Advantages and disadvantages of keyboard shortcuts and their examples

keyboard shortcuts with Alt, Ctrl and shift keys

Most of the time when you are working on your computer you need to switch from using a keyboard and mouse depending on the operation you are performing. Computer keyboard shortcuts help you save time by mainly using the keyboard to achieve the most basic operations on the computer. Each software developer may use different shortcut keys to be used on their application but it is a good practice to use the common know shortcut for user-friendly software.

Using keyboard shortcuts users can increase the speed of operation and achieve a lot without the use of pointing devices. They can also be used to create emojis that express emotions. However, it is hard to learn all the shortcuts that are available since they are many. the most commonly used keyboard shortcuts are, Ctrl+C for copy, Ctrl+ V for paste, and Ctrl+ Shift+ Esc for task manager among many others discuss below.

In this article, we will tackle the most common shortcut keys that can help you navigate on Microsoft windows 10 operating system. But before we get to that let’s first discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages of using keyboard shortcuts.

Advantages of using shortcut keys

  1. It increases the speed of operation since you can achieve most operations by keyboard only.
  2. You can operate without a pointing device if you master most shortcuts.
  3. A keyboard is a common simple input device that any user can master shortcut keys.

Disadvantages of using shortcut keys

  1. Different applications may use different combinations for shortcuts.
  2. It is not simple to master all the keyboard shortcuts.
  3. Some shortcuts may require a combination of even more than 2 keys.

List of keyboard shortcut keys in Microsoft windows 10

We will categorize the shortcut in terms of the most common special key used. 

Functional keys shortcuts

  1. F1: is used to open the windows help page. When you click on F1 in windows 10 it opens the Bing search engine using the Microsoft Edge browser with a search query “how to get help in windows”.
  2. F2: is used to rename the selected icon. To use the shortcut first click on the icon you want to rename then click F2.
  3. F3: used to open search bar files or folders. Open and folder that you wish to search a file or folder from, then click F3 to activate the search bar.
  4. F4: it displays the address bar with a list of directories on the file explorer. Open any folder on your computer and click F4.
  5. F5: shortcut key to refresh the currently open window. It is also common in web browsers for refreshing the page.
  6. F6: navigate elements of the taskbar when you open the desktop. It can also be used to navigate elements within other windows that are open.
  7. F7: it is used to open spelling and grammar dialog box in Microsoft Windows office packages. 
  8. F8:used when troubleshooting system problems by opening the system in windows safe mode.
  9. F9: it is used in Microsoft word to refresh documents.
  10. F10: it displays the options menu bar. Open any window and click on F10. each icon on the window menu will be assigned a character. Click on that character to open that menu.
  11. F11:to view the window full screen or restore the window.
  12. F12: use to “Save As” a document in Microsoft office packages.

Windows key shortcuts combination

  1. Windows key: it opens the start button. It toggles between opening and hiding the start screen.
  2. Windows key + D: it is a shortcut key to minimize Windows. It minimizes all open windows to display the desktop and restores all windows to hide the desktop.
  3. Windows key + I: open computer setting.
  4. Windows key + M: used to minimize all open windows. To restore you have to do it one by one. 
  5. Windows key + R: open the run dialog box.
  6. Windows key + L: it locks the current user. It can also be used to switch users.
  7. Windows key + T: used to navigate (select) the application pinned on the taskbar even if they are not currently open.
  8. Windows key + U: it opens the setting specifically for ease of use.
  9. Windows key + S:  it opens the search bar that is near the start button.
  10. Windows key + E:  it opens windows explorer.
  11. Windows key + Number:  it opens the application pinned to the taskbar in that position number.
  12. Windows key + TAB:  it opens the Windows task view. The view shows different virtual desktops and the application open in each.
  13. Windows key + PrtScn: it is a screenshot shortcut key that is used to capture a shot of the current window and automatically save it on the screenshots folder create in the picture directory. If you are using a laptop that doesn’t have a separate PrtScn key use the combination Windows key+FN+PrtScn.
  14. Windows key + Shift + S: it is the snipping tool shortcut key. The snipping tool is used to take a shot of a specific select part of the screen.

Ctrl key shortcuts

  1. Ctrl + C: copy shortcut key. It copies the selected content to the clipboard.
  2. Ctrl + V: it is a shortcut key for pasting. It pastes the latest content on the clipboard.
  3. Ctrl + Z: it is the undo the shortcut key. It is used to undo the previous action. For example, after typing a name, undo will delete that name.
  4. Ctrl + Y: it is a redo shortcut key. It is used to redo what was done by undoing. For example, the name that was undone can be written back.
  5. Ctrl + A: it is the select all content shortcut key.
  6. Ctrl + S: used to save documents using the same name or for the first time.
  7. Ctrl + D: Delete the select item.
  8. Ctrl + Alt + Tab: used to switch between open windows.
  9. Ctrl + Esc: it opens start menu.
  10. Ctrl + Shift: it switches between the activated keyboard layouts.
  11. Ctrl + E: select the search box.
  12. Ctrl + Shift + N: shortcut to create a new folder. Open the location where you need to make the folder and click the key combinations.
  13. Ctrl + Shift +Esc: used as task manager shortcut keys.

Alt  keyboard shortcuts

  1. Alt: it displays the options menu bar.  It alternative to using F10.
  2. Alt + F4: Closes the currently active window.
  3. Alt + D: it is a shortcut key to select the address bar on windows explorer.
  4. Alt + P: show or hide preview panel on windows explorer.
  5. Alt + Enter: it opens the properties of the selected item or icon.
  6. Alt + Tab: it switches between open windows. It can be used as an alternative to Ctrl + Alt + Tab. The only difference is, that when Alt + Tab only is used, the select window during switching becomes the active window when you realize the keys.