Keyboard Shortcuts to Improve Your Coding Productivity

These days, computers can pretty much do anything. Now if you are a frequent computer user like I am, I’m sure you interact with the keyboard all the time.

And in this article, I’m going to show you some helpful keyboard shortcuts that will make you you more productive.

What are Keyboard Shortcuts?

Keyboard shortcuts can save you a lot of time, and they are often used in modern operating systems and computer software packages. You can use them simply by invoking commands and a few keystrokes. This saves you from having to use mouse alone to access menu items and so on.

Here is a list of the most commonly used keyboard shortcuts – and I’ve also included a few lesser-known ones.

Just keep in mind that the layout for Mac and Window is a bit different, but some of the key functions remain the same. I’ll be focusing here on the correct key combinations for a Windows computer.

Let’s get started

First lets begin with the functional keys so we can see their roles:

Functional Key Shortcuts

Key Function
F1 Display Help
F2 Rename selected item
F3 Search for file or folder
F4 Display the address bar list in file explorer
F5 Refresh the active window
F6 Cycle through screen elements in a window
F10 Activate the Menu bar in the current app
F12 Save as (in a Word document)

Other Keyboard Shortcuts

Alt key combinations:

You can use the below combinations with the Alt key to perform the functions described:

Key Function
Alt + Tab Switch between open applications
Alt + Shift + Tab Switch backward between open applications
Alt + F4 Close the current open program
Alt + F File menu options in current program
Alt + E Edit options in current program

Ctrl key Combinations:

You can use the below combinations with the Ctrl key to perform the functions described:

Key Function
Ctrl + F4 Close the current open window
Ctrl + Esc Open the start menu
Ctrl + Alt + Del Reboot/Open task manager
Ctrl + Plus key Adjust width of columns in window explorer
Ctrl + C Copy selected text
Ctrl + V Paste the copied text
Ctrl + X Cut selected text
Ctrl + Ins Copy selected item
Ctrl + A Select all text
Ctrl + Home Go to the beginning of the content
Ctrl + End Go to the end of the document
Ctrl + Left Arrow Move one word to the left at a time
Ctrl + Right Arrow Move one word to the right
Ctrl + F Search for a file in desktop, my computer, or explorer
Ctrl + Z Undo the last action
Ctrl + Y Redo an action
Ctrl + Del Delete file, text, or folder
Ctrl + Shift Switch keyboard layout
Ctrl + Shift + Esc Open task manager
Ctrl + (+)/Ctrl + (-) Zoom in and out, respectively
Ctrl + R Refresh active window

Shift key Combinations:

You can use the below combinations with the Shift key to perform the functions described:

Key Function
Shift + Del Delete selected item without moving it to Recycle Bin
Shift + Arrow Select items
Shift + F10 Dispaly shortcut menu
Shift + Ins Paste selected item
Shift + Home Highlight from current position to beginning of line
Shift + End Highlight from current position to end of line

Windows key Combinations

Now let’s check the keyboard shortcuts involving the Windows logo key:

Key Function
Win + Spacebar Change input language and Keyboard layout
Win + V Open the clipboard history
Win + E Launch file explorer
Win + plus+ Open the magnifier tool
Win + Enter Launch the narrator
Win + I Open the settings in Windows
Win + D Minimize all open windows
Win + Tab Switch between open programs in the taskbar
Win + R Open the run window
Win + L Lock the computer

The above listed shortcuts will work on any Windows computer, no matter the program you have open. There are other shortcuts that will work on specific programs like MS Word, Excel, and so on – but those are for another article.

Let’s have a look at some helpful shortcuts for a few commonly used programs.

Microsoft Word keyboard shortcuts:

Key Function
Ctrl + A Select all contents of a page
Ctrl + B Bold highligted section
Ctrl + C Copy selected text
Ctrl + V Paste copied text
Ctrl + X Cut selected text
Ctrl + S Save
Ctrl + W Close document
Ctrl + N Open new/blank document
Ctrl + U Underline selected text
Ctrl + I Italicize selected text
Ctrl + Z Undo last action
Ctrl + Y Redo last action
Ctrl + P Open print window
Ctrl + K Insert link
Ctrl + G Find and replace option
Ctrl + J Justify paragraph alighnment
Ctrl + D Open font options
Ctrl + T Hanging indent
Ctrl + M Indent paragraph
Ctrl + R Align selected line to right
Ctrl + E Align to the center
Ctrl + Q/L Align to the left
Ctrl + Shift + * View/Hide non printing characters
Ctrl + 1 Single space lines
Ctrl + 2 Double space lines
Alt + Shift + D Insert the cureent date
Alt + Shift + T Insert current time
F7 Spell check the document

Microsoft Excel keyboard shortcuts:

Most of the key functions between MS Word and Excel are similar. So to avoid repetition of the same function keys, I will only list the ones which are not shared between the two applications:

Key Function
F2 Edit selected cell
F5 Go to a specific cell
F11 Cretae a chart
Ctrl + Shift + ; Enter current time
Ctrl + ; Enter current date
Alt + Shift + F1 Insert a new worksheet
Shift + F3 Open the Excel formula window
Shift + F5 Bring up the search box
Ctrl + 5 Strike through highlighted selection
Ctrl + X Cut selected text
Ctrl + Tab move between two or more open Excel tabs
Alt + = Create the formula to sum all of the above cells
Ctrl + Shift + ! Format number in comma format
Ctrl + Shift + $ Format number in currency format
Ctrl + Shift + # Format number in date format
Alt+H/B Add borders

The above listed keys are just a few of the most commonly used combinations. Hopefully from that list you will be able to figure out a new helpful shortcut which you didn’t already know.

The list is quite long and I appreciate you reading through it.

If you have read this far, thank you!

Connect with me on Twitter | Insta | YouTube | LinkedIn | GitHub

Do share your valuable opinion, I appreciate your honest feedback!

Enjoy Coding ❤

Posted by Contributor