Useful Computer Shortcut Keys for Users

Learning a few computer shortcut keys will help to save time and work efficiently. Getting to know the basic shortcut keys helps computer users to spend less time when handling multiple tasks. It can feel unusual at first, but once your hands have familiarised with the combination of keys, you may find yourself working more efficiently. However, not all keyboard shortcuts are the same. Let us take a look at some of the main shortcut keys for Windows and Mac computers.

Difference Between Windows and Mac Shortcut Keys

Function Windows Hotkeys  Mac Hotkeys

Open new tab

Ctrl + T

⌘ Command + T

Select all items

Ctrl + A

⌘ Command + A

Cut text/image 

Ctrl + X

⌘ Command + X

Copy text/image

Ctrl + C

⌘ Command + C

Paste text/image 

Ctrl + V

⌘ Command + V

Undo previous command

Ctrl + Z

⌘ Command + Z

Find specific words in a document

Ctrl + F

⌘ Command + F

Hide & unhide all windows

Win + D

⌘ Command + H

Take a Screenshot

Alt + Tab + Prt Sc

⌘ Command + Shift + 3

Open task manager

Ctrl + Shift + Esc

⌘ Command + Space
(type “Activity Monitor”)

Switch between open windows

Ctrl + Shift + Tab

⌘ Command + Tab


Additional Keyboard and Computer Information

1. What do Windows Key and Command ⌘ Key do?

Interestingly, the Mac’s Command key has the same function as that of the Control key. As for the Windows key, it is mainly for displaying the Start menu screen and other less common functions.

Command and Control keys are modifier keys you can press to issue keyboard shortcuts to applications. For example, using the Control key allows you to copy (Ctrl+C), cut (Ctrl+X) and paste (Ctrl+V) can be executed on Windows whereas using the Command key to copy (Command+C), cut (Command+X) and paste (Command+V) can be done on Mac. The Command key has the ⌘ symbol on it.

2. What are the Alt (Option) and Control (Ctrl) keys for?

For Windows, the Alternate (Alt) and Control (Ctrl) keys on the keyboard are known as “modifier keys”. They are commonly used together with another key to execute a specific function. For example, the screenshot shortcut keys on Windows are (Alt + Tab + Prt Sc). Another example of using Alt is when you want to close an active window, which can be done by using the shortcut “Alt + F4”. Press and hold Alt, then press F4 subsequently. When it comes to using the Control key, it functions similarly to the Alt key. For instance, copying a selected text or image only requires you to press and hold Ctrl, then proceed to press C. There are times when you have to use Ctrl and Alt together. The Task Manager shortcut keys are (Ctrl + Alt + Del) in Windows. Task Managers are really useful when you want to terminate unresponsive applications as well as to inform you about the general status of your computer. 

On the Macintosh keyboard, the Command (or Apple) key shares the same function as the Control key in Windows. Meanwhile, the PC-keyboard equivalent of Alt on a Mac is called the Option key, which you can find it on your Mac. Many programmes on both Macs and PCs use multiple modifier keys for shortcuts for certain operations. For example, to save an image while using Photoshop, you can press (Ctrl + Alt + Shift + S) in Windows or (Command + Option + Shift + S) on the Mac.

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