Keyboard shortcuts are combinations of keystrokes which operate controls on your computer. Sometimes they are useful because they are quicker than stopping typing and reaching for your mouse, sometimes they involve less steps than other ways of doing the same thing, and sometimes they are things you can’t really do any other way.
Most people have their favourites depending on their work patterns. Here are some that I use all the time on Windows computers. Note that some of these don’t work in all software, but they do tend to work across the board in Microsoft software.
CTRL + C (this means hold down the control or CTRL key while pressing the letter C) This is one of the ones most people know already. It copies what you have selected and puts it in the clipboard so you can paste it somewhere else.
CTRL +V this one is for pasting what is in the clipboard.
CTRL + Y redo an action. This is tremendously useful. I use it lots in Word as well as Excel. It just does the last thing again. This can be applying a format, deleting something, finding something – whatever. It really saves your mouse finger when you are doing the same things over and over again and as well as being quicker – less RSI!
CTRL + F this one opens the search pane in Explorer and some other programs
Windows button + S This is another one I use all the time. It is only really applicable if you have OneNote on your computer. I use OneNote a lot for lots of things but is it especially important to me as my research journal. See here for more about that. The screen clipping tool is handy for copying bits and pieces into my research journal.
There are heaps more shortcuts. You can find lists of them all over the place. Microsoft have a big list for Windows computers here
Mac keyboard shortcuts are a bit different and here is a list of those