The Ultimate Guide to Keyboard Shortcuts

Spend more time doing and less time typing commands

We all work with computers enough to figure out how to get things done pretty easily most of the time. What most people don't know, however, is that there are dozens of keyboard shortcuts built into many computer programs for commonly used commands.

What Is a Keyboard Shortcut?

A keyboard shortcut uses one key or sometimes a keystroke combination to perform a menu or other type of function in a computer program. The process makes entering computer commands much faster, which then makes using a given program quicker and easier.

Keyboard shortcuts can be found in operating systems such as Windows, Mac, and Linux as well as in web browsers, office programs (like Excel, Word, or Powerpoint), and in many other kinds of programs, including Maya and Photoshop. You can even use them in email programs.

Examples of Keyboard Shortcuts

You've probably used a few shortcuts but here are a few examples:

  • In Windows 10, pressing the Ctrl+Shift+Esc keys simultaneously opens the Task Manager.
  • In Gmail, pressing the J key will quickly scroll you down through your list of emails. (Settings must be enabled.)
  • In Safari, pressing Command+N simultaneously will instantly open a new tab with a blank page.

To help you zoom through the most commonly used programs on the market today, we've compiled a broad list of both popular and hidden shortcuts for many different types of programs and operating systems.

To use this guide, open the links in the navigation pane. You'll see it's separated into eight different sections: Windows Timesavers; Mac, iOS & iPad Quick Tricks; Android & iPhone Shortcuts; Email Shortcuts; Online & Browser Shortcuts; Excel Shortcuts; More Office Shortcuts; and Other Useful Shortcuts. Inside each section are several articles filled with tips and hints for you.

Productivity at Home and at Work

Beyond shortcuts, most of us are frequently seeking new ways to be more productive in both our personal and work lives. Continuing, relentless advances particularly in the form of personal, wearable devices like smartphones and fitness trackers have given rise to a wide variety of apps designed to help us make the most of every minute.

From planning tasks, scheduling time and keeping notes with productivity apps to using a smartwatch to set reminders and alarms, thousands of productivity apps are available to help you work smarter and faster.

The trick to using all of this technology, whether it's a keyboard shortcut or the latest productivity app, is to stay as tuned in as possible to your own needs for peace and quiet. Technology moves so quickly through our lives, it's sometimes too easy to lose sight of what's truly important in favor of the endless search for faster, easier, better.

Sometimes, a simple decluttering of your world with a useful app can be just as productive as using a single keystroke to untangle the next task on your list. But if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed with all the shortcut options available, stop typing on that keyboard and just yell at Alexa or Google to turn on sleep sounds so you can take a nap and get away from it all.

After all, those tasks will be back tomorrow. Tackle them then!

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