Keyboard shortcuts are combinations of keys you press to perform actions on your computer that would usually need a mouse. They can save you a lot of time! Many keyboard shortcuts are the same across different programs. Others are specific to one program. Here’s a look at some basic shortcuts everyone should know.

Essential Shortcuts for Your Computer

General Windows Shortcuts

These shortcuts are handy whether you’re using a web browser, your email program, or something else.

ShortcutWhat it does
Ctrl + CCopies the selected item.
Ctrl + XCuts the selected item (removes it for pasting).
Ctrl + VPastes the selected item.
Ctrl + ZUndoes the last action.
Ctrl + ASelects all items.
Alt + TabSwitches between open windows.
Alt + F4Closes the active window.
Windows logo key + DShows or hides the desktop.

Text Editing Shortcuts

These shortcuts can save you time when writing emails or documents.

ShortcutWhat it does
Ctrl + BMakes the selected text bold.
Ctrl + IItalicizes the selected text.
Ctrl + UUnderlines the selected text.

More Keyboard Shortcuts To Keep Handy

CategoryShortcutActionOperating System
Basic NavigationCtrl + HomeGo to the beginning of the documentWindows/macOS
Ctrl + EndGo to the end of the documentWindows/macOS
↑/↓Move the cursor up/down one lineWindows/macOS
←/→Move the cursor left/right one characterWindows/macOS
PgUp/PgDnMove the cursor one page up/downWindows/macOS
SelectionCtrl + ASelect all textWindows/macOS
Ctrl + CCopy selected textWindows/macOS
Ctrl + XCut selected textWindows/macOS
Ctrl + VPaste copied/cut textWindows/macOS
FormattingCtrl + BBold selected textWindows/macOS
Ctrl + IItalicize selected textWindows/macOS
Ctrl + UUnderline selected textWindows/macOS
Ctrl + Shift + SSave the documentWindows
Command + SSave the documentmacOS
EditingCtrl + ZUndo the last actionWindows/macOS
Ctrl + YRedo the last undone actionWindows/macOS
DelDelete the character to the right of the cursorWindows/macOS
BackspaceDelete the character to the left of the cursorWindows/macOS
ScreenshotsPrtScnCapture the entire screen (Windows) or send the screenshot to the clipboard (macOS)Windows/macOS
Alt + PrtScnCapture the current window (Windows)Windows
Command + Shift + 3Capture the entire screen (macOS)macOS
Command + Shift + 4Capture a specific area of the screen (macOS)macOS

Additional Notes:

  • This table only highlights some of the most common and useful keyboard shortcuts. Many other shortcuts exist for specific programs and functionalities.
  • The actual shortcut keys might vary slightly depending on the specific software you’re using. It’s recommended to consult the software’s documentation for a comprehensive list of its keyboard shortcuts.

The Most Important Keyboard Shortcuts

1. Universal Keyboard Shortcuts

Regardless of the platform, these shortcuts are almost universal. They will work on a Windows PC, Mac, and most web browsers:

  • Ctrl/Cmd + C: Copy the highlighted text or selected item.
  • Ctrl/Cmd + V: Paste the copied text or item.
  • Ctrl/Cmd + X: Cut the highlighted text or selected item.
  • Ctrl/Cmd + Z: Undo the last action.
  • Ctrl/Cmd + Y: Redo the last undone action.
  • Ctrl/Cmd + S: Save the current document or file.
  • Ctrl/Cmd + P: Print the current document or webpage.
  • Ctrl/Cmd + F: Find words or phrases in a document or webpage.
  • Alt/Option + Tab: Switch between open applications.
mac screenshot tool keyboard shortcut

2. Windows-Specific Shortcuts

Here are some handy shortcuts for Windows users:

3. Mac-Specific Shortcuts

For Mac users, these are a few valuable shortcuts:

  • Cmd + Space: Open Spotlight for quickly searching for files and apps.
  • Cmd + Shift + 3: Take a screenshot of the entire screen.
  • Cmd + Shift + 4: Take a screenshot of a selected area.
  • Cmd + Q: Quit the current app.
  • Cmd + W: Close the front window.

4. Browser-Specific Shortcuts

Finally, when navigating the web, these shortcuts can be incredibly useful:

  • Ctrl/Cmd + T: Open a new tab.
  • Ctrl/Cmd + W: Close the current tab.
  • Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + T: Reopen the last closed tab.
  • Ctrl/Cmd + R: Refresh the current page.
  • Ctrl/Cmd + Plus/Minus: Zoom in or out on a webpage.
  • Ctrl/Cmd + 0: Reset the zoom level to the default.

How to Reopen Closed Tabs in Your Browser

Accidentally closing a tab in your browser can be frustrating, especially if it was a page you needed. Fortunately, most modern browsers offer a simple way to reopen closed tabs. Here’s a quick guide on how to do it in some of the most popular web browsers: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Safari.

Google Chrome

  1. Keyboard Shortcut: The quickest way to reopen a closed tab in Chrome is to use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + T (on Windows/Linux) or Cmd + Shift + T (on Mac). This will reopen the most recently closed tab.
  2. Right-Click on Tab Bar: Alternatively, you can right-click on any open tab or the tab bar and select “Reopen closed tab” from the context menu.
  3. History Menu: You can also go to the Chrome menu (three dots at the top right corner), select “History,” and then choose the recently closed tab from the submenu.

Mozilla Firefox

  1. Keyboard Shortcut: In Firefox, the shortcut Ctrl + Shift + T (on Windows/Linux) or Cmd + Shift + T (on Mac) also works to reopen a closed tab.
  2. Right-Click on Tab Bar: Right-click on the tab bar and select “Undo Close Tab” from the context menu.
  3. History Menu: Click on the hamburger menu (three horizontal lines), select “History,” and then choose “Recently Closed Tabs.” You can select the tab you want to reopen from there.

Microsoft Edge

  1. Keyboard Shortcut: Use Ctrl + Shift + T (on Windows) or Cmd + Shift + T (on Mac) to reopen a closed tab in Edge.
  2. Right-Click on Tab Bar: Right-click on an empty space in the tab bar and select “Reopen closed tab.”
  3. History Menu: Click on the three dots in the top right corner, select “History,” and then choose the tab you wish to reopen from the “Recently closed” section.

Safari (Mac)

  1. Keyboard Shortcut: Press Cmd + Z to reopen the last closed tab in Safari.
  2. Right-Click on Tab Bar: Right-click on the tab bar and select “Reopen Last Closed Tab.”
  3. History Menu: Click on “History” in the menu bar at the top of the screen and select “Reopen Last Closed Window” or “Reopen All Windows from Last Session” if you want to restore all tabs.

Browser Tips:

  • Multiple Tabs: If you closed multiple tabs, you can repeatedly use the keyboard shortcut to reopen them in the order they were closed.
  • Incognito/Private Mode: Remember that tabs closed in incognito or private browsing mode typically cannot be reopened.
  • Browser Settings: Some browsers allow you to adjust settings to open with the tabs from your last session, which can be useful if you frequently need to restore tabs.

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