windows Search / Find feature.
WIN +Ctrl + F
Display the search for computers window.
WIN + R
Open the run window.
WIN+ Pause / Break
Open the system properties window.
WIN + U
Open Utility Manager.
WIN + L
Lock the computer and switch users if needed (Windows XP and above only).
WIN + P
Quickly change between monitor display types (Windows 7 only).
WIN + ⇦
Shrinks the window to 1/2 screen on the left side for side by side viewing (Windows 7 only).
WIN + ⇨
Shrinks the window to 1/2 screen on the right side for side by side viewing (Windows 7 only).
WIN + ⇧
When in the side by side viewing mode, this shortcut takes the screen back to full size (Windows 7 only).
WIN + ⇩
Minimizes the screen. Also, when in the side by side viewing mode, this shortcut takes the screen back to a minimized size (Windows 7 only).

Microsoft Excel Keyboard Shortcuts

Below is a listing of Excel keyboard shortcuts that can be used on computers running a Microsoft Windows operating system.

F2Edit the selected cell.
F5Go to a specific cell. (For example, C6.)
F7Spell check selected text 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 search box.
Ctrl + ASelect all contents of the worksheet.
Ctrl + B Bold highlighted selection.
Ctrl + IItalic highlighted selection.
Ctrl + K Insert link.
Ctrl + U Underline highlighted selection.
Ctrl + 5Strikethrough highlighted selection.
Ctrl + PBring up the print dialog box to begin printing.
Ctrl + ZUndo last action.
Ctrl + F9Minimize current window.
Ctrl + F10Maximize currently selected window.
Ctrl + F6Switch between open workbooks / windows.
Ctrl + Page up Move between Excel worksheets in the same Excel document.
Ctrl + Page downMove between Excel worksheets in the same Excel document.
Ctrl + TabMove between two or more open Excel files.
Alt + =Create a formula to sum all of the above cells.
Ctrl + ' Insert the value of the above cell into cell currently selected.
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 + Arrow keyMove to next section of text.
Ctrl + SpaceSelect entire column.
Shift + SpaceSelect entire row.