Computer Hacks with Keyboard

As someone who wants to switch between 10 or more applications easily at once, I find myself looking for keyboard shortcuts in about every program I use.

It’s disappointing when some users aren’t using the usual keyboard shortcuts we’ve come to expect. But what is even more disturbing is when these shortcuts were designed by their developers and as consumers we don’t even know them! Yes, according to this (slightly dated) Atlantic article, over 90 percent of computer users don’t know how to use CTRL+F.

So here’s a short list keyboard shortcuts that you need to remember, whether you regularly use computers.


I will probably lead with this one, because it was listed in the statistics above.

If you want to search it easily on any web page, just click CTRL+F / Command+F and type the keyword using any major browser. For all the references of it you can pass through the whole web page.

When looking for keywords in text-heavy documents, I do that all the time. You can also use this in both Microsoft Word and PDF-documents.


If all of the keyboard shortcuts were a pack of gorillas, CTRL+C would be their alpha leader, the silverback.

This is the go-to shortcut used to copy text, file, or document through almost any processing program. Microsoft Word has set the standard for many of the keyboard shortcuts that developers use in other applications, but CTRL+C must be the most popular (no, I don’t have any statistics to support that, it’s just how I feel).


If you are going to copy it, of course, you’ll just want to paste it somewhere else.

The one-two punch mix CTRL+C + CTRL+V is a must-have with keyboard shortcuts in your arsenal. If you copy e-mail addresses, copy text from Excel to Word, or copy objects into applications such as Photoshop, this is something most people will often do.

Undo and redo

Command / Control+Z is familiar to us all. This is an invaluable shortcut should you find yourself writing a lot for the job. But what about those times when you’re too rushed to fix anything and want to go back? Usage of Control+Y. Not to be confused with Command+Y that we will later get to.


Here’s one rarely found, but valuable nonetheless. If you have multiple applications available, just try to close them all fast. Simply enter ALT+F4 (or sometimes CTRL+W on a PC) in each (make sure you’ve saved everything first before closing!

Open computer settings

Win + I – You can easily access the All Settings window using this basic shortcut. Considering that Microsoft gradually unifies all control panel things with the classic Settings app, this is one of Windows 10’s most valuable shortcuts.

Preview curent program

Alt + Tab – Mac users can speak about how their sophisticated gui lets them peek without closing anything at their current open applications, but this shortcut helps you to do the same. A good thumbnail preview of each window is provided by the classic window-switching shortcut. Press the button to switch through the screens, then release it when the window you want to highlight is displayed.

Lock a computer

If you don’t want to shut down your computer when you go to the bathroom on the other side of the building but you don’t want your coworkers to pry on your confidential information at the same time, this is the tip for you. No more need to keep an eye on your machine, just use the Windows + L buttons. This will then lock your Computer and save your recent entries.

Move through a form

When you buy online things just as much as I do, then you can probably relate to the painful, tortuous agony of going through a long form of credit card. The same applies to buying airline tickets, taking a survey, signing up for a service… nearly anything that allows you to type text in a lot of online fields.

Luckily, there’s the TAB key, which allows you to switch to the next field entry when you fill out an online form.

Submit a form

And when you reach the bottom of that section, there will definitely be a “Send” button, “Submit” button, “Register” button, or “Next” button to switch to the next tab.

When you TAB after the last text field, then your browser will pick the button. To “click” on that button, push the Space bar and you will have successfully filled in and submitted a form without touching the mouse.

The function key

You have a number of function keys at the top of your keyboard, ranging from F1 to F12 and we bet you only use them very rarely. Some of these keys though, when paired with the Alt key, are very helpful. For eg, F5 will reset a web page, F3 like a CTRL + F (find something), and F11 can put you into full screen mode automatically.

Open file explorer

Win + E – Opens the file explorer so that you can find your documents easily.

Open task manager

Ctrl + Shift + Esc – The Task Manager is your window into everything that runs on your Windows system, from open applications to background processes. This shortcut would call the Task Manager from wherever you are and whatever you use the program.

Screen Shoot

It usually comes most in handy in the workplace when you have an IT crisis and need to include an image of the mistake, but you never know when it is going to be useful. If you are using a Mac or Command+Shift+4 if you want a designated portion of the screen, pick Command+Shift+3 to grab the entire screen. If you are using Windows, click on the Windows Key+Shift+S button and it will allow you to choose whether to do a full or partial screen grab.

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