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Long gone are the days when having the knowledge of how to use a computer was enough to set you apart from the rest. Now that computers are in every household, what can set you apart from the rest is what you can do with the computer with regards to productivity. One sure way of increasing your productivity is by learning keyboard shortcuts.

Keyboard shortcuts help to reduce the time taken to put in a command in the computer. A command that would have otherwise been put in by multiple operations using the mouse is keyed in by pressing a set of keys simultaneously. Every minute that is saved by doing so helps the individual have more time to complete other functions. Below are keyboard shortcuts that everyone should know to increase their productivity.

Full list of keyboard shortcuts

Program shortcuts

  • Ctrl-a, this shortcut helps you highlight everything in a document or a folder
  • Ctrl-c, copies the selected text or items to the clipboard
  • Ctrl-v, pastes the selected text or items that are on the clipboard to the program that is active
  • Ctrl-f, this is a shortcut that opens the search feature. This shortcut applies to many office applications and web browsers.
  • Ctrl-s, this is the shortcut to press when you want to save a document or web page. It applies to web browsers and office applications
  • Ctrl-z, used to undo your last action on an office program
  • Ctrl-left arrow, this shortcut moves the cursor to the start of the previous word
  • Ctrl-right arrow, used to move the cursor to the beginning of the next word
  • Ctrl-shift-left arrow, used to highlight in full the last word
  • Ctrl-shift-right arrow, used to highlight in full the next word
  • Ctrl-backspace, used to delete the word on the left side of the cursor in word
  • Ctrl-home, applicable in office applications and it moves the cursor to the top of a document
  • Ctrl-end, used in office applications to move the cursor to the end of a document
  • Esc, cancels a task that is running

Windows shortcuts

  • Ctrl-Shift-Esc, this shortcut opens the Windows Task Manager in Windows 7 and newer versions
  • Ctrl-shift-click, the click should be a left click on a taskbar icon. The shortcut launches the program as an administrator. This shortcut only works in Windows 7 and newer versions
  • Shift-click, the click should also be a left click on a taskbar icon. The shortcut opens another instance of the same program
  • Alt-tab, very effective for switching between open windows and programs
  • Alt-shift-tab, takes you through the list of open programs or windows backward
  • Alt-F4, used to close a program that is running
  • Alt-Esc, takes you through the list of open programs in the order in which they have been opened
  • Windows-d, shows the desktop
  • Window-m, minimizes all open windows to the taskbar to display the desktop
  • Windows-shift-m, restores the windows as they were before being minimized
  • Windows-e, launches My Computer in windows explorer
  • Window-r, opens the run box at the bottom left of the screen for you to start programs from there

The shortcuts may seem difficult to memorize and do at first, but it gets easier with practice. They will become a part of you in no time.