Keystroke Shortcuts

I spend a lot of time on computers. That means a lot of time with my hands on the keyboard. Wouldn’t it be great it there was an easy way to make every computer work faster? There is…they’re called keyboard shortcuts and I use a ton of them. Most of them have become second nature I use them so often. Last week when I was taking the VB.Net course my partner kept asking me how I did this or that. This guy had worked for 17 years as a program and didn’t know the shortcuts that I use everyday! I believe that some of these shortcuts are essential skills for a programmer and I wouldn’t be able to live without them.

A few notes…These shortcuts should work in *most* Windows applications, but not all. Some people don’t know what the Windows key is (I’ll use WIN as an abbreviation), so I’ll explain it. It’s the key on a PC keyboard that is usually between the Ctrl and Alt keys on the left side and between the Alt and Context key on the right side. It has the Windows logo (flag) on it. I will not be stating the obvious shortcuts such as Page Up/Down, Delete, etc. but will include a few that I never see people use when they should.


CTRL+C = Copy

CTRL+X = Cut

CTRL+V = Paste

CTRL+Z = Undo

CTRL+Y = Redo

CTRL+A = Select All

Moving The Cursor

Home = Move to the beggining of a line

CTRL+Home = Move to the beggining of a file

End = Move to the end of a line

CTRL+End = Move to the end of a file

CTRL+Right Arrow = Move to the beginning of the next word

CTRL+Left Arrow = Move to the beginning of the previous word


CTRL+SHIFT+Right Arrow = Hightlight the next word (Hold CTRL+SHIFT and press Right Arrow to highlight multiple words)

CTRL+SHIFT+Left Arrow = Hightlight the previous word (Hold CTRL+SHIFT and press Right Arrow to highlight multiple words)

CTRL+SHIFT+Home = Highlight from the current position to the beginning of the file

CTRL+SHIFT+End= Highlight from the current position to the end of the file


WIN+E = Open Windows Explorer

WIN+D = Minimize all open windows and show the Desktop

WIN+M = Minimize all open windows

WIN+SHIFT+M = Restores minimized windows

WIN+Break = Display the System Properties

CTRL+SHIFT+ESC = Display the Windows Task Manager

ALT+F4 = Close a window


Highlight a line when I’m in the middle of it….Home, SHIFT+End OR End, SHIFT+Home

Highlight everything below (and including) the line that I’m on…Home,CTRL+SHIFT+End

You get the idea!

Trust me…if you learn just a few of these, your life will be so much more enjoyable! :mrgreen:

Have any shortuts not listed that I might benefit from?

19 Replies to “Keystroke Shortcuts”

  1. Deleting a whole word:




    depending on where the word is in relation to your cursor.

    Does work too well Notepad on WinXP (puts a nice box character..), havn’t tried it in Win98 or other versions.


  2. Ah, yes…forgot the tab ones.

    Tab = Move to next input box

    SHIFT+Tab = Move to previous input box

    I’ve never heard of the backspace/del ones…will have to try those.


  3. ALT-TAB – Cycle through an iconic list of open windows and switches to whichever one is highlighted. Very handy when you have a massive number of windows open as I usually do.


  4. There are a few other useful ones.

    SHIFT + UP/Down, highlight the previous/next line.

    CTRL + TAB, cycles forwards through tabs within an application, eg, a web browser with tabs such as Firefox.

    CTRL + SHIFT + TAB, cycle backwards through tabs in an application.

    CTRL + ESC, if you don’t have a windows key on your keyboard, it opens the start menu.

    Those are the only others I can think of at the moment.


  5. I use a lot of those everyone mentioned…just goes to show how much they’ve become normal keystrokes for me…I can’t even remember them all!


  6. Wow, I’ve used Windows since v2.0 (yes.. that long!) and I never picked up CTRL + Backspace/Del.

    I do use CTRL + Right / CTRL + Left an awful lot though for moving you through a line one word at a time (instead of one character at a time with just left/right). Really helpful when I’m coding and I want to get to the middle of a line.

    My most oft-used are ones you pointed out in the post: Windows + E (Explorer) and Alt + F4 (close window).

    CTRL + F4 is another one. It closes a sub-window in an MDI interface, such as a document in Word, or a tab in Firefox.


  7. CTRL+P for print

    Also in Windows XP when you are looking through a list and want to find something faster hit the first letter of the word or phrase you are looking for and it will automaticly go to the letter of the allphabet


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