13 Windows Shortcuts You Never Thought You Needed to Know
Ever find yourself wondering if there is a better way to navigate around Windows? Well, neither did I, and that's why you never thought you needed to know these Windows keyboard shortcuts. With a bit of practice, you could make everyday tasks take no time at all and whiz through online forms like a veritable finger ninja. To start, we'll explore a few shortcuts that everyone should know.
[CTRL] + scroll your mouse, or [CTRL] + [+] or [-]: Zoom. In most applications and in Windows itself, you can hold the [CTRL] key on your keyboard and scroll your mouse wheel up or down to zoom in or out. If you can't read text on a certain web site, quickly zoom in with this shortcut and it won't affect any other open windows or tabs. If your mouse doesn't have a scroll wheel, you can press the plus or minus keys instead.
[PRT SC], [WIN] + [PRT SC]: Take a screenshot. If you press the [PRT SC] button, also called 'print screen', a screenshot of everything on your monitor will be saved to your clipboard. That means that you still have to 'paste' your screenshot into a photo editing application like Paint or GIMP to see it. If you hold the Windows Logo key (in the lower left of your keyboard) before pressing [PRT SC], the screenshot will automatically be saved to your 'Pictures' folder in a folder named 'Screenshots'.
[CTRL] + [C] and [V]: Copy and paste. It's easy to remember that 'C means copy'. You can remember where the 'Paste' button is because it is right next to the 'Copy' button. Copying will copy any selected text or file and save it until you 'Paste' it somewhere else, without removing the text from the original source. If you want to 'Cut' your text out of the original source, you can use [CTRL] + [X], which is 'Cut'. Just remember that the [X] looks like a pair of scissors.
[CTRL] + [A]: Many people have problems precisely selecting text using their mouse. Instead of using your mouse at all, you can press [CTRL] + [A] to automatically select everything in a field, or all the files in a folder. You can also double-click your mouse to select a single word, or triple-click your mouse to select an entire sentence.
[TAB]: Advance the cursor. When navigating an online form, you can press the [TAB] key to move your mouse pointer from one field to the next. This is really convenient when you have to type in a lot of small bits of information because you no longer have to move your hands back and forth between the mouse and keyboard.
[SHIFT] + [TAB]: Retreat the cursor. This shortcut does exactly what pressing [TAB] does, only in reverse. If you notice you accidentally misspelled something in the last text field, you can [SHIFT] + [TAB] your way back without having to reach for the mouse.
[ALT] + [TAB]: Cycle through open windows. Holding [ALT] and pressing [TAB] will cycle through all open applications or windows, once for each press of the [TAB] key. This is useful if you have many applications open simultaneously and your task bar gets too cluttered.
The Function Keys
It's very likely a majority of readers have never had a use for the function keys that seem to be leftover from the MS-DOS days. I'm talking about that extraneous row of keys labeled [F1] through [F12] right above the number keys. While they may seem useless, many laptops have secondary functions such as brightness or volume control built into these keys.
[F2]: Rename. Have you ever had to rename a ton of files? Moving your hands back and forth between clicking and typing takes up a lot more time than you think. Simply press the [F2] button with a file selected (bonus points for selecting a file using the arrow keys) and start typing a new name.
[ALT] + [F4]: Close window. When you're done with one window or application, you can simply hold [ALT] and press [F4] to get it out of the way. This is especially useful if you just need to get back to the window under the one you're using.
[F5]: Refresh. This works for windows and web browser tabs as well. Pressing the [F5] key will refresh the web site you are currently viewing. Handy!
The Windows Button
Many advanced shortcuts are available by pressing the WIndows Logo button (we call it [WIN]) in combination with other keys. Feel free to skip this section if advanced shortcuts aren't something that sound exciting to you.
[WIN] + [X]: Power user menu. Our favorite shortcut here at PC Pro, this combines many useful tools into one convenient menu; for example, pressing [WIN] + [X] gives you one-click access to the Control Panel, Power Options, Event Viewer, Disk Management and more.
[WIN] + [P]: Projector modes. Holding down the [WIN] key and pressing [P] will cycle through projector modes for each press of the [P] key. Many display problems can be solved by simply trying this shortcut after accidentally switching a setting.
[WIN] + [D]: Desktop. Need to get back to your desktop quick? Pressing [WIN] and [D] at the same time will minimize everything you're working on and take you there. Press the keys again and all of your windows will return to their original position.
We hope you enjoyed this post and learned even one new shortcut. Feel free to comment below with your thoughts, or share your favorite shortcut with everyone else! Give us a call at (719) 345-2345 to schedule an in-home computer service or repair today, or e-mail us at ColoradoPCPro@Gmail.com. Thanks!