10 Keyboard Shortcuts That Are Absolutely Essential


A shortcut is defined as an alternative, more direct route to achieving something, and is identical to the keyboard shortcut that we use in computing. Very much like the regular term, a keyboard shortcut provides quick access to something, and in this case is a function within a computer program.

To use a keyboard shortcut, you have to press a series of keys at the same time, with this leading to a quicker result. These keyboard combinations are very handy for working seamlessly, without being interrupted or losing focus.

Implementing keyboard shortcuts into your IT operations will reduce the number of times you use the mouse and will save time, allowing you to stay focused on your work. Keyboard shortcuts differ depending on the computing program you’re using and whether you’re using a Windows PC or Mac, with Mac having a different style of keyboard.

With a Windows keyboard, there are various shortcuts that will provide instant access to various functions within Microsoft Office and web browsers including Chrome, Edge, Internet Explorer and Firefox. We have narrowed these keyboard shortcuts down and have chosen the 10 Keyboard Shortcuts That Are Absolutely Essential for the day-to-day activities on your PC. These keyboard shortcuts are compatible with Windows, Microsoft Office and most Internet browsers, and are not compatible with all programs.


Copy – Ctrl + C

The Ctrl + C keyboard shortcut is very useful and is one that you may already know; with it being one of the most commonly used commands available. This shortcut is activated when both the Ctrl and C keys are pressed, and will trigger the Copy function on Windows. This will copy the selection and store it in the clipboard. You will find this shortcut handy when copying text or an object from a particular place, and then pasting it somewhere else, and this is something we’ll come onto next.


Paste – Ctrl + V

Paste is a keyboard shortcut that will more than likely be used after the Ctrl + C shortcut is completed, with the combination of Ctrl + V retrieving the copied selection from the clipboard and placing it in another location. This keyboard shortcut will be most convenient for when you need to quickly move a piece of text or an image from one place to another, rather than using the mouse to right-click the Copy and Paste functions.


Cut – Ctrl + X

Ctrl + X is a shortcut that can also be used when copying and pasting text, as when you press the Ctrl + X keys together, it will remove the selected text or image, and will move it to the clipboard. This is very similar to the Ctrl + C shortcut, but rather than just copying the text, it will remove the selection from the text.


Text Selection – SHIFT + ←, ↑, ↓, → 

Once you have applied this keyboard shortcut when working with Microsoft Office, it will almost eliminate the need to use the mouse at all and will let you maintain focus throughout the day. When pressing SHIFT and the navigational arrow keys, you can select words, sentences or whole paragraphs at a time, without having to touch the mouse. This means that you can select pieces of a document, Copy or Cut them, and then Paste them somewhere else, using the keyboard shortcuts we mentioned before.


Find – Ctrl + F

Find is a keyboard shortcut that you probably have never heard of before, but one that you will instantly find helpful and use daily. When pressing the combination of both Ctrl + F, it will access the Find navigational bar. This will allow you to search the displayed text for particular words or phrases you type in. This shortcut can be used on Microsoft Office, when finding sections of a document, and an Internet browser, to find information on a webpage. By using the Find function, you no longer have to scroll down the document with your mouse and scan the text for information, but use search instead.


Save – Ctrl + S

The Ctrl + S shortcut is an easy one to remember and is essential for the security of your documents. This will provide faster access to the Save function within Microsoft Office, and will quickly save the document that is currently open. Using the Save shortcut will not just save you time but will mean the document is updated regularly, just in case the program crashes. It’s also handy for when you get called away from your desk or step out for a break, as you may forget to save your work beforehand.


Undo – Ctrl + Z

The keyboard shortcut of Ctrl + Z will mostly be needed for when mistakes are made, whether it’s a minor spelling mistake or you’ve deleted the entire body of a document. You should already know where the Undo button is on Microsoft Office, however, with the Ctrl + Z shortcut, you can quickly undo your mistake without reaching for your mouse and losing your concentration.


Redo – Ctrl + Y

The Redo command of Ctrl + Y is one you will use with the Undo shortcut, with this shortcut commanding the computer to reverse the previous Undo. This keyboard shortcut might not be used very often, but is needed for when you press the Undo shortcut too many times.


New – Ctrl + N

Ctrl + N can be used on Microsoft Office as well as Edge, Internet Explorer, Chrome and Firefox, although it will result in a different outcome. When using a web browser, the Ctrl + N combination will open up a new tab, but with Office, the same combination will instead open up a new document. Again with this keyboard shortcut, it will get rid of the need to use the mouse, as you can use the shortcut to open a new tab or document.


Lock Device – Windows Key + L

The tenth and final keyboard shortcut that we believe is essential is the Lock command, which is activated when hitting the Windows key and the L key. This keyboard shortcut is vital for the security of your data, as it will immediately lock the PC and require the password for it be unlocked again. You may find this convenient for when you need to step away from your desk to speak to a colleague, pop to the restroom or head out for lunch, as you can come back knowing that your tabs remain the same and that no one has messed around with anything.


We hope that you have found these keyboard shortcuts of use and will start to implement them into the daily activities on your PC, whether it’s at work or at home. If you have found this post rewarding and would like to be reminded of these shortcuts, you can print off our PDF Keyboard Shortcut Hand-Out in A5 and leave it on your desk for future reference. This will help you memorise the commands and you can always refer back to them if you forget!

If you’re interested in checking out our other posts, why not head over to our blog? Ghost is an IT company that offer IT support in Essex and surrounding areas of Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire, and if you want further information on our services, you can call us on 01708 390 370 or email [email protected].