Basic Shortcuts

I receive a lot of questions regarding classical shortcuts. That’s why I decided to provide you with an overview of the most basic keyboard shortcuts on your Windows PC or MAC.

Here they are and enjoy!

These shortcuts for Windows are valid from Windows 3.x to Windows XP. I haven’t tested them on Vista yet.

Shortcut Keys Description
Alt + F File menu options in current program.
Alt + E Edit options in current program
Ctrl + A Select all text.
Ctrl + X Cut selected item.
Shift + Del Cut selected item.
Ctrl + C Copy selected item.
Ctrl + Ins Copy selected item
Ctrl + V Paste
Shift + Ins Paste
Home Goes to beginning of current line.
Ctrl + Home Goes to beginning of document.
End Goes to end of current line.
Ctrl + End Goes to end of document.
Shift + Home Highlights from current position to beginning of
Shift + End Highlights from current position to end of line.
Ctrl + Left arrow Moves one word to the left at a time.
Ctrl + Right arrow Moves one word to the right at a time.
Alt + Tab Switch between open applications.
Alt + Shift + Tab Switch backwards between open applications.
Alt + Print Screen Create a screen shot only for the program you are currently in.
Ctrl + Alt + Del

Reboot the computer and/or bring up the Windows task manager.

Ctrl + Esc Bring Up start menu.
Alt + Esc Switch Between open applications on taskbar.
F1 Shows the Help-function in almost every Windows application
F2 Renames selected Icon.
F3 Starts find from desktop.
F4 Opens the drive selection when browsing.
F5 Refresh Contents.
Alt + F4 Closes Current open program.
Ctrl + F4 Closes Window in Program.
Ctrl + (the ‘+’ key on the keypad) Automatically adjust the widths of all the columns in Windows Explorer
Alt + Enter Opens properties window of selected icon or program.
Shift + F10 Simulates right-click on selected item.
Shift + Del Delete programs/files without throwing into the recycle bin.
Holding Shift Boot safe mode or by pass system files.
Holding Shift When putting in an audio CD, will prevent CD Player from playing.


Open Apple + Down Opens the selected icon.
Shift + Click Select the icon and add it to the set of those selected.

Tab Highlight the next icon inside the folder, in alphabetical order.
Shift + Tab Highlight the previous icon inside the folder, in alphabetical order.
Left arrow Used when viewing by icon to select the icon to the left of the one highlighted.
Right arrow Used when viewing by icon to select icon to the right of the one highlighted.
Up arrow Used to select the icon above the one currently highlighted.
Down arrow Used to select the icon below the one currently highlighted.
Open Apple + ? Mac help

Open Apple + E Eject
Open Apple + Shift + Up Arrow Used to direct the input focus to the desktop level.
Open Apple + M Minimize window
Open Apple + N New finder window
Open Apple + Shift + N New folder
Open Apple + W Close the current window.
Open Apple + C Copy the elected item to the clipboard.

Open Apple + X Cut the selected item.
Open Apple + V Paste item from the clipboard
Open Apple + L Make alias
Open Apple + R Show original item
Open Apple + T Add to favorites
Open Apple + O Open the selected icon.
Open Apple + F Display the find dialog box.

Open Apple + G Repeat the last find operation.
Open Apple + Shift + G Takes a snapshot of the screen and saves it to a PICT file.

One Response to Basic Shortcuts

  1. gregmckone says:

    Great Collection Bert.

    SHIFT-F10 is a favourite of mine since it allows me to effectively bypass the mouse in many situations. I could see this growing into a 1 page double sided laminated quick reference card. (Sorted by frequency of use) 🙂

    The windows keys are a useful addition to your list.
    Windows + D = show desktop
    Windows + L = lock computer
    Windows + R = Run dialogue

    Have a great weekend.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: