10 Computer Shortcuts: Obvious to Techies but Unknown to the Rest

02/01/2008 05:42 pm ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

I'll cover my head in shame: I only discovered keyboard shortcuts about a year ago. There, I said it.

Here are a few shortcuts that take out excessive mouse use and -- cumulatively over thousands of computer movements per week -- save hours and hours.

There a million and one "shortcuts," but learning them all takes forever. The headache savers below are those I use almost every time I touch a computer. Though self-evident to most techies, I hope a few Luddites like me will find them a revelation. If using a Mac, use the Cmd key instead of Ctrl...

For Firefox (get off of the slow and virus-prone Internet Explorer):

Ctrl-K - Takes you directly to the search box at the upper right, where you can search Google, Amazon, and more with one click (Enter)

Ctrl-L or F6 (latter PC) - Takes you to the URL field to type in a new web address (Hint: just type in the name of a company or person -- no "www" or ".com" -- and hit enter to find their website, if it exists)

Ctrl-T - Opens a new tab

Ctrl-D - Bookmarks the page

Ctrl-+ - Increases font size on any webpage

Ctrl-[-]- Decreases font size

Ctrl-0 [zero] - Returns font to original size

For Gmail:

First, go to "settings" to the upper-right of your inbox and turn on keyboard shortcuts. There are a lot of them, but there are my faves:

c - compose a new message

tab + return/enter - send message

u - return to inbox (or previous conversation list)

r - reply

a - reply all

f - forward

e - archive

and my favorite of all:

# - delete message

What are your favorite keyboard or computer shortcuts?

Put your computer enthusiasm into a comment and then shut the beast down for the weekend :)


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