Effortless keyboard shortcuts for your PC or Mac

Working on your laptop without a mouse? Using a different browser and can’t find the function you need in the menu? Looking to speed up your scrolling? Keyboard shortcuts can make it easier and faster to work on a computer (they’re called shortcuts for a reason!).
Today we share the top ten shortcuts to boost your productivity on your PC – plus some bonus tricks to use in your mail.com account.
Loose pile of black computer keyboard keys
Do you know which keys to press to save your document?
 

What are keyboard shortcuts?

When working on a computer, you can use combinations of keystrokes to perform certain actions. This has several advantages: If you are working on a keyboard anyway, you don’t have to move a hand to grab your mouse and click one or several times – you can just keep typing away. And if you don’t have a mouse, the keyboard shortcuts can be more accurate and easier to manage than a laptop touchpad. Nowadays, when we often work in several different applications and browsers, there are also some near-universal key combinations that save us from having to search the menus in each program – like the keyboard shortcuts for copy and paste.

Today we’ll look at:
 
  1. Our top ten useful keyboard shortcuts
  2. The best ways to cut and paste on a laptop
  3. Ctrl + shortcuts from A to Z
  4. Function keys F1 through F2
  5. Keyboard shortcuts for typing emojis

Top ten useful keyboard shortcuts

The following shortcuts will save you time and effort in almost any application on your PC, from a web browser to a word processing program:
 
Search:
Ctrl+F
 
Whether you need to find something in a document or on a website, pressing Ctrl (which stand for “Control”) + F will open a search field where you can enter your search term. The location of the search box will vary depending on the application – in most web browsers, for instance, it appears in the lower left corner.
 
Screenshot:
Prt Sc
 
The “Print Screen” key is usually located in the upper right of your keyboard and abbreviated as “Prt Sc” or similar. To take a screenshot of whatever page you are currently on, simply hit this key and a selection tool will appear for you to mark the area you want to screenshot. Other options include printing the selected area, or copying it to your clipboard so you can paste it in another program.
 
Select all:
Ctrl + A
Sometimes you’d like to mark all of the text in a document or on a webpage so you can perform an action like copying or formatting. Ctrl + A lets you select everything without having to mouse through it all.
 
Select text:
Shift + ←/→/↑/↓
 
Want to select specific words or paragraphs without reaching for your mouse? Position your cursor where you want to start, hold down the Shift key, and use the arrow keys to move around the page marking the text.
 
Copy & Paste:
Ctrl+C / Ctrl+V
 
Once you have used one of the options above to select your text, you can copy it to your clipboard by pressing Ctrl+C, and paste it again in the desired location with Ctrl+V. If the application you are using allows you to remove text, you can also cut out your selected text by pressing Ctrl+X and it will also go to your clipboard for pasting.
 
Save:
Ctrl+S
In most applications, you don’t have to look for the right button or menu to save your work – just use the keystrokes Ctrl+S
 
Undo/redo:
Ctrl+Z / Ctrl+Y
 
If you make a mistake in almost any application, you can undo your last action by keying Ctrl+Z. Hit that combination as many times as you need to get things back the way you want them. Went too far or changed your mind? Redo your action with Ctrl+Y.
 
Zoom in/out:
Ctrl +/-
 
Having problems reading the fine print? In most web browsers, you can zoom in by holding down the Ctrl key and tapping the + key until the view has been enlarged to your satisfaction. Zoom back out using Ctrl and the - key.
 
Shift between applications:
 Alt+Tab
 
Press Alt+Tab to see all the applications you currently have open. Keep the Alt key depressed and press Tab to shift from one to the next. Let go of both keys when you have arrived at the application you were looking for.
Go to top/bottom of page:
Ctrl+Home/End
Reached the end of a webpage and want to go back to the top? Need to jump to the very end of your document? Press Ctrl plus the Home key to return to the top, Ctrl plus the End key to land at the bottom.
 
 
Pro tip: There are also keyboard shortcuts to boost your productivity in your mail.com email account. For instance,  Shift+S will send an email straight to your Spam folder, while Shift+A will let you reply to it. And when composing an email, you can use a lot of your favorite formatting shortcuts from MS Word, like Ctrl+U (underline), Ctrl+B (boldface), or Ctrl+K (add a hyperlink).

What is the easiest way to copy and paste on a laptop?

There are two almost effortless ways to copy and paste on your laptop:
Use your mouse to copy and paste:

  1. Use your mouse cursor to highlight the text you want to copy: Click and hold down the left mouse button to start your selection, drag the cursor until everything you want to copy is highlighted, then release the left mouse button
  2. Click the right mouse button and a context menu will open
  3. Select “Copy” and the highlighted text will be copied to your clipboard
  4. Move your mouse cursor to the place you’d like to insert the copied text and click once with the left mouse button
  5. Click on the right mouse button and a context menu will open
  6. Select “Paste” and the copied text will appear in the location you selected
Use the Ctrl key to copy and paste
  1. Use your mouse to highlight the text you’d like to copy as described in step 1 above
  2. Alternatively, if you can’t / don’t want to use a mouse, position your cursor where you want to start selection, hold down the Shift key, and use the arrow keys to move and mark the text.
  3. Press the Control (Ctrl) key on your laptop keyboard, and while keeping it pressed down, press the C key. Release both keys. The highlighted text will be copied to your clipboard.
  4. Move your cursor to the place you’d like to insert the copied text.
  5. Press the Control (Ctrl) key on your laptop keyboard, and while keeping it pressed down, press the V key. Release both keys
  6. The copied text will appear in the location you selected
  7. Pro tip: If you would like to paste your copied text without formatting, use the shortcut Ctrl + Shift + V. (This works like the “Paste Special” menu in MS Word.
     

What are the Ctrl+ A to Z keyboard shortcuts?

If you’ve ever wondered if there is a Ctrl+ shortcut assigned to every letter of the alphabet, we are here to tell you that there is! In fact, some of the Ctrl+ shortcuts even have different functions depending on whether you use them in a text program or a web browser, for example. And if you are looking for these shortcuts on a Mac, many functions are similar but you’ll need to use the Command key instead of the Control key. Here’s a quick cheat sheet you can use to navigate your way around your keyboard:
 
Shortcut Function in MS programs Function in web browser Function on a Mac
Ctrl+A Select all Select all Command+A Select all
Ctrl+B  Make text bold Open bookmark panel  
Ctrl+C Copy selection to clipboard Copy selection to clipboard Command+V Copy selection to clipboard
Ctrl+D Open font formatting window Bookmark the current page Command+ D Duplicate selected files
Ctrl+E  Center text Open a search bar where you can select your search engine Command+ E Eject selected disk
Ctrl+F  Search the document Search the page Command+F: Search document or page
Ctrl+G Go to: In Word Ctrl+G will take you to a specific page; in Excel to a specific table or formula, etc.   Command+G Find next occurrence of item
Ctrl+H Find and replace Open your browser history Command+H Find and replace
Ctrl+I  Italicize text Open a panel with information about the webpage, e.g. web address, security certificate, etc.  Command+ I Italicize text
Ctrl+J Justify text Open your library Command+ J Show view options
Ctrl+K Insert a hyperlink Open a search bar where you can select your search engine Command+ K Insert a hyperlink
Ctrl+L Left align text Open a search bar where you can select your search engine  
Ctrl+M Indent from the left Mute any sound playing on page Command+M Minimize front window
Ctrl+N Open a new blank document Open a new browser window Command+N Open new Finder window
Ctrl+O Open an existing document                               Open an existing document Command+O Open an existing document
Ctrl+P Print current document Print current web page Command+P Print current document
Ctrl+Q Remove paragraph formatting    
Ctrl+R Right align text Reload web page Command+R Reload page in Safari
Ctrl+S  Save current document or file Save the web page as an HTML file Command+S Save current document or file
Ctrl+T Create a hanging indent Open a new tab Command+T Open a new tab
Ctrl+U Underline text Display the HTML coding of current page in a new tab Command+U Underline text
Ctrl+V  Paste text or items from clipboard Paste text or items from clipboard Command+V Paste text or items from clipboard
Ctrl+W Close current document Close current tab Command+W Close the front window
Ctrl+X  Cut text or item and copy to clipboard (Since web pages are read-only, it is not possible to cut text in your browser) Command+X Cut text or item and copy to clipboard
Ctrl+Y Redo undo action Redo undo action Command+Y Preview selected files
Ctrl+Z Undo last action Undo last action Command + Z Undo last action; press again to redo last undo
 

What are the uses of the function keys (F1 to F12)?

Have you ever wondered about the row of function keys across the top of the keyboard? On a Windows computer and on many newer Macs, the function keys are programmed to perform certain default shortcuts like saving or printing. Unless you have a specialized keyboard, there should be 12 function keys, numbered F1 to F12:
 
Key Function
F1 Opens help screen
F2 Rename a selected file or folder
F3 Opens search feature of active application
F4 Most commonly used with Alt+F4 to close current program or Ctrl+F4 to close open window or tab
F5 Refreshes or reloads current page or document
F6 In most internet browsers, moves cursor to address bar
F7 Spell and grammar check document in Microsoft applications
F8 Open Windows boot menu; commonly used to access Windows Safe Mode
F9 Refreshes document in MS Word; sends and receives emails in MS Outlook
F10 Opens menu of current application; Shift + F10 is the same as right-clicking
F11 Enters and exits fullscreen mode
F12 Opens “Save as” dialog

 
Keyboard shortcuts for the most used emojis

All of us know where to find the emojis on our phones, but what about typing them on a keyboard? In many cases, if you type the following key combination and then hit the space bar, a program like MS Word will automatically insert an emoji as follows:
Table with 10 key combinations for creating emojis
Try these key combinations to add emojis to your document
 
Pro tip: An alternative to using keyboard shortcuts to create emojis is to use the emojis panel in the program you are using to write your text. To learn how, see our explai­ner: How to make emojis from a keyboard on your laptop or computer
 
We hope we taught you at least one new keyboard shortcut today! We look forward to your feedback below.

And if you still don't have a mail.com account, you can create your free email address here.

 

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