A Few Keyboard Shortcuts

19 February 2019

Every time you lift your hand off the keyboard and reach for your mouse or touchpad, you’re wasting precious seconds. That’s why I use keyboard shortcuts for everything on my PC. Not only are key combos faster to hit, but they’re also more accurate than even the best mouse when it comes to precise actions like highlighting text or selecting cells in a spreadsheet.

When I talk to friends¬† I find that most use basic keyboard shortcuts such as CTRL+X to cut and CTRL+V to paste, but they don’t know some of the most helpful hotkeys that their PCs have to offer. These are so many PC keyboard shortcuts you’re probably not using, but should be.

You’re reading a laptop review on the Internet and want to see if the article mentions “USB Type-C.” You’re editing a quarterly report in Word and want to find the section where the author mentions “revenue.” Hitting CTRL + F in just about any program that involves reading — all the major web browsers, word processors, spreadsheet apps and developer tools — lets you search for a specific text string.

If the program in question finds the text string it will move your cursor to that place in the document. Some applications, Chrome for example, will highlight all instances of the text string, not just the first one. If the document has the string appearing more than once, you can jump from one instance to the next by hitting F3.

One of the best features of Windows 10 is is the ability to snap windows next to each other so you can split the screen evenly between two to four applications. To perform this snap feature with the mouse, you need to drag a window all the way to the left or right side of the screen if you want it to take up half or into the corner if you want it to take up a quarter of the space. Don’t bother.

Split Your screen Evenly between Two or More Applications

Hit Windows + Left Arrow to snap a window to the left side of the screen or Windows + Right Arrow to snap it to the right. If you want your application to take up a quarter of the screen, hit Windows + Up Arrow or Windows + Down Arrow after you snap it to the left or right and it will move into the corner. If you have more than one screen, you can hit the key combo more than once to move a window from one screen to another and you can snap a different window to each monitor edge, allowing you to have eight snapped windows on two displays (or twelve on a three-display setup). If a window is not snapped, hitting Windows + Up Arrow maximizes it while Window + Down Arrow minimizes it.

Locking Your Computer

I used to work at a company where the head of IT would patrol the office, checking to see if any of us had walked away from our PCs without locking them. If he found an unlocked PC, he would open up Outlook on it and email an embarrassing message to the whole company from the offender’s account.

When you walk away from your computer at work or even at home, there’s no reason not to lock it. All you need to do is hit Windows Key + L, no clicking required. If you set up Windows Hello facial recognition or fingerprint login, you can unlock your PC without having to enter a password.

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