How to Use Keyboard Shortcuts to Improve Your Productivity

Whether you spend all your time using a basic keyboard for work or your gaming keyboard is your go-to, getting the hang of keyboard shortcuts is useful not only for making your life easier but for improving your productivity. In fact, there are so many shortcuts available you could end up doing away with your mouse altogether. With a list of shortcuts at your disposal, you could write an entire article or create an entire design without your fingers leaving your keyboard.

If you spend a significant amount of time at your keyboard and you aren’t making use of all the shortcuts available to you, now’s the time to get schooled. You can save a significant amount of time by avoiding your mouse, and if you’re a time-strapped entrepreneur or busy freelancer, it’s the perfect learning curve so that you can dedicate more time to getting your work done.

We’re going to take a look at some vital keyboard shortcuts to know, remember and store, from Windows to Mac.

 Windows Keyboard Shortcuts 

Windows Keyboard Shortcuts

These are general shortcuts that can be used on any Windows keyboard, no matter if you have the latest software update or not. Below are the basics that every Windows user should have in their arsenal:

Keys Shortcut
Ctrl + X Cut an item
Ctrl + C Copy an item
Ctrl + D Delete an item
Ctrl + Z Undo
Ctrl + A Select all
Ctrl + Y Redo
Ctrl + V Paste an item
Ctrl + Esc Open the start menu
Alt + Tab Switch between all open applications
Shift + delete Delete an item
Alt + Enter Display the properties for an item
Alt + F4 Close an active item
Alt + 8 Show a password in the sign-in screen
Windows logo key + C Lock  your computer
Windows logo key + Print Screen Take a screenshot
Alt + Enter Display properties for an item
Alt + spacebar Open the shortcut menu for an active window
Alt + Left arrow To go back
Alt + Right arrow To go forward
Alt + Page up Move up one screen
Ctrl + down arrow Move your cursor to the beginning of the next paragraph
Ctrl + up arrow Move your cursor to the beginning of the previous paragraph
Ctrl + Left arrow Move your cursor to the beginning of the previous word
Ctrl + Right arrow Move your cursor to the  beginning of the next word
Ctrl with any Arrow keys Select more than one item in a window
Ctrl + Alt + Tab Use the arrow keys to switch between open items
Ctrl + Shift + Esc Open task manager
Ctrl with any Arrow keys + Spacebar Select multiple items on a desktop
Alt + Spacebar Open shortcut menu for an active window

Did you know that Windows allows you to custom create your own keyboard shortcuts? All you have to do is find the application you want to create a shortcut to, right-click, and pin it to the taskbar. Once that is done, right-click on the icon of the application that has been pinned, right-click on the application’s name, and left-click on the properties option. Click on the box that says ‘shortcut key’ and type in the key combination of your choice that will take you to this application; once done, click ‘ok.’

Mac Keyboard Shortcuts

Mac Keyboard Shortcuts

Below are all the basic must-know shortcuts for Mac keyboards. Keep them to hand, and you might never need your mouse again.

Keys Shortcut
Command + Control + D Define a word
Command + Shift + 4 Take a screenshot
Command + Control + Power Restart your PC
Command + Shift + Delete Empty trash
Command + Comma Open preferences for an app
Option + Shift + F11 / F12 Change the volume in small amounts
Option + Shift + F1 / F2 Change the brightness in small amounts
Command + A Select all
Command + C Copy item
Command + V Paste an item
Command + X Cut an item
Command + S Save
Command + Q Quit
Command + N New
Command + Z Undo or Redo
Command + M Minimize a window
Command + W Close a window
Command + P Print
Command + F Find an item


Shortcuts help you become more productive and stay that way throughout your day. Now while these shortcuts aren’t going to free up hours of your workday so that you can start a whole new project, they are shorter ways to perform vital actions that you need on a daily basis. Add up all the seconds it takes you to navigate and click around to find the app, tool, or icon you’re looking for, and you’ll be surprised how much time you waste when you could type in a combination of two keys, and you’re ready to go.


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