Optimise The Way You Work With These Time Saving Keyboard Combinations

No matter how popular tablets and mobile devices become in the upcoming years, there is no getting around the fact that a PC with a full keyboard is the most powerful tool at your disposal as a business owner. While tablets and phones may provide increased mobility and flexibility, a PC has the advantage of a tactile keyboard with Windows keyboard shortcuts. What better way to optimise your productivity as a business owner than to learn the most efficient and useful shortcuts out there! It’s very clear from the performance of top programmers and computer scientists that the less one uses their mouse, the faster you’re able to work while getting more work done.

Let’s dive in, starting at the basic shortcuts.

Windows + L = lock your PC to the default ctrl alt delete screen.

Ctrl + shift + esc = open task manager directly. This saves one click as opposed to entering ctrl + alt + del.

Alt + F4 = closes the active window (as a side note, this does not quit the application).

Windows + left arrow = shifts your active window to half size and locks it to the left side of the screen.

Windows + right arrow = shifts your active window to half size and locks it to the right side of the screen.

Windows + up arrow = maximizes your current window.

Windows + down arrow = docks your current window to the task bar.

F11 = toggles your active window in and out of full screen mode.

Ctrl + esc OR Windows key = brings up the start menu, with the next key strokes going straight into Cortana or the windows search function.

Windows + p = bring up projector options for attached screens.

Ctrl + left or right arrow = instead of your cursor moving by only one space with an arrow key, this will jump the cursor by a whole word.

Ctrl + up or down arrow = much like the above shortcut, this will move the cursor by whole paragraphs.

Holding shift = while moving the arrow key or by holding the ctrl key to jump whole words, this will select whatever text you are going over.

Ctrl + x = cut, removes the selection and copies it to the clipboard, ready for pasting if you need to move information around.

Ctrl + z or y = undoes or redoes the previous action.


Shortcuts While Surfing the Web:

The vast majority of computer use happens in a browser environment. While it is useful to learn your specific browser shortcuts, these windows keyboard shortcuts are shared among most all browsers.

Ctrl + tab = moves your active tab right by one.

ctrl + shift + tab = moves your active tab left by one.

Ctrl + w = closes the active tab.

Ctrl + t = opens a new tab.

Alt + d = highlights the url to enter a new address or search.

Ctrl + shift + t = reopens your last closed tab.

Ctrl + plus or ctrl + minus = zooms in or out by 10% on the web page.

Ctrl + a number between 1 and 9 = moves the active tab to whichever one corresponds with the number pressed, with the leftmost tab being 1 up to 9.

Space, while not selected in any forms, will page the screen down, while shift + space will move the page up by one screen.


Save Time While Using Your Emails:

Most business owners deal with email on a regular basis, and Windows’ solution to this problem of Outlook is quite capable and loaded with its own host of shortcuts as well.

Ctrl + shift + m = opens a new blank message.

Ctrl + k = autocompletes the partial name or email address to the closest match within your organization.

F9 = sends and receives all email in your outbox or waiting to queue into your inbox.

Ctrl + shift + c = creates a new contact.

Ctrl + shift + r = replies all to the selected message.

Alt + h = go to the home tab of outlook.


While this is only a fraction of the shortcuts available at your fingertips, these will get any business owner off to a great start in being more productive and decreasing the amount of times you reach for your mouse. Continue learning more shortcuts in the apps you spend the most time in and share with your coworkers and friends how to be more productive! If you love optimising and automating your office and work habits read more about office automation here and share your experiences with us.