Computer programs and operating systems were designed to try to limit the number of times you have to move your hands off of your keyboard and over to your mouse.  They accomplish this by creating keyboard shortcuts for most common tasks. A keyboard shortcut is a combination of keys that are pressed all at the same time.  Below is a list of some common keyboard shortcuts for both Macintosh as well as Windows users (along with some that work no matter what type of computer you have).

Windows Keyboard Shortcuts:

  • Ctrl+W – Close current window
  • Alt+F4 – Quit current application
  • Alt+Tab – Cycle through my currently running applications
  • Ctrl+Shift+Esc – Display the Windows Task Manager dialog box
  • F1 – Help for current application

Macintosh Keyboard Shortcuts:

  • Command+W – Close current window
  • Command+Q – Quit current application
  • Command+Tab – Cycle through my currently running applications
  • Command+Option+Escape – Display the Force Quit dialog box

Both Operating System Keyboard Shortcuts:

NOTE: Macintosh users can replace Ctrl in the following examples with Command

  • Ctrl+A – Select All
  • Ctrl+C – Copy selection
  • Ctrl+X – Cut selection
  • Ctrl+V – Paste selection
  • Ctrl+Z – Undo last operation
  • Ctrl+Y – Redo last operation (for both undoing an undo as well as repeating the last operation you completed)
  • Ctrl+P – Print
  • Ctrl+O – Open a file in the current application
  • Escape (Esc) – Don’t commit current changes or Don’t do current command

Mouse Tip:

  • Pressing the right mouse button (or holding down the Control key and clicking on a Macintosh) will display a contextual menu of options that you are likely to want to perform on the current selection.