You’re using your keyboard wrong — 7 smart keyboard shortcuts to save time


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Windows users know that the shortcut key is Ctrl+ Alt + Delete. On a Mac Command + Option + Esc. If you are working on something very important, your programs may become inoperable. 

This should be a sign to take immediate action. To find out what to do if your computer becomes inoperable or crashes, tap or click.

Ctrl+ C is for copying and Ctrl+ V to paste Windows on a Mac are also popular keyboard shortcuts. On a Mac, that’s Command + C and Command + V. Click or tap to see a complete list..  

Let’s go beyond the basics with lesser-known shortcuts you’ll wish you knew about sooner. 

1. Switch between open windows 

Multitasking is a common feature of multitasking. You rarely see one window on your computer. Consider that you are using multiple tabs in your browser, an email client, and Excel. 

You can go to your computer’s dock to switch between applications, or you can quickly cycle through them with a few keystrokes. 

  • You can switch open windows by pressing the following button: Ctrl+ Alt + Tab.
  • Press the “” key to switch between Mac’s open windows Command + Tab.

Digital life hack: You can use these helpful phrases with Siri or Google Assistant 

Woman uses computer keyboard.

A woman uses a computer keyboard.

2. Lock your computer quickly 

If you are not home, turn your computer off and lock it. Do it without going through your computer’s menu.  

  • For your computer’s lock screen, click Windows + Linux.
  • For Mac screen lock, click Ctrl+ Command + Q.

Also, ensure that the password you select is secure and strong. There are no passwords that contain “password1”, birthdays, or any other characters. Listen to or click my 60 second podcast about creating passwords that you actually can remember.

3. Make a photograph of your screen 

You may occasionally want to only save a small portion of a website, photo or other content. It’s so easy to do once you know the combination of keys to make the magic happen.  

  • For a PC screenshot, click on the button Windows + Shift + S.
  • Press the “Take a screenshot” button on your Mac to take one. Shift + Command + 4..

You will see the saved screenshot in your clipboard. Click on Word, Preview or Paint and choose Paste. You can then edit and save the image to your preferred location. 

4. Zoom in 

Whether your eyesight isn’t what it used to be or you want to see something on your screen in greater detail, zoom is there to help.  

I’ll show you two options. Hit the following button if you’re using a mouse that has a wheel attached to your computer. Scroll your mouse by pressing CTRL +. Scroll up to zoom in, and scroll down for zooming out. 

You can only use your keyboard: 

  • Windows Vista Press Windows key + plus sign (+) to zoom in; Windows key + the minus signZoom out
  • Mac Press Option + Command + Equals Sign (=) to zoom in; Option + Command + Minus sign (-). to zoom out.

5. You can paste text with no formatting 

This is a keyboard shortcut that I always use: Instead of using Ctrl+V to copy text, insert the shift key. You can then paste what you have copied, and it will remove any formatting. You can match your text to any other document by copying it. This is super useful. 

  • Windows: Use the Press Ctrl + Shift+ V
  • Mac: Use the Press Option + Command + Shift +
Man using laptop computer on airplane.

Laptop computer used by man in airplane

6. Check your entire download history quickly 

Want to see what you’ve downloaded from your web browser? Perhaps you have a file that you downloaded a while back, but you forgot to put it away. 

  • You can hit the “Refresh” button on your Windows PC. Use Ctrl +.
  • Use a Mac to hit Command + Option + l.

Quick reminder: Do not download anything. One errant click can infect your computer. Click or tap here to learn five ways you can avoid making mistakes when downloading products from the Internet

7. Create a virtual desktop 

Virtual desktops are useful for those who use multiple apps at once or have different needs.  

One can use your computer to do work while another virtual desktop is open to run a game. You can also open one or more windows for video editing on one desktop, and then switch to the second desktop for photo editing. 

  • To create a virtual desktop on PC, press Windows + Ctrl+ D.
  • To create a virtual desktop on Mac, press Control + up Arrow.

Bonus Tip Here are some ways to increase your tax refund in the new year 

Senior couple browsing the internet together

A senior couple surfing the Internet together

New changes have been made by the IRS, such as $600, WFH deductions and child tax credits. Rachel Cheek (tax accountant) and I explore the numerous ways forms, deductions and rules can impact your 2021 taxes return. 

Check out my podcast “Kim Komando Explains” on Apple, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast player. 

Listen to this podcast or any other podcasts you like. Search for “Komando”, my last name. 

Do you have any digital lifestyle questions? Kim hosts a national radio program. Tap or Click Here to Find it On Your Local Radio Station. You can watch or listen to The Kim Komando ShowOn your tablet, phone, television or computer. You can also tap or click the link to access Kim’s audio podcasts. 

Copyright 2022, WestStar Multimedia Entertainment. All rights reserved. By clicking the shopping links, you’re supporting my research. Amazon Associates allows me to earn small commissions on qualifying orders. Products I trust are only recommended by me. 

Get the best technology news on The Kim Komando ShowThis is the country’s biggest weekend radio talk station. Kim is available to take calls, and she gives digital advice. This includes online privacy and data hacks as well smartphones and tablets. Her website contains daily tips and her free newsletters.  

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