Nothing is worse than having to take the long route when using your computer, especially when you are in the groove. Instead of limiting yourself to using your mouse to navigate, becoming familiar with keyboards shortcuts can help you save time and make your workflow much more bearable when switching between many different windows. Trying to manage these windows is a nuisance, but with these keyboard shortcuts you can start becoming more efficient today.
Switch Between Open Windows – Alt + Tab
When going back and forth between many windows, things can get confusing and cluttered. In order to make it easier on yourself, pressing Alt+Tab will show a small thumbnail preview of each window you have open. Keeping Alt pressed down and pressing Tab will switch you between all the windows. When you have selected a screen, release the keys and you will stay on your selection.
Clearing All Windows – Windows + D
When you have a lot of different windows open, getting to your desktop may be difficult and annoying when you have to close every single window manually. In order to quickly and easily clear your windows press the Windows + D keys in order to minimize all your windows and show nothing but the desktop. Once everything is cleared up, managing your open windows will become much easier and less frustrating.
Snapping Screens Left or Right – Windows + <-/-> arrow key
Sometimes using one screen is not enough when trying to do research, write an article, or review reports for an upcoming meeting. Instead of switching back and forth between screens, you can snap whatever you are referencing to each side of the screen. In order to do this select one of the documents you need to reference and press the Windows + Left/Right arrow key. This should automatically snap the screen to whichever side of the screen you specified. There is no wasted time sizing the screens perfectly to both sides, the screens will automatically fit themselves to half of whichever side you determine.
Open Task Manager – Ctrl + Shift + Esc
Many people know about the Ctrl + Alt + Delete shortcut to get them to their task manager, but there are shortcuts within this shortcut to maximize efficiency. If you want to bring up just the task manager, pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc will cause the task manager to open. This will help you skip the unnecessary screen that Ctrl + Alt + Delete brings up and will speed up your task management.
Lock PC or Switch Users – Windows + L
To speed up securing your PC or to switch users, pressing the Windows + L keys will lock your screen. Once your screen is locked you have the option to continue on and switch users from that lock screen. This is a simple shortcut but for a workstation that has multiple users at any given time is a good way to keep your PC efficient.
Search for Files – Windows + F
Keeping organized files is important to your efficiency. We can all try and keep our files organized but sometimes a few slip through the cracks. Referencing an old file can be a pain if that file was not stored in an easy to find place. Not being able to find a file can bring your inspiration and creativity to a screeching halt. To find a file quickly, pressing the Windows + F keys will bring up a search window and place your cursor in the search box. Type your file name or keyword into the box and you will see any file or document with that search query without removing your hands from the keyboard.
Open a New Instance of a Program – Windows + Shift + Click the Taskbar Icon
This shortcut is one of the easiest and most productive shortcuts Windows has. The traditional way to starting a new program or creating a new document is long and consists of multiple steps which in the long run slows you down. This can be much easier by pressing the Windows + Shift keys and while holding those keys down click what you want to open new. This will not require you to navigate through multiple screens and will open that new document outright. For example, If you want a new browser tab but don’t want that tab to be opened with the current browser window, use this shortcut and it will open a fresh new browser window for you to use. Same goes with Microsoft Office programs. When using this shortcut, this will quickly open a new document without you needing to go through the traditional process.