If you frequently use a computer for work, you’re probably already familiar with basic keyboard shortcuts like (Ctrl + S) which automatically saves a file on Windows computers. (Cmd + S for Apple users). It’s good practice to regularly save your work in the event you lose power or your computer suddenly crashes.
Maybe you’re also familiar with popular copy and paste shortcut. (If you’re not, this is sure to become your favorite tip!)
- Windows: (Ctrl + C to copy and Ctrl + V to paste)
- Apple: (Cmd + C to copy and Cmd + V to paste)
But what if you accidentally close a tab in your browser and you want to get it back? Don’t panic. There’s a shortcut for that.
Want to compare windows side by side? Yep – there’s a shortcut for that too!
Need to easily extract all the images from a Word document without copying and saving each one? There’s a handy trick for this also.
Whether you’re tech savvy or just “not a computer person”, a Windows or a Mac user, these 10 easy shortcuts will be sure to save you time next time you need to perform one of these common computer tasks.
- Restore a browser tab: Accidentally close your browser window? Windows users – just press (Ctrl + Shift + T) to bring back your most recently closed tab. Mac users press (Cmd + Shift + T).
- Window snapping: At some point in time, you’ve likely needed to display windows side by side on your computer. There’s a shortcut for Windows users – just press the (Windows Key + Arrow Keys) to make a window snap to either side of your monitor. If you use dual monitors, (Shift + Windows Key + Arrows) will make the window jump to the other monitor. (Windows + P) is the shortcut for quickly setting up a second display or projector. Macs don’t support window snapping out of the box, but a $0.99 app called Magnet can help you keep your workspace organized. Alternatively, Mission Control gives you a bird’s-eye view so you can switch between full-screen apps, desktop spaces, open windows and more.
- Easily extract images from Word: Have you ever attempted to save images from a Word file, but found the process cumbersome? Simply change the file name from .docx to .zip. When you open the zip file, you’ll find the images in their very own directory/folder!
- Select multiple files: From our last example, what if you wanted to quickly grab all those images and move them to another location? Instead of dragging files one by one, just press (Ctrl + A) to select all files (Cmd + A on Mac). Once they are all highlighted, just drag the files or folders to their new location.
- Lock your computer: If you’re in a public location or even at work, it’s best practice to lock your computer while you’re away. On a Windows computer, (Windows + L) will lock your PC and require a password to log in again (assuming you have set one up). On a Mac, press (Cmd + Option + Power) to log off. If you’re using the latest High Sierra macOS, a quicker option is through the shortcut (Cmd + Ctrl + Q).
- Take a screenshot: On a Windows computer, go to “Start” and then “Snipping Tool.” This tool provides you with the easiest way and the most options for taking a full or partial screenshot. Here’s how to take various types of screenshots on a Mac.
- Clear cache in seconds: At some point in time, you may have been asked by an IT or customer support representative to clear the cache in your browser. Browsers store a great deal of information and over time, this can create problems when logging into or accessing websites. For this reason, it’s a good idea to regularly clear the cache (browser history) and cookies in your browser. On Windows, you can quickly clear cache by pressing (Ctrl + Shift + R).This will also refresh your page. In Safari, the shortcut is (Ctrl + Alt + E).
- Quickly Undo Changes: On Windows, (Ctrl + Z) will undo any change. This shortcut can be used multiple times to undo multiple changes. (Ctrl + Y) will redo the undo. On Apple computers, use (Cmd + Z) to undo and (Cmd + Y) to redo a change.
- Quickly Find Text: This shortcut can be a lifesaver. On Windows, (Ctrl + F) opens the Find field, which allows you to type in the text you’re searching for and immediately find all references to it on a page or document. On Apple computers, use (Cmd + F) to find information on a web page or document.
- Find system information quickly: Have you ever been on the line with tech support and when asked for information about your computer, you draw a blank? Don’t waste time searching for the right location – use a shortcut! On a Windows computer, just press (Windows + Pause/Break) and the System Information panel will appear with all the information about your computer. On a Mac, you can open System Information directly by pressing (Option key > choose Apple menu > System Information.)
Whether you’re a computer novice or expert, we hope you’ve picked up one or two keyboard shortcuts you can start to use every day. If you use these shortcuts regularly, they’re sure to become second nature and save you a whole lot of time in the future!