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How to use keyboard shortcuts
Mar 27, 2015

How to use keyboard shortcuts

Author: Dželila Mehanović

F1 – F12

Commonly known as function keys on a computer keyboard, F1 through F12 may have a variety of different uses or no use at all. The operating system installed on the computer and the software program currently open can change how each of these keys operate. A program is capable of not only using each of the function keys, but also combining the function keys with the ALT or CTRL key. 



  • Almost always used as the help key, almost every program opens a help screen when this key is pressed
  • Windows Key + F1 would open the Microsoft Windows help and support center



  • In Windows renames a highlighted icon, file or folder in all versions of Windows
  • Ctrl + F2 display the print preview window in Microsoft Word
  • Quickly rename a selected file or folder



  • Shift + F3 will change the text in Microsoft Word from upper to lower case or a capital letter at the beginning of every word
  • Windows key + F3 opens the Advanced find window in Microsoft Outlook
  • Open Mission Control on an Apple computer running Mac OS X



  • Alt + F4 close the program window currently active in Microsoft Windows
  • Ctrl + F4 close the open window within the current active window in Microsoft Windows



  • In all modern Internet browsers, pressing F5 will refresh or reload the page or document window
  • Open the find, replace, and go to window in Microsoft Word
  • Starts a slideshow in PowerPoint



  • Ctrl + Shift + F6 open to another open Microsoft Word document
  • Reduce laptop speaker volume (on some laptops)



  • Commonly used to spell check and grammar check a document in Microsoft programs such as Microsoft Word, Outlook, etc.
  • Increase laptop speaker volume (on some laptops)



  • Function key used to enter the Windows startup menu
  • Used by some computers to access the Windows Recovery system, but may require a Windows installation CD
  • Displays a thumbnail image for all workspaces in Mac OS



  • Refreshdocument in Microsoft Word
  • Send and receive e-mail in Microsoft Outlook
  • Reduce laptop screen brightness (on some laptops)



  • In Microsoft Windows activates the menu bar of an open application
  • Shift + F10 are the same as right-clicking on a highlighted icon, file, or Internet link
  • Increase laptop screen brightness (on some laptops)
  • With Mac OS 10.3 or later, shows all open Windows for the active program



  • Enter and exit full screen mode in all modern Internet browsers
  • With Mac OS 10.4 or later, hides all open windows and shows the Desktop



  • Open the Save as window in Microsoft Word
  • Ctrl + F12 open a document In Word
  • Shift + F12 save the Microsoft Word document (like Ctrl + S)
  • Ctrl + Shift + F12 print a document in Microsoft Word


Top Shortcuts that everyone should know

Using keyboard shortcuts can greatly increase your productivity, reduce repetitive strain, and help keep you focused.


  • Ctrl + C or Ctrl + Insert

Both Ctrl + C and Ctrl + Insert will copy the highlighted text or selected item. If you want to cut instead of copy press Ctrl + X.


  • Ctrl + V or Shift + Insert

Ctrl + V and Shift + Insert will paste the text or object that's in the clipboard.


  • Ctrl + Z and Ctrl + Y

Undo any change. For example, if you cut text, pressing this will undo it. This can also often be pressed multiple times to undo multiple changes. Pressing Ctrl + Y would redo the undo.


  • Ctrl + F

Pressing Ctrl + F open the Find in any program. This includes your Internet browser to find text on the current page.


  • Alt + Tab or Ctrl + Tab

Quickly switch between open programs and tabs moving forward.


  • Ctrl + Back space, Ctrl + Shift and Ctrl + Left or Right arrow and

Pressing Ctrl + Backspace will delete a full word at a time instead of a single character.

Holding down the Ctrl key while pressing the left or right arrow will move the cursor one word at a time instead of one character at a time.

If you wanted to highlight one word at a time, you can hold down Ctrl + Shift and then press the left or right arrow key to move one word at a time in that direction while highlighting each word.


  • Ctrl + S

While working on a document or other file in almost every program, pressing Ctrl + S saves that file. This shortcut key should be used frequently anytime you're working on anything important.


  • Ctrl + Home or Ctrl + End

Ctrl + Home will move the cursor to the beginning of the document and Ctrl + End will move the cursor to the end of a document. These shortcuts work with most documents, as well as web pages.


  • Ctrl + P

Open a print preview of the current page or document being viewed.


Basic PC shortcut keys

Shortcut KeysDescription

Alt + F

File menu options in current program.

Alt + E

Edit options in current program

Alt + Tab

Switch between open programs


Universal Help in almost every Windows program.


Rename a selected file


Refresh the current program window

Ctrl + N

Create a new, blank document in some software programs

Ctrl + O

Open a file in current software program

Ctrl + A

Select all text.

Ctrl + B

Change selected text to be Bold

Ctrl + I

Change selected text to be in Italics

Ctrl + U

Change selected text to be Underlined

Ctrl + F

Open find window for current document or window.

Ctrl + S

Save current document file.

Ctrl + X

Cut selected item.

Shift + Del

Cut selected item.

Ctrl + C

Copy selected item.

Ctrl + Ins

Copy selected item

Ctrl + V


Shift + Ins


Ctrl + K

Insert hyperlink for selected text

Ctrl + P

Print the current page or document.


Goes to beginning of current line.

Ctrl + Home

Goes to beginning of document.


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 + Left arrow

Moves one word to the left at a time.

Ctrl + Right arrow

Moves one word to the right at a time.

Ctrl + Esc

Opens the START menu

Ctrl + Shift + Esc

Opens Windows Task Manager

Alt + F4

Close the currently active program

Alt + Enter

Open the Properties for the selected item (file, folder, shortcut, etc.)


PC shortcuts keys for special characters

Shortcut KeysSpecial Character

Alt + 0224


Alt + 0232


0Alt + 0236


Alt + 0242


Alt + 0241


Alt + 0228


Alt + 0246


Alt + 0252


Alt + 0248


Alt + 0223


Alt + 0198


Alt + 0231


Alt + 0191


Alt + 0176

° (degree symbol)

Alt + 0177

± (plus/minus symbol)

Alt + 0153

Alt + 0169


Alt + 0174


Alt + 0128

(Euro currency)

Alt + 0162

¢ (Cent symbol)

Alt + 0163

£ (British Pound currency)

Alt + 0165

¥ (Japanese Yen currency)

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