I often notice that most people don’t take advantage of most universal shortcut keys like the function keys. I am going to show you some of the common keys that (usually) work across the board.

The Function Keys

F1 will bring up a help screen you can try in your browser now

F2 will make it able to rename data

F5 will Refresh the current data

F7 will launch spell check

F11 will go in to or out of full screen mode

F12 will save as (will explain in more detail later)

The Modifier Keys

Modifier keys will take the key that is pressed along with the modifier key, and change the action of that key. Most modifier keys can be used other regular keys. Modifier keys can be combined with other modifier keys to get different actions

CTRL (may be CTR, CTRL, or Control) is the primary modifier key. ctrl is usually used for application specific actions (like copy text from current window, or close current browser tab)

ALT is the secondary modifier key. have you ever noticed on some menu’s there are words with one letter from a word underlined (like File, Edit, or Help) .If you press alt and that letter that command is issued.

Alt, when pressed on its own (again…not in every application) it will bring focus to the first toolbar menu

Microsoft Notepad after ALT key was pressed

Microsoft Notepad after ALT key was pressed

The windows key. This key is tricky. primarily this key is used to launch the Start Menu. In newer operating systems (like Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7) the windows key is a very powerful tool. this modifier is used for system wide commands (like Show desktop, Open windows explorer, or to lanuch a search window)

in past opperating systems, the windows key will look like this

SHIFT is primarily used to change the case of a key (like change the “g” key to a “G” or the “1” key to a “!”) but it can be used for keys that don’t have a secondary command, (like Enter, or Backspace) but is more commonly used in combination with other modifiers sutch as CTRL, (so you would get CTRL + SHIFT + 1)

More to come