Master These Universal Keyboard Shortcuts For Text Editing

shutterstock 87011189 e1343742051267   Master These Universal Keyboard Shortcuts For Text EditingAfter months of practicing, you have finally boosted your typing speed above that of a snail. You have finally got the hang of not looking at the keyboard for each character. You are no longer “hunting and pecking” to find the keys you need. Good, these are important steps in your journey towards becoming a computer master. However, there is much more to learn, and I am here to show you a way to speed up your typing efficiency by a huge margin.

One thing that slows people down while writing in any application is taking their hands off the keyboard and navigating around the screen with their mouse. There is a better way! There are lots of keyboard shortcuts designed to help you keep your hands on the keyboard and the words flowing. If you learn these shortcuts, you will be able to focus more on writing and less on navigating with your mouse.

Selecting Text

One of the most useful things you can do with text editing keyboard shortcuts is selecting bits of text. It speeds things along a great deal when writing.

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Select one character at a time. – Shift+Left or Right Arrow

Select one line at a time. – Shift+Up or Down Arrow Keys

Select one word with each arrow press. – Shift+Ctrl+Left or Right Arrow

Select current paragraph. – Shift+Ctrl+Up or Down Arrow

Select text between the cursor and the end of the current line. – Shift+Home

Select text between the cursor and the end of the current line. – Shift+End

Select all text. – Ctrl+A

Editing Text

Once you have all those text bits selected, you need to do something with them. That is where these handy editing bits come into play.

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Copy selected text. – Ctrl+C or Ctrl+Insert

Cut selected text. – Ctrl+X or Shift+Delete

Paste text at the cursor. – Ctrl+V or Shift+Insert

Undo last action. – Ctrl+Z

Redo last action. – Ctrl+Y

Formatting Text

Another useful thing you can do with keyboard shortcuts is format your text. You can make it italicized, bold and more with just a couple of buttons on the keyboard.

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Make text bold. – Ctrl+B

Make text italicized. – Ctrl+I

Underline selected text. – Ctrl+U

Moving the Cursor

You can move your cursor all around your text document without ever placing your hands on the mouse. This allows you to keep your hands on the keyboard and the productivity flowing.

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Move to beginning of current line. – Home

Move to end of current line. – End

Move to top of text entry field. – Ctrl+Home

Move to bottom of the text entry field. – Ctrl+End

Move up one frame. – Page Up

Move down one frame. – Page Down

Move to beginning of paragraph. – Ctrl+Up Arrow

Move to end of paragraph. – Ctrl+Down Arrow

Working With Whole Words

Deleting text one letter at a time is not the quickest way to do the job. If you need to delete and mess with full words, these keyboard shortcuts are just what you need.

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Move to start of previous word. – Ctrl+Left Arrow

Move to start of next word. – Ctrl+Right Arrow

Delete previous word. – Ctrl+Backspace

Delete next word – Ctrl+Delete

Conclusion

With these keyboard shortcuts, you will be able to increase your writing efficiency substantially. Think of all the time you will save not switching over from your keyboard to your mouse constantly.

For Mac users, most of these shortcuts will work if you just swap CTRL with Command (Cmd).

Are there any text editing keyboard shortcuts we missed? Let us know in the comments!

Image Credit: 3d computer keyboard via Shutterstock

The comments were closed because the article is more than 180 days old.

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44 Comments -

Lee

Actually, in OS X, the Home and End keys don’t work the same way (from my experience). To achieve the same effect, use Command+Left/Right arrows. Using the Home and End keys jumps to the start and end of the document.

achyut reddy

Good job at compiling all the useful shortcuts

Dave LeClair

Glad you found it helpful!

Aaron Couch

Great article here! I use these without even thinking of them, which is the thing I love about keyboard shortcuts — eventually, they just become a natural, more efficient part of your computer experience.

kevin gnanaraj

Some of these are so obvious but I never think of them, Ctrl + u, for instance, but once you start using them, they become natural.

Aditya Roy

Yay me… I knew them already! :)

Josh Burkhart

A few in there that I didn’t know, most I did A most excellent guide to editing shortcut keys. Thanks Dave.

Dave LeClair

You’re welcome!

Leanna

Very useful article and I was glad to see actual shots of the reaches.
I tell my students that another reason we learn these shortcuts is for better ergonomics. It alleviates the hands holding the same positions all the time, especially of the mouse, for editing.

Dave LeClair

Very good point

echantrea

Good shortcut for typing

tueksta

Here is some more:

Ctrl+Shift+End – mark everything from cursor to the end of the document
Ctrl+Shift+Home – mark everything from cursor to the beginning of the document
Shift+PageDown – mark everything from cursor to next page (if not end of file)
Shift+PageUp – mark everything from cursor to previous page (if not beginning of file)

Dave LeClair

Thanks for the extra tips. Our readers will appreciate it!

Catherine McCrum

yes, yes, yes – shortcuts really do make my keyboarding more functional

Bruce Thomas

Thank you for the quick tutorial. A reminder of features is always appreciated.

articlehack.com

So interesting.. could u please tell where insert key is located i cant see that in my keyboard………

BMor

It is usually above the arrow keys in the group of the 6 keys that also contain Home, End, Delete, Page Up, and Page Down, but it might be relocated or need you to press the FN key if you are on a laptop or condensed keyboard. In that case check you hardware documentation. (The key may only say INS not insert. If you find it on your keyboard in Blue then you’ll need to use the FN key on your keyboard. If that is the case then instead of Ctrl+Ins you would need to press Ctrl+Fn+Ins)

articlehack.com

great post..i would like to share… :D

Dave LeClair

please do!

Elaheh Sadegh

It’s extremely useful when the Computer speed is so slow ;) using keyboard rather than mouse is more profession and fast.

Yang Yang Li

“One thing that slows people down while writing in any application is taking their hands off the keyboard and navigating around the screen with their mouse.”
-The trackstick in the middle of my keyboard solves this problem :-D
I also have left and right click buttons right under my space bar. They save me time when I type. I do not have to look down at my keyboard to move my cursor where I want it.

Elijah Swartz

I knew all of these except some of the alternatives such as shift+delete to cut instead of ctrl+x. It’s kind of fascinating that typing and using shortcuts has become such a natural part of using a computer.

I’m not really sure what universal means exactly, as not all of these work in every application, but some other shortcuts for editing text in text editing programs in Windows at least would be ctrl+shift+> for a larger font and ctrl+shift+< to make the font smaller. There are also text alignment shortcuts such as ctrl+l (align text to the left), ctrl+r (align text to the right), ctrl+e (align text to the center), and ctrl+j (to justify text). Ctrl+y lets you redo a change. Ctrl+shift+a makes all of the selected text in capitals.

Saurabh Kumar

Thanking for sharing this knowledge. I need this always and would be of great importance to me. Thank You very much

VS Vishnu

i know these already..!

tarzan2001

Great article! :D

tarzan2001

Great article! :D

Alibaba

More than 100 million computer users know these short cuts, then why come here and say “I know these already” ? This tutorial is meant for beginners, starting to learn computers, and for them its very difficult unless they know how to edit documents, emails etc. For them this article is like “Swiss Key”, which saves them lot of time and makes them work comfortably and proficiently.

Thanks to Dave LeClair, for his good effort, easy narration, explanations and for posting such an useful article for the benefit of everyone.

Dave LeClair

Thanks for backing me up!

ArunSathiya1995

To be frank, I am really an expert with the keyboard. I know all these shortcuts!

Adjei Kofi

I knew some of them. Not all though…thanks :)

Ellen

Thanks! I use most of these already w/o even thinking about it, but there are a few that are new to me. Very useful article.

samsher

Nice information, i was unaware about the some of the shortcuts

Nancy B

Thanks for the great article. Most I already knew and use but a few I didn’t know.

There are still lots of keys on the keyboard I don’t use like most of the F keys and hope you follow up with an article on them.
I know many keyboards are different I tend to always buy Logictech ones but never think of using the F7 to print or F2 to go to a word document.
Just a suggestion~ :D

Sandip

Type This –> + + + +
& Hit Enter..

You will see a table…… :)

( Hit plus sign then Space or Tab. Works in MS Word)

Kaashif Haja

Shift + Insert doesn’t work for me. ctrl + v is working..
Any suggestion?

Kieran Colfer

Another on which is useful for Outlook, Thunderbird, Word etc is ctrl+shift+v, which does a “plain-text paste”. Sometimes if you’re copying/pasting from a web page, word doc etc the paste copies the formatting (bold, size, color etc) of the text as well, which you may not always want. ctrl_shift+v strips off all formatting and just pastes the text itself.

Artur Rzhiskiy

Very useful, thank you.

Kylee Kanavas

Thats really helpful. I feel more educated now, thats what I want from this website. You have done your job. :D

michelle

Use Ctrl+ left or right square bracket (brackets to the right of “p”) to increase font size of selected text one Point at a time.

Andrew

My favourite keyboard shortcut that no-one seems to use is Shift+F3.

If you’ve inadvertently left the Caps Lock button on you can highlight the text and the Shift+F3 shortcut will cycle through all lower case, all caps, capitalise the start of the sentence.

llambal

great tips on this page, I was hoping to find some new ones which I didn’t.. but still very well done you covered everything and many people will find this very usefull.

James Gillespie

some very useful shortcuts i didnt know about :)

Faisal Ahmed

I am personally shortcut maniac and used to most of these…t

Dave LeClair

Shortcuts make the world go round!