I’ve always liked that Windows gives me multiple ways to perform popular tasks. Say you want to print something, you could go to the File menu and select the Print command, or you can press the Ctrl button and the letter P. Ctrl+P is just one example of a keyboard shortcut. Shortcuts combine two or more keys to do something special that neither key does alone. 


There are certain shortcuts I use all day, everyday. They work whether I’m doing stuff with photos, music, documents, or spreadsheets.

  • COPY a selected item: Ctrl+C
  • CUT a selected item: Ctrl+X
  • PASTE a selected item: Ctrl+V
  • UNDO an action: Ctrl+Z
  • REDO that thing you just undid: Ctrl+Y
  • SELECT everything: Ctrl+A
  • PRINT: Ctrl+P


Chances are, you use your PC to do a lot of things at once. Shortcuts go a long way towards cutting the clutter. Go ahead and try these out as you read about them. 

  • Switch between open windows
    • Alt+Tab: If you have lots of open windows and you’re not sure exactly which one you need, press Alt+Tab, and get a quick thumbnail view of all open windows. Then, while holding down the Alt key, press the Tab key multiple times until you get to the window you want.
  • Clear away everything and show the desktop
    • Windows logo key+D: Use this shortcut when you want to minimize a lot of open windows at once to check something on your desktop. Clutter-to-clean with two fingers. 
  • Minimize the window
    • Windows logo key+Down Arrow: Minimizing a window is a surefire way to see what’s underneath it. And it’s fast to use the shortcut. If the window is maximized already (covering the entire screen) it’ll go to “normal size. And if it’s normal size it’ll minimize entirely.
  • Maximize the window
    • Windows logo key+Up Arrow: Maximize windows works the same way.


It might surprise you to learn that there are even more options when it comes to dealing with you open windows and programs – but there are!

  • Compare and contrast in a snap
    • Windows logo key+Left Arrow or Right Arrow: Snap is the easiest way I know to compare two documents – or to write up something while also looking at a web browser. The shortcut for Snap makes it even snappier. 
    • While pressing the Windows logo key, click the Right Arrow key or the Left Arrow Key and your browser will slide over to one side. Select another window (such as a Word document) and use the shortcut only with the opposite arrow. 
  • Multitask with multiple monitors
    • Windows logo key+Shift+Right Arrow or Left Arrow: Do you use more than one monitor at a time? Now you can shift as open window to your other monitor in less than a second. 


You might already be using a shortcut – Ctrl+Alt+Delete – to open up Task Manager or to lock your computer. But there are shortcuts for this shortcut. 

  • Open Task Manager
    • Ctrl+Shift+Esc: This simple shortcut whisks you straight to Task Manager – without any intermediary steps.
  • Lock you PC or Switch users
    • Windows logo key+L: This shortcut locks your PC and instantly displays the login screen. 


No matter how  you wants to view your PC, shortcuts help you get there faster. 

  • Choose a presentation display mode
    • Windows logo key+P: Whether you’re giving a presentation or are using multiple monitors, it’s simple to switch settings
  • Zoom in, zoom out
    • Windows logo key+Plus sign or Minus sign: The Plus Sign key (+) zooms you in, the Minus Sign key (-) zooms you out. This lets you see small text on a webpage or to check out the pixels in a photo.


Here are a few final shortcuts. 

  • Search for files and folders
    • Windows logo key+F: In the past, finding a file could be like an archaeology expedition. But nowadays, search is really fast and thorough. Use this shortcut to get a search window, type in a few keywords, and presto, you’ll get your file.
  • Open a new instance of a program
    • Windows logo key+Shift+Click a task bar icon: I like Internet Explorer tabs – but sometimes I want a whole new browser window. To get one, I click the Internet Explorer icon while holding down shift.
  • And when you need it…get help
    • Windows logo key+F1: It’s the simplest shortcut out there. When all else fails, and you’re not sure what to do, press F1.

If you have anymore questions or comments please contact the shop (510) 522-4921. We have knowledgeable staff willing and ready to help with your computer needs.  


Originally Alameda Typewriter, ABM COMPUTERS has served the entire San Francisco Bay Area with professional, first-rate IT support and computer sales from the same location since 1939. Building on decades of experience, along with a dedicated team, we continue to provide in-shop and on-site standout, services and comprehensive, affordable solutions for all your computing needs.

Posted on August 19, 2014, in Computer Advice. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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