Whether it’s a speedy way to create a bar chart or a trick for switching from one window to the next, keyboard shortcuts can help even power users knock out work faster.
Here are a few of our readers’ faves:
1. Jump to the beginning of any Microsoft application by pressing Ctrl + Home. “It’s probably my most-used shortcut,” says Karen R.
2. Create a simple bar chart within a set of data in Excel by pressing F11 in any cell.
3. Switch from one window to the next with Alt-Tab.
4. Using F4 to repeat your last action is definitely a time saver in Microsoft Word, says Brandy. “Say you’re changing the font in certain areas of a document. Once you change the first section, you can highlight the next section and simply use your F4 command to copy the changes.”
5. Move to another page quickly with the F5 key, which brings up the Go To box, recommends Judy.
6. Take advantage of the shortcut power of macros. “For example, I like only one space after the end of a sentence,” says Sandy, “but many documents come to me with two spaces. I have a macro to take care of that.”
7. “Some of my favorite keyboard shortcuts in Word are those that control the appearance of text,” says Margaret. Examples: Control + [ to decrease font size one point at a time, and Control + ] to increase font size one point at a time.
8. File away e-mails, once you’ve read them, by pressing Shift + Enter + V to pull up your Folders, says Linda. Type in the first few letters of a folder name to call it up, then hit Enter.
9. Make up your own shortcuts with ShortKeys Lite, recommend Stephen and Brandy. (Other similar software recommended by admins: AutoHotkey and Keyboard Express.)
“Sometimes I have to enter the same paragraph or contract section in many documents,” says Stephen. “By assigning a shortcut key to them, I can quickly move from one document to another.”
10. Lock your keyboard with Windows Key + L, and minimize your screen with Windows Key + M, says Patty.
11. Generate white space between paragraphs (12 pt. of spacing) in Word and Outlook by pressing Ctrl + Shift + 0 (zero), says Nirma, a self-described “avid shortcut user.”
She also uses Ctrl + M to increase an indent, and Ctrl + Shift + M to decrease an indent.