Twenty Time Saving Keyboard Shortcuts

Ticking ClockAs an IT consultant for small businesses, I spend a lot of time at the computer and most of that time is spent typing.  Whether I’m answering email, drafting a client proposal, or authoring a client status report I try to be as efficient as possible when I’m sitting in front of a keyboard.  One of the ways I save time is with keyboard shortcuts.  It sounds silly but the less time I have to spend using my mouse the more time I’m actually getting work done.

There are many types of computers used in small businesses today but statistically the most common operating system is still Microsoft Windows so these lists are built for Windows-based PCs.  That said, we don’t want our Mac users to feel left out so I’ve found the current list of Mac OS X Keyboard Shortcuts also.  Without further ado, in no particular order here are my favorite time-saving keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Windows:

Microsoft Windows Keyboard Shortcuts

  1. Alt + Tab:  Hold Alt and tap Tab to cycle through all open applications.  When you land on the one you’d like to switch to, release Alt.
  2. Alt + Shift + Tab:  Same as above except the rotation is “backwards.”
  3. Ctrl + Arrow:  Hold Ctrl and tap the left or right arrow key to move through text a word at a time.  Handy for fixing a spelling a error a few words back as you type.
  4. Shift + Arrow:  Hold Shift to highlight text as you move through a document with the arrow keys.  If used with the left or right arrow key you will highlight one character at a time.  If used with the up or down arrow key you will highlight an entire line at a time.
  5. Ctrl + Shift + Arrow:  Same as above except text will be highlighted.  Handy for copying or deleting entire sections of text.  Keep in mind that you can use paste (Ctrl+C) in conjunction with the highlight function to replace text.  Use of Delete and backspace is not necessary.
  6. Windows + L:  Lock your PC.
  7. Windows + F:  Open the Windows “Search” dialog box.
  8. Windows + R:  Open the Windows “Run” dialog box.
  9. Windows + D:  Immediately minimize all windows and show your Desktop.
  10. Alt + F4:  Closes the selected program.


Web Browser Keyboard Shortcuts

  1. Tab:  When navigating a web form, Tab will move forward one field.
  2. Shift + Tab:  When navigating a web form, Shift + Tab will move backwards one field.
  3. Ctrl + Tab:  Cycles through the tabs of a single instance of most popular web browsers.  Works similar to Alt + Tab for applications.
  4. Ctrl + Shift + Tab:  Same as above except the rotation is “backwards.”
  5. Alt + Arrow Key:  Equivalent to using the “Forward” or “Back” buttons in your web browser.
  6. CtrlD:  Add Bookmark.
  7. Ctrl + T:  New Tab.
  8. Ctrl + F:  Find text within the currently-displayed webpage.
  9. Ctrl + +/-:  Holding Ctrl and tapping+ will “Zoom in” to a webpage (make the text larger) while holding Ctrl and tapping will “Zoom Out” (make the text smaller).
  10. F5:  Refresh the current webpage.  Equivalent to clicking your browser’s reload button.


We realize this is a lot of keyboard shortcuts to learn but if you can integrate them into your daily routine they really will save you some time.  I suggest you bookmark this page or print it and keep a copy somewhere near your computer.  If you can learn one new shortcut a week you’ll have learned all of them in just a few months!

Have we left out any important shortcuts?  Feel free to leave a comment below and let us know, and don’t forget to click in the boxes to the right to Like us on Facebook and add us to your circles on Google+!

About the Author:

Phil is the President and founder of Denton Business Solutions. He's had a fascination with technology for as long as he can remember. Phil uses that fascination to guide manufacturers to technology solutions for enhancing their plant safety, cybersecurity, and productivity. Outside the office, Phil enjoys cooking, spending time with his wife and son, and reading up on the latest manufacturing news. You can connect with Phil on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn!


  1. Caren Burger April 11, 2012 at 12:58 pm - Reply

    Can't wait to get started with these tips…thanks!

  2. Phil Denton April 16, 2012 at 8:08 pm - Reply

    You're quite welcome, Caren. Let me know how they work out for you!

    • Auth July 1, 2012 at 3:17 am - Reply

      You can set it also.Window->Preferences->General->Keys and sleect Next Editor .Now sleect the text in Binding textbox using mouse and do right Click and Cut . Now the Binding box would be blank.Now, press CTRL key and Tab togather and press OK .

  3. Katie July 1, 2012 at 2:58 am - Reply

    I’ve bound ctrl+tab to the next editor’ fuictnon in eclipse, but still not totally satisfied.when i release the ctrl button it doesn’t switch to the editor i’ve selected until I hit enter sooo annoying I wish I didn’t have to hit ENTER after ctrl+tab’ing through my list of open files blah

  4. Omojowo July 1, 2012 at 9:16 am - Reply

    In my version of eclspie I had General’ rather than Workbench’ (maybe it’s because I’m using the Sonic Workbench, which is built on eclspie):Window -> Preferences -> General -> Keys -> Window -> Next Editor

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