You probably already know these:
Ctrl + C : copy selection
Ctrl + X : cut the selection

But how about some more obscure ones?

Here are a few keyboard shortcuts that save some frustrations in most programs. They are simple, and there are only a few occurrences when it doesn’t work. Actually, most of them also work in Linux and Mac, so they are truly a good investment!

Text Edition (Word, openoffice, web pages, …)

(in text fields,  Word, OpenOffice, Google Docs, …. but also the keyboard shortcuts appear to work in windows explorer, so it lets you manipulate the files the same way as text…. is nice~)

Note: the “caret” is a technical term that designates that strange thingy which shows where you are currently writing:  |

Select some text like you mean it

on a word selects it

on a word selects the whole paragraph

Shift+ -> (or other arrows)
Selects text / elements from the caret’s previous position to the new position

Ctrl + Shift+ -> (or other arrows)
Selects the text/elements, jumping by words instead of letters

Ctrl + A
selects everything (useful for copy / pasting)

Ctrl + -> (or other arrows)
Makes the caret jump by words instead of by letter


Quickly delete rubbish

Ctrl + DEL
Deletes the whole next word from the caret’s position

Ctrl + Backspace
Deletes the whole previous word from the caret’s position. That makes it so much easier to backtrack quickly when one starts writing rubbish that is irrecuperable


Quickly format your text (works only in rich text editors)

Ctrl + B Boldize the text
Ctrl + I Italicise the text
Ctrl + U Underlinies the text

Shift + Enter
In some applications, this creates an alinea without creating a new paragraph. Just try it out for yourself. It is especially useful in Word (to avoid annoying automatic spaces between paragraphs)


Internet Browsers

Zoom commands

Alt / Ctrl + Mousewheel up / down
zooms in/out on the text, files, or images displayed. It works for the applications like Photoshop, but also most web browsers, Word, and other more cryptic stuff like Visual Studio (not that you’d want to do that anyway.

Ctrl + “+” or “-“
Does the same, zooms in or out in some applications that support it


Speed up writing “.com”

Ctrl + Enter (adds .com)
Shift + Enter (adds .net)
Ctrl + Shift + Enter (adds .org)
When entering an address to visit on the address bar, it is usually possible to enter just a partial name, and instead of pressing “Enter”, press “Ctrl + Enter”. For example, if you type “vagrant”, pressing Ctrl + Enter will automatically add “http:\\www.” and “.com”, which results in “”. Some variants of this shortcut can replace “.com” by “.net” (Shift + Enter), or in Firefox, the local suffix is preferred: instead of “.com”, you’ll get a “.se” if you’re localised in sweden.


Manipulate pages / Tabs / Applications

Alt + TAB
Switches from one program to another. Leaving Alt pressed, and pressing repeatedly TAB makes you go through the list of programs from left to right. Just release the keys when the desired program is selected.

Switches between programs, but from right to left. Can be useful, if you missed the program that you were aiming for, and are too lazy to go through the whole list once again… I know that case…

Ctrl + TAB, and Ctrl+Shift+ TAB
does essentially the same thing, but for applications with tabs such as Firefox, IE, Chrome, and so many more. It allows you to move between tabs right from the keyboard.

Ctrl + T
In Chrome, Firefox and others, it creates a new, empty tab, which allows you to type directly a new keyword of address, without using that mouse…

Backspace (above Enter)
Is equivalent to pressing “Back” in a browser. Careful though, in Windows explorer, it will put in the trashbin the current file.

Middle mouse button press
Open the link in a new tab. That’s incredibly useful, and incredibly undocumented, so be my guest and use it…