Keyboard Shortcut

What Does Keyboard Shortcut Mean?

Keyboard shortcuts are combinations of two or more keys that can be used to execute certain tasks which would usually require a mouse click or some other type of input device action. Keyboard shortcuts provide a quick way to implement repetitive tasks which can be time consuming during a long typing process or command line programming. Sometimes even a single key can be used as an alternative to a function, thus behaving like a keyboard shortcut. The types and availability of keyboard shortcuts vary between operating systems, and the user may also be allowed to customize keyboard shortcuts.


Keyboard shortcuts are also known as keyboard commands or shortcut keys.

Techopedia Explains Keyboard Shortcut

Keyboard shortcuts enable users to perform important tasks, commands and navigation using only the keyboard and thus eliminating the need for switching between the keyboard and the mouse or any other input device. Some of the most common keyboard shortcuts are the shortcuts used for cutting (Ctrl+X), pasting (Ctrl+V) and copying (Ctrl+C) contents or files from one place to another.

Shortcut keys are commonly accessed by using the Alt key, Command key (in Apple computers), Ctrl key or the Shift key in conjunction with another key.

Some apps may also provide accelerator keys to make working with menus and other commands easier. For instance, some menu items may have underlined letters and these menu items can be easily accessed by pressing both the Alt key and the underlined letter. The shortcuts to the menu items are usually displayed next to the menu item’s name.

Shortcut keys are widely used in almost all applications and operating systems to provide ease of access and faster task completion. Though novice users may find it difficult to learn all the shortcut combinations, keyboard shortcuts are extremely useful for advanced users who need to type or execute commands at a fast rate. Use of keyboard shortcuts can increase productivity.

Some of the most commonly used PC shortcut keys are:

  • Ctrl+C – Copy
  • Ctrl+V – Paste
  • Ctrl+Z – Undo
  • Ctrl+X – Cut
  • Ctrl+J – Justify contents in a document
  • Ctrl+B – Bold text in a document
  • Ctrl++ – Zoom in
  • Ctrl+- – Zoom out
  • Alt+Tab – Switch between open apps
  • Alt+F4 – Close active application
  • Ctrl+Alt+Del – Open Task Manager
  • Windows key+L – Lock PC
  • Windows key+D – Display/hide desktop
  • Windows key+typing text – Search for the typed text

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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…