Almost every business on the planet uses computers for their business administrative processes these days. When the vast majority of your employees will spend their days typing away on a computer keyboard, it is important to ensure that their work time is spent as productively as possible. Keyboard shortcuts can save each employee valuable time every day, can improve their posture, and can even assist in preventing your employees from developing Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) of the hands and wrists.
Some of these handy shortcuts you may already be familiar with and use regularly, but likely not all of them. Please note that the shortcuts listed are functional with Windows Operating Systems, but may not be functional with another OS. We haven’t listed every keyboard shortcut available, only those that will greatly improve the efficiency of most businesses, and those that are simple enough to be used and remembered by most people. So, without further ado, here are some of the most useful keyboard shortcuts for business efficiency:
This is a shortcut for ‘Find’. If you are needing to search through a document for a specific word or phrase, then this is the shortcut for you. This is certainly more efficient than manually searching through an entire document for the word or phrase you are looking for, and when accessing a particularly large document, this handy shortcut could save you hours of frustration. Also, if you’d like to find and replace within a document, press CTRL+H.
This shortcut ‘Selects All’ (highlights) everything in the document that you are working on. That’s right, gone are the days of clicking and dragging your mouse over the entire page! This can be highly useful for changes you need to make to the entire document such as removing or changing all formatting in a document.
CTRL+Z or ALT+BACKSPACE
Did you just accidentally delete that important thing you were working on? Don’t fret, CTRL+Z to the rescue! This is the shortcut for ‘Undo’ and can save you from panic and stress if you make a mistake on the document you are working on. This can also be extremely handy if you are making changes to a large document and have lost the point that you were up to in your work. By pressing CTRL+Z, the last change that you made is undone, so you can see exactly what the last change was, and then continue working right where you left off.
This is a shortcut for ‘Cut’. Cut and Paste are often used in conjunction to move one section of text in a document to another section. This can be much faster than right-clicking if you need to move lots of sections in an Excel sheet for example.
This is a shortcut for ‘Copy’. Copy is often used in conjunction with Paste to duplicate one section of text to another area of the document. Especially useful for duplicating information that may be difficult to re-type such as large sections of text and heavily formatted sections.
This is a shortcut for ‘Paste’. Used frequently following Cut or Copy, this shortcut places the moved or copied text into its new position.
CTRL+Y or SHIFT+ALT+BACKSPACE
If you find yourself doing a lot of repetitive actions in your work, then this is the shortcut for you. This shortcut is for ‘Redo’ and replicates the last action that you took.
This is the shortcut for ‘Print’, and will save you the time to access the menu to print your document. Especially useful for programs that don’t have an easily accessible print menu or button.
ALT+F, ALT+E or ALT+V
This shortcut brings up the menu for the program that you are accessing (‘F’ brings up the file menu, ‘E’ the edit menu, and ‘V’ the view menu). Some programs don’t have a visible menu to work with at the top of the screen, so this shortcut can save you some time moving the mouse around to trigger a menu to show.
That little button above Backspace can be useful for deleting the character to the right of the cursor, and if you want to delete the full word to the right of the cursor, press CTRL+DEL. To delete the word to the left, press CTRL+BACKSPACE.
Pressing the Windows key together with the Tab key will show a display of all the open windows. This can be useful for quickly switching between different programs.
Text Formatting Shortcuts
CTRL+B will make your selected text bold, CTRL+I will make it italic, and CTRL+U will underline. If you want to switch between upper and lower case, press SHIFT+F3. To alter the font size larger or smaller, press CTRL+SHIFT+> or CTRL+SHIFT+<.
Whilst these aren’t really shortcuts, they can be useful in speeding up your work. Function keys can differ depending on the make of your computer, and sometimes require the FN key to be pressed to perform system actions. Function keys can change the brightness of the screen, audio volume, and other functions. F1 usually opens a Windows help menu. F5 is usually the refresh button. This is a useful alternative to locating a refresh button somewhere within the program you are working in and removes the need to move your mouse for this function. We encourage you to look into the set up of the function keys on your keyboard to improve your speed and productivity.
If this list has piqued your interest and you’d like to see more available keyboard shortcuts, this Wikipedia page has an exhaustive list of all of the keyboard shortcuts for several Operating Systems: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Table_of_keyboard_shortcuts.
If your computers are not working as fast as they should or if you have any questions about how to improve your workplace productivity on your computers, give us a call and we’ll be happy to discuss your business needs. We can improve your set up to better fit your business needs, so talk to us today and we can help you to improve your IT infrastructure and practices.