Keyboard Shortcuts Every Writer Should Know

Keyboard shortcuts – why didn’t I write about this sooner? I am a huge fan of keyboard shortcuts because they drastically reduce the amount of time I spend typing my articles. The same theory can apply to your college essays and your future work in administrative assistant jobs. If you’re still using the right button of your mouse to copy a line of text, you need to know about the many shortcuts out there that can prevent you from doing that. Here are a few of my favorites, along with a list of some overall helpful shortcuts.

Cut, Copy, and Paste

You don’t have to right click on an image or line of text to copy and paste it. You can use keyboard shortcuts to do all of that. To copy the image or line of text, just highlight it and hit Ctrl+C. Then you can go to wherever you need to paste it and click Ctrl+V. If you want to cut and paste, rather than copy, you can use Ctrl+X. Then you can use the same command from before to paste your information where you need it to go.

Font Styles

If you want to make your font bold, underlined, or italicized, you can use keyboard shortcuts to make that happen. These could be especially time saving if you’re writing on the fly and don’t have time to find the style options in the menu bar. To italicize a word, simply hit Ctrl+I whenever it is highlighted. You can also hit that before and after you write the word to change the way the text looks. To bold the word, use Ctrl+B. To underline it, use Ctrl+U. You can control most of the styling for your work without even needing the mouse.

Save, New, and Select All

If you want an easy way to save whatever you are working on, just hit Ctrl+S. If you have not saved the document yet, you will have to give it a name and then click save. Otherwise, everything will save on its own. To pull up a new document in Word, Notepad, or whatever else you are using, hit Ctrl+N. If you want to highlight the whole document to copy it, just hit Ctrl+A. When I upload my blog posts dorm Word to here, I always hit Ctrl+S, Ctrl+A, Ctrl+C, and then Ctrl+V when I get to my admin panel. This probably saves me a half hour of work a day, just in keyboard shortcuts.

Find and Replace

If you can’t find a word you are looking for on a web page or in a document, use Ctrl+F to pull up the Find command. This is hard to find in some programs, so having that shortcut in mind can save you from a wasted search. If you want to replace one word with another, use Ctrl+H to pull up the Replace command. You can usually access this from the Find command as well, but the shortcut is just easier to use.

Thesaurus and Date

If you’re trying to figure out a synonym for a word you’ve written in Microsoft Word, click in the middle of the word and hit Shift+F7. Then you’ll see a list of words you could potentially use in the document. Use Ctrl+D if you want to insert today’s date into the document.

Web Commands

Assuming you use the web on a regular basis, you may want to learn some of the shortcuts that could help you browse faster and easier. If you want to pull up a new tab on your browser, hit Ctrl+T. If you want to pull up a new window entirely, use Ctrl+N. If you are trying to get to the next part of a form you’re filling out online, you can simply hit the Tab button to get to the next place. You can also use Ctrl+B to access your bookmarks, or F5 to refresh the page. Ctrl+F4 will close your current window, and Alt+F4 will close the program down entirely. To go back to the previous page you were on, simply hit the Backspace button. You may need to click on the page to get this to work.

I could keep going, but that should give you a good start. These are just my favorite shortcuts to use, and I literally rely on them every day.