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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.
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: