This version: Nov. 10, 2008

Compiled and edited on Oct. 5, 2008 by Valdemar W. Setzer ( from


Attention. 1. Most of the hints were not checked. 2. I added some of my own. 3. Sorry for not having given credit to the contributors (this would have given me much more work); they may be found in Pogue’s blog. 4. I did not look at all contributions to the blog. 5. I did not insert trivial hints such as Ctrl+I or Ctrl+arrow in Word. 6. When I use "I" in the text, it’s me! 7. Please e-mail any corrections (including to my English) or new contributions to my e-mail address on my home page (see address above). 8. See also the complete list of shortcuts for Windows.

  1. Browsers
  2. Alt+D takes to the address bar of most modern web browsers and Windows (file) Explorer (some people think of it as My Computer window).

    Alt+Enter opens a new tab for whatever you typed in the address bar in most browsers.

    Alt+left arrow or backspace = Back; Alt+right arrow or Shift+backspace = Forward

    Ctrl+tab moves from tab to tab within a browser.

    Ctrl+B opens the bookmarks.

    Ctrl+K goes straight to search box in browser

    Ctrl+L goes straight to browser address bar

    Ctrl+T opens a new tab; Ctrl+W closes the active tab; Ctrl + Pg Up rotates forward along all tabs (Pg Dn backwards)

    If web pages are slow to load, speed things up by typing Ctrl+Q.

    F5 refreshes a web page.

    Ctrl+F5 refreshes a web page plus forces the browser to re-download all the images on the page, instead of pulling them from the cache.

    F6 allows to edit the address bar (which allows to visit a different website).

    Space bar or Pg Dn scrolls down on a Web page one screenful. Shift+space bar or Pg Up scrolls up.

    In Firefox, you can do a quick-search of a web page by hitting the / key, followed by whatever you’re searching for.

    In the Firefox browser, if you right click any tab, the menu includes the command Undo Close Tab; useful when having forgotten to record a URL before closing a tab.

    To return things to their original size in the browser window, type Ctrl+0 (that’s zero, not "oh").

    There are a whole bunch of shortcuts for Firefox:

    When typing a web address into MS Internet Explorer’s address bar, you can type, for example, "nytimes" (no quotes) and then press Ctrl+Enter on the keyboard and the address will complete itself into ""

    In Firefox (and now the new IE6) you can highlight a word or phrase in a webpage, right click on it and have it do a Google search, which will open in a new tab in the current window (if you have the browser set up to open new tabs in the current window).

    If you are tired of flash ads and other ads blinking and blaring at you on webpages, download and install Mozilla Firefox. Then, install the AdBlock Plus add-on. It blocks almost all advertising on websites.

    There’s a setting in Firefox that allows you to start doing a “Find” as soon as you start typing. Avoids you from having to use the shortcut Ctrl+F. It’s under Tools->Options->Advanced->General.

    When reading the New York Times if you come across a word you don’t know a meaning of, you can double click on it, and the dictionary window pops up. Only works for words which are not common.

    When viewing an image in your browser, you can save the file by putting the cursor over it, right clicking and choosing “Save Picture As.” Or, you can click to “Email” or “Print” it. Click “Copy” and then just paste that image right into any program that accepts images. Or, if you want to crop or alter it, paste it into Windows Paint or your image program. If a website’s author have disabled the right click mechanism in a feeble attempt to keep people from having copies of images to enjoy offline, just re-size that browser window, so that it is just a bit bigger than the image and click Alt PrtSc (hold down the Alt key and tap the PrtSc key). Now, you can paste a copy of the image into Windows Paint (or other image program) and work with it as though you owned it (it will have some of the browser window copied as well, which you will have to trim away). After you have it properly cropped… save it as a bmp for later use or as a jpg (if you want to email it or use it in a document).

  1. Excel
  2. To start a new line of text in a cell, hit Alt+Enter.

    F2 lets you edit any highlighted cell.

    If you use paste special in Excel for values or formats often, you can add them as buttons to your edit toolbar: View -> Toolbars -> Customize. On the commands menu, select Edit. On the right side, scroll down and select Paste Formatting. Click and drag the icon to the edit toolbar. (Your mouse will have a little box attached to it with an x or a +, a plus indicates that you can drop the icon there.)

    If you right click on most Web-page tables you can export them to Excel for editing or doing calculations.

    In Excel, if you want to duplicate the exact same information in cell A2 as what’s in A1, simply put your cursor in A2 and click Ctrl+D. Works only for consecutive cells in a column.

    In Excel, use Ctrl+Page Up or Ctrl+Page Down to move to the next and previous worksheets/tabs respectively.

  3. General
  4. Photo organizer:



    Sound recorder and editor:

  5. Google
  6. Google is also a units-of-measurement and currency converter. Type for example, without the quotes, "teaspoons in 1.3 gallons", "euros in 17 dollars" or "1.3 gallons in teaspoons", "17 dollars in euros". Click Search to see the answer.

    Whenever there’s a pull-down list on a website, say for selecting the country in which you live, you can type the first letter of your selection and the list will jump to the first entry under that letter.

    Google has a language translation tool that is real slick at

    Google dictionary. In the search field, type "define" followed immediately by the word you want defined. For example, "define immaculate conception" without the quotes.

    To restrict a Google search to .edu or .org sites, or to a specific site, type search phrases like this: "wernicke-korsakoff"; "wernicke-korsakoff"; "wernicke-korsakoff"

    Google Desktop: This is an awesome tool that you should download if you don’t have. It searches your hard drive, saved searches, anything you’ve viewed so fast if you ever need to find anything. Will even search through your Outlook way faster than Outlook’s own search.

  7. MS Office (Word, Excel, Power Point, ...)
  8. F4 repeats the last action (REDO) –works at least for Word, Excel, and Powerpoint.

    Shift+F3 capitalizes/decapitalizes the selected text; try pressing F3 consecutively to see what happens.

    F7 for spell check.

    Select text; Ctrl+[ makes text smaller; Ctrl+] makes text bigger.

    A range of text, or cells in Excel, or just about anything, can be selected by clicking the beginning point, pressing and holding the Shift key, then the end point. No need to drag over the entire range.

    If you wish to shorten some file generated by Word, Powerpoint, etc. try to use "Save as". (I’m using Word 97 to later generate a clean html code, and this trick has just diminished the file size from 112 KB to 36 KB! I’ve used it extensively with Power Point 2003. BTW, Word 2003 generates horrible html, full of useless styles.)

  9. Powerpoint
  10. F5 shifts to presentation mode. Esc returns to slide composition mode.

  11. Windows
  12. Alt+F4 closes any program.

    F2 lets you rename any highlighted file in Windows Explorer (My Computer), Save windows, etc.

    F5 refreshes folder contents in Windows Explorer, Save window, etc.

    In many Windows document-based programs, Ctrl+Tab will switch between open documents, much like Alt+Tab will switch between apps in Windows.

    Ctrl+W closes the file you have open without closing the entire program.

    Ctrl+Insert = Ctrl+C; Shift+Insert = Ctrl+V; Shift+Delete = Ctrl+X.

    In Windows Explorer, save windows, etc. Shift+delete deletes a file without saving it into the recycle bin.

    In Windows Explorer, dragging an object while holding down Ctrl copies the object instead of moving it.

    The Print Screen (pr sc) button saves into the clipboard a picture of what’s on the computer screen (and Alt-Print Screen saves just the active window). This picture may be pasted (Ctrl+V) into a Microsoft Word document. Double click on it in Word and you will get options to crop it and resize it.

    Windows Key (WK, the key with the Windows flag with 4 sections)+R opens the Run Program Dialog; WK+M minimizes all windows; WK+Shift+M maximizes all windows; WK+F finds files on your computer; WK+E open Windows Explorer/My Computer (another way: click the right button on Start and then Explore).

    Use Alt codes for special characters, such as Alt+0246 for ö, or Alt+0174 for the registered trademark "R" symbol. A complete list is online at s/codealt.html#accent

    While holding down the Alt key, tap the Esc key to cycle through all open files and applications. Unlike the Alt+Tab keystroke which shows only the icons of the open files and applications through you are cycling, the Alt+Esc keystroke combination shows a full page from each open file and application through which you are cycling.

    Folder settings: If you have a certain way you like to view your folders in windows explorer, you can save those settings without having to go View all the time. Just go to Tools->Folder Options->View->Apply to All Folders.

    In the desktop, Windows Explorer, save windows, etc., type the first letters of the file and Windows will highlight the first file with those letters. Keep typing those letters to cycle through all the file names that start with them.

    If Windows wants you to restart after an update and it keeps popping up to the point of annoyance, do this: Go to Control Panel, to Administrative Tools, to Services and find the Automatic Updates service, right click, and select stop.

    To hear tones when pressing Caps Lock, Num Lock and Scroll Lock: Control Panel -> Accessibility Options -> Keyboard -> Toggle Keys

    To defragment a disk in Windows, go to "My Computer," right click on the disk you want to defragment (say, C:\), and go to "Properties." Under "Tools," click "Defragment Now."

    To activate the Windows calculator, Start -> Run, type "calc" (without the quotes) -> hit Enter.

    In Windows XP, to drag a file from current application to another, first drag it down to to the target application in the task bar. Easier because both windows don’t need to be visible at the same time.


  1. Word
  2. You can enter sentences in autocorrect, i.e. for example you can enter your name "Paul Newman" as pn in autocorrect, so that you do not have to type it all the time (you have to be careful though).

    After typing a word in Word, Shift+F7 will bring up a thesaurus window from which you can select a synonym.

    A sentence can be selected in one click by pressing Control (Ctrl) and clicking anywhere on the sentence. Shift+Page down/up selects a range of the text.

    In MS Word, to copy easily from lots of nonadjacent spots or even different files (like lots of bios into one place), use the Spike feature. Select the text or graphic you want, and then press Ctrl+F3. Repeat this step for each additional item you want to move to the Spike. Then click in the document where you want to insert the Spike’s contents. Press Ctrl+Shift+F3 to insert the Spike’s contents. ALL the items you cut will be pasted in. NOTE: You end up "cutting" the text out of your original documents rather than copying it , but if you close the document you’re cutting from without saving changes, or if you save the original document with another name and cut from it, you’re fine. (For more info, go to MS Help menu, enter "spike".)