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Keyboard Shortcuts for the Lazy Writer

If you’re in a rush or just feeling lazy, trawling through menus to do something is the last thing you want. These keyboard shortcuts are just what you need! I’ve included the Mac and PC versions, although the general rule is that if the shortcut on a PC involves Ctrl then you press Cmd instead. Some shortcuts may be slightly different depending on what program you’re using. All of these work in Microsoft Office, and most work when browsing the internet, too. Some work in programs like Adobe Photoshop whilst others have their own variation.

mental-health-online-keyboard

New File/Document

Mac: Cmd+N
PC: Ctrl+N

Open a new blank file/document instantly.

Open a File/Document

Mac: Cmd+O
PC: Ctrl+O

Open a new document without leaving the document you’re in.

Bold

Mac: Cmd+B
PC: Ctrl+B

Make your text stand out in bold.

Italics

Mac: Cmd+I
PC: Ctrl+I

Emphasise your point in italics.

Underline

Mac: Cmd+U
PC: Ctrl+U

Give your title that classic school feel or emphasise a point with underlining.

Undo

Mac: Cmd+Z
PC: Ctrl+Z

Oh how lost I’d be without the undo feature. Mistyped something or put something in the wrong place? All gone!

Undo an Undo

Mac: Cmd+Y
PC: Ctrl+Y

Pressed undo by accident? Don’t worry you can undo that, too!

Find

Mac: Cmd+F
PC: Ctrl+F

If you’re trying to find something in a particular document or web page it can be terrible reading through a large block of text. The find function makes the process easier and faster, searching for what you’re looking for and taking you right to it.

Replace Text

Mac: Cmd+H
PC: Ctrl+H

This is great if you’ve renamed something in your work and are already a fair way through it. You can replace any instance of a particular word or symbol. You can also add in conditions like capitalisation or text effects. It is also possible to only replace works after a certain point within the text.

Highlight All

Mac: Cmd+A
PC: Ctrl+A

This is handy for large portions of text and can save a lot of time on large documents. You can be anywhere in the page/document for it to work.

Highlight a Selection

Mac: Mouse+Cmd
PC: Mouse+Ctrl

This is the only one you’ll need your mouse for. This shortcut allows you to highlight sections that aren’t beside one another. I like to use it when moving files around on my hard drive, but it can be used in documents too. Not everywhere will allow you to use this shortcut, though.

Copy

Mac: Cmd+C
PC: Ctrl+C

One of the better known shortcuts.

Cut

Mac: Cmd+X
PC: Ctrl+X

Another well-known one, this is good for when you want to keep a portion of text but move it around.

Paste

Mac: Cmd+V
PC: Ctrl+V

Obviously necessary if you’re using one of the two above.

Print

Mac: Cmd+P
PC: Ctrl+P

Another well-known one, although some people do press Ctrl+P expecting it to paste.

Save

Mac: Cmd+S
PC: Ctrl+S

You can never save your work often enough. This keyboard shortcut means there’s no excuse for losing any changes that you’ve made.

#

Mac: Alt+3

This is a Mac one. It took me years to figure out how to type #, making life on Twitter very difficult. Symbols such ¡ € ¢ § can also be achieved by pressing Alt followed by one of the numbers. Where things appear may vary from keyboard to keyboard or country to country.

Flick Between Programs

Mac: Cmd+Tab
PC: Alt+Tab

This will bring up a list of the programs that you have open and you can instantly flick from one to the other. This can upset some gaming applications that use Alt+Tab to speak.

Screenshot

Mac: Cmd+Shift+3
PC: Print Screen

Screenshots are useful for many things. Your Mac will automatically save them to your desktop. PCs save them to your clipboard and you have to paste them into a document or folder.

Snippet

Mac: Cmd+Shift+4

A snippet is a half-screenshot. You can pick whereabouts on your screen you take a screenshot of, and just copy that portion. This is one of the little-known but very useful features.

Quit

Mac: Cmd+Q
PC: Ctrl+Q

This is more useful on a Mac where clicking the X doesn’t close the application. If you need to close something fast, just press Cmd+Q. Provided it’s not something like a Word Document where you could lose unsaved changes, it will close instantly.

There are far more keyboard shortcuts than the ones above, but these work on almost every OS and every program. Most other programs will have their own, too, and some may be slight variations to the one above (such as undoing an undo on Photoshop).

Bonus Shortcuts

These are shortcuts I discovered recently. Twitter and Facebook have loads of them, and you can view them by typing ‘?’ whilst on the site (it only works on Facebook when on your newsfeed, but works anywhere on Twitter).

I hope you’ve found this article helpful! If you have, I’d really appreciate it if you’d take a minute to give it a share.

Are there any keyboard shortcuts you think I’ve missed? What are your favourites?

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ABOUT
Kristina Adams

Kristina Adams is an author of fiction and nonfiction, writing and productivity blogger, and occasional poet. She has a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Derby and an MA in Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University. When she's not writing she's reading, baking, or finding other ways to destroy the kitchen. She can be found under a pile of books with a vanilla latte.

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