Knowledge Base

Commonly-Used Keystroke Shortcuts - Technical Tip - 162222




Description of Special Key Functions

Below are the most commonly used keystrokes associated with the different Microsoft Windows operating system functions.

You can use these keyboard shortcuts to complete simple tasks within Windows, without the use of a mouse.

Keyboard ShortcutDescription
<Left Arrow>Open the next menu to the left, or close a submenu
<Right Arrow>Open the next menu to the right, or open a submenu
<Backspace>View the folder one level up in My Computer or Windows Explorer
<Delete>Delete selected item
<Esc>Cancel the current task
<F2>Rename a selected icon or directory
<F3>Search for a file or folder
<F4>Display the Address bar list in My Computer or Windows Explorer
<F5>Refresh the open directory window or internet explorer page
<F6>Cycle through screen elements in a window or on the desktop
<F10>Activate the menu bar in the active program
<Tab>Move between fields in a dialog box
<Alt> + <Enter>View properties for the selected file
<Alt> + <Esc>Cycle through items in the order they were opened
<Alt> + <F4>Close the active window
<Alt> + <Spacebar>Display the system menu for the active window
<Alt> + <Tab>Toggle between open windows/applications
<Alt> + underlined letter in menu nameDisplay the corresponding menu
<Alt> + <Shift> + <Tab>Toggle backwards between open windows/applications
<Alt> + <Spacebar> + <N>Minimize the active window
<Alt> + <Spacebar> + <R>Restore the active window to its default size
<Alt> + <Spacebar> + <X>Maximize the active window
<Ctrl> + <A>Select all files in a directory
<Ctrl> + <Down Arrow>Move the insertion point to the beginning of the next paragraph
<Ctrl> + <Left Arrow>Move the insertion point to the beginning of the previous word
<Ctrl> + <Right Arrow>Move the insertion point to the beginning of the next word
<Ctrl> + <Up Arrow>Move the insertion point to the beginning of the previous paragraph
<Ctrl> + <C>Copy the selected item
<Ctrl> + <End>Go to the bottom of a directory window
<Ctrl> + <Esc>Activate the Start button
<Ctrl> + <F4>Close the active document, in programs that allow you to have multiple documents open, simultaneously
<Ctrl> + <Home>Go to the top of a directory window
<Ctrl> + <V>Paste what is in the clipboard
<Ctrl> + <X>Cut the selected item
<Ctrl> + <Z>Undo what was just done
<Ctrl> + <Alt> + <Delete>Bring open a list of applications that are currently running
<Ctrl> +<Shift> + any <Arrow> keysHighlight a block of text
<Ctrl> while dragging item with mouse pointerCopy selected item
<Ctrl> + <Shift> while dragging item with mouse pointerCreate shortcut to selected item
<Shift> held down when CD is insertedPrevent the CD from automatically playing
<Shift> + <Arrow> keysHighlight files or document contents
<Shift> + <Delete>Delete selected item permanently without placing the item in the Recycle Bin
<Shift> + <F10>Functions the same as right-clicking
<Shift> + <Page Down>Highlight everything after currently selected item
<Shift> + <Page Up>Highlight everything before currently selected item
<Shift> + <Tab>Moves backwards between fields in a dialog box
<Windows> keyActivate the Start button
<Windows> key + <E>Open Windows Explorer
<Windows> key + <F>Opens Find
<Windows> key + <M>Minimize all windows
<Windows> key + <R>Open Run box
<Windows> key + <Shift> + <M>Maximize all windows
Underlined letter in a command name on an open menuCarry out the corresponding command

For more information on keyboard shortcuts, refer to the Microsoft Knowledge Base.

Browse to Microsoft Support and search for the keywords: Keyboard shortcut.



Key Layout and Features

On Windows standard keyboards, there are several special keys that do not appear on a typewriter that serve different functions:

Along the bottom row of the keyboard, on either side of the [Space bar], can be found the [Ctrl] keys, the [Alt] keys, the [Windows Flag] keys, and the [Application] key, which is a key with a picture of highlighted lines from a document with a mouse pointer pointing at them.

In the top left hand corner of the keyboard is the [Esc] key. Across the top row of the keyboard are twelve keys labeled [F1] through [F12] referred to as Function keys. To the right of the function keys are keys labeled [Print Screen/SysRq], [Scroll Lock] and [Pause/Break].

Immediately below these keys are six keys arranged in two rows of three keys each, labeled (from left to right and top to bottom): [Insert], [Home], [Page Up], [Delete], [End], and [Page Down]. Below these keys are four [Arrow] keys pointing in four different directions.

To the right of these keys is a numeric keypad, with the number keys arranged as the keys on an adding machine. In addition to numbers, all of these keys (except the [5] key) have symbols or labels on them that appear redundantly on the other special keys previously mentioned, such as [Home] on the [7] key. In the top left corner of the number pad is a key labeled [Num Lock]. There is also a second [Enter] key on the number pad, as well as keys labeled for various mathematical functions ([+],[-],[*],[/]).

The use for each key, starting in the top left, is:

  • [ESC]
    Generally, this key will allow you to exit a program. For instance, many games will use the [ESC] key to exit the game.
  • [FUNCTION KEYS]
    The function keys are programmable, for the most part, and will serve different functions in different programs. By convention, the [F1] key is generally a help key. That is, pressing the [F1] key will launch a help screen for that program.
  • [PRINT SCREEN/SYSRQ]
    In DOS, this key will print the screen currently displayed on the monitor (provided that the printer can print in DOS and the printer driver supports the print screen function). Windows 95, 98, and NT have suspended this feature. When the [Ctrl] key is pressed, the [SysRq] part of the key is activated. [SysRq] is an older DOS key and has no function in Windows 95 or 98.

    Note: Although the [Print Screen] will not actually print the screen in Windows 95 or 98, it will copy the current screen to the clipboard. Holding the [Alt] key while striking the [Print Screen] key will save the active screen to the clipboard. The clipboard may then be added to any graphics program and printed from there.
  • [SCROLL LOCK]
    In DOS and Windows 3.x, this key effectively locks the cursor in place and forces documents to scroll past the cursor, rather than the cursor moving within the document.
  • [PAUSE/BREAK]
    This key temporarily suspends the operation of the computer in DOS and Windows 3.x. When the [Ctrl] key is held and the [Pause/Break] key is struck, it will interrupt the execution of any batch file currently being executed. Neither function is enabled in Windows 95, 98, or NT.
  • [INSERT]
    This key toggles the Insert/Type Over feature of most word processors.
  • [HOME]
    This key will move the cursor to the beginning of the current line in most word processors. Holding the [Shift] key and pressing the [Home] key will select (highlight) the line from the cursor to the beginning of the line. Holding the [Ctrl] key and pressing this key will move the cursor to the beginning of the document.
  • [PAGE UP]
    This key will move the cursor up approximately 1/3rd of a page in most word processors. Holding the [Shift] key and pressing this key will select (highlight) all text between the cursor and the beginning of the page. Holding the [Ctrl] key and pressing this key will move the cursor to the beginning of the page.
  • [DELETE]
    This key will delete anything to the right of the cursor. In addition, if any text is selected (highlighted), pressing this key will move that text to the clipboard.
  • [END]
    This key will move the cursor to the end of a line of text. Holding the [Ctrl] key and pressing the [End] key will move the cursor to the end of the document. Holding the [Shift] key and pressing this key will select (highlight) the text between the cursor and the end of the line.
  • [PAGE DOWN]
    Pressing this key will move the cursor approximately 1/3rd of the way down a page. Holding the [Shift] key and pressing this key will select (highlight) all text between the cursor and the end of the page. Holding the [Ctrl] key and pressing this key will move the cursor to the beginning of the next page.
  • [NUM LOCK]
    Pressing this key will lock the number keys on the number pad so that these keys will type numbers only (This activates the Num Lock LED immediately above the numeric key pad on the keyboard). Pressing it again (turning the Num Lock light off) causes the keys to revert to the functions corresponding to the labels beneath the numbers on a given key.
  • NUMERICAL OPERATIONS: [+],[-],[*],[/]
    The Plus key [+] causes the numbers in a sequence to be added together in most spreadsheets. Likewise, the Minus key [-] causes them to be subtracted. The Slash key [/] causes division to be performed and the Asterisk key [*] causes the number to be multiplied. Outside of a spreadsheet, these keys simply type the character with which they are labeled.
  • [CTRL]
    As may be seen earlier in this document, these keys cause the special keys to assume a second function, generally related to the original function.
  • [WINDOWS LOGO]
    These keys are the equivalent of moving the mouse pointer to the Start button in Windows 95 or 98, and pressing the left mouse button. The [Arrow] key and the [Enter] key may then be used to choose a task in the Start menu.
  • [Application] KEY
    This key produces a pop-up menu (such as the pop-up menu activated by a right-click of the mouse) in most word processors, allowing the manipulation of a selected (highlighted) line of text.
  • [ARROW] KEYS
    These keys move the cursor or highlight in the direction indicated by the arrow on the key.



 
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Article ID: SLN37045

Last Date Modified: 04/04/2016 08:49 AM


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