What key combination has changed your life?

10 keyboard hacks that will change your life

Here at R29, we have pretty regular computing habits. We type a little and switch between spreadsheets, documents, calendars and Gmail. We googling things, checking Facebook and Twitter and dragging our fingers over the trackpad of our MacBook. If we could do these digital tasks without even taking our hands off the keyboard, we'd save precious seconds that add up to quite a bit over the course of the day. Now it turns out that there are a few clever (and super simple) keyboard tricks that can do just that. Desktop, internet browser, Gmail and even Facebook - all have simple keyboard combinations that you can press to do things you do all the time faster - like opening a new tab in Chrome or making a tweet a favorite. We have put together 10 super-handy keyboard hacks to help you zip through the daily grind, so that you can devote your time to the really important things - or at least protect your index finger from overload. And we've sorted them from the most basic and well-known to the more advanced. So even if you are already a keyboard combination pro, you should keep scrolling; we're sure we got a keyboard trick that you didn't know existed.
1. Search
In 2011, 90% of computer users were unfamiliar with this trick: If you press Command + F at the same time on the Mac (i.e. the Command key and the F key at the same time) or Ctrl + F on a PC, you can use or search for a word in a document. You never have to search the whole page again to find where the paragraph on Burberry Prorsum begins. This command shows you every place where the word or combination of words you are looking for occurs, so you can easily navigate between the different places to search or replace. 2. Keyboard shortcuts within documents
There are a few document editing keyboard shortcuts that everyone should know. Of course, you can use Command + C and Command + V (Mac) or Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V (PC) to copy and paste text. To select the whole text (or the whole picture) you have to press Command / Ctrl + A; to undo an action, Command / Ctrl + Z. And you use Command / Ctrl + S to save a document. Once you master these basics, your text editing will be light years faster. 3. Text formatting
Most word processing programs and editors (including Microsoft Word, Google Docs, and e-mail programs) use many of the same standard combinations for formatting text: To make text bold, press Command / Ctrl + F to italicize something, Command / Ctrl + K, and to underline a word, Command / Ctrl + U.
4. Chrome tabs & windows
Our lives are pretty much played out in Chrome, so the following tips are particularly useful. To open a new tab, press Command / Ctrl + T. For a new window you have to press Command / Ctrl + N. To switch between tabs, press Ctrl + Tab or Ctrl + Page Down (on both Mac and PC). This last trick is great if you want to switch through the open tabs or jump back and forth between two tabs (Ctrl + Shift + Tab or Ctrl + Page Up takes you back to the last open tab). 5. Search with Spotlight
Mac users have an incredibly handy built-in feature that you may or may not be using: Spotlight. Spotlight searches your computer and the web for files, email, specific contacts, directions, and more. To get to Spotlight, press Command + Spacebar and just type in what you're looking for. For example, if I type in “Striker”, the results I get include an Excel file that includes this word plus an iTunes link to Christina Stürmer plus a Wikipedia link about soccer strikers and a number of websites who I was and who also deal with strikers. (What?) 6. Hyperlinks in Gmail
You don't have to copy and paste a URL for an email. If you select the text you want to link and then press Ctrl / Command + K, a pop-up will appear in Gmail for you to paste the URL into. Then in the end you will not have an email full of https and wwws, but a clean text with a few clickable links marked in blue.
7. Google Calendar
Without our Google Calendar events and reminders, we would be lost. The following time-saving tricks will be helpful as you plan your schedule for the next few weeks and months. To create an event in Google Calendar, all you have to do is type "C". If you've navigated into the future (or the past) and want to get back to today quickly, type "T". And if you want to switch to the monthly overview, press "3" or "M". For the daily overview you have to type “1” or “D”. 8. Gmail keyboard shortcuts
In addition to linking, Gmail has more hidden, time-saving keyboard shortcuts. After you've typed a message, you can press Command / Ctrl + Enter to automatically send it (just make sure it's ready to be sent!). With Command / Ctrl + Shift + C you can also quickly add CC recipients, because this jumps the cursor into the CC field. Bcc recipients are inserted with Command / Ctrl + Shift + B. 9. Twitter
Yes, there are even quick keyboard combinations for Twitter. It's super easy: press N to get a new tweet, R to reply, F to favorite a tweet, and T to retweet something. If you're using the Mac Twitter app, it's a lot like that. You can just as easily type F to assign a favorite, but for the other commands you have to press Command at the same time (so a new tweet is Command + N and so on). 10. Facebook
On Facebook, you can toggle between the stories in your message inbox by pressing J to scroll down and K to come back up. (This also works on Twitter, by the way.) You can also like a story that is already tagged by typing L, and you can update your status by pressing P. You can also share a story with S or comment with C. In order to use these Post-specific abbreviations, however, one must have selected a story from the message inbox - after all, one cannot comment on anything.