Windows has lots of different options on the way you use it. You’re not tied down to using a mouse or a touchpad. If you’ve ever thought that there must be a quicker way than highlighting stuff or finding a button and then clicking your mouse, you’re probably right. Here are some shortcut keys for Windows that you may or may not know about.
F5 to refresh a page
This works on near enough any web browser. Which is good news if you’re a Firefox user and your mate is a confirmed Internet Explorer person yet you swap PC’s on occasion. Rather than hunting to find out where the refresh button is (or has moved to like Firefox did when it moved to version 4), just press the F5 button to refresh the page you’re on.
Experiment with Ctrl Y
This one is a bit odd in that it has a different effect depending on the program you’re using. So don’t experiment with something you care about. In some applications, pressing Ctrl Y will re-do what you last typed. In others, it will delete the line you’re on. It’s use predates Windows which is why it’s not as consistent as you’d like.
Generally this will open a new window of the program you’re running. Whether that’s a browser, Word, Excel or whatever. Inadvertently pressing Ctrl N can often cause panic as it appears that you’ve just deleted everything you typed. Stop sweating – you haven’t – you’ve just opened a new instance of the program. Close that or use the previews at the foot of the screen to select the previous instance.
This gives you a quick way to rename a file. When you’re in the File Open or File Save box in programs like Word, highlighting the file name and pressing F2 will allow you to edit the file’s name. Great if you’ve saved something with a typo in the file name and know that you’ll never find it again if you don’t rename it to something more sensible. It works in Excel as well – highlight the current cell and press F2 to be able to edit that cell.
This brings up a “find” option in most programs. How it does this varies from program to program and even from version to version as the software engineers try to make things more accessible. Experiment with Ctrl-F and see how the programs you use respond to it.
Ctrl + and Ctrl – (not to mention Ctrl 0)
Useful if the website you’re looking at has done something odd with its font sizes. Ctrl + will go up a size (say from 100% to 125%), Ctrl – will drop back down a size. And Ctrl 0 (that’s a zero, not the letter O) will go back to your regular 100% size of screen which is much easier than hitting one of the other combination’s umpteen times if you’ve been experimenting rather more than is good for you.
Program menu specific shortcuts
Near enough anything that’s underlined in a program’s menu can be called up by pressing the Alt key and the underlined letter. Since you can’t do this with menu items that aren’t immediately visible – anything below File on the File menu for instance – there’ll be a list of program specific shortcuts that can be reached, sometimes by using the Ctrl key with a letter, sometimes by using one of the F keys at the top of your keyboard.fc