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In my eight years working in software, particularly as a trainer, I’ve seen a quite the spectrum of computer savviness. It’s probably no surprise to say most people who work with computers all or part of their professional day are not very comfortable or familiar with their computer and its programs. Most folks only go as far as their training and repetitive tasks take them.

The Before Picture …

If you’re one of these people, I’m here to say I understand. Truly, I do—I used to be just like you. But I’m also here to help, because with a little determination and practice, you can start controlling the computer rather than feeling it’s dictating your day. The best way to start changing your perception of the computer is to learn some basic hotkeys, which will reduce clicks and speed up routine tasks.

At Qualtrax, we see ourselves as not just vendors to our customers but as technology partners, so when we come across cool products or helpful tips, we get excited to share them with our customers. And so while these aren’t new tricks, they may be new to you. Take a small step on the spectrum from Luddite to empowered PC Genius.

Tab (takes you to the next item)

Shift-Tab (takes you to the previous item)

CTRL-F (opens search box in browsers)

CTRL-Mousewheel (zooms in/out)

CTRL-P (open print dialog to print page)

CTRL-PrintScreen (takes a screenshot of entire screen)

ALT-PrintScreen (takes a screenshot of window with focus)

CTRL-A (selects all)

CTRL-C (copies highlighted item)

CTRL-V (pastes copied item)

CTRL-T (open new tab)

CTRL-SHIFT-T (reopens last closed browser tabs)

CTRL-Tab (cycles forward to next open browser tab)

CTRL-Shift-Tab (cycles backward to next open browser tab)

WindowsKey-M (minimizes all windows)

WindowsKey-L (locks your computer; lets you go home for the day)

ANYKEY (mythological super key – doesn’t exist)

Note: Most of these hotkeys work with any open window, including all browsers, MS Office products, and other common programs.  

There are much more comprehensive lists if you’re really ambitious, but these are a good start. Now, go forth empowered to improve your life and impress your friends and coworkers … especially the IT staff.

The After Picture:

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