Shortening your day with keyboard shortcuts

Shortening your day with keyboard shortcuts

We like to pass on our knowledge where ever possible and the ‘Tech Tips’ section of the newsletter helps us achieve that, this month you’ve got the opportunity to learn some keyboard shortcuts. When we go out to visit our customers for any IT related issues, being techy we like to try and impress every user and more often than not every user will comment on the keyboard shortcuts we use.

We understand that you may know some of these already, although I’m sure that if you keep reading there will be a shortcut that will save you that little bit extra time on your day, make that repetitive job not seem so bad or even impress your children with you new found IT skills.


1. Compare and contrast in a snap
Windows logo key windowslogo +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. Go ahead and try this now.


While pressing the Windows logo key windowslogo, 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.


2. Minimize the window
Windows logo key windowslogo+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.

3. Maximize the window
Windows logo key windowslogo +Up Arrow

Maximizing windows works the same way.

4. Open Task Manager

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.


This simple shortcut whisks you straight to Task Manager—without any intermediary steps.

5. Lock your PC or switch users
Windows logo key windowslogo+L

This shortcut locks your PC and instantly displays the login screen.

6. Choose a presentation display mode
Windows logo key windowslogo+P


Whether you’re giving a presentation or are using multiple monitors, it’s simple to switch settings.

7. Search for files and folders
Windows logo key windowslogo +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.


8. Clear away everything and show the desktop
Windows logo key windowslogo +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.

9. Create a new folder

To make it a little easier to create new folders in Windows Explorer. You can just hit Shift + Ctrl + N in any folder to create a new untitled folder right where you are. The new folder will appear with the name ‘New folder’ already highlighted so you can type in your own name for it and hit Enter to move on to the next task.

10. Check everything you have open one program at a time

Press windows logo key windowslogo+ T and you’ll highlight the first open app in your Taskbar. Press it again and you’ll move to the second open app. As you scroll through them, you’ll get a preview box just as you would if you were hovering over the icon with your mouse. When you get to the app you want, hit Enter to bring it to the foreground. This shortcut only works with open apps, and ignores unopened apps that you’ve pinned to your Taskbar.

Get to know the basics

There are certain shortcuts I use all day, every day. 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 I just undid: Ctrl+Y
  • Select everything: Ctrl+A
  • Print: Ctrl+P


If you have any funky or interesting keyboard shortcuts we haven’t got on this blog, please write them in the comments section or let us know on facebook & twitter.


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