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These days many of us use a computer for large portions of our work and home life. It could be emailing clients and friends, programming a website, creating a spreadsheet, or using social media, but all of these activities involve a computer and keyboard.

As I have worked on a computer for the last 8 years (8 hours a day 5 days a week) I take shortcuts for granted. I just assumed that everybody used them to speed up their workflow, but I have discovered that this is not the case.

So, I have devised a quick list of the shortcuts that everyone should know and then some perhaps more niche shortcuts that will save valuable time.

The basics

These are the shortcuts that everybody should know by heart and will likely use them on a daily/hourly basis.

  • Copy (CTRL+C) and Paste (CTRL+V)

There are multiple times a day that these will need to be used by the majority of users. If you want to move some text or images from one document to another this is what you need to speed things up!

  • Cut (CTRL+X)

This will remove the text or items from its original location, so this is if you want to move some photos rather than duplicate them.

  • Bold (CTRL+B)

If you are writing a document, letter or email and you want to add a heading or emphasise some text then you can quickly make it bold by just highlighting the text and hitting CTRL+B.

  • Underline (CTRL+U)

Again if you want to emphasise some text then you can quickly underline it by just highlighting the text and hitting CTRL+B.

  • Select All (CTRL+A)

This one is a great time saver if you are trying to grab a whole document of text or all the files/images in a folder. Rather than clicking and dragging your mouse to highlight everything you can just press CTRL+A and you will instantly highlight everything.

The browsers

These are the shortcuts that can be used when browsing the web. People use computers for browsing the web more than anything else. In the last 10 years the amount of time an average user spends online has doubled to 20 hours 30 minutes! Just think how much more information you could access with these handy shortcuts!

  • Open a new tab (CTRL+T)

Generally I will have multiple tabs open at any one time so that I can flick between websites and pages without losing my position. CTRL+T is the quick way of opening up a new tab.

  • Open last recently closed tab (CTRL+SHIFT+T)

This one is a life saver! Have you ever been looking at something, switched tabs and then accidentally clicked on the close button when trying to switch back? With this shortcut you can open up not only the last closed tab but keep pressing it and it will open all of the tabs you closed, in order!

  • Reload page (CTRL+R)

This is great if something has gone wrong or a web page has not quite loaded properly. Instead of clicking on the link in the browser toolbar you can just hit this to refresh the page.

  • Highlight address bar text (F6)

This is a shortcut that I recently came across by accident. You might not think that it would be very useful but if you want to go to a different website it saves you having to reach for the mouse. Just press F6 and start typing the new address. Much easier!

  • Find (CTRL+F)

I probably use this shortcut more than any of the others. Pressing CTRL+F will bring up the find bar in the browser in which you can type a word or phrase and it will search for a match in the page. This is especially useful if you are trying to find some information using Google. Sometimes when you google something and click on the search result it does not necessarily take you to the correct part of the web page that your search term appears. Using this shortcut will mean that you can quickly find the information you need.

Windows 10

These are specific for the Windows 10 operating system.

  • Open start menu (Windows key)

This has always been useful to quickly access the Start menu on Windows. On Windows 10 my favourite use of this shortcut is the ability to quickly find a programme. If you press the Windows key and then start to type the name of the programme you want to use (e.g. Word, Chrome) then it will start a search for that programme and automatically highlight the best match. You then just need to press enter and it will open for you.

  • Show desktop (Windows+D)

This is very useful if you have a lot of programmes open and quickly need to get to your desktop. It hides all of the programmes that you have open at the time. Once you are finished on the desktop you can just use the shortcut again to go back.

  • Lock your desktop (Windows+L)

If you need to quickly move away from your computer but don’t want to leave it unlocked you can just quickly use this shortcut to lock the machine.

I hope that these shortcuts will help you to perform tasks on your computer more efficiently and save valuable time in your work and home life. If you would like any more information or tech tips please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

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