BBC radio 2

Did you hear our how to guides on Simon Mayo's Radio 2 Drivetime show?

You may have read about Howopia in The Telegraph?

How to use basic PC keyboard shortcuts when typing

Your rating: None
Some basic keyboard functions are available that can make life a lot easier when typing on a PC. By removing the need to use the mouse on so many regular occasions, typing can become much quicker. By holding down one of the 'Ctrl' keys on a PC keyboard and pressing other keys, many things are possible. Find your 'Ctrl' key (either the left or right one) and let's go!
What you'll need: 
A computer (PC)
Any application that allows typing (Steps 1 - 4 at least)
Any application that allows formatted text (All tips)
COPY - Hold down 'Ctrl' and press 'C' ('Ctrl+C' will be the format used in other steps below). If you have some text highlighted (see Step 10) that text will be copied and can be pasted elsewhere (unless you Copy something else in the meantime)
PASTE - Ctrl+V - Place the cursor where you want to insert the text you've copied, and with the Ctrl key pressed, hit V. Job done.
CUT - Ctrl+X - This can be remembered by the X looking like a pair of scissors. Used in a similar way to 'Copy' this function removes the selected (highlighted) text from screen. It can then be placed elsewhere with the Paste function.
UNDO - Ctrl+Z - A useful function if, for example, an error has been made and you need to go back a bit. Some applications may only allow one 'undo' and you'll find the Ctrl+Z function switches you back and forth between the last and penultimate positions. In a lot of applications you can go back several steps on repeated use of the keys.
BOLD TYPE - Ctrl+B - Use this as a switch to turn Bold on and off when typing, or to adjust text already typed that you've highlighted.
ITALIC TYPE - Ctrl+I - Use this as a switch to turn Italics on and a off when typing, or to adjust text already typed that you've highlighted.
UNDERLINE TYPE - Ctrl+U - Use this as a switch to turn Underline on and a off when typing, or to adjust text already typed that you've highlighted.
FIND - Ctrl+F - If you're working with or reading a lengthy bit of text and you want to find a specific reference or word, use this function. It works in the majority of applications and most if not all web browsers (so quite handy on wordy websites). When using this function a dialogue box with appear on screen either in the middle or at the top or bottom edge of the application. The latter mostly applies to web browsers. It'll be quite self explanatory; just type what you're looking for into the box, and hit the OK/Find/Search/etc. button on screen. In some cases you'll see the possibility to 'Find and Replace' (some applications use Ctrl-G or H to call this up). Also extremely useful.
SAVE and PRINT - Ctrl+S and Ctrl+P - So your work is done and you want to print it off for all to see. Brilliant! Save it first of course, with Ctrl+S. To print, just hold your now familiar Ctrl key down and press P. The dialogue box appropriate to your application or operating system will appear.
HIGHLIGHTING TEXT (SHIFT KEY+arrow keys or Ctrl+A) - You can highlight specific text by moving the cursor to one end of the section you want (with keyboard arrow keys if you wish) hold one of the SHIFT keys (above the Ctrl keys) and use the arrow (left, right, up, down) keys to make the selection. Alternatively if you want to highlight EVERYTHING, use the Ctrl+A function (A for All).
There are quite a number of keyboard shortcuts that have been inadvertently forgotten by mouse wielding menu and toolbar clicking users. That's not a bad thing, but it's good thing if some of them can be remembered. They really do make some things much more efficient. Go on, give it a go :)
Try Ctrl+L or E or R to align text Left, Centre or Right.
Some of these tips may increase your productivity. Pace yourself; you want to make life easier, not be given more work to do!


Post new comment

This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Featured writers

We have had a chat with a couple of our more experienced writers.

Find out more about their experiences and why they contribute to Howopia.

Spotlight on two writers.

Share this

How To guides

Howopia is a new website dedicated to bringing together a community of experts to create the most useful 'How To' guides, to help you to achieve almost anything.

Related links