Increase Efficiency: Use Windows Vista Shortcut keys

Can’t stand the lengthy process to start each application, or looking for more efficient way to increase your productivity? Here are some Windows Vista shortcut keys that might be useful (most of them work in Windows XP as well):

For writing or creating office document, press:

  • F1 – Display Help
  • F2 – Rename the selected item
  • CTRL + C – Copy the selected item
  • CTRL + V – paste the selected item
  • CTRL + X – Cut the selected item
  • CTRL + Z – Undo an action
  • CTRL + Y – Redo an action
  • CTRL + RIGHT ARROW – Move the cursor to the beginning of the next word
  • CTRL + LEFT ARROW – Move the cursor to the beginning of the previous word
  • CTRL + UP ARROW – Move the cursor to the beginning of the previous paragraph
  • CTRL + DOWN ARROW – Move the cursor to the beginning of the next paragraph
  • CTRL + SHIFT + Arrow – Select a block of text
  • SHIFT + Any arrow key – Select text within a document
  • CTRL + A – Select all items
  • ALT + F4 – Close the current document
  • ALT + SPACEBAR – Open the shortcut menu for the current document

In your sidebar:

  • Windows logo key + SPACEBAR – Bring all gadgets to the front and select Sidebar
  • Windows logo key + G – Cycle through Sidebar gadgets
  • TAB – Cycle through Sidebar controls

In Photo Gallery:

  • CTRL+ F – Open the Fix pane
  • CTRL+ P – Print the selected picture
  • CTRL+ I – Open or close the Details pane
  • CTRL+PERIOD (.) – Rotate the picture clockwise
  • CTRL+COMMA (,) – Rotate the picture counter-clockwise
  • CTRL+ E – Search for an item
  • ALT+LEFT ARROW – Go back
  • ALT+RIGHT ARROW -Go forward
  • PLUS SIGN (+) -Zoom in or resize the picture thumbnail
  • MINUS SIGN (-) -Zoom out or resize the picture thumbnail
  • CTRL+Mouse scroll wheel – Change the size of the picture thumbnail
  • CTRL+B – Best fit

You can also set a shortcut key for your favorite application.

  • Open a Windows Explorer and navigate to your favorite application. Right click on the application and select “create shortcut“.
  • Right click the new shortcut and choose ‘Properties
  • In the shortcut tabs, click on the shortcut key and press any character to denote the shortcut. It will be in the form of “Ctrl + Alt + the character you choose“.
  • Press OK.

Done. You can now use the shortcut key to launch your favorite application in the desktop.


Damien Oh started writing tech articles since 2007 and has over 10 years of experience in the tech industry. He is proficient in Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iOS, and worked as a part time WordPress Developer. He is currently the owner and Editor-in-Chief of Make Tech Easier.

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