By Reid Goldsborough
There are lots of little (and sometimes not so little) tips and
techniques that can shave a few of seconds off frequently used
procedures or maybe even completely change how you work.
compilation like this can possibly be comprehensive, but here are a few
Windows tips and tricks worth doing if you're not already. If you're a
Mac user, a good source of shortcuts is support.apple.com/en-us/HT201236.
your computer: Windows-L locks it, requiring your password to resume,
which can be handy if you don't want a coworker or roommate posting for
you on Facebook.
- Shut down: Program the Power button to shut
down your PC. Press the Windows key and begin typing Power Options. Once
there, select "Choose what the power buttons do," then for "When I
press the power button" select "Shut down."
- Launch a program:
Pressing the Windows key is a quick way to launch programs. Begin typing
the name of the program until it's displayed. An even quicker way is to
create a keyboard shortcut. Find the program on the desktop or in the
Start menu. Press the right mouse button, select Properties, click in
the field after "Shortcut key," and press a keyboard shortcut such as
Ctrl-Alt and the first letter of the program's name.
- Move among
programs: Alt-Tab moves you forward from one open program to another.
Repeating reverses this. Holding down the Alt key as you repeatedly hit
Tab shows you which programs are running and lets you move to the one
you want to work with.
- Close a program: Alt-F4 closes the program you're in. Ctrl-F4 or Ctrl-W closes just the tab or window you're in.
- Go to the desktop: Windows-D hides all open programs and takes you to the desktop. Repeating reverses this.
- Minimize or maximize the window: Windows-Down Arrow minimizes the window you're in, while Windows-Up Arrow maximizes it.
or copy files: To move a file from one folder to another, open File
Explorer twice, creating two instances. In one File Explorer instance,
select the file and drag it to the folder where you want it using the
other instance. To copy it, hold down the Ctrl key while doing this. Or
you can drag with the right mouse key and select copy.
rename files: In File Explorer, select the files you want to rename,
right click the first one, and type a name. File Explorer renames the
rest with a 1, 2, and so on. To select all the files, press Ctrl-A.
a document: This is the most basic trick of all. If you don't want to
lose a document you're working on, save it periodically. The fastest way
is Ctrl-S. If you're working off the cloud or on a smartphone, your
files automatically are saved for you.
- Delete a word: Within a document, Ctrl-Backspace deletes the entire word behind the cursor.
- Move to the next word: Ctrl-Right Arrow moves one word ahead, while Ctrl-Left Arrow moves one word behind.
a mistake: Ctrl-Z not only undoes your most recent typing, it also can
bring a file back if you accidentally deleted it or moved it where you
don't want it.
- Paste without formatting: If you've copied text
and don't want the original formatting, hit Ctrl-Shift-V instead of
Ctrl-V. To select from a menu of paste options, hit Ctrl-Alt-V or press
the right mouse button and look under Paste Options.
- Insert a
symbol: No matter what program you're in, you can access Character Map
for symbols such as copyright and registered trademark by pressing the
Windows key and beginning to type Character Map. Find the symbol you
want, click Copy, return to your program, and paste it in.
- Type in a site's address: From within your browser, F6, Ctrl-L, and Alt-D all take you to the address bar.
webpages: Hitting the spacebar scrolls down a full screen, while
Shift-Space bar scrolls up. Your mouse's scroll wheel is excellent at
taking you down or up in smaller increments.
- Make text more
readable: Ctrl-Plus magnifies the webpage you're on, while Ctrl-Minus
reverses this. To reset a page to its original magnification, press
- Move among browser windows: Ctrl-T opens up a new
tab, Ctrl-Tab moves you forward among open windows, and Ctrl-Shift-Tab
moves you backward.