I have mixed feelings about shortcuts. As a driver, a shortcut to a destination can either be a timesaver or a frustrating “tour of the city.” Google Maps has taken me down some interesting routes, with the only benefit being that I now know where certain roads end. When it comes to my students, I’m not fond of shortcuts because they usually lead to less quality work.
However, in terms of working on my computer, I LOVE shortcuts, especially keyboard ones! These are 2-3 button combinations on your keyboard that allow you to do various tasks that your mouse would typically do. They keep your hands on the keyboard rather than having to stop to use the mouse to click on one spot, and then have to put your hands on the keyboard again!
What are keyboard shortcuts?
Keyboard shortcuts make my work so much more efficient because I’m not constantly reaching for my mouse. This is particularly important for me since I’ve had issues with tendonitis in my right forearm due to computer use. The reaching motion of using the mouse is an unnatural movement and can really strain the muscles involved, even with the fancy ergonomic one that I invested in. Therefore, I do my best to use shortcuts whenever possible.
Keyboard shortcuts are similar for Macs and PCs, however on PCs you’d use the Control button while on the Mac you’d use the Command button.
At the bottom of this post is a list I’ve compiled of the most common and useful ones. The description of the shortcut is in the middle column, with the PC shortcuts on the left and the Mac ones on the right. If you’re like me, you might use a mix of PC and Mac, so it’s always nice to have both!
Is this it?
Please note that this is by no means a comprehensive list. There are still SO MANY MORE out there, but I find that these are the ones that I use the most. I also think that these are a good starting point since it will take some time to memorize them.
I recommend keeping these by your computer and try to experiment with them. I know of some teachers that start out with just a handful that they write down on a Post-It and stick it on their monitor. Others have a list such as this one taped down to their desk. Whatever method you use, I know you’ll find yourself completing tasks much faster with these!
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