Windows keyboard shortcuts: some people use them all day every day, others don’t even find them useful or have no clue which ones to use. We agree, keeping up with the large amount of hotkeys isn’t easy. We have listed our 20 favorite shortcuts that will make your work a little bit easier on a daily basis. Use them to your advantage!
Brightening up your texts with emoticons? With this hotkey, you open a pop-up window in which you can instantly find the emoji you’re looking for. You can use this fun keyboard shortcut in various kinds of Office 365 applications.
It happens to all of us sometimes: you perform an action or make an adjustment in a Windows application, but aren’t satisfied with it. Ctrl + Z to the rescue! Did you know there’s also a shortcut key to undo your last step? Use ctrl + Y to do that.
Windows Explorer is an essential part of Windows, and probably one of the most used applications as well. To quickly open an Explorer window, just press the keyboard combination Windows + E. Also useful when you’ve already opened an Explorer window, and need an extra one.
One of the simplest short keys is… the Windows key. You know, the button with four squares, located on the bottom left of your keyboard. When you press it, the start menu opens automatically. Just start typing to activate the Windows’ search engine. That way, you’ll quickly find the application or file you’re looking for.
When you connect a second screen or projector to your computer, your main screen will probably be duplicated. Not always convenient… Want to change this quickly, for example to an extended screen? Try the keyboard combination Windows + P to open the menu, and choose your preferred preset.
To change a file name in Windows Explorer, you can slowly click on the file twice. Rather impatient, are you? Use shortcut key F2. It opens the text field of the selected file. Useful in Excel as well, to work in a cell directly.
When you have to change the name of a large number of files in Windows Explorer, use the tab key. It allows you to jump from one text field to the next, and let’s you change the file names in a heartbeat.
With this extremely handy keyboard shortcut, you make a screen capture at lightning speed, that is then placed on your clipboard. Next, use the hotkey ctrl + V to add the screen capture to an application. A smart little trick that has made its way from OneNote to all Windows applications.
People who spend a lot of time in front of a computer screen, often have multiple applications and windows open on their desktop. Sometimes, it’s useful to get an overview of those screens. Think about two Explorer windows that you open next to each other to drag files from one location to another. With shortcut key Windows + arrows, you move a window from the left or right side to your screen, and place another one next to it.
Locking your computer when you leave your desk is an absolute must. Both in terms of communication (your status changes so your colleagues can see you’re unavailable) and in terms of cyber security. And… It literally only costs you one second when using shortcut key Windows + L.
With this keyboard shortcut, you open Windows task view. From here, you can easily switch to another screen. You’re also presented with an overview of your usage history. Useful if you want to find a file that you were working on earlier that day.
A more advanced combination: with this hotkey, you open the application that is positioned first, second, third, … in your Windows taskbar. The first application is opened with Windows + shift + 1.
Is your computer struggling to function? Can happen from time to time. With this shortcut key, you can check what’s going on. It summons the Windows task manager. When you activate the detailed view in that window, you get an overview of how hard your processor, memory or network are running, for example. When the numbers are reaching 100%, your computer is working really hard, and you will have to be patient.
A quick win for Outlook users: shortcut key ctrl + enter. Use that hotkey to send an e-mail. Usually, you’re already typing, and so pressing a shortcut key is easier dan grabbing your mouse and clicking on the send button.
Mind you: when you use this hotkey for the first time, you’ll probably get a notification asking you to activate this function.
An extremely useful tip for people doing a PowerPoint presentation, is combining the number and the enter button. It makes you jump to the slide corresponding to that number, like a hidden slide or an overview for example. Of course, it assumes that you know your slide numbers well (or that you at least have an overview nearby).
Do you want to quickly save a file under a different name? Just press F12. It immediately sends you to the corresponding window.
To paste a part of a text, a visual or another element in an Office application, you use ctrl + V or the option paste special in the ribbon on the topside of the application. Did you know that you can also summon that last option after you pasted something in the normal way? Normally, a small icon containing ‘ctrl’ appears at the bottom of the pasted element. If you press the ctrl key, you open a small window with various paste options. Just use the arrows to select an option.
With this shortcut key, you hide the favorites bar in every web browser. Useful when you want to share your screen during meeting, but don’t want to reveal your favorite pages on the web, for example. Use ctrl + shift + B to put the bar back in its original position. Want to summon a nice overview of all your favorites? Use ctrl + shift + O.
Ctrl + shift + B can also be used in Teams to close a meeting or call in one go.
Whether you’re searching through Google or Bing, you always get bombarded with so many results that you’re often not sure which one contains the most valuable information. Instead of opening all the links one by one and returning to the search results each time, you can open every link in a separate tab. Keep the ctrl key pressed when you click the link. If you want to open the link in a different browser window, use shift + click.
You are opening one after the other tab in Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge, and accidentally close a tab you still need. Sounds familiar? We have a quick fix: use the hotkey ctrl + shift + T to reopen the recently closed tab.
Quickly refresh a web page? Use the refresh icon at the top of the menu. Or choose a faster solution: the F5 key. With ctrl + F5, you not only refresh the page, but all associated cookies and history as well. That’s useful when the changes you were waiting for aren’t shown anyway.
There we are. Did you know that you can find most hotkeys in Office quite easily? Hover your mouse pointer over an icon, and a description of that button appears. If there’s a shortcut key available for that specific button, it will appear in bold here. Handy, right?
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