Keyboard shortcuts are probably the most useful technological tool that most of us aren't taking advantage of nearly as often as we short — but hey, guess what? Someone went and made an infographic featuring 50 essential keyboard shortcuts, and from what I can see, they have the potential to be positively game-changing. You all know how much I love a good tech trick, so let's take a look, shall we?
The most advanced my keyboard shortcuts usually get are the simple ones that only require you to hold “control” and hit one of the letter keys to accomplish… whatever it is you want to accomplish. For me, typically that's highlighting, copying, cutting, pasting, undoing, and formatting a piece of text with bold, italics, or underline. I'm aware that there's a whole wide world of keyboard shortcuts out there, of course; I've just never bothered to learn them. But now that I've got so many of them arranged in such a handy-dandy infographic, I really have no excuse for not broadening my shortcuts horizons.
Here are what I think are probably the six most useful ones you don't already know; scroll down to check out the full infographic, which also includes a boatload of Excel shortcuts. I haven't used Excel in years, so I don't really have a reason to know them anymore… but they're still worth looking at.
1. To toggle between open windows:
On a PC, hold “alt,” then use “tab” to cycle through all your open windows. I've known this one exists for quite a while; I just keep forgetting what the magical key combination actually is. Hopefully now I'll never forget it again. For Mac users, it's “command,” “shift,” and “tab.”
2. To lock your computer:
Hit the “Windows” key and L at the same time to lock your PC. I don't have a Mac, but I assume the key combination marked “sleep displays” (“control,” “shift,” and “eject”) does something similar. It's worth noting that Macbook Airs apparently don't have “eject” keys; this Apple forums thread suggests tapping the power key and selecting the sleep mode you want from there.
3. To grab a one-window screenshot:
On a Mac, hold “command,” “shift,” and the 4 key. The infographic doesn't have info on how to do this on a PC, but I did a little light Googling and discovered the “prt sc” key — which is in the top right of the keyboard on my computer, right between “pause break” and “delete” — does the same thing. After you've hit “prt sc,” open your program of choice — Word, Paint, whatever — and either right click and select “paste” or use “control” and the V key to paste the screenshot in. Or, you can use Snipping Tool, which is one of my favorite little programs ever.
4. To reopen the last tab you closed in Chrome:
Hit “control,” “shift,” and the T key. It's way easier than navigating through the menu to the “Recent Tabs” category with your mouse.
5. To toggle between the address bar and a web page in Chrome:
Just hit F6. I have no idea why I did not already know this one, but it's so wonderfully useful.
6. To close all tabs except the one you have open in Safari:
Hold “command,” “option,” and W. The only device I have Safari on is my iPhone, so this shortcut is more or less useless to me; I assume it will come in handy for those of you who have actually Macs, though.