Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts can make you feel smart, but they can also help you get work done faster and more efficiently. Learn how to use them here.

Windows shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts can help you when working with text, files, applications, and the Internet. In Windows, you'll use the Ctrl (Control) or Alt key to perform most keyboard shortcuts.

Photo of left side of PC keyboardCtrl and Alt keys on PC keyboard

Working with text

These keyboard shortcuts are useful when working with text in word processor, email, and social media applications (like Twitter). They can help you perform commonly repeated tasks like copying and pasting or bolding text.

Working with files and applications

You can use keyboard shortcuts to open, close, and switch applications. When working with a file (like a Microsoft Word document), shortcuts can be used to create new files, find words, and print.

Internet shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts can also be used to navigate your web browser. Many of the Working with Text shortcuts are useful online, like the shortcuts for selecting, copying, and pasting text into your web browser's address bar. Because each browser is different, some of these shortcuts may have varying results.

Using the Alt key to navigate menus

When you press the Alt key, you will have access to all menus in the current application. This means you can perform almost any task with just your keyboard. For example, you can type Alt+F+X to quit an application. When performing these shortcuts, you will not need to hold down the Alt key.

Screenshot of Microsoft WordMenu selections after pressing Alt

Try using keyboard shortcuts to perform the following tasks:

  1. Open the Start Menu.
  2. Navigate to a word processing application like Microsoft Word.
  3. Open the application, and type a few lines of text.
  4. Select a few of the words. Bold and italicize the selected text.
  5. Undo the italicized formatting.
  6. Find a word or phrase in the document.
  7. Save the document.
  8. Close the application.

Try using keyboard shortcuts to perform the following tasks in your web browser:

  1. Open a new web browser window.
  2. Move through to the webpage to the address bar.
  3. Type the address of a webpage of your choice. For example, type
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page, then scroll back to the top of the page.
  5. Add the webpage to your bookmarks.
  6. Copy the web address.
  7. Open a new web browser tab, and paste the copied link into the address bar.
  8. Close the web browser.