There many ways to speed up your efficiency while using your computer. One way to do this is to utilize your keyboard and the shortcuts programmed by default into your system. There are basically 2 types of computer users out there, the mouse-driven user and the keyboard-driven user. You will see the difference in their actions apparent as one will click consistently on their mouse and the other will continuously use their keyboard for quick actions.
There are a few shortcuts on the keyboard that any user should know and learn to use.
CTRL + S (Command + S on Mac)
Save – This is one of the best things to remember especially for those of you who may have had that chance encounter with a computer crash while working on your 10 page final paper due tomorrow morning. I save things as I go consistently, anytime I pause for a new thought or even just hit enter for a new paragraph. Learn to save quickly to avoid unwanted loss of content
CTRL + F (Command + F on Mac)
Find – It is easy to get lost in things, a quick way is to just find / search for what you need. When in any browser, or document use this function to easily find a snippet of content.
CTRL + C (Command + C on Mac)
Copy – Copying lines or segments of text happens consistently. Why take the time to right click and hit “copy” or click “edit” copy, when you can simply just use the keyboard you are already typing on to quickly copy text preparing it to be copied elsewhere. Not to be confused with CUT (CTRL + X) which will both copy and erase the highlighted text. Copying and Cutting usually works in any instance of highlightable text, images, or even charts. When moving content from one Microsoft Office program to another, you can copy just about anything.
CTRL + V (Command + V on Mac)
Paste – The second part of copy, is paste. Pasting text you have copied to another location. Paste will work with anything you have on the clipboard and usually you should have no problem pasting anything into any program, but be aware of what you are doing, as that may not be the case.
CTRL + B (Command + B on Mac)
Bold – While this may not be the most vital keyboard shortcut to learn, I think it is important. Most of the time when you want to bold something you are typing already. Why lose your train of thought or your momentum when you could easily just hit they keyboard shortcut to bold the text you want. Use the mouse in this instance to make sure you highlight the text / paragraphs you want.
CTRL + P (Command + P on Mac)
Print – A simple command, use this keyboard shortcut to bring up the print dialog screen. Make sure to make the necessary changes (number of prints, page layout) before hitting the final print putting (or enter / return).
CTRL + N (Command + N on Mac)
New Window – When working in most programs use this command to bring up a new window. This works in even programs like Finder or Explorer for bringing up new windows to view your files in.
CTRL + T (Command + T on Mac)
New Tab – I know not every program uses tabs, however when it comes to efficiency tabbed interface is king. Next time you are in your browser, instead of opening up a new window for another website, try opening a new tab.
There are many other keyboard shortcuts to learn to help you with your efficiency, most programs have more specific shortcuts for commands within their program, these are our favorite that work across multiple computers as well as are pretty universal between programs.