Over the course of the last few decades, computers became a tool that we are now using every single day. They control everything, and we use them for everything, from work, play, enjoying movies, TV shows, music, reading books, writing books, creating art, and much, much more.
However, despite this, a lot of people perform plenty of actions the old-fashioned way — via the mouse. Things like copying, cutting, and pasting text, locking your screen when you are done with your computer for a while, and similar actions can all be done much quicker by using keyboard shortcuts.
You may not have known this, but your keyboard has countless hidden shortcuts that you probably never knew about. They are not commonly mentioned, and while those who tend to spend a bit more time at a computer than others may know about them and use them automatically, nobody really talks about them.
Today, we are going to put a stop to that, and reveal to you some of the best and most useful keyboard shortcuts for Windows that you can try out on your PC right now.
Top Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows
1. Search for a phrase on a page
Have you ever searched for one specific explanation for something and you ended up on a Wikipedia page that is miles and miles long? You may have even tried to quickly scan the text and find that one piece of information that you needed, but after a while, it seemed hopeless?
Well, look no further, as CTRL-F is a command that will prevent you from ever wasting time like that again. This is a command that will open a search mode in your browsers, documents, and even PDF files. Then, simply type in the word you are looking for, or even a specific phrase that you know appears in the text. You will find all such words and phrases in an instant, and save minutes, or even hours of searching for a bit of info that you could have found in a few seconds if you knew this trick before.
2. Select All
Another very annoying thing is having to select all the files in a folder or all the text in a document, and having to do it manually. Have you ever faced this problem? Let’s say that you need to change the font of an entire text in a document.
To do so, you would have to mark all the text, and then make the change. The same is true if you want to change the size, color, or other aspects of the text. And, this is fine for a sentence, or a paragraph. But what if you need to do it to an entire book, report, or something similar, that can be dozens or even hundreds of pages long? If your finger slips only for a second, you will have to start marking the text from the beginning.
You can simply use a handly little function called CTRL-A, and mark all of the text on that page at once. Simply press the Ctrl (Control) and A keys on your keyboard at the same time to select all the text in a document or all files in a folder.
Next up, we have the Cut and Copy functions, which are actually two different functions performed via two different commands. However, since they are similar in what they do, we decided to put them together.
So, performing these is the same thing that you can do with your mouse, by right-clicking on the selected text, and then choosing the Cut or Copy option. However, why bother with clicking and aiming, when you can simply select the text you want to cut and hit CTRL+X? Alternatively, if you want to copy some content, just select it and hit CTRL+C.
These simple commands will cut/copy anything from its initial location, including words, but also entire documents, photos, audio files, movies, and anything else. Try it out and see how easy it is. Before long, you will forget that you ever used a mouse for doing this kind of thing before.
Of course, once you cut or copy something, you have likely done it with the intention of pasting it elsewhere. This is handy for moving all kinds of different files that we mentioned before, or even pure text.
In order to paste something somewhere, you need to have it copied (or cut) first. But, once you do, simply go to the location where you want to move the content, and hit CTRL+V.
That’s it, and your content will be instantly transferred. to its new location.
5) Select only specific documents
Another thing that you may not have known is that there is a handy thing to do when you have a great number of files to select, but you don’t want to select them all.
Let’s say that you have a folder with 100 photos, but you only want to select a specific 20 which are scattered throughout the folder. Instead of hunting down one by one and manually cutting them out, you can simply hold CTRL, and click on the files that you wish to move.
Each file that you click on while holding down CTRL will remain selected, and be added to the group. Then, simply perform a copy or cut function as explained above, and that’s it — you will be ready to move these files instantly.
6) Shift between windows
If you happen to use different apps and programs at once, including your browser, a text document, an open folder, a photo or two, and all of that is open at the same time, shifting between them might be quite complicated and tedious.
Remembering where something is can be quite difficult, especially if you need to keep that in mind, AND work on something simultaneously. However, you can easily avoid having to deal with that by holding down the left ALT key on your keyboard and then pressing the TAB key. Doing so will make all the open windows pop up before you, and you will be able to shift between them by pressing TAB.
7) Lock screen
Last, but not least, we have a shortcut that is great for those who need to step away from their computer, and they don’t want someone else to use it and potentially mess things up.
The shortcut will simply lock your screen, and you can activate it by pressing the Windows + L keys simultaneously. That’s all it takes. If your PC is password-protected, you will have to enter it in order to be back to where you were.
This makes this feature perfect for office workers, as well as those working from home who might have small children. You won’t have to worry about your kids messing with your work apps, reports, and alike, just because you stepped away from your computer for a brief instant.
With that, we would end this list. You should know that there are plenty of other shortcuts that you can activate with your keyboard alone. Some use two keys, several use more, but all of them can be rather useful, depending on the situation at hand. So, memorize them, try them out, and make it much easier to handle your PC in the future.
What’s your favorite keyboard shortcut? Make sure to let us know in the comments below.