There is an old saying that “there are no shortcuts in life.”
While I am not sure who originally created that statement, I can’t help to assume they didn’t work from a computer—or if they did, they must have not known the power of the CTRL (control) button.
The Control Key on most keyboards is located at the bottom left and has little to no function on its own. However, when used in combination with other keys, CTRL works as a modifier, often reducing the need for your mouse or providing shortcuts to common work tasks. If you are a MAC user, don’t worry, simply utilizing the COMMAND key rather than CTRL will get you the same results. Below are some of the most useful CTRL functions that you may not know about:
CTRL + F :
Let’s start with a personal favorite, CTRL + F. This shortcut will bring up a search bar that can be used on any webpage, document, or even pesky pdfs. Say goodbye to searching through pages and pages of documents to find the one bit of information that you are looking for, simply CTRL + F and search for a keyword or phrase. You can also use this feature to check common errors in your work that spellcheck may not catch, such as misspelled names or double spaces.
CTRL + Z :
CTRL + Z is a quick trick that will save you time. It replicates the “undo” option straight from your keyboard rather than having to use your mouse to click the backwards arrow or use the File > Undo process.
CTRL + Y :
The opposite of CTRL + Z is CTRL + Y, the “redo” shortcut. This is especially useful in excel spreadsheets. If you find that you made a series of errors and use CTRL + Z to go back several steps to correct your mistake, but go too far back, CTRL + Y will reverse the most recent “undo” modification so that you do not lose valuable data or time.
If you use the CTRL + Y feature in a situation where you have not just used the “undo” feature, it will simply repeat your most recent action in most programs.
CTRL + left mouse click:
This modification is not a true “keyboard shortcut” because it does require you to left click with your mouse, but none the less, is an incredibly useful tool. CTRL + left mouse click allows you to select multiple selections at one time. The most common use for this is when sending documents via email. As you search your documents you can hold down and the control key and then click any documents you plan to send and they will upload at one time rather than having to do it individually.
A quick bonus tip: You can also have multiple selections, using the SHIFT KEY and clicking the first and last of a series of files you want to select. All files between the two clicks will be selected.
CTRL + A:
CTRL + A: is similar to the CTRL + left mouse click explained above; however, this shortcut will select ALL files within a folder or area of organization in your device.
CTRL + T:
CTRL + T will open a new tab on any webpage.
CTRL + TAB:
Once you have more than one tab open on a webpage or within a compatible software, you can switch from tab to tab using CTRL + TAB rather than using a search/click with your mouse.
WIN (windows key) + CTRL + S:
This shortcut can be used to set up speech recognition on your device. Once set up, this feature will allow you to open and close programs, make commands, write and send emails, and basically do any other keyboard function with the sound of your voice.
CTRL + S:
Quick and easy, CTRL + S will save your work on the page and program you are currently working on, and honestly… what is worse than losing work because the autosave feature isn’t as fast as you are?
For even more time saving commands, you can visit the Microsoft website for a full list of keyboard shortcuts.