Keyboard shortcuts to make life a little easier

Become a savvy computer user with these keyboard shortcuts for the PC or Mac user. Photo: Cheon Fong Liew

HARRISBURG, Pa., May 28, 2013 –Computer users can save time and avoid frustration by learning a few keyboard shortcuts. Most users don’t feel the need to go through the hassle of remembering shortcuts when, with a little bit of exploring, they eventually could find a way to perform the action. However, there are some things every computer user simply needs to know. The following shortcuts are divided for PC and Mac users.

PC shortcuts

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If all else fails in life, Ctrl + F it! Pushing the control and F key together will pop up the find function. The user can type in any word or phrase to find in a document or on any page on the Internet. For example, if a user wants to know how many times the words CJ Pony Parts appear in a PDF, click Ctrl + F and type in the box “CJ Pony Parts.” The find function will automatically highlight the phrase throughout the document and will display the number of times it was used. This is one of the most useful shortcuts a computer user will ever need to know.

Users can minimize all their windows with one swift shortcut: Windows + M. The Windows button is located on the bottom left hand side of the keyboard. On the button is the Microsoft logo. After minimizing all of the windows via this shortcut, the user can either click on one particular window they wish to see from the task bar or make them all appear again using the combination Windows + Shift + M.

For those switching from a Mac to a PC, trying to figure out screenshots can be a pain. Users can choose the snipping tool to take and edit a screenshot. But for those who want a quick screenshot click the print screen (prt scr) button, located near scroll lock and F12 on the top right side of the keyboard. Some computers require the user to hold down the Fn button, which is located on the bottom left corner, while they click the print screen button to create a screenshot. After the user performs the shortcut, he or she can paste the screenshot to paint or Word. If the user has two screens, click on the screen desired for the screenshot and push the alt + print screen buttons.

It’s frustrating when a tab on the Internet browser gets accidentally closed, but there’s a shortcut to bring it back. Simply push Ctrl + Shift +T and the exact website will be reopened on the browser.

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Rename a document by clicking the document name either on the desktop or in a folder and pushing the F2 button. This will allow the title of the document to be edited.

Learn more keyboard shortcuts for PC programs at Computer Hope. If shortcuts seem too difficult to remember, consider purchasing project accounting software to become quicker and more efficient at computer work.

Mac shortcuts

Many PC shortcuts are slightly altered for Macs. Most of the time, the Ctrl button is replaced with Apple’s command button (Cmd). The command key is located on either side of the spacebar and usually has an apple logo or four leaf clover icon.

For example, use the same keyboard shortcut to reopen a closed tab in a browser as on a PC, except change the control button to the command button: Cmd + Shift + T.

This trick will save the dictionary lover time that was usually spent looking up definitions on the Internet. Highlight the word the user wants to see the definition of and push Cmd + Alt + R. This will show the definition of the highlighted word right in the document.

Screenshots are super simple on a Mac. Push Cmd + Shift + 3 to take a screenshot of the entire screen. To capture only a particular part, push Cmd + Shift + 4 and drag the crosshair to make a box over the desired section. Both screenshots will automatically appear on the desktop, no pasting required.

Similar to PC’s shortcut to minimize windows to the taskbar, Mac users can push Alt + Cmd + M. Users can also cycle through all open applications by pressing Cmd + tab.

There are hundred of keyboard shortcuts and users can even customize shortcuts on the Mac. Learning shortcuts will help a computer user become faster and more efficient at what they do. 


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Katie Elizabeth

Katie Elizabeth is a freelance blogger, content coordinator and communications grad student. She’s always on the lookout for the latest and greatest social media and tech tactics and thinking about the creative ways in which professionals can actually USE them. 

She’s worked in several different industries, including real estate, sustainability and career development. When she’s not writing or studying, she’s probably on her way to a concert or exploring flea markets and antique stores.


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