Tips To Make Yourself A Keyboard Shortcut Wizard

Tips To Make Yourself A Keyboard Shortcut Wizard

A while back, we asked you all to tell us which keyboard shortcuts you found most useful — we wanted to know about keystrokes that went above and beyond the basics. Here’s the best of what you had to say. Are you ready to get your motherfraking optimise on?

From your desktop…

Of all the tips you gave us, some of our favourites are not necessarily well-known ways to get your computer into (or out of) an idle or locked state quickly by using a shortcut to bypass menus.

Windows+L: Lock your computer (Windows) — Thanks Jimstoic

Opt+Cmd+Eject: Puts your computer to sleep (Mac) — Thanks PrestigeWorldwide and rustyspanner

Ctrl+Opt+Cmd+Eject: Hard shutdown without prompt (Mac) — Thanks CRUMBshot

Ctrl+Shift+Eject: Turn off your monitor without going to sleep (Mac) — Thanks Zack Pyle

Ctrl+Shift+Esc: Bypass Ctrl+Alt+Del and go straight to the Task Manager (Windows) — Thanks SQLGuru

Eradicate faster…

Getting rid of stuff is sometimes the most productive thing you can do.

Fn+Backspace: Delete item to the right when you don’t have a delete key (Mac) — Thanks Bostonmodo

Ctrl/Opt+Backspace: Erase whole words (Windows/Mac) – Thanks Nick Berkowitz

Shift+Del: Permanently delete a file by skipping the Recycle Bin (Windows) — Thanks atatassault47

Navigate your text…

No more jabbing at your keyboard endlessly to move back and forward. Be the Usain Bolt of the text box.

Ctrl/Opt+L/R Arrow: Jump forwards or backwards by entire words (Windows/Mac) — Thanks Sketcher 0204

Ctrl/Cmd+L/R Arrow: Jump to the beginning or end of a line (Windows/Mac) — Thanks brunski82

Browse better…

Ctrl/Cmd+L: Select the address bar — Thanks MylarShoe

Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+T: Reopen the tab that you accidentally (and stupidly) just closed (Windows/Mac) — Thanks DeadlyFatalls

Ctrl/Alt+Down arrow: Scroll down just a little bit — Thanks nobody

Screenshot it…

Personally, I use this at least 20 times a day. A personal favourite.

Cmd+Shift+4: Pull up crosshairs for a selection screenshot — Thanks Jservalli

Cmd+Shift+3: Capture a screenshot of your entire screen.

Holy crap how many displays do you have?

I never thought this would be a problem but user thisisharderthani thought clearly needs this one:

Windows+P: Change how many connected screens or projectors you want to use.


It’s great for me to go from using my monitor and TV for browsing the web and watching Hulu to just my TV for gaming or a movie without having to go into the Control Panel.


Make Office useful…

In Microsoft Office, user Chris Straughn likes:

Ctrl+Shift+K: To make “small capitals” (Windows)


Writing my dissertation in linguistics would have been so much more painful without this, as we use small caps a lot in our morphological glosses.

For Microsoft Office shortcuts that will probably be more useful to you, check out this nice PDF listing.

Obvious, maybe, but this Photoshop tip blew my mind…

Ctrl/Cmd+Alt/Opt+Z: Successive undos in Photoshop (Windows/Mac) — Thanks candytaco

Why is this so crazy? In Photoshop, the old Ctrl/Cmd+Z toggles back and forth between your last step making it easy to compare the results of an option on your project. But add “alt” to the whole equation and you can keep going back in time forever and ever.

Now, I polled my colleagues and it turns out that I’m a total idiot for using Photoshop as long as I have without knowing this. But that’s the beauty of shortcuts; just when you think you’ve learned them all, another one pops up that you’d somehow managed to overlook.

A few more resources…

Those are just a few of the shortcuts out there; if you want a more universal listing for Macs, check out Dan Rodney’s neatly categorised collection. Microsoft, meanwhile, has a nice listing of shortcuts for Windows.

Picture: Juan R. Velasco/