I will let you into a secret, I am kind of obsessed with keyboard shortcuts!  Just like I want to help people organise their business, I think there is no excuse for the days of our lives that we cumulatively waste switching between a mouse and keyboard for simple navigation through our applications.  It is painful for me to watch people spend precious seconds moving their cursor when I know their action could have been done so much faster by learning keyboard shortcuts!

It turns out that the average user can waste up to 8 days of productivity per year by not using keyboard shortcuts!


Keyboard shortcuts

Three reasons why you should be using keyboard shortcuts

Did you know that using keyboard shortcuts can increase productivity and save you time? Yes, the term “shortcut” may seem daunting at first, but if you use computers every day it’s important to consider the benefits! To help you to get into the habit of using keyboard shortcuts, here are three reasons that may encourage you even more:

1. Efficient and time-saving

Using shortcuts makes you more efficient at doing certain tasks on your computer.  When you’re not necessarily reaching for the mouse every second and once you start using shortcuts each day, you’ll start noticing a boost to productivity.  Take for example the task of selecting all the text in a document: instead of using the mouse to click and hold it across the whole document, you can simply press Ctrl+A.  Easy, right? This quick shortcut lets you do more with less effort.

2. Multi-tasking

Being a multi-tasker is nearly always required in your business life.  It’s a special ability that lets us tick boxes in our to-do list quickly, especially when juggling dozens of tabs or tools at once.  Knowing the right shortcuts allow you to easily navigate your way through these tasks in less time than it would usually take you.  You might feel awkward using a combination of keys while using your mouse at the same time, but once you start powering through your work as a keyboard ninja, you’ll never look back.

3. Health benefits

Cutting down on your mouse usage by using keyboard shortcuts can help reduce the risks of RSI (Repetitive Syndrome Injury).  Many people develop RSI by doing a repetitive task– like resting the heel of your palm on the desk and raising your fingers to use the mouse. If you use keyboard shortcuts, you can save hundreds of mouse clicks and movements each day.

Keyboard shortcuts


Basic Shortcuts

Here are some basic key combinations to get you started to becoming an official keyboard shortcut guru!




Mac OS

Edit menu

Alt + E

Ctrl + F2 + F

File menu

Alt + F

Ctrl + F2 + E

View menu

Alt + V

Ctrl + F2 + V

Select all text

Ctrl + A

Cmd + A

Copy text

Ctrl + C

Cmd + C

Find text

Ctrl + F

Cmd + F

Find and replace text

Crtl + H

Cmb + F

New Document

Ctrl + N

Cmd + N

Open a file

Ctrl + O

Cmd + O

Print options

Ctrl + P

Cmd + P

Save file

Ctrl + S

Cmd + S

Paste text

Ctrl + V

Cmd + V

Cut Text

Ctrl + X

Cmb + X

Redo Text

Ctrl + Y

Shift + Cmd + Z

Undo Text

Ctrl + Z

Cmd + Z

Keyboard shortcuts


The trick with keyboard shortcuts is that you have to train your muscle memory to just automatically go for them instead of a mouse.  It takes time, and it’s not exactly a fun thing to do, but it’s worth it in the end.  Once you get the hang of it you feel like a keyboard ninja who can instantly jump to anywhere in a text document, launch a web browser and research a term, and then jump into a spreadsheet to quickly create a table without ever touching a mouse. All you need is a few key combinations.

You’ll likely never ditch the mouse completely, but that’s not the point. It’s about making yourself faster with both.

Amy Martin
Amy Martin

With over 20 years of experience as an Executive Assistant, Amy Martin leads the Business Support Team at Total Eclipse Agency.

Offering impeccable attention to detail, and an innate skill at streamlining business operations, Amy’s background encompasses both corporate and government sector support and she brings this knowledge and skill set to your business via our Business Support Services.