It occurred to us, after writing yesterday's list of Chrome keyboard shortcuts, that there was one glaring omission: bookmark shortcuts.
Not only does the Bookmark Bar take up valuable real estate, but no one really wants to click through folders of bookmarks to find what you're looking for.
Now, Firefox has 'Smart bookmarks', which lets you add a keyword to a bookmark. Chrome, however, only lets you assign keywords (and thus keyboard shortcuts) to search engines.
Fortunately, with a little bit of hacking, that doesn't matter.
There is always at least two ways of doing something on a Windows PC. If you've learnt by doing, rather than from a book, you probably only know one way. Watch your mother use a word processor one day -- I bet she uses File > Save rather than hitting Ctrl+S. What about you? Do you know your shortcuts?
Keyboard shortcuts are by far and away the best way to a) speed up your work flow and b) prevent RSI. The single worst thing you can do, as far as your wrist and elbow is concerned, is move your hand to the mouse. The best thing you can do is read this list of shortcuts and be amazed at what you can do with just a couple of keystrokes.
I've sorted these
lifefinger-savers into three categories: life-changing, really neat and kinda cool. Some of you will already know most of them, but you won't know all of them. You owe it to yourself to read the first block -- but try and keep going until the end!
Life-changing Keyboard Shortcuts
First, the shortcuts that are so fundamental to computer use that you'll wonder how you ever lived without them. Almost all of these shortcuts should be performed with the LEFT hand, with your thumb on Alt or Ctrl.
- Ctrl+T -- opens a new tab in all major Web browsers.
- Alt+Tab -- cycles through currently-open programs. If you also hold down Shift, it cycles backwards.
- Ctrl+Tab -- cycles through Web browser tabs (you can use Shift to go backwards too).
- Ctrl+W -- closes the current window or tab. Some applications can be closed with Ctrl+W, but Alt+F4 is universal.
- Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V -- copies selected text (you can use Shift and arrow keys to select text!), and then paste it. Use Alt-Tab to switch between source and destination for bonus points.
- Ctrl+Z -- undoes your last action. This works in almost everything except Web browsers. 'Redo' varies from program to program (check the 'Edit' menu to find out!)
- Ctrl+Mouse scroll wheel -- zoom in, zoom out. This works in almost every kind of app, including Web browsers. Great for increasing the size of tiny 'aesthetic' text on normal websites... or tiny thumbnails on nefarious ones. Also scales the size of icons on your desktop, if they're too small for you!
- F5 -- refreshes your current folder/directory or Web page. Yes, you can hammer a button on your keyboard rather than foolishly clicking a button over and over!
- Alt+D -- selects the address bar in your Web browser or folder/directory view! Yes, I know -- how awesome is that?