Windows-wide shortcuts

The shortcuts in this category work not only in Windows itself, but also in most Windows applications. Some of these shortcuts relate to the windows of a particular application. Others relate to features you’ll find in almost any Windows program, such as drop-down list boxes.

Alt+Spacebar, then letter key or Alt+Spacebar, then Arrow, followed by Enter Alt+Spacebar opens the System menu, which will appear on-screen even if the application window is mostly off-screen. Once the System menu is open, you can hit R to restore, M to move, S to size, N to minimize, X to maximize, or C to close the main window. You can also use the Arrow keys to manipulate the application.

Alt+hyphen, then letter key, or Alt+hyphen, then Arrow, followed by Enter To restore, move, size, minimize, maximize, or close the currently selected window within a program, use Alt+hyphen to open the menu. Then, use the letter key or the Arrow keys.

Shift+F10, then letter key, or Shift+F10, then Arrow, followed by Enter. Shift+F10, then letter key or Shift+F10, then Arrow keys, followed by Enter opens a context menu. This is particularly useful in a program like Word when, for example, you want to call up the editing context menu but don’t want to take your fingers from the keys to right-click.

Alt+Down Arrow opens a drop-down list box. Mnemonic: Down box, Down Arrow. This is especially helpful when you’re filling in database forms (in Microsoft Access, for example). It’s also useful when working in a dialog box.

Ctrl+Tab and Ctrl+Shift+Tab Cycle through the tabs in a dialog box with Ctrl+Tab or Ctrl+Shift+Tab. Mnemonic: Control your way from tab to tab. Ctrl+Tab goes from left to right, Ctrl+Shift+Tab moves from right to left

Alt+F6 switches from window to window within the same program. However, this won’t work with all windows. It will, for example, toggle between a Find window and a document window in Microsoft Word, but it won’t toggle between one document window and another. The command in Word for cycling through the open document windows is Ctrl+F6.

Ctrl+B, Ctrl+U, Ctrl+I: Use Ctrl+B for bolded font, Ctrl+U for underlined font, and Ctrl+I for italicized font. You probably know these work in the Office programs you use, but try them in other programs as well; they may work.
Ctrl+Z undoes any action.

Mnemonic: Zap that. Again, this works throughout Windows, if not in every program.


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