Better understand common tasks in Windows in this free lesson, which covers Windows common tasks you can perform.
Learning how to use a computer can feel overwhelming at times. Fortunately, there are some common computer skills that will work the same way in almost any situation. Once you learn how to use these skills, you'll be able to use them to perform a variety of tasks on your computer. In this lesson, we'll talk about some common commands you can use in almost any application, including cut, copy, paste, and undo.
Most applications have a Menu bar at the top of the window. Each menu has a set of commands that will perform a specific action within the program. While each application is different, there are some common commands that work the same way, no matter which application you're using. Whenever you open a program for the first time, try clicking these menus to see the various options available.
You'll find the File menu on the leftmost side of the Menu bar in almost every application. The File menu will usually have the same type of commands. For example, you can create a new file, open an existing file, and save the current file, among other functions.
Many applications allow you to copy items from one place and then paste them to another. For example, if you're working with a word processor, you might copy and paste text to avoid typing the same thing over and over. If there's something you want to move from one place to another, you can cut and paste instead.
You can use the cut, copy, and paste commands for a variety of tasks on your computer. For example, if you wanted to create a duplicate copy of a file, you could copy it from one folder to another.
Copying a file is not the same as creating a shortcut. You can review our lesson on Working with Files to learn more about using shortcuts.
Let's say you're working on a text document and accidentally delete some text. Fortunately, you won't have to retype everything you just deleted! Most applications allow you to undo your most recent action when you make a mistake like this. Just locate and select the Undo command, which is usually in the upper-left corner of the window near the Menu bar. You can also press Ctrl+Z on your keyboard. You can continuing using this command to undo multiple changes in a row.
Note that the Undo command will work almost all of the time, but not in every situation. For example, if you empty the Recycle Bin to permanently delete a file, you can't undo the action.
Now you know some of the most commonly used commands, which you'll be able to use in almost any application on your computer. As we mentioned earlier in this lesson, you can also use keyboard shortcuts to perform these commands even faster. We'll talk more about keyboard shortcuts in our lesson on Keyboard Shortcuts in Windows.