In today’s work environment, employees are oftentimes asked to take on more projects than they hoped for. This increased workload can place a serious strain on an already-full “to-do list”. These types of situations require finding ways to improve productivity and thereby creating more time for these additional tasks. If this sounds like you, then you are in luck.
In this article, we are going to cover 15 Windows shortcuts that users can incorporate to improve their productivity and free up some valuable time. We have a lot to cover, so let’s get started.
Basic Windows Shortcuts
To begin, let’s cover some of the more basic Windows shortcuts that most users are familiar with. While these shortcuts may be basic, they can really help to boost your productivity at the office and should be used when you have several tasks to complete in a short period of time.
If your work requires you to have several applications running at the same time, this shortcut can be a huge time-saver. By pressing the Alt and then Tab button on your keyboard, you can quickly flip through all of the windows you currently have open on your monitor.
Did you make a mistake on a document you are trying to get finished? To waste time by “mousing” to the “undo” icon on the menu bar, simply hit the Ctrl button and the “Z” button to undo your most recent action. The great thing about this keyword shortcut is that it works in just about every program you will likely use. It also works when you accidentally delete a file by mistake.
Have a large Word doc that you need to copy and paste? Pressing the Ctrl and “A” keys will instantly highlight everything in the document. This saves you from having to use the navigation options in the toolbar or having to highlight everything using your mouse.
This is another shortcut that works just about everywhere you might be working. Pressing the Ctrl and the “W” keys will close whatever window you are viewing.
Need to open the Start menu? Pressing the Ctrl and the Esc keys will do it for you, and you don’t have to bother with the mouse to do so. You can also forgo the mouse by using the Tab, Shift+Tab, and the cursor keys to navigate once you have the Start menu open.
Shift+Tab and Tab
Using the Tab key will let you move forward in options menus, and using Shift and Tab will enable you to move backward.
Ctrl+Tab and Ctrl+Shift+Tab
Along with moving through options menus, you can use the Tab key with the Ctrl key when you have multiple tabs in the options menu to work with. Pressing the Ctrl and Tab key will let you move forward to the next tab, and the Ctrl, Shift, and Tab keys will let you move backward through the tabs.
When you need to view your desktop but have several windows open, simply press the Win and “D” keys. This Windows shortcut instantly minimizes all of the open windows so you can view your desktop.
This shortcut is similar to the Alt+Tab shortcut mentioned above, except that it shows you thumbnails of all of the programs you have open.
Win+Left or Right Arrow
Using this shortcut lets you “snap” a window. Snapping lets you place a window on one side of the screen, left or right, while placing another window on the opposite side. This lets you view two windows at the same time.
Advanced Windows Shortcuts
With the basic Windows shortcuts covered, let’s move onto the more advanced keyword shortcuts that can help increase your productivity.
This shortcut opens a hidden menu that lets you access key areas of your system. This menu, referred to as the Quick Link menu, can let you quickly access the Device Manager or other areas such as the PowerShell command prompt.
Need to see what you currently have running on your system? Pressing the Ctrl, Shift, and Esc keys will open the Task Manager and let you do just that. This Windows shortcut works on whatever application you might currently be using and saves you some “mousing”.
If you need to step away from the computer, pressing the Win and “L” keys will instantly lock your system. This will prevent anyone from snooping on your system unless they have the password for your user account.
If you discover that you have named a field incorrectly, don’t waste time navigating with your mouse through all of the menus. Pressing the F2 key while the field is highlighted will make the process faster. This shortcut is a great time saver in programs such as Excel, where you have to work with many fields.
If you need to save a screenshot, simply press the Win and PrtScn keys. This will save a snapshot of the whole screen as a PNG file that you will find in your Pictures folder on your computer.
Time is a valuable asset that you cannot waste. Using these 15 shortcuts should help you maximize this asset by helping you to be more productive. I hope you enjoyed this post, and please feel free to leave any feedback or other Windows shortcuts that may have been left out but can help boost productivity.