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Quick Key Ideas
  • Date: April 30, 2021
  • Category: learn IT

Learn IT | 7 quick keys to save you time and effort

While there are no shortcuts to success, there are lots of quick keys that can help you get your work done faster and more efficiently. Quick keys are combinations of keystrokes on your PC that can save you a lot of clicking, dragging, and toolbar navigation on repetitive tasks.  The most commonly known (and regularly used) quick keys are Ctrl X (cut) and Ctrl V (paste). When you’re working on a paper for school or a report for work, these quick key combinations are incredibly helpful.

There are dozens of other quick key combinations on your PC. In this blog post, we’re going to focus on seven of our favorite, particularly useful quick keys for you to try right now.


Holding down the backspace button to delete multiple letters or words is such a waste of time. Yes, you can double click to highlight the word you want to get rid of and then hit the delete or backspace key but that requires taking the time to move your mouse to highlight the word or words you want to get rid of. If you’ve just written a word you or even an entire sentence you don’t need, simply hold down the Control (CTRL) button and then strike the BACKSPACE button and the entire word to the left of your flashing cursor will disappear. Don’t need the word to the right of your flashing cursor? Hold the CTRK key again and hit the Delete button and the word to the right of your cursor is gone. You can do this as many times as you need to delete as many words as you wish.


If you use a laptop, this tip can be rather handy.  Let’s say you’re working on an important report in Microsoft Word that requires you to research the Internet and summarize data from an Excel document at the same time. Instead of fumbling around with the dreaded touchpad to click on icons at the bottom of your screen, simply hold down ALT and TAB buttons. Every application or folder you have open will appear in a temporary window. Keeping holding the ALT key down, click on the tab you need and it will instantly appear on your screen.  No scrolling through icons, no minimizing screens, no hassles!


The next time you need to type a new web address into your browser, keep your hand off your mouse and simply hit CTRL and L. This quick key combination instantly highlights your address bar so you can type in the URL you need.


Let’s say you’re reading an article about a current event on one news website and you want to see how a different news website is reporting on the same story. Instead of using your mouse to scroll up to the + sign next to the tab you’re currently viewing, simply press CTRL and T.  These quick keys will add the new tab you need to view a second website so you don’t have to leave the site you’re currently reading.


How many times have you found yourself feeling overwhelmed by a web browser with 10 or more tabs competing for your attention? It happens to all of us at one time or another, especially when one interesting article links to another interesting article and so on. The next time you find yourself with a ton of tabs you’re no longer using, don’t click on the “X” in the corner of each one with your mouse.  Just mouse over to the farthest tab on the right and hit CTRL and W.  This action will cause the tab you are currently on to close. It will also send you back to the next open tab. Hit CTRL and W again to close that time and as many other tabs as you need to restore your sanity.

Windows + D

Feeling overwhelmed from a screen with layers of open programs? You can make them all go away in an instant by hitting the Windows button (the one that looks like the Microsoft Windows logo, usually next to the ALT key).  This will clear your screen and bring you back to your desktop where you can access each application by simply clicking on the one you want.

Windows + L

This is a great tip for anyone, to use anywhere but especially in public places like work, the library or classroom.  Whenever you leave your computer, hit CTRL and L to lock it.  The only way anyone will be able to use your computer is if they know the password. You DO have a password, right? If not, go to your settings, click on sign-on options and then Passwords to add this important (and basic) security measure to your computer IMMEDIATELY.

The more time you spend on your computer (especially when you’re using a laptop), the more helpful these quick keys will be. Using quick keys will save you precious seconds that add up, but they’ll also save the tendons in your wrist some exertion by eliminating unnecessary movements throughout the day. Need more advice to help you become a more efficient and effective computer user? CLICK HERE for more Learn IT articles!