Computer keyboard shortcut keys {Updated}

Shortcut keys help provide an easier and usually quicker method of navigating and executing commands in computer software programs. Shortcut keys are commonly accessed by using the Alt key (on IBM compatible computers), Command key (on Apple computers), Ctrl key, or Shift key in conjunction with another key. The de facto standard for listing a shortcut is listing the modifier key, a plus symbol, and another key. In other words, “Ctrl+S” is telling you to press and hold the Ctrl key, and then press the S key too.You can also find the shortcut keys to their most popular program by looking for underlined letters in their menus. For example, the image to the right has an underline on the “F” in File, which means you can press the Alt key and then the “F” key to access the File menu.



Some programs require the user to press and hold Alt to see the underlined characters. In the same image above, you can see that some of the common features, such as Open (Ctrl+O) andSave (Ctrl+S), have shortcut keys assigned to them. As you begin to memorize shortcut keys, you’ll notice that many applications share the same shortcut keys. We have a list of the most commonly shared ones in the basic PC shortcut keys section.
Basic PC shortcut keys
Below is a list of some of the most commonly used basic shortcut keys that work with almost all IBM compatible computers and software programs. It is highly recommended that all users keep a good reference of these shortcut keys or try to memorize them. Doing so will dramatically increase your productivity.

Tip: Besides the special character shortcuts listed here, some special characters are also located on the number keys (below the F1 – F12 keys). You can enter these special characters by pressing the Shift key and the number key that has the special character listed on it.


Shortcut Keys Description

Alt + F – File menu options in current program.

Alt + E – Edit options in current program

Alt + Tab – Switch between open programs

F1 – Universal Help in almost every Windows program.

F2 – Rename a selected file

F5 – Refresh the current program window

Ctrl + N – Create a new, blank document in some software programs

Ctrl + O – Open a file in current software program

Ctrl + A – Select all text.

Ctrl + B – Change selected text to be Bold

Ctrl + I – Change selected text to be in Italics

Ctrl + U – Change selected text to be Underlined

Ctrl + F – Open find window for current document or window.

Ctrl + S – Save current document file.

Ctrl + X – Cut selected item.

Shift + Del – Cut selected item.

Ctrl + C – Copy selected item.

Ctrl + Ins – Copy selected item

Ctrl + V – Paste

Shift + Ins – Paste

Ctrl + K – Insert hyperlink for selected text

Ctrl + P – Print the current page or document.

Home – Goes to beginning of current line.

Ctrl + Home – Goes to beginning of document.

End – Goes to end of current line.

Ctrl + End – Goes to end of document.

Shift + Home – Highlights from current position to beginning of line.

Shift + End – Highlights from current position to end of line.

Ctrl + Left arrow – Moves one word to the left at a time.

Ctrl + Right arrow – Moves one word to the right at a time.

Ctrl + Esc – Opens the START menu

Ctrl + Shift + Esc – Opens Windows Task Manager

Alt + F4 – Close the currently active program

Alt + Enter – Open the Properties for the selected item (file, folder, shortcut, etc.)

PC shortcut keys for Special Characters
There are many special characters that can be created using keyboard shortcuts. Below are some of the more common and popular special characters and the keyboard shortcuts to create them.

Shortcut Keys Special Character
Alt + 0224 – à

Alt + 0232 – è

Alt + 0236 – ì

Alt + 0242 – ò

Alt + 0241 – ñ

Alt + 0228 – ä

Alt + 0246 – ö

Alt + 0252 – ü

Alt + 0248 – ø

Alt + 0223 – ß

Alt + 0198 – Æ

Alt + 0231 – ç

Alt + 0191 – ¿

Alt + 0176 – ° (degree symbol)

Alt + 0177 – ± (plus/minus symbol)

Alt + 0153 –

Alt + 0169 – ©

Alt + 0174 – ®

Alt + 0128 – € (Euro currency)

Alt + 0162 – ¢ (Cent symbol)

Alt + 0163 – £ (British Pound currency)

Alt + 0165 – ¥ (Japanese Yen currency)

 While most of us are already aware of obvious keyboard shortcuts like “Alt+F4” and “Ctrl+C”, there are some obscure shortcuts which most of us tend to overlook. These keyboard shortcuts are not only useful for the average PC user but for advanced users as well. This article contains many such amazing keyboard shortcuts which if used properly could save a lot of time and effort. So now let’s move on to some special shortcuts. 

Windows key+D: This shortcut is the keyboard equivalent of “Show the Desktop”. It is useful for quickly minimizing every open window when someone walks in and you are doing some private work.

Ctrl+Shift+Esc: This shortcut directly starts the task manager. While Alt+Ctrl+Del was used to bring out the Task Manager in Windows XP and earlier versions, in Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8 and Windows 7, it just brings up the lock this computer screen.

Ctrl+Click: This shortcut is useful for opening a link in a background tab. This is useful when you have to load a page without leaving the current one.

Alt+Print Screen: takes the screenshot of the current active window as opposed to just Print Screen which takes the screenshot of the entire screen.

Shift+Click for Yes to All and No to All: If you have a lot of dialog boxes asking yes and no question, just shift+click Yes or No on one to yes all or no all.

Ctrl+C on an error dialog box to copy its contents: Suppose your computer is giving an error message and you want to copy its contents to send to the support guy, what do you do? Just press Ctrl+C while the dialog box is highlighted and its contents will be copied to your clipboard.

Ctrl+T: This keyboard shortcut opens a new tab in internet browsers.

Ctrl+Shift+T: Reopens the last closed tab.

Ctrl+Shift+N: This shortcut opens a new incognito window in Google Chrome.

Ctrl+Shift+P: Opens a new private window in Mozilla Firefox.

Alt+Enter after writing the domain name in the address bar of your browser to insert .com automatically.

Shift+Enter inserts .net domain name extension.

Ctrl+W: This shortcut closes the current tab in your browser quickly.

Ctrl+Backspace: This shortcut deletes the last word you have typed. It is useful in case you typed in a wrong word and want to delete it quickly.

Ctrl+Left or Right Arrow key: This shortcut allows you to move the cursor one word at a time instead of the default one character at a time.

Ctrl++: This shortcut allows you to zoom in web pages in web browsers. Useful when text on a web page is too small to read properly. Ctrl+Scroll wheel can also zoom in documents, file thumbnails and icons in Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7 and Windows Vista.

Ctrl+-: This shortcut does the reverse of the previous shortcut.

Ctrl+0: Reset the webpage’s zoom.

Windows key+M: Minimizes all the open windows.

Ctrl+L: This shortcut allows you to quickly jump to the address bar of your web browser.

Windows key+Pause/Break: Quickly open the system properties dialog box.  

Ctrl+Shift+Delete: This shortcut opens the option to delete your browser’s history, cookies, cache and other details that it stores while you browse the internet. This shortcut is extremely useful for the privacy conscious.

Windows Key+L: This shortcut locks your computer.

Ctrl+H: makes the history appear.

CTRL+B: Bold CTRL+U: Underline CTRL+I: Italic.

Alt+Select: This shortcut allows you to select rectangular blocks of text in Word processors, something that is not possible with simple select.

F2: Allows you to rename the selected file.

Holding Shift while inserting a device with removable storage prevents automatic run.

Ctrl+F: This keyboard shortcut opens the Find option in any program.

Ctrl+S: If you are working on a software and want to quickly save your progress, this shortcut will come in handy.

Ctrl+Home and Ctrl+End: Useful for quickly going to the top and bottom of a page.

Ctrl+P: Useful for printing the current page.

Space Bar: While viewing a web page in a browser, pressing space bar moves the page down.

Alt+Tab: Useful for quickly cycling between running applications. Press along with Shift to cycle backwards.

Ctrl+Tab: Cycle between tabs in your browser.

Ctrl+F5: Clears the cache and refreshes the current tab.

Shift+Right click: Open alternate right click options.

Alt+Double click: Open the file’s properties. Alt+Enter can also be used for this.

These are some keyboard shortcuts that I found extremely useful. If you know some more useful keyboard shortcuts, do mention them in the comments.

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