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Why Shortcut Keys Should Matter to You!

Posted by Henry Cheang | September 5, 2014 2:00 PM

Many of us are so busy dealing with major issues in our workplace that small things we do ineffectively are often overlooked or ignored. While major issues SHOULD be the focus of our attention, focusing on the elimination of minor inefficiencies enables us to optimize our use of time and better allocate it elsewhere.

This brings us to one overlooked tool: Shortcut Keys. Most of us are aware of shortcuts, but how many of us actually use them often and effectively? How many key combinations do we actually know?


The Microsoft Website describes a shortcut as the combination of "two or more keys to do something special that neither key does alone". According to Merriam-Webster, the traditional definition of a shortcut is "a route more direct than the one ordinarily taken". When combining these two meanings, we can look at a shortcut as a combination of keys that enables us to perform tasks using less steps.


Shortcut Keys

Through the combination of different keystrokes we can reduce the time it takes us to perform various tasks on our computers. Every time a shortcut is used we save several seconds and for the percentage of time that many of us spend on our computers, these time-savings could add up fast.

Personally, it takes me between 8-10 seconds to copy and paste using the traditional mouse-clicking method while it only takes me 2-3 seconds to both copy (Ctrl+C) and paste (Ctrl+V) using shortcut keys. Although saving a mere 6-8 seconds doesn’t sound like much, the amount of times I use this tool throughout a normal work day means that I will save several minutes daily and multiple hours throughout any given year. How much time would you be able to save using more keyboard shortcuts?


Some of the very basic shortcut keys that many of us already use are:

  • Ctrl+C: Copy an item that you have selected 
  • Ctrl+V: Paste an item that you have copied 
  • Ctrl+P: Print the page you are currently using 
  • Ctrl+S: Save the file you are currently using
  • F12: Save the file you are currently using under a different name 
  • Ctrl+N: Lets you create a new document or file
  • Ctrl+O: Lets you open an existing document or file
  • Ctrl+A: Select all
  • Ctrl+Z: Undo an action 
  • Ctrl+Y: Redo an action 
  • F1: Opens your file’s help settings  

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Some more complex shortcuts include:

  • Windows logo key + Up Arrow: Make the window you have selected full screen
  • Windows logo key + U: Allows you to quickly open your utility manager
  • Windows logo key + F: Allows you to search for files and folders
  • Windows logo key + L: Locks your desktop
  • Windows logo key + D: Clear away everything and shows you your desktop
  • Windows logo key + Down Arrow: Minimize the window you have selected
  • Alt+Tab: Allows you to switch between open windows
  • Alt+F4: Closes your current open window (If no windows are open, a dialogue with shutdown options will pop up)
  • Ctrl+Esc: Opens the windows start-up menu

In addition to these simple actions, there is a more complete list on the Windows website and an Apple shortcut list for those using Macs that offer a more detailed table of shortcut keys for you. For those of you who own Windows 8.1 tablets, you might also be interested in this list of tablet shortcuts for your device off Microsoft’s website.


If you are not satisfied with the shortcut keys available to you, developing your own is a great way for you to customize your device to better meet YOUR needs. Here is how to make your own shortcuts in Microsoft Word.


Shortcut keys are just one way that individuals can make themselves more efficient. There are numerous other technologies that exist that have major long-term impacts on your business. These technologies can save you time and money, while simultaneously making your job easier. What other features or tools help you better manage your time?


As mentioned above, the implementation of technologies not only simplifies your personal life but makes you more efficient as well as more productive allowing you to allocate time and resources elsewhere.

If you’re looking to increase the transparency and more efficiently manage your IT and Telecom assets in your workplace, you should definitely look at Cimpl software and contact us at Cimpl! As Canada’s leader in IT and telecom expense management we have been helping give companies greater visibility over all their IT and telecom assets for more than a decade now. Cimpl software enables your company to cut inventory costs, eliminate bill shock, drive revenues and of course work smarter through the power of automation. If these key features sound interesting to you and you would like to learn more about Cimpl and the solutions that we provide, what better way than to see it live with a demo. Request your demo now!

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Topics: Tips and Tricks, Best Practices

Written by Henry Cheang

Henry is a dedicated technical writer, focused on conducting market research, contributing to product design, and writing clear and concise documentation for the company. He is an enthusiastic team member and is passionate about science and technology, who plays a key role in Cimpl’s product messaging. His dedication to writing is reflected in his experience in authoring academic papers, documentation, user guides, and in contributing to Cimpl’s marketing efforts.

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