What’s the problem with keyboard shortcuts

Over the years I’ve seen how people use word-processors. In fact the term has almost gone completely out of vogue. Most people in work environments use Microsoft Word. In the pandemic period documents would regularly have been shared in a group on a big screen and somebody would be typing. That experience over the last year was a big eye-opener. But what I saw was not significantly different from pre-pandemic. It was just that in the pandemic period, I saw more of the same.

People would resist using keyboard shortcuts, with all sorts of comments such as, “I’m not good at IT.” or “I’m lazy.” etc. Even when I told them and they used the common CTRL + C for example, they would return minutes latter to copying and pasting with mouse-clicks. It was not that they could not remember what to do with the keyboard. It was mainly about habits. As I’ve said umpteen times before, a habit is a pattern that constrains thinking and behaviour to a certain sequence. In the video below, I point out some very common and basic keyboard controls. No one is obliged to view the video or change their ways. I created it because I need to bring one my my teams to a higher level of functioning.  Below the video is a set of common keyboard shortcuts or controls. A free printable cheat sheet of controls is available to download somewhere in the video.


In all of the following, for keyboard controls, capital letters (uppercase) can be lowercase e.g. N or  n  – A or a, work fine.

Saving & Printing

1. CTRL + S – Saves changes to any document. Do it on opening a document and every few minutes.

2. CTRL + P – to Print.

Navigating within document

1. HOME – moves cursor to beginning of line of text

2. END – moves cursor to end of a line of text.

3. CTRL + → (arrow right) – moves cursor to beginning of the next word.

4. CTRL + ← (arrow left) – moves cursor to beginning of the previous word.

5. CTRL + Home – Go to beginning of document

6. CTRL + End – Go to end of the document

7. CTRL + N – Open a new document, if already you have a Word Document open.

Changing words

Capital letters (uppercase) can be lowercase e.g. N or  n  – A or a, work fine.

1. CTRL + F – Searches documents for a word. (This actually works on webpage and RIO).

2. CTRL+ Z – Undo an whatever you just typed.

3. CTRL+ Y – Puts back what you deleted or undid.

4. F7  – to spell or grammar check

Basic formatting of text

Capital letters (uppercase) can be lowercase e.g. N or  n  – A or a, work fine.

1. CTRL + B  – Bolds text before you start typing or can be applied to selected text.

2. CTRL + U – Underlines text before you start typing or can be applied to selected text.

3. CTRL + I – Italicises text before you start typing or can be applied to selected text.

Selecting and moving text – the SHIFT BUTTON is important

Capital letters (uppercase) can be lowercase e.g. N or  n  – A or a, work fine.

1. CTRL + A – selects everything in an open document

2. SHIFT + CTRL +  →  (arrow right)– Select the next word

3. SHIFT + CTRL + ←  (arrow left) – Select the previous word

4. SHIFT + HOME – selects from where you are to beginning of line

5. SHIFT + END – selects from where you are to end of line.

7.  CTRL + C (or c) – to copy whatever has been selected.

8. CTRL + X (or x) – to cut selected text. ( The X resembles and open scissors).

9. CTRL + V (or v) – to paste text.

Disclaimer & Guidance

The reading of posts on this blog is subject to the Terms & Conditions. Unpalatable truths and personal experiences may be told. Nothing posted on this blog is directed at any identified person. On occasions individuals are quoted anonymously. That does not mean that they have been identified to the world. Should any person or organisation reading this blog find something that makes them feel or know that they  are being referred to – any such perceived identification does not mean ‘identified to the world’. ‘Stupid‘ is an impish figment of my imagination who occasionally is allowed to pop up – and does not represent any known individual, individuals or groups. The treatment of  ‘Stupid‘ is not representative of the way people are treated in real life. Adverse inferences made are dismissed in advance.  

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