Keyboard shortcut: Go beyond CTRL + C

Using the mouse is comfortable and intuitive: patented in 1967, it has certainly revolutionized the use of Personal Computers. Too bad that, often, using it to do "everything" can lead to disadvantages in terms of productivity and timing in the execution of some operations on the PC. So what are the keyboard shortcuts that you absolutely need to know?

Using keyboard shortcuts can dramatically increase productivity , reduce repetitive effort, and help you stay focused. For example, to copy text, you can easily highlight the text and press the key combination Ctrl + C. The shortcut is faster than moving your hands from the keyboard , highlighting with the mouse, right clicking, selecting copy and returning to the keyboard. All trying to have a certain precision in performing these movements.


It may seem absurd but it's true: the “classic” use of the keyboard combination to write and mouse to perform actions leads to slowdowns , especially when writing texts. To give an example, the philosophy behind text editors such as Vim is this: use the keyboard 100% to never take your hands away and therefore not waste time. What Vim does is therefore introduce a whole series of concepts that allow you to use the keyboard not only to write, but also to perform all the other operations that are normally done with the mouse, from the keyboard: move within the text, search words, replacements, select and so on are all operations to be performed via shortcut! But this is a theme that is beyond the scope of this article, so let's see a top of keyboard shortcuts that you absolutely need to know: simple, easy to remember but absolutely effective in facilitating the daily use of the PC!

CTRL + C, CTRL + X and CTRL + V: let's start with the basic shortcuts

If you want to delve into the world of shortcuts, you cannot fail to know the basic shortcuts, dedicated to the classic copy-paste or cut-paste! Applicable in general both on selected text and on selected files, CTRL + C allows you to "copy" while CTRL + X allows you to "cut". The counterpart is then CTRL + V which allows you to paste what has been copied or cut previously.

CTRL + Z and CTRL + Y: back and forth?

Another very important shortcut to keep in mind is the ability to undo the last change made . This is possible via CTRL + Z, while the counterpart is CTRL + Y which allows you to undo the last undo done, apologizing for the pun. In English they are indicated with the terms undo and redo . Note the fact that with "modification" we often mean both changes to a text and to files: it is therefore possible, in general, to also undo changes such as the deletion of a file (if not permanently deleted), a copy or a move from one folder to another.

CTRL + F and CTRL + G: Search for yourself

Are you looking for information in the middle of a text of a thousand or more words and find nothing? It would be unfortunate to lose concentration and start looking for the "search" button among the thousands of buttons in the graphical interface of the software you are using. CTRL + F allows you to make the search box "appear" in which you can type the text to search for . Often, but not always, CTRL + F is accompanied by CTRL + G, which allows you to do it again and then "go ahead" in the last search you did.

CTRL + BACKSPACE and CTRL + ARROW: Is it possible to scroll faster than this within a text?

I think this is one of the lesser known shortcuts. In practice, with the backspace it is possible to do two things in particular: in addition to the classic use of deleting the text written character by character, in fact, CTRL + BACKSPACE allows you to completely delete the last word on which the cursor is positioned .


But not only that, with CTRL + LEFT and CTRL + RIGHT you can move quickly between one word and another. So not character by character, but word by word.

ALT + TAB: Switching windows has never been faster with this shortcut

Another little-used shortcut is the one related to window switching . By pressing and holding ALT + TAB you can see a list of currently open windows / software. By continuing to hold ALT and pressing TAB you can scroll through this list and when you have selected the desired window just release ALT. With ALT pressed and pressing TAB you can then scroll forward while with ALT pressed and pressing SHIFT + TAB you can scroll backwards.

CTRL + T, CTRL + W and CTRL + SHIFT + T: work with tabs on the browser efficiently

Working with tabs on the browser is a must have, I think it's impossible nowadays to work without them. However, the inconvenient thing is to open and close the tabs, not for anything else but for the simple reason that sometimes the icons to close and open are small or placed in awkward positions, so a good mouse pointing is required which leads to wasting time. Therefore, there are shortcuts such as CTRL + T and CTRL + W respectively to open a new tab and to close the current one . However, it may happen that you accidentally close a tab with the shortcut or maybe because you wanted to click on the "+" next to a tab and instead click on the "x" of the tab itself (again for the required precision and that a votle we do not have because we are focused on the work to do). In this case, CTRL + SHIFT + T comes in handy which allows you to reopen the last closed tab .

CTRL + S: you must always save with this shortcut

I don't think this is in itself a little known shortcut, but it is the concept behind that I think is “missing” in many PC users: the concept of saving something you are editing. You often hear speeches like “I have lost the changes I have made! How can I do?" and he replies with "well, you will surely have saved the latest changes, you will have only lost the last few minutes of work" and it turns out that the last modification dates back to two days ago and the user had never saved anything so far.

Well, maybe the excuse was that the key to save is far away, inconvenient to reach and you lose time in reaching it, with the relative keyboard shortcut it is no longer. CTRL + S allows you to save the changes you are making , and is one of the most comfortable to perform. So, between a pause for reflection and the other, just press CTRL + S and it's done: and above all, it does not distract attention from what you are typing, since your hands will always remain on the keyboard.

The article Keyboard Shortcut: Going Beyond CTRL + C was written on: Tech CuE | Close-up Engineering .