Today’s computers run much more efficiently than ever before in history. Innovative tech companies continually find new ways to speed up the processing time of computers and to increase their ability to easily perform multiple tasks at one time. As computers get faster we also want to speed up the way that we interact with them. This can be made possible by taking advantage of the many shortcuts that are built into the computers that we use.
The most common shortcuts on today’s computers can be done by using the keyboard, and also the mouse. This is true for computers running on Windows operating systems (OS) and with Macs.
The main keys used for making shortcuts on the keyboard are the Windows key (Command key), Ctrl key, the Alt key, Shift and Tab.
The Windows key is an important key for taking keyboard shortcuts. It can be used to open any item in the Start menu. By pressing the Windows key and the corresponding underlined letter in the start menu you can quickly open programs and directories. In the same way, the Alt key can be used to open menu items by pressing the Alt key along with the menu item’s underlined letter.
Below is a selection of the most useful keyboard shortcuts for Windows users:
F1 = Help
Alt + Tab = Browse between open Windows
Alt + F = Open the File menu list
Alt + F4 = Quit program
Windows key + L = Lock computer
CTRL + C = Copy highlighted item
CTRL + X = Cut highlighted item
CTRL + V = Paste
CTRL + Z = Undo
The main keys that are used for keyboard shortcuts on Macs are similar to those used by computer users on Windows OS. The only difference with Macs is the addition of the Apple Key, which is also known as the Command Key. The Command key is essential in most Mac shortcuts.
Below is a selection of the most useful keyboard shortcuts for Mac users:
Command + A = Select items on the screen
Option + Command + A = Deselect all items
Command + C = Copy highlighted item
Command + D = Duplicate highlighted item
Command + I = Get info
Command + M = Minimize window
Mouse short cuts
Right clicking items on your screen allows you to use mouse shortcuts on your computer. Mouse shortcuts on a Windows machine are done by right-clicking on different areas of your computer screen with the mouse. Some of the most common shortcuts performed by right-clicking are copy, paste and delete. By right clicking a highlighted word, image or item in most programs you at minimum have the option of performing these tasks.
Few people realize that Macs have their own version of right-clicking. This is because traditionally, MACs only have one button on their mouse. To achieve a right-click like the Windows OS, Mac users have to press the CTRL key and then the item that they want to see a “right-click” menu for. A drop menu appears over the item, providing a few choices of action. A Mac mouse can also be used to drag and drop items to copy/paste them from one drive or folder to another.