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Computer shortcut heaven

In trying to come up with my top ten keyboard shortcuts, the ones where people say, “Wait, what did you just do?” I have come up with the following 13. But, in my defense, I could say that cut, copy, and paste may not count, as many people may have already learned those keyboard shortcuts. So, here is a list of my top 10+3

The whole point of using the keyboard for what otherwise would involve the mouse is to cut down on moving your hand from the keyboard while you are typing, to the mouse to find and click on a menu command, and then back to the keyboard to continue typing. These shortcuts are usually a mix of two or more keys pressed at the same time. So, below is my list of what I most frequently use to avoid that keyboard to mouse and back routine. Ctrl c means hold down the “Ctrl” key and press the “c” key.

Windows Mac Action
Ctrl c Cmd c Copy what is highlighted
Ctrl v Cmd v Paste
Ctrl x Cmd x Cut what is highlighted
Alt tab Cmd tab Rotate to next running program
Ctrl s Cmd s Save file and keep it open for further work
Ctrl z Cmd z Undo last command or action
Click the right mouse button Click the right mouse button, or Ctrl click left button Open contextual menu,
Alt F4 or Ctrl q Cmd q Close, quit the current program
Ctrl p Cmd p Open print window
Ctrl n Cmd n Open new document, web page, email message …
Ctrl a Cmd a Select all in document or window
Tab Tab Move to next typing field in web page or database window or table
Ctrl click Cmd click Lets you pick and choose among the list of file names or email messages

How to find other shortcuts

When you are looking at a menu again and again, to do the same thing over and over, look to the right of the command and notice there may be something like Ctrl O (File, Open)

Or, google something like “Word keyboard shortcuts,” replacing Word with the name of the program that you want shortcuts for.

Write down a list of ten that you frequently use, ones that otherwise you are always getting to through the menus, and put them next to your computer. Practice them.

As nothing is consistent across all computer programs, focus on the shortcuts that will help you with your most frequent mouse actions.