Keyboard Shortcuts We Can’t Live Without

In today’s technology driven world, many of us spend a great deal of time looking into a computer screen and tapping keys.  It’s a hard job, but somebody has to do it – so we’re sharing our favorite keyboard hacks and shortcuts to make your life easier.

For Mac users

Mac is definitely the most popular operating system of choice on the coworking scene, and it’s not hard to see why – Mac OS is user friendly, highly compatible with other operating systems, well designed for longevity and is quite secure against potential virus attacks.  We could say more, but it might sound like bragging…we’ll let the convenience and efficiency of the Mac keyboard shortcuts speak for themselves!

Cut, Copy and Paste – Command-X, Command-C, Command-V

We’ll start with a pretty basic shortcut, because we’re betting just about everyone cuts, copies and pastes!  Imagine how much time you’ll save by using your keyboard instead of scrolling around with your mouse.  All you’ve got to do is hit Command-X to cut, Command-C to copy, and Command-V to paste and voila!  Look at all the time you’ve saved.  Did you paste something in the wrong spot?  Just use Command-Z to undo it – and if you change your mind again and want to undo what you just undid, hit Command-Shift-Z! 

Easy Navigation – Command-Spacebar

Need to navigate your Mac quickly?  Use the Command-Spacebar shortcut to pull up the Spotlight search field.  Type what you’re looking for into the search field (emails from so-and-so, kind:folders, etc.), use your Up and Down arrow keys to scroll and when you find what you’re after, press Command-R to open the file’s location. 

Move Between Apps – Command-Tab and Command-~

If you’ve got multiple apps active on your Mac, using the Command-Tab keyboard shortcut will activate the built-in application switcher.  To move from left to right in your open apps, keep pressing the Command key and hit Tab repeatedly to switch.  To reverse that order and start moving through apps from right to left, use Command-~.

Quit a Program – Command-Q

To fully shut down a program with Mac, you’ll need to quit the app – quitting and closing a window are not the same thing.  To completely exit the respective program, hit Command-Q.

Force Quit – Command-Option-Escape

If an app that you’re working in freezes or becomes unresponsive, you can force it to shut down with this easy keyboard shortcut.  Hit Command-Option-Escape to activate the Force Quit dialog to put the frozen app to bed.

Hide an App – Command-H

You’re at work scrolling through Facebook Marketplace looking for your dream car, or maybe watching the latest and greatest cat video on YouTube (after all, it is 5 ‘o'clock somewhere!) when you look up and see your boss coming your way – it’s Command-H to the rescue!  This job-saving shortcut hides the current active app safely from view.

Open Folders in Finder – Command-Shift-A, Command-Shift-U, Command-Shift-D and Command-Shift-H

As a Mac user, you probably utilize Finder pretty frequently – here’s how you can make your time in Finder even faster and more efficient!  Applications, Utilities, Desktop and Home are all routinely used folders, so just hit Command-Shift-A (Applications), Command-Shift-U (Utilities), Command-Shift-D (Desktop) or Command-Shift-H (Home) to open any one of them.

Screenshots – Command-Shift-3

Depending on the project you’re working on, you might find yourself needing to take a screenshot at some point – to do so with your Mac, pull up the necessary screen and press Command-Shift-3 to take an image of the entire screen.  If you use Command-Shift-4, you can select the area of the screen you’d like to take a screenshot of.

For Windows Users

Yeah, yeah, we didn’t forget the Windows fans out there!  While Windows may not share the same pros as Mac, there’s still some bonuses to being on team W.  Computers with PC (Windows) OS tend to be more affordable than their Mac counterparts and there is a wide selection of software available for Windows – it also has an interesting ‘backwards compatibility’ component where older versions of Windows can still work with the more current ones.  If you’re all about Windows, we found a few helpful shortcuts for you too!

 Select, Copy and Paste – Ctrl-A, Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V

Again, basics first!  Copy and paste is a part of life, so here’s how to do it quickly and cleanly with Windows.  Hit Ctrl-A to select, Ctrl-C to copy and Ctrl-V to paste text, images, etc. right where you want.  If you’re not happy with where you put it, hit Ctrl-Z to undo.

Switch Apps – Alt-Tab

No matter what OS you’re running with, it’s incredibly useful to switch quickly between open apps, especially if you’re working on a project that requires a bunch.  For Windows, use the Alt-Tab keyboard shortcut to rapidly make the switch!

 Open the Start Menu – Ctrl-Esc

Many Windows apps and programs are hidden within the Start Menu.  To open said menu without the mouse, hit Ctrl-Esc and bam!  Access.  If you just can’t bring yourself to go back to using the mouse once the Start Menu is open, you can navigate with your keyboard by using your arrow keys, the Tab key and Shift-Tab.

 Refresh the Page – F5

To keep current with whatever page you happen to be looking at, simply hit F5 on your keyboard to refresh the page.  You’ll then see the most updated version of the page.

Lock Your Computer – Win-L

If you’re leaving your desk momentarily and don’t want your coworkers taking a peek at what you’ve been working on, Windows has a handy keyboard shortcut for locking down your device.  Press the Windows key (usually has the Windows icon on it) followed by L.  This takes your computer back to the opening lock screen, so your files can’t be accessed without your password.

Next time you fire up your computer, use these keyboard shortcuts with whatever OS you use to make your life in the office more efficient!

By: Klaire Howerton 




06 • 13 • 2018

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