Be a qwerty ninja with these keyboard tips & tricks
In this week’s UniVirtual Solutions Tech Tip we’ve compiled the handiest keyboard tips to take advantage of. These keyboard tips will help you with everything from your next proposal to your next online shopping spree! For good measure, we threw in some cyber security tips as well. Using these tips and tricks on a daily basis will most certainly make your time on the computer more enjoyable, or at least more practical. Of course, the ultimate goal in keyboard ninjitsu is to be more productive by slicing time off your workflow… so let’s get started!
Bring back a closed tab.
Accidentally closed a tab? Simply press Ctrl + Shift + T to reopen the most recently closed tab and get back to what you were doing (Cmd + Shift + T on Macs).
Did you know you can undo almost any action? Ctrl + Z is the ultimate hot key, and for sure you knew about it already, however note that undo doesn’t just apply to typing. If you accidentally delete or move a file, you can hit Ctrl + Z to bring it right back to where it was (Ctrl + Y will redo whatever you undid).
YouTube keyboard shortcuts
If you thought using the spacebar to pause a YouTube video was effective (except when focus is elsewhere and it doesn’t work), instead try using K for pausing, while J and L will step backward/forward 10 seconds. M works for mute. Super handy.
Easily extract images from a Word (.docx) file
Change the file name from .docx to .zip and open the file. The pictures will be in one of the directories.
Reduce the number of programs running at startup
If your PC is taking too long to boot, it’s probably because you have far too many programs running at startup. It’s easy to reduce these and it will make your PC launch noticeably faster. Make sure you research what you are turning off as some processes might be needed by third party programs you have installed.
• Windows: Open the task manager (Ctrl + Shift + Esc) and head to the startup tab to configure what programs you want to launch with your system.
• Windows 7 and prior: Open run (Windows key + R) and enter msconfig to access a window with a similar startup section.
• MacOS: Go to System Preferences > Users & Groups > Select your user and click on the Login Items tab. You can remove or hide startup applications from here.
Paste the plain text of what was copied
When you copy text from any source, programs will usually include any formatting that comes with it. To paste this as plain text, press Ctrl + Shift + V instead of the standard Ctrl + V, and the system will paste unformatted text. This also works on Mac: Cmd + Shift + V.
** Note that many but not all programs follow this parameter, particularly Microsoft programs like Word or Outlook don’t, which is annoying. There are a few alternatives that go beyond copying and pasting in Notepad: 1) Ctrl + Alt + V will show a ‘paste special’ dialog box. 2) Ctrl + Spacebar will remove formatting in already pasted text.
Delete an entire word
Instead of deleting a single letter, pressing Ctrl + Backspace will delete the entire word behind the cursor. This makes deleting text quicker if you screw up a whole word.
Move cursor to beginning of the next or previous word
Moving the cursor around manually while typing is a great way to make your work take longer than it needs to. To speed up the process, move the cursor around with keyboard shortcuts. To move it to the beginning of the previous word, use Ctrl + Left Arrow. To move it to the beginning of the next word, use Ctrl + Right Arrow. In macOS you can accomplish the same using the Option key. To select words/paragraphs as you’re going, hold Shift + Ctrl + Arrow (up or down will select entire bodies of text).
❤ EMOJI KEYBOARD ❤
If you’re addicted to using emoji, know desktop OS support them natively just like mobiles do. On Windows press the Windows Key + . (period) and on macOS Cmd + Control + Spacebar. An Emoji panel will appear so you can carry on as usual using all the expressions you want.
Open the task manager directly
If you want to bypass the interrupt that happens when pressing Ctrl + Alt + Del and jump right to the task manager, hitting Ctrl + Shift + Esc will launch it directly.
Interrupt all processes
Ctrl + Alt + Delete used to be a common PC shortcut, and one almost all power users are familiar with. The important thing to note is that it interrupts all processes, including the one that is bogging down your system, which can mean the difference between needing to restart or not. In macOS, you can also summon the Force Quit dialog box by using Cmd + Shift + Esc.
Cycle through open windows
Pressing Alt + Tab allows you to cycle through currently open windows (Alt + Shift + Tab will cycle backwards). This makes switching back and forth between running processes quick and painless. In macOS the shortcut is Cmd + Tab.
Minimize all windows
Sometimes you have a bunch of stuff running, and you want it all to go away so you can get to the desktop. Simply pressing Windows key + D will minimize everything you have up, which will save you some time pressing the minimize button for each window. It should be noted that Windows + M offers similar functionality, but there is no undoing, so Windows + D is the more favorable approach.
Close the current program.
Typing Alt + F4 will close the program that is running. This is useful as it saves you time mousing over the “X” and clicking. People will often use this as a joke, telling you to press Alt + F4 to fix a problem. Don’t fall for it unless you want to close what you are doing.
Bring up the system information window
This is so much quicker than digging this out the traditional way… Just press Windows + Pause/Break and the System Information panel will be ready to go. This might be the only use for the Pause/Break key you will ever find, so enjoy it!
Use your keyboard to launch programs on the Windows taskbar
Tapping the Windows key + the number that corresponds to the position of the program is a quick way to open them. For instance if Chrome were the second icon on your taskbar and that’s what you wanted to open, you’d hit Windows key + 2.
Web Browsing Tricks
Jump to address bar
There are a number of ways to jump right to the address bar from anywhere in browser.
The easiest is pressing Ctrl + L.
Automatically add www. and .com to a URL
You can shave off a couple of seconds typing in a URL by simply click Ctrl + Enter after you type the name of the site. Need .net instead of .com? Press Ctrl + Shift + Enter instead.
Cycle through open tabs
Pressing Ctrl + Tab while in a browser will flip between each one (Ctrl + Shift + Tab to go backwards). This can be much faster than moving the mouse and clicking on a tab. Ctrl + Num (1, 2, 3, 4, n..) will also take you to certain tab in that numeric order. Ctrl + 9 always brings you to the very last tab, even if it’s beyond the ninth one.
Scroll through pages with the spacebar
Tapping the spacebar on a website will scroll down in full page chunks and hitting shift + space will take you back up.
Instant image search
(Chrome only) If you hold down the “S” key and right click on an image, it will open an image search on a new tab.
Use private browsing
The uses for not having cookies and history saved are obvious for certain activities, you know, like shopping for gifts on a shared computer (of course!). Pressing Ctrl + Shift + N will launch a new private in Chrome, Ctrl + Shift + P will do it in Firefox and Internet Explorer.
Use the scroll wheel
Put your middle mouse button to use by clicking on links to automatically open them in a new tab/window. Also if you use the scroll wheel button on a tab, it will close it.
Copy links quicker
Right click the link like usual but tap E on your keyboard to copy the link.
File Management Tips
Rename a file quickly
Right-clicking and selecting rename is not very efficient. Instead press F2 while a file is selected to change its name.
Cloud backup important files
If you’re working on a critical project, make sure you aren’t backing up locally only. Services like Dropbox, Google Drive, or any of the other popular cloud storage solutions will do the legwork for you in the background. Of course, you can also throw the files on a thumb drive or external HDD to be extra safe, but backing up to the cloud can be done seamlessly.
Select multiple files using the keyboard
To select a bunch of files using your keyboard, you can press Shift + Down Arrow to select a single file or Shift + Page Down to select a large group of files at one time. Ctrl + A will select everything.
Lock your computer if you get up
Sick of your “friends” going onto your computer at work or home and posting things on your Facebook/Twitter page on your behalf? It’s certainly an annoyance, but an easy one to prevent. Windows + L will lock your system right away, requiring a password (if you’ve set one) to log in again.
Permanently remove deleted data so software such as Recuva can’t undelete files/folders
Open a command prompt and enter cipher /w:C: to wipe deleted files from your C: drive (change the letter to target a different drive or folder).
Run programs on an infected PC
Malware may prevent a computer from running certain programs. Changing the name of the .exe file can often override this. If that doesn’t work, changing the extension to .com is another useful alternative, and the program will still be able to run despite the extension change.
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For more information on Managed Cyber Security and IT with UniVirtual Solutions visit us online at www.uvs-it.com