Helpful Keyboard Shortcuts and Key Combinations

computer keyboard

Those who spend a major part of their time operating a computer find it very useful to master the keyboard shortcuts that the various operating systems have provided.   These key combinations replace time reaching for the mouse to click and pull-down menus, to be more efficient. While these shortcuts really can help, they don’t always work in all applications since their availability is dependent on the software developer building them into their product. Some shortcuts are also hardware limited and may not be available on all keyboards.

Nevertheless, if they are available, they are tremendously useful.

Keyboard Shortcuts Lists:

The most direct resource for keyboard shortcuts is from the Help Menu of the Operating System or Software Application being used. In Windows, Help is available by pressing the F1 key, from the Start Menu/Help and Support, or from the Help pull down menu in Windows Explorer. Search for “Keyboard Shortcuts” to find a list of topics. Mac OSX has a list of topics on their Help menu also (pull down menu on the Desktop or any Finder Window). However, it is tedious to go through all the topics in the Help menus to find the shortcut you need.

Fortunately, Wikipedia has provided a very detailed table of various key combinations that may match your specific needs.

The Wikipedia Key Combination Table contains a large assortment of keyboard shortcuts, especially since it covers the operating systems of Windows, Mac OS, KDE/GNOME, EMacs, and Vim.  Not all applications follow (all of) the conventions listed. The table is segregated into the following categories of key combinations:

General Shortcuts


Power Management

Text Editing

Text Formatting

Browsers/Go Menu

Web Browsers

Tab Management

Windows Management

User Interface Navigation (Widgets and Controls)

Command Line Shortcuts


Click here for the entire list of keyboard shortcuts as listed on Wikipedia.

An extensive references list is provided at the end of the tables, along with numerous links to more information.

Some keyboards on the market may have fewer key combinations that work due to the boards being able to connect to a variety of computers (PCs and Macs), tablets, and smart phones, making it very difficult to provide all the combinations required.

Are your favorite keyboard shortcuts listed? Are there any missing? Please share and discuss in the comments section below.


Photo: Public Domain/Wikipedia