Ten top keyboard shortcuts

Top ten keyboard shortcuts for PC and Mac which are guaranteed to save you hours

shortcuts, keyboard shortcuts, mac shortcuts, mac keyboard shortcuts, pc shortcuts, pc keyboard shorcuts, how to cut, how to copy, how to paste, technology, australian

According to a study conducted by Google, nine in 10 people don't know or understand how to use keyboard shortcuts. Drew shares his top ten keyboard shortcuts for PC and Mac which are guaranteed to save you hours.


1. Windows key + E = My computer
Easily the best. Simply press the ‘windows key’ (shown to the right) and ‘E’ together, and ‘My Computer’ will open up, allowing you to navigate through your documents without minimising any of your open windows, or searching through shortcuts or start menus.

2. Windows key = Start menu
Simply pressing the aforementioned ‘windows key’ opens your menu without the need for minimising already open windows.

3. Ctrl + Z = Undo
Everybody makes mistakes, which is why we have been taught forgiveness. However it seems that the memo never arrived at Windows XP, and frustration can become all-encompassing. It is probably why there are so many broken computer keyboards and screens at the rubbish dump. When an error is made in a Microsoft Office program, simply press Ctrl + Z, and everything will fall back into place.

4. Ctrl + X = Cut, Ctrl + C = Copy, Ctrl + V = Paste
Scrapbooking is innately hardwired into humans. However, the exasperation which can come from using the mouse to cut, copy and paste, with the right click and the left click…oy! Using these shortcuts will take minutes off your Microsoft Office cut, copy and paste duties.

5. Windows key + D = Home
If you ever feel overwhelmed by the number of windows open, or just need to get to your home screen quickly, just press the ‘windows key’ and ‘D’ at the same time. This will put you straight back at your home screen (aka desktop).

6. Ctrl + Mouse = Select numerous items
When deleting a number of files from ‘My Computer’, or moving files, instead of doing it one by one, hold down Ctrl the entire time and click your mouse on each file. Once you have selected every file you want to delete/move, drag them to their destination!

7. Shift + F7 = Thesaurus
When working in Microsoft Word, it pays to beef up your vocab. By pressing Shift + F7, Word opens the Thesaurus function, which turns the passé word ‘hat’ into 'sou’wester' right before your very eyes!

8. Ctrl + F = Find function
A huge timesaver, this function works in most programs made for Windows computers, including web browsers, allowing you to find specific words in documents or on websites.

9. Ctrl + A = Select all
When selecting something large to copy and paste, whether it be off the Internet or in Word, it can be a massive chore. But if you aren’t choosy and want everything on the page to be copied and pasted, simply press Ctrl + A, and it will all be selected, ready to be Ctrl + C’d and Ctrl + V’d (now that you have had the masterclass we expect you to use the lingo).

10. Ctrl + Arrow Keys = Skip words
While in Microsoft Word, instead of using the arrow key to travel through each single word when trying to find a specific place to edit your work, which is time consuming, simply hold down Ctrl and the specific arrow key. This makes the computer skip over full words, allowing you to reach your destination much faster!


1. Switcheroo
Most people cite Apple’s ‘dock’ as one of the most unique and amazing yet frustrating features of the Apple Mac. Screens are minimised and can sometimes disappear, as well as the cluttered dock often leading to application confusion. Pressing Command + Tab is similar to pressing Alt + Tab on the PC, and will allow you to have a view of all the applications you have opened. This shortcut makes navigation a breeze and will lead to much less confusion when opening many windows.

2. Screenshot
Sometimes you are on the computer and need to remember something or print something off immediately. Yet if you are working wirelessly or do not have access to a printer, the Apple makes sure you are never in a situation where you lose a photo, funny joke or receipt number from your computer again. Simply pressing Command + Shift + 3, or Command + Shift + 4 for more accurate shots, will allow you to save what is on screen as a JPEG file on your computer permanently.

3. Hide the dock
Sometimes the famous Apple dock just gets in the way. If you are reading large text, watching a film or playing a game and keep getting interrupted by the dock popping up, simply press Command + Option + D to hide (and recover) the dock.

4. Definition
If you are typing or reading and need the definition of a word, instead of exiting to go to the dock, simply highlight the text and press Command + Control + D to get an instant definition from your Mac’s dictionary.

5. Hide and Seek
If you are one of the growing number of Australians who use Apple computers at work, or just have Nosy Nellies at your house who appear constantly over your shoulder, then hiding that online game or the footy scores is as simple as pressing Command + Option + M to minimise all windows open immediately.

6. Applications
Finding things on the Mac can often be confusing, but pressing Command + Option + A from anywhere will spring to life the applications folder, bringing the world of your Mac to your fingertips. Similarly, pressing Command + Option + D will open a new finder window, showing off your desktop.

7. Open Sesame
While we sang the praises of the helpful Command + Tab shortcut earlier, it still requires you to take your hand ALL the way over to the mouse and select a window. If you feel the burden of both multiple windows and RSI, simply press Command + ~. This switches effortlessly between web pages, word documents and all other open windows.

8. Spotlight
Searching for files on any computer can be a real drag. Thankfully Apple has solved this issue by creating the Spotlight shortcut. Pressing Command + Space and typing ‘holiday pictures’ etc. will take you to your holiday pictures folder before you have had time to type ‘holiday’. A real time saver.

9. Arts and Crafts
Similar to PCs, you have the option to cut, copy and paste. However the keys are slightly different on Apple Macs.

Cut – Command + X
Copy – Command + C
Paste – Command + V
Select All – Command + A

10. Error!
All Apple users love their computers, but even Macs are not immune to errors. Whether it be a small or fatal issue, sometimes you have to take your computer’s destiny into your own hands. Pressing Command + Option + Escape will allow you to force quit any pesky applications which are slowing your computer’s progress.

Did Drew miss anything? Share your favourite shortcut below!


    To make a comment, please register or login
    19th Dec 2013
    With regards to 6 above for PC's there is an easier way to delete bulk files:-
    Click on the first file for deletion, then hold down Shift key, click on the last file for deletion - this will highlight all files to be deleted, then press delete - all gone
    29th Dec 2015
    Always a good one.
    19th Dec 2013
    My fave shortcut: when deleting in bulk click the top row (as in deleted mail) hold shift and they all colour up then click delete.
    19th Dec 2013
    Another shortcut I like, especially when typing up recipes is
    ALT (hold down) 0188 for ¼. ALT 0189 for ½. ALT 0190 for ¾.Haven't found one for 1/3 yet if there's a smart pc user out there, please let me know.
    A. N. Onymous
    23rd Dec 2013

    In MS Word 2010: 2153, Alt+X
    Type 2153
    Then use Alt+X combination which changes the 2153 to produce your desired ? fraction.

    For other symbols, click on Insert>Symbol to open the Symbol pop-up window.

    Under the Symbols tab, when you highlight the desired symbol (e.g. 1/3), you will see the "Shortcut key" on the line above Insert/Close. (In the case of 1/3, you will see "Shortcut key: 2153, Alt+X".)

    If you want to replace that default shortcut key with your own shortcut, click on the "Shortcut Key..." button to open the "Customize Keyboard" pop-up window.
    A. N. Onymous
    23rd Dec 2013
    Re my previous comment and "Then use Alt+X combination which changes the 2153 to produce your desired ? fraction."

    I used the combination in Word to get the 1/3 and copied/pasted that into my draft comment in Wordpad. When It appeared correctly there, I copied and pasted the whole comment into the Comments box here. However, when my comment appeared here, the 1/3 had changed into a question mark.

    I am now going to copy and paste the 1/3 combo fraction directly from Word to see if it appears correctly here. If so, presumably the WordPad step caused the original 1/3 to become a ?.

    (A) Simply typing 1/3 produces this: 1/3
    (B) Typing the shortcut (2153, Alt+X) in Word and copying/pasting the result here produces this: ?

    As I look at (B) above, it appears as a normal fraction (with the numbers smaller than those in (A).

    After I post it, we can see whether it appears as ? or as that normal fraction.
    24th Jun 2016
    Are there any special ideas for Apple IPad mini ? I would love to know any ideas or info anyone has used or where to find similar info ,

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