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Type Like a Pro: Learn How to Use Various Keyboard Shortcuts

William Brown Nov 25, 2019
Here is a full guide by which you can certainly become a genius in the typing tricks, whether you use a Mac or a Windows system.

Introduction

Not a long time ago, typing was reserved for people like secretaries or writers. Unlike today, just a couple of decades ago, owning a computer was a luxury. However, today, in the digital era, almost everybody owns a computer. And not only that, we have laptops, tablets, smartphones. So typing is essential to communicate.
Since we spend so much time typing, it is wise to consider putting some effort to improve accuracy and speed. That way, we could save hours and even days we spend on typing. We are also witnessing an increasing number of freelance and remote jobs that require a lot of writing and typing.
The use of audio devices like headphones and speakers is a great way to improve one's productivity (check out Outer Audio for great reviews). If you want more accurate and faster typing skills or want to learn how to type properly and swiftly, this story is for you!

Posture

The first thing you need to pay attention to is your posture. It is logical that you can't type fast while you are laying on your bed or laid back in your chair. If you want to type fast, you have to sit straight at your desk. Look straight to the screen and make sure your eyes are at 45cm - 70cm from screen.

Ergonomics

Do not put too much weight on your wrists. You should only lean them on the keyboard and not press too hard. Avoid typing on your lap as it is uncomfortable. Your feet should be on the ground and head tilted a bit so you can look better on screen.

Use All Fingers

As said before, many people use only two fingers, which might seem easier but it is really time-consuming. Keyboards are designed that way so you can use all of your fingers to reach the keys. You just need to lean your hands on the edge of the keyboard and position your fingers well.
Those keys are the F key and the J key. If you were wondering why they are there, there is a very good reason. Those are used for positioning the index fingers of both hands. When you put your left index finger on F key and right index finger on J key and let other fingers align naturally, you get a starting position to type.

Practice With Various Apps

There are a lot of apps and online tools to help you practice your typing skills. You can practice by simply typing a certain text, typing a dictated text, playing various games, test your speed, etc. You can even find a course, that will help you gain fast-typing skills. Many of these courses are free.

Practice Touch Typing

When you are trying to improve your typing skills, practice is necessary. And the only way to practice properly is to try typing without looking at the keyboard. Touch typing is a skill that will significantly speed up your typing because that way you don't need to look at the screen, then at the keyboard and back to the screen.

Learn Finger Positioning

Each finger of each hand has its resting key and the keys they hit. Both thumbs rest on the space bar and they also hit the space bar. Pinkie fingers hit the keys that are far left and far right. So, the right pinkie rest on the ; key (semi-colon), and hits the following keys 0, P, -, =, [, ], ;, ', \, Backspace, Enter, Shift and Ctrl.
The left pinkie rests on the key A but also hits \, 1, 2, W, Q, Tab, Caps Lock, Shift, and Ctrl. As we mentioned before, the index fingers rest on the keys F and J. The left index finger hits T, F, C, 6, G, and V, G. The right index finger hits Y, H, B, 7, U, J, and N. The left middle finger rests on the key D and hits 5, R, D, and X.
The right middle finger rests on the key K and hits 8, I, K and the comma key. The left ring finger rests on the key S and hits 3, 4, E, and Z. The right ring finger rests on the key L and hits the 9, O and full stop. Although at first glance it seems complicated, once you practice it enough it will then steadily come naturally to you.

Use Shortcuts

Both Windows and Mac operating systems have various keyboard shortcuts. It would be annoying if we didn't have the option of completing operations by pressing multiple keys on the keyboard. Avoid interrupting flow of your typing to get the mouse to cut, search, scroll, or any other operation, when you can simply press a few keys.

Windows Shortcuts

  • Copy - Ctrl + C (or Ctrl + Insert)
  • Paste - Ctrl + V (or Shift + Insert)
  • Cut - Ctrl + X
  • Save - Ctrl + S
  • Undo - Ctrl + Z
  • Search for a word(s) - Ctrl + F
  • Move to the beginning of the line/end - Home Key/End Key
  • Move to the beginning of the next/previous paragraph - Ctrl + Down arrow/Ctrl + Up arrow
  • Scroll up - Page Up Key
  • Scroll Down - Page Down Key
Highlights
  • Highlight everything - Ctrl + A
  • Highlight the next letter - Shift + Left/Right Arrow
  • Highlight the next word - Ctrl + Shift + Left/Right Arrow
Web browsing
  • Next tab - Ctrl + Tab
  • Previous tab - Ctrl + Shift + Tab
  • Open New Tab - Ctrl + T
  • Open New Window - Ctrl + N
  • Close Tab - Ctrl + W
  • Refresh - Ctrl + R
  • Go back to the previous page - Backspace Key
  • Go forward to the next page - Shift + Backspace

Mac OS Shortcuts

  • Copy - Command-C
  • Cut - Command-X
  • Paste - Command-V
  • Undo - Command-Z
  • Select All - Command-A
  • Print a document - Command-P
  • Save a document - Command-S
  • Find - Command-F
  • Show View Options - Command-J
  • Empty the Trash - Shift-Command-Delete

Folders

  • Create new folder - Shift-Command-N
  • Create new Smart Folder - Option-Command-N
  • Desktop folder - Shift-Command-D
  • Computer window - Shift-Command-C
  • iCloud Drive - Shift-Command-I
  • Network - Shift-Command-K
  • Downloads folder - Option-Command-L
  • Documents folder - Shift-Command-O
  • AirDrop - Shift-Command-R
  • Utility - Shift-Command-U

Documents Shortcuts

  • Bold - Command-B & Italic - Command-I
  • Underline- Command-U
  • Left / Right align - Command–Left / Right Curly Bracket ({) / (})
  • Center align - Shift–Command–Vertical bar (|)
  • Search - Option-Command-F
  • Copy / Paste - Option-Command-C / V
  • Save As - Shift-Command-S
  • Increase size of selected item - Shift-Command-Plus (+)
  • Decrease size of selected item - Shift–Command–Minus (-)
  • Display Spelling & Grammar window - Shift-Command-Colon (:)
  • Delete word to the left of the insertion point - Option-Delete
  • Delete character to the left of the insertion point - Control-H
  • Delete character to the right of the insertion point - Control-D
  • Delete text between the insertion point and the end of the line or paragraph - Control-K

Web Browsing Shortcuts

  • Scroll up / down screen - Page Up / Down
  • Open a page in a new tab - Shift-Command-click a link
  • Add a bookmark - Select the page’s full address and its icon, then drag the icon to the Favorites bar
  • Show or Hide the Bookmarks sidebar - Control-Command-1

That's It!

Now you know all the tips and tricks. Remember that practice makes perfect, so allow yourself to learn this naturally. Soon you'll notice that you're transforming into a speedy typing guru!

Happy typing!