Dan the Computer Man

Your Computer's Best Friend
In-home computer repair in the San Antonio area

Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows

As a general rule, most of these shortcuts can be applied to a large variety of programs.

Critical - Engrave these in your brain
ALT-TAB Toggle between open programs
ESC Cancel or nevermind
ENTER Click. Okay. Do it. Execute. Go. (Never touch the mouse when ENTER is all you need)
TAB Jump to next object (link, button, box, etc.)
SHIFT-TAB Jump to previous object
END Jump to end of line
CTRL-END Jump to end of file
HOME Jump to beginning of line
CTRL-HOME Jump to beginning of file
CTRL-ARROW Jump to beginning of a word
CTRL-TAB Move to next window in multiwindow program or next Tab in tabbed window (e.g. Display Properties window)
SHIFT-CTRL-TAB Move to previous window in multiwindow program etc....
F6 Jump to next pane/frame in a window (Help programs, browsers)
Selecting Items
SHIFT + Movement Keys (Up/Down/Left/Right/PgUp/PgDn/Home/End)
Hold CTRL to select nonadjacent items
SPACEBAR to toggle selection (such as checkboxes, files)
CTRL-A Select All
Windows Key
WINDOWS (alone) Start Menu (Also CTRL-ESC if you have no Windows Key)
WINDOWS-M Minimize All (same as WINDOWS-D = Down)
WINDOWS-E Opens Windows Explorer
WINDOWS-F Find files
WINDOWS-Pause System Properties
WINDOWS-R Run command
WINDOWS-TAB 3D Toggle between open programs in Windows Vista/7 (compare ALT-TAB)
WINDOWS-Up/Down Maximize/Restore window in Windows 7/8
WINDOWS-Left/Right Bump window to left/right side of screen in Windows 7/8
WINDOWS-P Connect a Projector (toggle second screen) in Windows 7/8
WINDOWS-C Charms bar in Windows 8
Right-Click Shortcut Key
Located on newer keyboards between right Windows key and CTRL
Sometimes called "Application Key", it brings up a convenient menu of relevant actions to choose
It works in Microsoft software; non-MS programs often don't implement it
Select Menus
ALT key (arrows bring it down)
ALT+Letter Works for any underlined letter in menu/button/etc. options
Closing Programs
CTRL-F4 Close one window (document) in multiwindow program
ALT-F4 Close a program (for example, to kill popup browser windows)
Browsers (including file browser and newer Help programs)
CTRL-R Refresh/Reload (same as F5)
ALT-HOME Go to Home Page
F11 Toggle Full-Screen Mode
CTRL-T New tab
CTRL-+ Zoom in
CTRL-- Zoom out
CTRL-0 Reset zoom to normal
Copy/Paste Functions
CTRL-X (or CTRL-DELETE) Cut (Copy and Delete)
(Mostly) Universal CTRL-Functions
CTRL-F Find (in most programs)
CTRL-I Italics
CTRL-N New document
CTRL-P Print
CTRL-U Underline
Specialized CTRL-Functions
CTRL-H Replace (in Word, Excel)
CTRL-H History (in browsers)
CTRL-Y Redo or Repeat action (in MS programs like Word, Excel...)
Function Keys
F1 Universal Help shortcut
F2 Edit/Rename (For Excel, Windows Explorer, MS Access, etc.)
F3 Find (or Find Next, in Windows Explorer, Notepad, WordPad)
F5 Refresh (where this applies, e.g. Windows Explorer, email programs)
Other keys (Specific to each program)
Screen Capture
These shortcuts copy what you see onscreen into the clipboard. The image can then be pasted into a compatible program (i.e., one that supports images).
PRINTSCREEN Copy entire screen to clipboard
ALT-PRTSCRN Copy only the active window to clipboard
Before Windows begins to boot
F5 Force boot into Safe Mode
F8 Boot option menu (to choose DOS, Safe Mode, logged boot, etc.)
Windows Explorer
SHIFT DELETE Delete without moving to Recycle Bin
CTRL Hold during mouse-drag to Copy
SHIFT Hold during mouse-drag to Move an EXE file rather than make a shortcut
ALT-ENTER Show Properties of selected object (file, etc.)
ALT-ENTER Toggle between text and graphics video modes in a DOS window
ALT-ENTER Line-break inside a paragraph, cell, etc.
CTRL-PgUp/CTRL-PgDn In Excel, Move to next/previous sheet
SHIFT while inserting CD Do not AutoRun that CD
CTRL-Mouse wheel In Outlook, zoom in/out of email message
CTRL-SHIFT-ESC Task Manager (Better than CTRL-ALT-DEL because it skips the question)


Further keyboard shortcuts are documented in individual programs. Sometimes menu items list their shortcut equivalent; others can be found in the Help files. Some programs (e.g. Word) allow you to customize shortcuts.

Use the right-click. It reveals worlds of options, and makes common tasks very quick and easy. At the very least, use the one on the mouse. To get the most out of your 104-keyboard, use the one on the keyboard.

Combine Movement shortcuts with Selection shortcuts; this is a key method to leaving mouse users behind in the dust.